(Office of Reference: D.G.IT. - OFFICE III)
NOTE: new legislation entered into force as from June 4, 2014 regarding the so-called “declaration of accompanying person” for all Italian minors travelling abroad unaccompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.
As from June 24, 2014 an administration fee of € 73.50 has been introduced for issuing ordinary passports, in addition to the passport fee of € 42.50.
At the same time, the issuance tax and the annual ordinary passport tax have been abolished (hence the € 73.50 fee is valid until the document’s expiry), The same applies to the tax for the issuance of the temporary and collective or group passports.
In accordance with Consular tariffs and fees, this change has entered into force abroad as from July 8, 2014.
The passport is both a travel and identification document and is issued by:
- the Italian Police Office (Questura) in Italy;
- the diplomatic-consular Missions abroad.
It is valid in all countries whose governments have been recognised by the Italian government and, upon the bearer’s request, it can be made valid for those that have not been recognised by indicating the places of destination (Article 2 of Law No. 1185/67).
Hence, while recalling that holding a passport is an essential requirement for entry into most non-European countries, before starting a travel, we recommend that you carefully consult the website www.viaggiaresicuri.it where you can find, for each individual State of destination, updated information on the travel document(s) required for entry into the country and any restrictions and / or specific requirements.
1. Passport issuance
As a rule, passport applications shall be submitted to the local authorities competent for the applicant’s place of residence, in Italy or abroad. Italian citizens can apply for the issuance of passports at any issuing office in Italy or abroad. In particular cases, the passport can be issued by an office other than the one of residence. In such cases it will be necessary to acquire the prior delegation of power and responsibility from the office competent for the applicant’s place of residence (the Police Office (Questura) or Consulate). The delegation of power and responsibility shall be express and in writing. Therefore, if the application is filed with a consular district in which you are not resident, it should be borne in mind that the necessary delegation of power and responsibility by the competent Police Office (Questura)/Consulate could lengthen the time it takes to issue the passport.
2. Types of passaport
Current legislation provides for the following types of passport:
a) Ordinary Passport: 48-page booklet;
b) Temporary Passport: 16-page booklet;
c) Collective or Group Passport: issued only by the Italian Police Office (Questura) for cultural, religious, sport, tourist or other purposes, pursuant to international agreements.
All valid passports, including those with the added names of minor children, remain valid until their natural expiry date.
2A. Ordinary passport
An Ordinary Passport is an electronic passport which, as from 26 October 2006, has replaced all previous models. It uses advanced technologies such as an anti-counterfeit stamp and a microprocessor chip containing the personal data of the bearer and the authority that issued it, which ensures a high degree of security.
For example, it make its bearers eligible to enter the US for stays of up to 90 days without a visa (Visa Waiver Program).
The passport period of validity depends on the age of the bearer:
- minors of up to 3 years of age 3 years;
- minors of from 3 to 18 years of age: 5 years;
- anyone over the age of 18: 10 years.
Expired passports can no longer be renewed.
DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED FOR ORDINARY PASSPORT:
- passport application form, completed and signed by the applicant;
- showing of a valid identification document, in compliance with D.P.R. No. 445/2000;
- 2 recent photographs (identical, face-front, colour, 35 x 40 mm);
- receipt for payment of fee and related government tax for use of passport, except in cases of exemption, as stated in art. 19 of Law no. 1185/1967;
- in case the applicant has children under the age of 18, atto di assenso, a written statement of consent to issuance of passport by the other parent, regardless of applicant’s civil status (single, married, separated or divorced);
- in case the applicant is under the age of 18, atto di assenso, a written statement of consent of both parents;
- in case the applicant is under the age of 18 and foreign-born, the child’s birth certificate, translated and legalised (or with affixed apostille), shall be submitted to the authorised Consulate - which, where not already done so, will provide for the transmission to Italy, for the subsequent registration in the civil status records of the Municipality of reference – or, where required, a multilingual format certificate.
Written statement of consent
The written statement of consent is a personal statement that parents may submit by using a special form available from the passport office, or by drafting a sworn declaration of certification on their own, along with a photocopy of their own identity document. The signature of a non-European Union citizen must be authenticated by the consular office. If one of the parents is dead, a copy of the death certificate must also be submitted. In the absence of the other parent’s consent, acting as judge supervising the guardianship of minors within the Mission jurisdiction, after carrying out the proper checks, the Head of the Consular Mission can authorize the issuance of passport to the applicant by special consular decree.
Individual passport for minors
As from 26 June 2012 all Italian minors travelling abroad must have their own individual passports. Therefore, from that date on, minors must be in possession of an individual passport or of an identity card valid for expatriation, if the States where the minors travel accept it.
The validity of passport varies according to the age of its bearer:
up to 3 years of age: 3 years;
from 3 to 18 years of age: 5 years.
Legal parents or guardians may also request that the passport issuing office list their names on the minors’ passports. Where this is not the case, before travelling it is recommended that parents or legal guardians obtain a certificate of family status or birth certificate for their minor children to be shown at the border of foreign States that may require it in the interests of preventing the abduction of minors.
Accompanying person’s declaration
Up to the age of 14, Italian minors are permitted to expatriate provided that they are accompanied by at least one legal parent or guardian, or that the name of the person, agency or transport company to whom the minors are entrusted are listed in the passport or in an accompanying person’s declaration submitted by someone legally authorised to give consent, pursuant to Article 3, subparagraph a), of Law No. 1185 of November 21, 1967, and authenticated by an authority competent for issuance of passports, i.e. the Questura (in Italy) or Consulate (abroad).
New legislation entered into force on June 4, 2014 regarding the accompanying person’s declaration, which is aimed at ensuring greater protection of minors and at facilitating border controls and the submission of the declaration by electronic means (e-mail, certified e-mail, fax). The major innovations include:
- the accompanying person’s declaration shall refer to a single journey (to be understood as including the return trip) from the minor’s country of residence to a predetermined destination, and shall normally not exceed a period of 6 months;
- legal parents or guardians can name up to a maximum of two accompanying persons who, in any case, shall remain alternative to each other;
- when submitting the accompanying person’s declaration, the legal parents or guardians can ask that the names of the accompanying persons, the duration of the journey and the destination be stamped on the minor’s passport or, alternatively, that said data be reported on a separate statement to be printed by the authorised issuing office;
- in case the minor is entrusted to the care of an agency of transport company, with a view to ensuring the completeness and legibility of the journey data, only the above-mentioned separate statement shall be issued. Before purchasing the ticket from the transport company, it is advisable to check its willingness to accept the minor being entrusted to it.
Digital fingerprints and cases of exemption
As from 29 June 2009, EC Regulation no. 2252 of 2004 (as amended by EC Regulation No. 444/2009) makes the inclusion of digital fingerprints in the data contained in the passport compulsory.
Issuance of the electronic passport with digital fingerprints and digital signature requires the applicant’s physical presence at the Consulate.
The application form, complete with the necessary documents, can be submitted to the competent Consulate by post or through the consular network. Once the application has been processed, the applicant can make an appointment with the Consulate to have his/her fingerprints taken and to sign the document, which is then issued.
Minors under the age of 12 are exempt from having their fingerprints taken. Permanent fingerprint exemption is also granted in the following cases:
a) duly documented permanent pathology or physical impediment (e.g. medical certificate from a local health agency, hospital, etc.);
b) clearly evident physical disability or malformation (no medical certificate is necessary in this case).
In such cases an ordinary passport is issued without fingerprints, which is valid for 10 years.
In cases of temporary impossibility of taking digital fingerprints not by choice of the applicant a temporary passport is issued.
Digital signature and cases of exemption
When fingerprints are taken, the holder's signature is also digitally acquired and printed on the page containing the personal data.
Children under the age of 12 are exempted from signing.
A permanent exemption from signing is envisaged for:
a) illiterates (after obtaining the declaration in lieu of affidavit in the Office's records);
(b) persons with a proven or documented physical impossibility of signing.
Ordinary passport fees
The current cost of an ordinary passport in € 42.50 with an additional administrative charge of €73.50. Pursuant to Article 5-bis of DL No. 66/2014, as from June 24, 2014, the issuance tax is no longer due, nor, for the years following the first one, the annual government tax in case of the use of passport for travels to non-EU Member States. On the basis of Consular tariffs, this change enters into force outside Italy as from July 8, 2014.
Passports are issued free of charge in the following cases:
- the applicant is considered an emigrant as described in T.U. No. 2205 of November 13, 1919 (converted into Law No. 473 of April 17, 1925). Article 10 lays down that "for migration laws and regulations, by emigrant we mean any citizen who expatriates only for reasons of manual labour or small business, or to join a spouse, ancestors, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, grandchildren and relatives of the same degree who have already emigrated for the same reasons, or who returns to a foreign country where he/she has previously emigrated under the conditions described by the Article";
- Italians residing abroad repatriating in order to serve in the military;
- Italian applicants who can prove indigence (the indigence threshold is specific to each country; for more information contact the Consulate jurisdiction of residence);
- Italians belonging to a religious order or missionaries (pending declaration of the order’s superior, on letterhead paper with government tax stamp affixed, attesting to the fact and indicating the person’s address).
2.B. Temporary passaport
The Temporary Passport (not to be confused with the Emergency Travel Document or ETD) is an emergency paper format document expressly described in EC Regulation No. 444/2009. It does not contain a microchip with the bearer’s personal data.
It is issued in cases of temporary inability to provide fingerprints, and only in emergency and urgent circumstances in which it can constitute the sole instrument by which to ensure the safety, health or economic interests of an Italian national.
Its validity cannot exceed one year.
It is not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program for entry into the United States of America.
Documents needed for issuance of the temporary passport
In addition to the documents needed for issuance of the ordinary passport (see 2A), the following documents shall be submitted:
- due documents proving the temporary inability to be taken fingerprints;
- statement proving the existence of emergency and urgent circumstances, for which the document can constitute the sole instrument by which to ensure the bearer’s safety, health or economic interests;
- receipt for payment of passport fees, in the absence of the exemptions listed in Article 19 of Law No 1185/1967. Following the changes introduced by Article 5-bis of Legislative Decree No. 66/2014, as from June 24, 2014 the payment of the government tax is no longer due. In accordance with the provisions of the Consular Tariff, this change enters into force abroad on July 8, 2014.
Temporary passport fees
The current fee for the temporary document is €5.20. As from June 24, 2014, the administrative charge of €40.29. In accordance with the provisions of the Consular Tariff, this change enters into force abroad on July 8, 2014.
2.C. Group passaport
Group passports are issued exclusively by the Italian Police in Italy (Questura) for cultural, religious, sports and tourism reasons, or others reasons provided for in international agreements. The application can be made by a group leader with a valid passport. It allows for expatriation, for travel purposes only, of groups from 5 to 50 persons.
It is valid for a maximum of 4 months as from the date of issuance.
The current fee is € 5.50.
3. Full passport
Anyone intending to apply for a new passport as a result of having filled all the pages of the current one with visas, shall follow the same procedure as for an Ordinary Passport.
4. Revocation of passport
According to current legislation, the passport can be revoked:
- in the presence of the same circumstances that would have prevented its issuance, in keeping with Article 3 of Law No. 1185/67;
- when its bearer abroad is unable to provide proof of having complied with alimony obligations resulting from rulings by judiciary authorities or the request of minor or disabled descendants, ancestors or spouse not legally separated;
- when its bearer is a minor who engages in acts abroad that are immoral, dangerous or harmful to health.
5. Theft or loss of passport abroad
For Italian nationals who find themselves in emergency situations (e.g. a tourist in transit with an imminent departure, who has either lost or been robbed of a passport) and with insufficient time for the normal passport issuance procedure, the locally authorised Consulate can issue an Emergency Travel Document (ETD), valid only for travel back to Italy or the country of legal residence or, in exceptional cases, to another destination.
Further information can be found in the “Emergency Travel Document” section.
Passports lost or stolen abroad and turned in to the Italian Consular Offices
Passports lost or stolen abroad and later found by the local Authorities are turned in to the Consulate of the jurisdiction in which they were lost or stolen.
Therefore, those who have recently suffered the loss/theft of their passports abroad and wish to check whether they have been found by the local Authorities are advised to contact the locally authorised Consular Office for further information.
Passports can be collected in one of the following ways:
- directly from the Consular Office;
- by mail, with shipping charges at the bearer’s expense.
Once a lost/stolen passport has remained unclaimed at a Consular Office for a maximum period of one year from the date in which the local Authorities turned it in, it is destroyed without any further communication.
In addition to further up-to-date information, all the information regarding the identity document needed for entry into each country is available on the website http://www.viaggiaresicuri.it/ (safe travelling).