Two sentences handed down by the Veneto regional administrative court have established that non-compliance with tax or social security obligations cannot be a reason, even indirectly, of a refusal to issue or renew a permission to stay in Italy. The news was reported by the newspaper Il Gazzettino.
The Italian court ruled in favor of two Nigerian citizens who had been refused a long-term stay permit by the Padua police station due to debts they owed to the Italian social security institute INPS.
Reasons for first rejection
Long-term stay permits are granted to foreign citizens who have been residing legally in Italy for at least five years, and who have an income higher than social benefits for the poor and who have passed an Italian language test. The citizens' requests had been rejected based on an alleged ''lack of social insertion'' due to non-compliance with social security payments totaling 2,900 euros in one case and about 6,500 in the other.
Both plaintifs asked to pay the sums in installments but the police station granted a permit to stay to just one of them and only for two years based on familial grounds. Tax evasion, or non compliance with social security contributions cannot be an obstacle to obtaining a permit to stay ruled the administrative judges. Their argument was that since any situation involving tax evasion must be subject to measures to recoup the taxes or contributions owed it would therefore be counterproductive to send the foreigner away from Italy as that could hinder the process of recouping the state's losses.