MILAN, Italy - As the Italian government implements the integration agreement, the merit/demerit system will be imposed to new comers obtaining residence permit.
Starting March 10, 2012, all new entrants aged 16 to 65 have to sign the integration agreement at the Prefecture or at the Provincial Police Headquarter.
By signing, an immigrant complies with civic obligations and duties in order to obtain a residence permit of no less than a year.
Thirty points are required to be completed within 2 years before the applicant can be issued the residence permit.
Sixteen points will be soon awarded to applicant after signing the integration agreement.
To gain merits, the applicant has to demonstrate level A2 of the Italian language.
The immigrant should acquire sufficient knowledge of the fundamental principles of the Italian Constitution, the organization and functioning of public institutions and civic life in Italy, with particular reference to the fields of health, education, social services, and work and tax obligations.
The applicant should also ensure the fulfillment of compulsory education of minor children and fulfill taxes and charges obligations.
The immigrant also states to adhere to the Charter of the values of citizenship and integration adopted by the Italian government in 2007.
Within six months after signing the contract, the new entrant will have to take a short civic education course organized by the Prefecture that will last for 5 to 10 hours.
The course can be taken in different languages, including English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Albania and Filipino.
However, an applicant risks losing points if convicted of criminal charges even if the decision is not final.
The application of measures of personal security, even if not definitive, and the final imposition of financial penalties for serious administrative or tax unlawful behavior, may also curtail merits.
The amount of cuts is proportional to the severity of criminal, administrative or fiscal unlawful behaviors committed.
The failure to attend the training session and information on civic life in Italy gives rise to the curtailment of 15 of the 16 credits awarded upon signing of the agreement.
Agreement expiration and monitoring
One month before the two year agreement expires, the Prefecture starts checking the documents submitted by the person or awarded by the office itself.
In the absence of appropriate documents, the person might be asked to determine their level of knowledge of Italian, the civic culture and lifestyle in Italy through a special test by the Prefecture.
The audit concludes with the final allocation of credits and the assumption of one of the following determinations:
a) Fulfillment of the arrangement, if the final number of credits is equal to or greater than thirty credits and, simultaneously, have achieved levels of proficiency in Italian language and civic culture and civic lifestyle in Italy.
b) Extension of one year under the same conditions, if the number of end credits is between 1 and 29 and has not achieved the levels of knowledge of spoken Italian or civic culture or civic lifestyle in Italy. The extension is notified to the person.
c) Breach of the Agreement and subsequent expulsion of the concerned person from the national territory, if the final number of credits is equal to or less than zero.
If pursuant to legislation, that person may not be expelled, and the breach of the Agreement shall be considered solely for the purpose of future discretionary decisions on immigration.
In the case of a one year residence permit, there will be a check one month before the deadline of the participation to the civic training session and information.
A deduction of 15 of the 16 credits awarded upon signing will be imposed if it is found non-attendance, and referral to further determine the outcome of the verification carried out by the expiration of two years of duration of the agreement.
Register of holders of integration agreements
The Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Ministry of the Interior has established the national register of holders of integration agreements.
The national register will contain the subscriber’s data relating to the signed agreement, the credits assigned or curtailed from time to time, as well.
Modifications or extinction events are entered and managed in compliance with the confidentiality laws.
The data included in the register are communicated to the person from time to time. The person has direct access to the register and it can control the status of the process they have concluded.
The State ensures the enjoyment of fundamental rights and equal social status of people regardless of sex, race, language, religion, political opinions and personal and social conditions, preventing any manifestation of racism and discrimination.
It will facilitate the access to any information that helps foreign citizens to understand the main content of the Italian Constitution and the general order of the State.
The State also guarantees the monitoring of compliance to the laws for the protection of employees in connection with the regional and local authorities.
It also ensures full access to the services of a medical nature and those relating to compulsory school attendance.
The State also facilitates the process of integration of the person through the intake of each appropriate initiative in collaboration with the regions, local authorities and nonprofit associations.
It ensures to the person, within one month from the signing of the agreement, the free attendance at one-day training session and information on civic lifestyle in Italy.