All citizens in Italy, regardless of whether or not they are migrants, asylum seekers or refugees have been asked not to leave the house except in exceptional circumstances. Travel limitations have been in effect since March 10 and will last until at least April 14. Anyone placed in quarantine, or who has tested positive for the virus is forbidden from leaving the house.
You can only leave your house to go to work, for health reasons or for special needs. You need to fill out a form and carry it with you which the police can check.
The cultural and social organization ARCI, which also provides support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, has closed all its public offices. They are still providing help online via email and telephone and have posted a number of posters and documents in several languages with frequently asked questions. You can contact them by email: email@example.com or via a toll-free number 800905570 or via Lycamobile and Whatsapp on +39 3511376335 (If you are inside Italy and are calling from an Italian number then it would be 03511376335).
Most migrants and asylum seekers have to go to the police administrative headquarters, the “Questura” to renew their residence permits or asylum papers. However, most Questuras ask that you contact them via email rather than go in person to their offices. According to information from ARCI, the immigration services at most questuras are temporarily suspended. This includes renewing and issuing residency permits. Most other public offices are open and people are working where they can from home, but there are no, or very few, “front office” (i.e. contact with the public) activities taking place.
For the rest of Italy, the Questura di Roma has a link to the immigration portal where you can check if your residence permit is ready to be collected. On the front page of the portal, all non-urgent appointments will be delayed and you will receive a new appointment via SMS (text message). Questions relating to documents and renewals are suspended and new dates for appointments will be communicated via text message (SMS).
Before turning up at a Questura, the portal asks you to put in your username and password which you should have received when you applied for your residency/work permit or asylum/refugee status to see at what stage your application is currently. You can call this toll-free number 800 200 309 if you have a question on the process.
Poste Italiane, the Italian national post service is another place where migrants and asylum seekers need to go to renew their residence permits, work permits and other official documents. Most Italian post offices remain open but some will be closed or are open only on alternate days. Others have suspended certain services like the possibility of pre-booking an appointment online.
Anyone using a post office will be asked to maintain the requisite distance of at least one meter between themselves, the employees and any other client in the shop. There are reports of long queues for all services because of this. Look at your local post office or on the website www.poste.it to find out whether your local office remains open. Poste Italiane also says that most appointments relating to immigration are suspended and will be rescheduled for a later date.
According to information from Arci (March 18) most territorial commissions making decisions on asylum and international protection are partially suspended. In particular the hearings for asylum seekers and administrative decisions will be delayed to later dates.
The Ministry of the Interior has said that all activities related to the expulsion of migrants found to be illegally on Italian territory will continue as normal.
The Ministry has also said that anyone wishing to apply for asylum can do so as this international right is guaranteed as normal. Arci says anyone finding they are unable to apply for asylum at this time should contact them to signal problems in the system.
For those expecting decisions on their asylum cases in the courts, most hearings are postponed until at least April 15. But check with your individual lawyer, whom you should contact by phone or email.
All residence permits with an expiration date between 31 January 2020 and 15 April 2020 remain valid until 15 June 2020. (Art. 103, comma 2 Dl Cura Italia)
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