The Italian Declaration of Presence is a declaration required for foreigners who wish to stay in Italy, and it serves as a temporary residence permit for Italy. This requirement is not for everyone; therefore, whether a traveller needs to submit the declaration depends on a number of criteria, listed in the following paragraphs.
What is the Italian Declaration of Presence?
The Declaration of Presence is a requirement applicable to non-EU citizens travelling to Italy. It can be regarded as a temporary residence permit for Italy. Its purpose is that of notifying the Italian Authorities of the arrival of foreigners to the Country.
Law 68 of May 28, 2007 first introduced the Declaration of Presence. The aim of this Law was to modify the existing rules of the Residence Permit and simplify the applicable requirements to short-term travellers.
Who needs to submit the Declaration of Presence in Italy?
The Declaration of Presence is a fulfilment that needs to be carried out by travellers who meet the following criteria:
- Are non-EU citizens.
- Are travelling to Italy for visit, business, tourism, or study purposes.
- Are staying in Italy for less than three months.
For the visitors mentioned above, their Visa specifies the maximum period of stay.
How to submit the Declaration of Presence in Italy?
There are 3 possible ways for travellers to submit the Declaration of Presence in Italy, depending on their point of entry in the Schengen area and their accommodation. It is, therefore, fundamental to understand what the Schengen area is.
The Schengen area is a free movement zone where people can move freely, with no border controls. At the moment, 26 Countries are part of this agreement.
Entry in the Schengen area via Italy:
Foreigners who enter the Schengen area from Third Countries directly via Italy comply with the Declaration fulfilment by passing the Border Police controls. In fact, during these controls, the authorized personnel places the Schengen stamp on the visitor’s travel document.
In this case, no further actions are required on the traveller’s side.
Entry in the Schengen area via a fellow Schengen Country:
Travellers who enter the Schengen area in Countries other than Italy have to take extra steps in order to submit their Declaration of Presence. As a matter of fact, within 8 days from arrival, visitors need to declare their presence at the local Questura, i.e., Police Headquarters. The 8-days count starts on the date on the passport stamp, placed when they entered the Schengen area.
At the Questura, the travellers have to fill out a dedicated form.
How to fill out the Italian Declaration of Presence Form
The form that visitors are required to fill out is divided in 3 sections.
To begin with, in the first part, travellers are required to write their generalities, like:
- Date of Birth.
- Place of Birth.
In the second part of the document, it is necessary to enter the date of their Identification Document:
- Type of document (e.g., passport).
- Document number.
- Validity period
- Country of origin.
The last part of the form focuses on the details of the trip:
- Address in Italy (street, number, town and Province)
- Length of stay (to be specified in days)
- Reason of stay: Visit, Business, Tourism, Study.
The form will then be stamped by the Office, and travellers will receive a copy that they must carry with them throughout their stay.
Entry to Italy via a Schengen Country, and stay at a lodging facility
Travellers who entered the Schengen area in a Country other than Italy, and later arrived in Italy to stay at a lodging facility, do not have to go to the Questura. In fact, lodging facilities take care of communicating to the local Authorities, within 24 hours from arrival, the generalities of their guests.
Failure to comply with the Italian Declaration of Presence requirement
According to Law 68, of May 27th, 2007, paragraph 3, there are two cases in which the competent Prefect may proceed to order expulsion from Italy, as provided in Decree-Law 286, of July 25th, 1998 (TUI, Unique Text on Immigration), at article 13:
- Submit the Declaration of Presence beyond the 8 days’ time limit (except for causes of force majeure);
- After submitting the Declaration of Presence, overstay their allowed stay period.
Furthermore, in accordance with art. 10 bis of Legislative Decree no. 286/98, anyone who illegally enters or stays in Italy is punishable by a fine ranging from €5.000 to €10.000.
Declaration of Presence in Italy for students
Article 38 bis of Decree-Law 286, of July 25th, 1998 (TUI, Unique Text on Immigration) provides another case in which the Declaration of presence substitutes the Stay permit.
It is the case of student of Italian branches of foreign universities and higher education institutions (University level). These students need to submit the Declaration of Presence in case their stay is less than 150 days.
The Article further specifies that the Declaration of Presence must be accompanied by a Declaration of Sponsorship from the legal representative of the University branch. Alternatively, a delegate of the Legal Representative may undersign such declaration. The competent Questura must receive a copy of the declaration, if the traveller has to present the Declaration of Presence at the Questura office. Otherwise, the declaration must be produced at the request of public security officers and agents.
In addition to the above, the legal representative must also notify the competent Questore within 48 hours of any variation relating to the student’s presence during his/her stay for study purposes. Such notifications may be sent by post or by certified email (PEC), to the addresses published on the official web pages of the Polizia di Stato.
The Authorities may fine those who fail to comply with this requirement; the amount requested may vary from €160 to €1.100.
For further information on the type of Visa applicable to a specific travel, you can also have a look at our info page.
If you are interested in applying for an Italian Stay Permit, check out our guide.