HomeSearch NewsForeigners who seek to sign at the registry office: what are the necessary documents?

12 January 2024

Foreigners who seek to sign at the registry office: what are the necessary documents?

Answers to the frequently asked questions

Registration at the Anagrafe (Registry Office) grants the right of residence. Such registration is a duty and the prerequisite for the exercise of several civil and political rights, including many social benefits. More specifically, it is necessary for the issue of the identity card and other Registry certifications, for requesting an Italian driving license or converting a foreign one, for being able to get access to social assistance and being eligible for the assignment of public residential housing or other types of subsidy. “Residence” is linked to the place where an individual lives. This is made up of an objective element (permanence in a place) and a subjective element (the intention of having a stable residence there).

What is the meaning of "domanda di iscrizione anagrafica” (application for being registrated at the registry office) for the foreigners?
When an individual is registered at the Registry Office of an italian municipality, he obtains “residence” in Italy. In the same registry, one can find information concerning the individuals, the families and the cohabitants who have established their residence in the Municipality, as well as information relating to homeless people who have established their domicile in the Municipality.
When they apply, foreign citizens formally request to be included in the register. If the application is accepted, they obtain residence in the chosen city and can request certificates needed for staying in Italy, as well as the access to local services.

How do I apply for registration to the Registry Office?
Registration must be requested by completing a specific form. This form can be delivered in person or sent via mail, fax or a different digital procedure, according to what is indicated by the municipality where the applicant intends to establish their residence. The declaration must contain a copy of the IDs of the applicant and of the other people who are transferring residence with them. If they are over 18 years old, they must sign the form as well. Citizens coming from a foreign country must prove their relationship with the other members of their family via the attachment of relevant documentation, in compliance with the provisions regulating the translation and the legalization of documents.

Can I use an expired passport for declaring residency?
No: when transferring their residence from abroad, and therefore registering for the first time, the foreign citizen (with the exception of applicants for and holders of international protection) must show a valid passport (or an equivalent document), as the possession of a valid document is required for entering lawfully into Italy.
For every Registry Office declaration, with the exception of the declaration of residence after moving in Italy from abroad, it is sufficient to show any identification document, IE any "document with a photograph of the owner, issued by the public administration of Italy or a different country on paper or on magnetic or IT support, which allows the personal identification of the owner". 

What documents must an applicant for international protection present in order to request registration?
Applicants for international protection who wish to proceed with registration don't need a passport, which is also not required for the issue of a residence permit for asylum applications.
As per italian law, registration in the Registry Office can be allowed by presenting a residence permit for asylum request, or even the receipt of the submission of the application for protection, which comes with a photograph. This receipt constitutes, in fact, a temporary residence permit.
However, the name certification for asylum seekers subject to detention in a repatriation center does not constitute a qualification for registration.
Having a passport is not mandatory for holders of international protection as well, as they can be identified on the basis of the residence permit for international protection.

In addition to the identity document, what other documents are necessary for foreign citizens to request registration at the Registry Office?
There are different possibilities:

  • If the foreign citizen already holds a valid residence permit, they must attach a copy of it to the application;
  • If, however, the foreign citizen's residence permit is currently under renewal, they must attach a copy of the expired one and the receipt of the request for renewal of the residence permit.
  • If the foreign citizen is still waiting for the issuance of their first residence permit, they can attach the receipt issued by the post office certifying the submission of the residence permit request. Registration can therefore be requested even if an individual is still waiting for the residence permit to be issued. 

What further obligations are required for the foreign citizens who have obtained registration at the Registry Office?
Registered foreigners are required to renew the declaration of habitual residence in the municipality where they are living within sixty days from the renewal of the residence permit. The registry office officer will update the foreigner's personal data sheet and notify the Police Headquarters.
Foreign citizens do not lose their registration during the renewal phase of their residence permit. The receipt of the request for renewal of the expired permit allows maintaining the registration, provided that the renewal request was submitted no later than 60 days after the expiry.

Is registration at the Registry Office subjected to being able to prove the hygienic-sanitary suitability of the inhabited property?
It is the right and the duty of the municipalities to check the sanitary conditions of the properties when registration or change of the personal data is being requested. However, the lack of health and hygiene requirements does not preclude (in general) the establishment of residence in an unsuitable place . 

How long does it take for the registration process to be completed? Can an application be rejected after the procedure's deadline?
The Registry Office starts the procedure within two working days since the declaration has been submitted. In the 45 following days, it makes sure that the requirements are satisfied. After the time has passed, if no rejection has been notified, it is considered a case of tacit consent, and the procedure is definitively concluded with the confirmation/validation of the registration or the changes.

Is the registration of the property's rental contract at the Agenzia delle Entrate a necessary document for the declaration of residence?Requesting information about the right for the applicant to reside in the place that they wish to make their home is necessary, because inhabiting an illegally occupied property is forbidden.A registered rental contract facilitates verifying the veracity of the interested party's declarations, but is not a condition for registration. The property that the person intends to indicate as their residence could, in fact, be legitimately occupied in another capacity.

Should the child born from legally resident foreign citizens possess a residence permit for the purposes of registering them?
No, the Ministry of the Interior has specified that the presentation of a residence permit is not mandatory. As per italian law, the minor born in Italy has the right to be registered in the Registry Office of the same municipality of their parents, or in the municipality where the mother is registered, if the parents are registered in different locations. For the purpose of registering a foreign minor born in Italy, presenting a passport is not required. 

When is cancellation from the register contemplated?
Registry cancellation occurs in the event of: 

  • Death;
  • Emigration to another municipality. The citizen who intends to transfer their residence to a new Italian municipality must submit a declaration of residence within 20 days from the date of the transfer. The Municipality has two days to update its public registers by changing the registrant's residence. Within 45 days from the submission of the request, the Local Police will verify the new address.
  • Emigration abroad (it is the foreign citizen's responsibility to communicate the new residence to the Registry Office);
  • Failure to renew the declaration of habitual residence by citizens coming from a third-country (the communication must be submitted within 60 days from the date of renewal of the residence permit);
  • Ascertained unavailability (the procedure involves careful investigations and repeated checks regarding the presence of the person at the communicated address. The procedure lasts 365 days).

Temporary absence for study or work reasons, or other contingent reasons do not entail the cancellation of the citizen from the registry of the resident population.
The citizen's registry position can be restored following a new registration. 

What procedure must a citizen coming from a European Union member state follow if they intend to stay in Italy for more than three months?
Citizens of the European Union and their family members have the right to reside in Italy for a period not exceeding three months without being subjected to any formality or registration, except for the possession of a valid identity document for traveling abroad, according to the legislation of the State of which they are citizens (Passport or identity card valid for travel abroad).
Non-EU citizens only need a valid passport and entry visa, issued by the Italian consular authority, when they are accompaning or joining the citizen belonging to a European Union State.