Italy: New residence permit format with digital microchip now available

Italy has begun to issue residence permits in a new format containing a microchip that stores the holder’s picture and fingerprint data, in accordance with a 2008 EU regulation requiring member countries to implement a card that meets uniform guidelines.

The microchip, which is not visible on the outside of the card, allows Italian and European police to instantly view and compare the card holders’ information with police and immigration databases.

Individuals who applied for a residence permit after November 10 will receive the new format, while those who applied before November 10 will receive their permits in the prior format. Current residence permit holders do not need to take any action at this time, but they will receive the new format upon their next renewal.

Residence permit application procedures are expected to change for children with the new format.

  • All children now receive their own residence permit cards, regardless of age. Previously, those under the age of 14 did not receive their own permits;
  • Fingerprints are now required for all applicants six years’ old or older; and
  • Minor children must now appear in person with their parents when the latter submits their biometrics and when picking up their permits.

Currently the new procedures for children have only been confirmed by local police in Florence, but they are expected to apply at all other police departments in the near future.

What This Means for Employers

In many EU states, the introduction of the new uniform residence permits has resulted in temporary processing delays, and employers can expect the same in Italy, particularly for employees with children.