The integration agreement for foreigners applying for a residence permit is in forceSince 10th March 2012 a new tool has been available to newcomers who plan to live in our country to help them in a real integration process into Italian society through language and civic education
The integration agreement, as envisaged by article 4-bis of Legislative Decree no. 286 of 25th July 1995 (Consolidated text of provisions governing immigration and the status of foreigners), is an agreement between the Italian State and a third-country national who enters Italy for the first time.
In line with other European countries having already enacted a similar legislation, Italy intends to start a process involving mutual commitment to integration. In particular, Italian authorities are committed to provide language and civic education in order to allow foreigners to acquire adequate knowledge of both spoken Italian and fundamental principles of the Constitution of the Republic, the organisation and functioning of public institutions as well as civic lifestyle in Italy. In turn, the foreigner is committed to meet his/her civic obligations and to fulfill his/her duties under the Charter of values of citizenship and integration adopted by the Italian government in 2007. A credit-based approach is used to properly achieving integration.
The Regulation setting out criteria and procedures for the agreement signing, adopted by Presidential Decree no. 179 of 14th September 2011, came into force on 10th March 2012. It provides a credit-based framework, the relevant assessment methods used, the creation of a Register of holders of integration agreements as well as special circumstances where the agreement signing is not mandatory.
Guidelines for an adequate implementation at local level of procedures and measures introduced under the new legislation are provided in a directive jointly adopted by Minister of the Interior Annamaria Cancellieri and Minister for the International Cooperation and Integration Andrea Riccardi on 2nd March 2012.
The integration agreement is available to newcomers aged over 16. The foreigner will sign the agreement at the prefecture – one-stop shop for immigration or, alternatively, at the provincial police headquarters (questura) when submitting an application for a residence permit for no less than 1 year.
The agreement is drawn up in two original copies, one for the foreigner in the language indicated by him/her.
After signing the agreement, the foreigner will be automatically awarded 16 credits. Other credits can be obtained by demonstrating knowledge of Italian language, courses taken, educational qualifications, enrolment with social and health care services, having a regular contract or mortgage to buy an apartment, etc.
At this point the foreigner will be required to confirm credits conferred with subscription through attendance at a free training and information session on civic education lasting from 5 to 10 hours organised by the prefecture – one-stop shop for immigration.
Under the agreement, the foreigner is required to earn at least 30 credits within a year to be permitted to stay in the national territory. Credits can also be lost by the foreigner if convicted of a crime or a serious violation of the law.
The agreement form and the full version of the agreement translated into the most spoken languages among migrants are available on line with an information leaflet.