A demonstration of migrants demanding full regularization and not just a temporary amnesty on May 19, 2020 | Photo: ANSA / Ciro Fusco
A demonstration of migrants demanding full regularization and not just a temporary amnesty on May 19, 2020 | Photo: ANSA / Ciro Fusco

Undocumented workers in Italy can be regularized under a new decree starting on June 1. Applications can be filed until July 15.

The inter-ministerial decree allowing employees to sign new contracts with their employers or for employers to regularize employees in specific sectors, including agriculture and domestic work, became official with the publication in the Official Gazette in Italy on June 1.

Under the new measure, foreigners who have a stay permit that expired after October 31 last year can apply for a new six-month-long permit. Applications can be filed until July 15.

Employers of domestic workers, caregivers and farmworkers can present a request to regularize a foreign worker through the immigration office at the 'Sportello unico per l'immigrazione' found in prefectures across Italy.

Applications can also be filed online on the website nullaostalavoro.dlci.interno.it/ by using the digital identification system SPID and following instructions in the user's manual. Before applying, employers must pay a contribution of 500 euros.

Procedure for foreigners

Undocumented foreigners with a stay permit that expired after October 31, which was not renewed or converted into another permit and who worked before that date in the sectors included in the measure, can apply to obtain a temporary permit through the police department for themselves.

The temporary permit is only valid in Italy for six months, starting on the day of the request. Foreigners can present a request for a stay permit at one of the 5,700 post offices set up to process such requests. To file a request at a post office, there will be an administrative cost of 30 euros. Before presenting the request, the applicant will also need to pay a sum of 130 euros.

Regularization of 150,000 farmworkers from within the EU

Before the decree is converted into law, the network Tavolo Asilo Nazionale (round table for asylum in Italy --which includes several asylum rights associations) will continue to campaign for the inclusion of all economic sectors in the measure.

In a statement, the organization said that if the aim of the measure "is to really fight illegality and the invisibility of hundreds of thousands of workers, it doesn't make sense to limit it to those who work in agriculture, domestic work and elderly care."

Farmers' association Coldiretti also said that with borders opening on June 3 following restrictions of movement due to the coronavirus emergency, about 150,000 foreign farmworkers will be allowed to enter the country. Most of these seasonal workers hail from fellow EU countries, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria and will help harvest Italy's crops.

According to the association's estimates, over one-fourth of Italy's agricultural products are harvested by foreign workers. Every year, an estimated 370,000 regular foreign farmworkers help pick the country's ripening crops, providing 27% of the working days that are necessary to the sector, Coldiretti added.
 

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