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ITALY: Special emergency temporary permits of stay for North African nationals

With the increasing problem of illegal immigrants landing on the Italian island of Lampedusa, Prime Minister Berlusconi took advantage of a law regarding the issuance of emergency temporary permits of stay. Pursuant to the law, permits of stay can be issued in cases of war, humanitarian reasons, natural disasters and other notable events for those coming from non-European Union countries. For North African nationals that have arrived in Italy between January 1 and April 5, permits of stay will be issued that have a duration of 6 months. Excluded from receiving the permits are those who entered before 2011, are considered dangerous or with criminal records, or were previously expelled from Italy.The permits must be requested by April 15th at the Questura (main police station) and grants the holder the possibility to also travel throughout the Schengen area. Some countries like France and Germany as well as the EU commission have raised concerns about the validity of these permits in the Schengen area.

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