An Italian amnesty for workers employed 'off the books', including irregular migrants, has attracted more than 207,000 applications. Most, however, came from Italians rather than migrants. Meanwhile, close to 13,000 migrants applied for a six-month extension to their stay permit linked to the amnesty.
More than 207,542 people applied for the amnesty for informal workers that was passed in May, the Italian interior ministry said Monday.
The amnesty is restricted to workers in the agriculture, horticulture and fishing sectors, as well as domestic workers and caregivers. The deadline for applications was Saturday.
It is aimed at filling major labor shortages in agriculture caused by the coronavirus epidemic, and at helping farm workers – who are often undocumented migrants – to escape exploitation.
However, 85% of amnesty requests came from domestic workers and caregivers, the government said. A majority of applications concerned Italian citizens, rather than migrants.
The amnesty also gave foreigners with expired residence permits the chance to apply for new temporary papers, valid for six months. Almost 13,000 people made use of this provision, the ministry said.