What is the change? The Italian Ministry of Interior has clarified the standards that will exempt a foreign national from having to pass a civic or Italian language exam for purposes of fulfilling resident permit requirements.

What does the change mean? Foreigners who obtain certain designated educational qualifications or language proficiency certificates are exempt from the civics exam and/or an Italian language exam. The exams are only required where the applicant has not shown civic and language proficiency through other activities.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Resident permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign employees applying for resident permits. Note that family-based resident applicants will not be assessed even if they are not specifically exempt from an integration agreement.
  • Business impact: The exemptions help some foreign employees but will only impact applicants who have not demonstrated proficiency in other ways.

Background: Foreigners applying for permanent residency must sign agreements that they will be evaluated on their knowledge of Italian civics and language under a points-based system. Points are awarded for various coursework and activities, and evidence of eligible activities must be submitted to the Immigration Office. If a foreigner does not submit the evidence, he or she must take an exam to prove proficiency in Italian civics and language.

The Interior Ministry has said that foreigners who have obtained educational qualifications, diplomas or language certificates from the following schools will be exempt from both exams:

  • Italian schools recognized by the Ministry of Education.
  • Provincial Centers for Adult Education (issued 2014-2015).
  • Permanent Local Centers (issued before 2014-2105).

Foreigners who have obtained language certificates from institutes below are exempt from the A2 level Italian language exam. They still must prove proficiency in civic culture and civil life in Italy, but the Minister is considering whether to exempt them from both exams:

  • A2 PLIDA Certification diploma of knowledge of the Italian language – Dante Alighieri Society.
  • A2 Certification of Italian as foreign language L2 – Roma 3 University.

BAL Analysis: The exemptions will allow some foreign permanent-resident applicants who have studied in Italy to bypass exams for purposes of proving integration into Italian society.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Italy. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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