The regulation governing the integration agreement came into force on 10th March 2012. As from such date, non-EU citizens applying for a residence permit with a duration exceeding one year shall sign an agreement with the Italian State.
By signing such Agreement, foreign nationals undertake to achieve specific integration objectives during the period of validity of their residence permit, and the State undertakes to support foreigners’ integration process through the adoption of any suitable initiative in agreement with Regional Governments and Local Authorities.
In particular, as stated in the text of the agreement, foreign nationals undertake to:
a) acquire a knowledge of the spoken Italian language equal to at least level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, issued by the Council of Europe;
b) acquire a sufficient knowledge of the fundamental principles of the Italian Constitution, of the organisation and operation of public institutions and civil life in Italy, with particular reference to sectors as healthcare, education, social services and labour;
c) guarantee the fulfilment of the education obligations for minors;
d) discharge tax and contribution obligations.
Furthermore, foreign nationals state to adhere to the Charter of Values of Citizenship and Integration and undertake to comply with its principles.
On the other hand, the State:
a) guarantees the enjoyment of fundamental rights and equal social dignity of people without any distinction whatsoever in terms of gender, race, language, religion, political opinions and personal and social conditions, preventing any expression of racism and discrimination; furthermore, the State facilitates the access to the information that help foreign nationals to understand the main provisions of the Italian Constitution and of the general system of the State;
b) guarantees, in connection with Regional Governments and Local Authorities, the control of the compliance with the rules safeguarding employed work; the full access to healthcare services as well as to compulsory education;
c) favours the integration process of foreign nationals through the adoption of any suitable initiative, in connection with Regional Governments, Local Authorities and no-profit associations.
In this framework, within one month as from the signing of the agreement, foreign nationals are granted the free-of-charge participation in a one-day session of civic training and information on the life in Italy.
The integration agreement is based on the assumption of the definition of integration as a “process aimed to promote the cohabitation of Italian and foreign nationals, in full compliance with the values enshrined in the Italian Constitution, with the mutual commitment of participating in the economic, social and cultural life of the society”. It is therefore an occasion for foreign nationals to learn the Italian language and the basic civic rules of life in Italy.
As known, the knowledge of the Italian language and culture represent a fundamental step to facilitate the integration process in the hosting community, as well as an indicator of the success of the migration path and of the capacity of foreign nationals to be professionally and socially included in the Italian society. More generally, the integration agreement may represent an occasion for the growth and the development of the entire community, in the construction of a more inclusive and coherent society.
Our portal contains information concerning courses on the Italian language, labour, households and houses, healthcare and foreign minors. These are the five fundamental frameworks of life, and represent the basic requirements for integration. The portal provides useful information on each of the sectors above, and allows to identify the services provided throughout the territory to obtain the minimum necessary credits required by the agreement.
1.-What is the Integration Agreement?
The Integration Agreement is an agreement between the Italian State and foreign nationals that enter in Italy for the first time, with which the State undertakes to support the integration process of foreign nationals and foreign nationals undertake to achieve specific integration objectives. The Agreement has a duration of two years and is extendible for another year. The rules governing the Agreement are contained in Art. 4 bis of the “Consolidated Law on the provisions concerning immigration and rules on the conditions of foreigners“ (Legislative Decree 286/98) and in the regulation adopted through Presidential Decree 179/2011.
The operational information concerning the administrations involved are contained in the Circular Letter of the Ministry of the Interior dated 5th March 2012 and in the joint Circular Letter of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for International Cooperation and Integration dated 2nd March 2012.
2.-Who shall sign the Agreement?
The Integration Agreement is addressed to foreigners aged over sixteen that enter Italy for the first time and apply for the issuance of the residence permit with a duration of at least one year.
The Agreement, in case involving a minor aged between sixteen and eighteen years, is also signed by the parents or by those exercising the parental authority regularly residing within the national territory.
3.-Who shall not sign the agreement?
a) Foreign nationals affected by diseases or disabilities that severely hinder their self-reliance or that determine severe difficulties in language or cultural learning. Such condition must be witnessed through a certificate issued by a doctor recognised by the National Healthcare Service.
b) Unaccompanied minors fostered as per Art. 2 of Law no. 184 of 4th May 1983 and subsequent amendments, namely under guardianship, for which the agreement is replaced by the fulfilment of the social and civil integration project as per Art. 32, paragraph 1-bis, of the Consolidated Law;
c) The victims of trafficking in human beings, violence or exploitation, for which the Agreement is replaced by the fulfilment of the social assistance and integration project as per Art. 18 of the Consolidated Law on Immigration.
4.-Where signing the agreement?
At the One-Stop-Shop for immigration of the Prefecture in case foreign nationals enter the Country for work or family reunification purposes, or at the Police Headquarters in case of access to Italy for other reasons.
The Agreement is signed at the same time as the application for a residence permit with a duration of at least one year. At the moment of signing, the agreement is drafted in two copies, one of which is given to foreigners in their language of choice. On the State side, the Agreement is signed either by the Prefect or by one of his/her delegates.
Read the brochure and the Integration Agreement available in 16 languages (Albanese, Arabo, Bengalese, Cinese, Francese, Inglese, Italiano, Pidgin, Portoghese, Romeno, Russo, Serbo, Spagnolo, Tagalog, Wolof e Yoruba)
5.- How many credits are initially granted to foreign nationals?
Through the signing of the Agreement, 16 initial credits are granted. The confirmation of these 16 credits takes place following the attendance of a free-of-charge session on civic training and information on the life in Italy. Such training session lasts between 5 and 10 hours, and is held at the Prefectures’ One-Stop-Shops for Immigration. The non-participation in such training session leads to the loss of 15 out of the 16 credits granted.
6.- How many credits shall be obtained and within how long?
According to the Agreement, foreigners shall obtain 30 credits within two years. Credits can be obtained through the acquisition of specific knowledge (Italian language, civic culture and civil life in Italy) and the performance of some activities, such as:
- Formal qualifications
- Training programmes abroad.
- Signing of a rental agreement or certificate of the taking out of a mortgage for the purchase of a residential property. Additional information
7.- Can the credits obtained be lost?
8.- When is the Agreement checked?
One month before the expiration of the two-year term, the One-Stop-Shop for Immigration at the Prefecture begins the assessment phase through the documents filed by the applicant or acquired by the Office. Failing such documentation, the applicant may ask to be tested on his/her level of knowledge of the Italian language, civic culture and civil life in Italy through a free-of-charge test administered by the One-Stop-Shop.
In case of a one-year residence permit, one month before the expiration, an assessment is made on the participation in the information and civic training session. In case the One-Stop-Shop determines the non-participation in the session, fifteen credits are cut back. The non-fulfilment of the obligation to provide education to minor children determines the total loss of the credits granted at the signing of the Agreement and of those subsequently obtained, as well as the termination of the agreement on the grounds of the breach of the provisions thereof.
At the end of the assessment, the One-Stop-Shop performs either the granting or the cutting back of credits.
9.- How is the Agreement assessed?
The assessment ends with the granting of final credits and with one of the following decisions:
a) final credits exceeding 30 and obtainment of level A2 of the knowledge of the Italian spoken language, knowledge of the civic culture and of civil life in Italy: settlement of the agreement due to full compliance.
If credits are equal to or higher than forty, rewards are granted for specific cultural and training activities.
b) final credits exceeding zero but lower than 30 (that is to say, the level required in terms of knowledge of the spoken Italian language, civic culture and civil life in Italy was not achieved), a one-year extension of the Agreement is granted, upon the same conditions. The assessment is made one month before the expiration of the year of extension. In case the Agreement is not fulfilled, the Prefect rules a partial non-fulfilment, which the competent authority takes into consideration for the adoption of discretionary measures on immigration.
c) final credits equal to or lower than zero, the termination of the Agreement is decided on the grounds of non-fulfilment, with the annulment of the residence permit or the rejection of its renewal, and the expulsion of the foreigner from the national territory. In case the foreigner cannot be expelled, the non-fulfilment is taken into consideration for the adoption of discretionary measures on immigration.
In any case, the force of the Agreement can be either suspended or extended, upon request of foreign nationals, in case of severe health reasons, family reasons, work reasons, attendance of training courses, vocational training or study abroad.
10.- Which foreign nationals are excluded from the assessment of the Agreement?
Foreign nationals that signed the Integration Agreement but that at the moment of the assessment own one of the following types of residence permits: for asylum purposes, pending application for asylum, subsidiary protection, humanitarian reasons, family reasons, EC residence permit for long-term residents, residence card for a foreign family member of EU citizens, foreigners owning another residence permit exercising one’s right to family reunification.
Additional information on the Integration Agreement is available in the website of the del Ministry of the Interior.