Due to certain circumstances, the renewal of one’s Permesso di Soggiorno might take some time, not allowing one to claim the renewed Permesso (ID card format) in time for one’s trip outside Italy.
As you will see below, you are supposed to be allowed to reenter Italy with your expired Permesso di Soggiorno and ricevuta Poste together, even if you have not done the fingerprinting yet (fotosegnalizzazione).
The IATA (International Air Transport Association), in its Timatic website for check-in agents (www.timaticweb.com), has advised that:
“Alien residents of Italy holding expired Residence Permits or a copy of an expired Residence Permit are permitted to re-enter Italy, provided also holding a receipt issued by the Italian Post Office or Police Department, confirming new permit has been applied for. Applications for renewal must be made within 60 days of expiring, otherwise immigration could refuse re-entry, even if holding confirmation of application. Holders [of] copies of an expired Residence Permit
also require a statement, stating that they are holding a copy…”
The above IATA statement is most probably based on the following Directive of the Italian Government’s Interior Ministry –Ministero dell’Interno, 5 agosto 2006, N. Prot. 11050/M(8)– which allows one to leave and return to Italy with an expired Permesso di Soggiorno, as long as one has the “ricevuta”:
“2. Lo straniero in possesso del permesso di soggiorno, ancorché scaduto, e della ricevuta di presentazione dell’istanza di rinnovo, ha la facoltà di lasciare il territorio dello Stato e di farvi regolare rientro, alle condizioni più volte reiterate con le circolari del Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza.” (last paragraph)
- The page containing the IATA document may be downloaded here (PDF, from Timatic website).
- The Italian Government’s Directive may be downloaded here (PDF, though unsigned) or from the Italian Prefecture official Government website.
- Be sure to have a copy of the above two documents in your computer or smartphone, or a printout, to show to the airline’s check-in counter, or to the Immigration Officer in Italy.
- Practice opening your application status at Polizia di Stato website, as indicated in our page on the Permesso di Soggiorno. This will assure them that your Permesso is being processed, or perhaps even waiting for you to pick it up.
- If all the above fails, and for example, they ask you to call (or ask for a certification from) the Italian Consulate, or instruct you to take a plane to a city with an Italian Consulate, or demand that a card or certificate with your picture be found on the Italian government website, or simply do not understand the above references: ask from the airline’s manager a written explanation of why they are refusing to board you, when in fact you have bought a ticket, and you have the necessary documents to enter Italy (a residence permit being renewed, and a receipt from the Italian Post Office that shows you have applied for the renewal, which is the “ricevuta di presentazione dell’istanza di rinnovo”) called for by the above Directive from the Interior Ministry posted on their Government website, as supported by the IATA Timatic advisory.
Do not leave the check-in counter without having first obtained such written explanation of their refusal to board you, as you have a right to this. Tell them that you need it to file a formal complaint against the airline and their staff.
- You may also show this website to the check-in agents, so they can see the references.
- Of course, be sure to bring your expired Soggiorno and the ricevuta Poste when you travel.
- If you ask for a new appointment for the fingerprinting, the date that the Questura will give depends on the computer, and hence it might not be before your trip. But if needed, just go to the Questura upon returning to Rome, to ask for a new appointment for fingerprinting.
- You will not be allowed to enter other Schengen countries, only Italy. Make sure your flight (going or returning) has no stopover in any other Schengen country. Note that Switzerland is Schengen but not EU. On the other hand, UK and Ireland are not Schengen but EU.