Reference Office: D.G.IT. – DESK II)
A passport is both a travel and identification document issued
– in Italy by the Police Headquarters;
– abroad by diplomatic-consular Representations.
It is valid for all countries whose Governments are recognised by the Italian Government and, at the concerned party’s request, can be made valid for the countries whose Governments are not recognised by indicating the places of destination (Article 2 of Law 1185/67).
While recalling that having a passport is therefore an essential requirement for entry into most non-European countries, before embarking on a journey, we recommend you to carefully consult the website www.viaggiaresicuri.it, where it will be possible to consult – for each individual State of destination – updated information on the travel document(s) required for entry into the country and on any restrictions and/or specific requirements.
- Issuance of passport
As a general rule, the application for issuing a passport shall be submitted to the territorially competent Office, based on the applicant’s residence, in Italy or abroad.
Italian citizens may apply for a passport to be issued at any issuing office, either in Italy or abroad. In particular cases, the passport may be issued by an Office other than the Office of residence. In such cases prior authorisation shall be obtained from the Office (Questura or Consulate) competent for residence. The authorisation shall be express.
Therefore, in the event that the application is submitted to a consular district in which the applicant is not resident, it should be borne in mind that the authorization needed from the competent Questura / Consulate could make the processing and issuance time longer.
- Types of passport
The current regulations provide for the following types of passports:
(a) Ordinary passport: 48-page single-format booklet;
(b) Temporary passport: 16-page booklet;
- c) Collective passport: issued exclusively by the Police Headquarters (Questure) in Italy for cultural, religious, sporting, tourist, or other reasons envisaged by international agreements.
All valid passports, including those with registered minor children, remain valid until their natural expiry date.
2.A. Ordinary passport
Ordinary passport means the electronic passport that – as of October 26, 2006 -has replaced previous passport models. It uses modern technologies, such as anti-counterfeiting printing and a microprocessor containing the data of the holder and the issuing authority, which provide high security standards.
It allows, for example, entry into the United States for stays shorter than 90 days without the need to apply for a visa (Visa Waiver Program).
The validity of the passport differs depending on the holder’s age:
- 3 years for minors under 3 years of age;
- 5 years for minors from 3 to 18 years of age;
- 10 years for adults.
Expired passports can no longer be renewed.
Documentation needed for issuing an ordinary passport:
- passport application form, duly completed and signed by the person concerned;
- an identity document in accordance with Presidential Decree 445/2000;
- 2 recent photographs (identical, frontal, in colour, format 35 x 40 mm);
- receipt of payment of the cost of the passport booklet and administrative fee, unless falling within the exempt categories under Article 19 of Law 1185/1967. It should be noted, in fact, that as of June 24, 2014, the date of entry into force of Article 5-bis of Decree-Law No. 66 of April 24, 2014 – converted, with amendments, by Law No. 89 of June 23, 2014 – the passport issuance fee is no longer due. Pursuant to the provisions of the Consular Fee Schedule, abroad this amendment came into effect on July 8, 2014;
- in case the applicant has children under the age of 18, an affidavit of consent to the issuance of the document by the other parent, regardless of the applicant’s marital status (single, married, separated or divorced) –atto di assenso ;
- if the applicant is a minor under the age of 18, an affidavit from both parents – atto di assenso;
- if the applicant is a child under the age of 18 born abroad, he / she shall submit to the competent Consulate – that, if not already done so, shall transmit it to Italy for subsequent registration – the birth certificate, translated and legalised (or with an apostille) or, where applicable, the certificate on a multilingual standard form.
For those who are residents of the consular district, but are not registered with AIRE, proof of residence abroad is required.
The affidavit is a personal statement that the parent can sign using the appropriate form available at the Passport Office or by drafting a personal sworn statement in lieu of certificate. A photocopy of his or her identity document shall be attached to the affidavit. The signature of the non-EU parent shall be notarized by the Consular Office.
In case of death of one of the parents, his / her death certificate shall be submitted.
In the absence of the other parent’s affidavit, the Head of the Consular Representation, in his capacity as Tutelary Judge of minors residing in the consular district, may authorize the issuance of the passport to the applicant by special Consular Decree, after making the necessary checks.
Individual passport for minors
As of June 26, 2012, all traveling Italian minors must carry individual travel documents. Therefore, as of the aforementioned date, minors shall have an individual passport or an identity card valid for expatriation, if the States they cross recognize its validity.
The validity of a passport issued to a minor is different based on the minor’s age:
– 3 years for minors aged between 0 and 3;
– 5 years for minors aged between 3 and 18.
Those exercising parental authority may request from the offices responsible for issuing the document that their names be stated on the passport of their minor child. Should this not be the case, before embarking on the journey it is advisable to obtain a family status certificate or birth certificate of the child to be shown to the border authorities, should they request it in the exercise of their control functions designed to avert the danger of child abduction.
Declaration of consent for minors
Until they reach the age of 14, Italian minors may expatriate provided that they travel accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian or that the name of the person, entity or transport company to whom the said minors are entrusted is mentioned on the passport, or on a declaration of consent issued by a person who can give consent or authorization pursuant to Article 3(a) of Law No. 1185 of November 21, 1967, endorsed and stamped by a competent issuing authority (Questura in Italy, Consular Office abroad).
The said declaration is designed to ensure greater protection of the minor, as well as to facilitate border controls and the submission of the application for the declaration also through the use of e-means (email, certified mail – PEC – fax, etc.). Its main features are listed below:
- it can apply to one trip only (to be understood as an outward journey and/or return trip) from the minor’s country of residence with a specified destination and cannot normally be longer than six months;
- those exercising parental responsibility or the legal guardian can indicate up to a maximum of two accompanying persons, who shall, however, be alternative to each other;
- when making the declaration of consent for minors, the persons exercising parental responsibility or the legal guardian may request that the names of the accompanying persons, the duration of the trip and the destination be printed in the minor’s passport, or otherwise that such data be included in a separate certificate, which shall be printed by the competent Office;
- if the minor is entrusted to an agency or transport company, in order to ensure the completeness and legibility of the travel data, only the certificate shall be issued. Before purchasing the ticket from the transport company, it is suggested to check that it accepts that the minor is entrusted to it.
Fingerprinting and cases of exemption
The obligation to include fingerprints in the passport was stipulated by European legislation, specifically Regulation (EC) No. 2252 of 2004 (as amended by Regulation (EC) No. 444/2009), which set its start on June 29, 2009.
The issuance of the e-passport with fingerprints and digitized signature requires the physical presence of the compatriot at the Consulate.
The application form accompanied by the necessary documents for processing the application may also be submitted to the relevant Consulate by mail or through the Honorary Consulate network. Once the preliminary investigation is completed, the applicant may go to the Consulate – by scheduling an appointment – for fingerprinting, signing and issuing the document at sight.
Minors under the age of 12 are exempt from fingerprinting.
There is also a permanent exemption from fingerprinting:
- a) in case of an appropriately documented disease or permanent physical impediment (e.g. medical certification issued by a Local Health Authority, hospital facilities, etc.).
(b) in case of evident physical impairment or malformation (medical certification is not required in such cases).
In such cases, an ordinary passport without fingerprints is issued with a ten-year validity.
In cases of temporary inability to fingerprinting not depending on the applicant’s will, a temporary passport is issued.
Digital signature capture and exemption cases
At the moment of fingerprinting, the holder’s signature is also digitally captured and then printed on the page containing personal data.
Minors under the age of 12 are exempt from the signature.
There is also a permanent exemption from affixing the signature for:
- a) the illiterate (after obtaining and filing in the Office’s records the declaration in lieu of affidavit);
(b) those with an ascertained or documented physical inability that prevents them from signing.
Cost of the ordinary passport
The current cost of the passport booklet is 42.50 euros plus an administrative fee of 73.50 euros.
The passport is issued free of charge in the following cases:
- the applicant is considered an emigrant within the meaning of Consolidated Law No. 2205 of November 13, 1919 (converted into Law No. 473 of April 17, 1925). Article 10 of the Consolidated Law lays down that “any citizen who expatriates exclusively for the purpose of performing manual work and petty trade or reuniting with his / her spouse, ascendants, siblings, uncles, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in the same degrees, who have already emigrated for work purposes, or returns to foreign countries where he /she has already previously emigrated under the conditions provided for in this article, shall be considered an emigrant for the purposes of the laws and regulations on emigration.”
- the Italian applicant living abroad requires consular repatriation or returns to perform voluntary military service;
- the Italian applicant is destitute (in order to identify the threshold of destitution we refer to the parameters used for assistance in each country. For additional information it is suggested to contact the Consulate in the territorial district of which you are resident);
- the Italian applicant is a minister of religion or a religious missionary (in this case a statement from the superior, on stamped paper, certifying that the applicant is a religious missionary must be submitted, indicating his / her residence).
2.B. Temporary passport
The temporary passport (not to be confused with the Emergency Travel Document or ETD) is a paper-format emergency document, expressly provided for in Regulation (EC) No. 444 of 2009. It does not contain the microchip for recording the holder’s data.
It is issued for cases of temporary inability to fingerprinting, only in justified circumstances of necessity and urgency, for which this may be the only means of guaranteeing the safety, health or economic interests of compatriots.
Its validity cannot exceed one year.
It does not fall under the Visa Waiver Program and requires a visa for entry into the United States.
Documentation required for issuing a temporary passport
In addition to the documentation required for issuing an ordinary passport (see 2A), the following documents shall be submitted:
- appropriate documentation certifying temporary inability to fingerprinting;
- statement attesting the existence of justified circumstances of necessity and urgency for which such a document may be the only means of ensuring the safety, health or economic interests of the applicant;
- receipt of payment of the cost of the passport booklet, unless falling within the exempt categories referred to in Article 19 of Law 1185/1967.
Cost of the temporary passport
The current cost of this document is 5.20 euros.
2.C. Collective (or group) passport
The collective (or group) passport is issued exclusively by the Police Headquarters (Questura) in Italy for cultural, religious, sporting, tourist, or other reasons envisaged by international agreements.
It can be requested by the group leader, holder of a valid passport, and allows expatriation for a single trip, of groups of at least 5 people and not more than 50.
Its maximum duration is 4 months from the date of issuance.
The current cost is 5.50 euros.
- Running out of the pages for visas
If you intend to apply for a new passport due to running out of pages for visas, the procedure to be followed is the same as for issuing an ordinary passport.
- Withdrawal of the passport
According to current regulations, the passport can be withdrawn:
- when the same circumstances arise that would have legitimized its non-issuance under Article 3 of Law 1185/67;
- when the passport holder who is abroad is unable to provide proof of fulfilment of the maintenance obligations arising from the decision of the judicial authority or from the request of minor or incapacitated descendants unfit for work, ascendants or the spouse who is not legally separated;
- when the passport holder is a minor engaged in immoral, dangerous or harmful activities abroad.
- Theft or loss of the passport abroad
If an Italian citizen finds himself / herself in an emergency situation (e.g. a tourist in transit who has to leave promptly and has lost or been robbed of his / her passport) and there is no time to carry out the necessary preliminary investigation for issuing a new passport, the Consular Office/ Representation issues a provisional travel document, also called E.T.D. (Emergency Travel Document), with validity only for the return trip to Italy, to the country of permanent residence abroad or, in exceptional cases, for a different destination.
More information is available in the section “Emergency Travel Document.”
Return of passports found abroad and returned to Italian Consular Offices
Users are advised that passports that have been stolen or lost abroad and subsequently found by local authorities are returned to the Consular Office in the district of which the theft or loss occurred.
Therefore, those who have recently suffered theft/loss abroad and wish to check whether their passports have been found are urged to contact the territorially competent Consular Office for further information on the matter.
Please note that the passport may be collected in the following ways:
- picked up directly at the Consular Office;
- sent by mail, with postage paid by the applicant.
Please note that once the maximum period of one year of storage at the Consular Office – from the date on which the local authorities returned the stolen or lost passports – has elapsed without the documents having been claimed by the lawful owners, they will be destroyed without further notice.
In addition to updated information for each individual country, all indications about the identity document required for entry are available on the website www.viaggiaresicuri.it.