(Office of Reference: D.G.IT. - OFFICE III)
NOTE: new legislation entered into effect as from 4 June 2014 regarding the “statement of accompaniment” for all Italian minors travelling abroad unaccompanied by at least one legal parent or guardian.
As from 24 June 2014 an administration fee of €73.50 has been added to the issuance of ordinary passports in addition to the passport fee of €42.50. At the same time, the issuance tax and the annual passport tax have been abolished (so the €73.50 fee is valid until the document’s expiration), including on the issuance of temporary or groups passports. In accordance with Consular tariffs, this modification goes into effect as from 8 July 2014.
The passport is a document to be used both for travel and for identification, and is issued by:
The Italian Police (Questura) in Italy; diplomatic-consularmissions abroad.
It is valid in all countries whose governments have been recognised by the Italian government, and can be made valid for those that have not been recognised upon request by the bearer and indication of the place of destination (art. 2 of Law no.1185/67).
1. PASSPORT ISSUANCE
As a rule, passport applications are submitted to the local authorities competent for the applicant’s place of residence, in Italy and abroad. Italian citizens can, nevertheless, request issuance of the passport at any issuing office in Italy or abroad, but in such cases the authorities competent for the applicant’s place of residence must delegate their responsibility in writing, which could lengthen the time it takes to issue the passport.
2. PASSPORT TYPES
Current legislation provides for the following passport types:
a) Ordinary Passport: 48-page booklet;
b) Temporary Passport: 16-page booklet;
c) Group Passport: issued exclusively by the Italian Police (Questura) for cultural, religious, sport and tourism purposes or others in pursuance of international agreements.
All valid passports, including those with the added names of minor children, remain valid until their natural expiration.
2A. ORDINARY PASSPORT
An Ordinary Passport is an electronic passport which, as from 26 October 2006, replaces 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 give it a high degree of security and make its bearers eligible to enter the US for stays of up to 90 days without a visa (Visa Waiver Program).
The period a passport remains valid 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.
DOCUMENTATION TO BE SUBMITTED FOR ORDINARY PASSPORT:
passport application form, completed and signed by the applicant;
display of valid identification document, in compliance with D.P.R. 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;
If the applicant has children under the age of 18, written statement of consent to issuance of the passport of the other parent, regardless of applicant’s civil status (single, married, separated or divorced); if the applicant is under the age of 18, written statement of consent of both parents; if the applicant is under the age of 18 and foreign-born, it is necessary to submit the child’s birth certificate – translated and legalised (or with affixed apostille) to the authorised consulate or, where required, a multilingual format certificate.
ACT OF CONSENT
Parents may submit their written statement of consent using a special form available from the passport office, or by composing 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 deceased, a copy of the death certificate must also be submitted. In the absence of the other parent, acting as judge supervising the guardianship of minors within the mission jurisdiction, the consular Head of Mission can, following the proper ascertainments, authorize the issuance of the 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, even if listed on a parent’s passport previous to 25 November 2009, minors must be in possession of an individual passport or, where accepted as valid for expatriation, identity card or equivalent.
Periods of validity of vary according to the age of its bearer:
up to 3 years of age: 3 years;
from 3 to 18 years of age: 5 years.
Minors of up to 14 years of age must travel in the company of at least one parent or a legal guardian, otherwise the name of the person, agency or transport company to which the minor in question has been entrusted must be indicated on the passport or in a statement by someone authorised to give consentand validated by the Police (Questura) or consular authorities. Legal parents or guardians may also request that the passport issuing office list the names of their children on their passports. Where this is not the case, before travelling it is recommended that parents of legal guardians obtain a certificate of family status or birth certificate for their minor children to display at the border of foreign States that may require such substantiation in the interests of preventing the abduction of minors.
Statement of accompaniment
Up to the age of 14, Italian minors are permitted to expatriate on the condition they are accompanied by at least one legal parent or guardian, or are listed on the passport of, or in a statement of accompaniment submitted by someone legally authorised to give consent in pursuance of art. 3, letter a) of Law no. 1185/67, and authenticated by the Italian Questura (in Italy) or Consulate (abroad) in regard to the name of the person, agency or transport company to whom the minors are entrusted.
New legislation went into effect on 4 June 2014 regarding the statement of accompaniment, which is aimed at more fully ensuring the protection of minors, and at facilitating border controls and the submission of the statement by electronic means (e-mail, certified e-mail, fax). The principal innovations include:
the statement of accompaniment must refer to a single journey (to be understood as including the return trip) from the minor’s country of residence to a predetermined destination, not to exceed, normally, a period of 6 months;
legal parents or guardians can name up to a maximum of two accompaniers who, in any case, will remain alternative to each other;
when submitting the statement of accompaniment, the legal parent or guardian can ask that the names of the accompaniers, duration of the journey and destination be stamped on the minor’s passport or, alternatively, that those data be reported on a separate statement to be stamped by the authorised issuing office;
in the case that the minor is entrusted to the care of an agency of transport company, in order to ensure the completeness and legibility of the journey data, only the above-mentioned separate statement is issued. It is advisable, in advance of purchasing the ticket from the transport company, to verify its willingness to accept the minor’s being entrusted to it.
DIGITAL FINGERPRINTS AND WHO IS EXEMPT
As from 29 June 2009, EC Regulation no. 2252 of 2004 (amending EC Regulation no. 444/2009) makes the inclusion of digital fingerprints among the data contained in the passport compulsory. Issuance of the electronic passport with digital fingerprints and digital signature necessarily requires the applicant’s physical presence.The application form, complete with the necessary documentation, can be submitted to the competent consulate by post or through the consular network. Once it 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 such cases an ordinary passport is issued without fingerprints, and is valid for 10 years.
In cases of the temporary impossibility of taking digital fingerprints not by choice of the applicant a Temporary Passport is issued.
ORDINARY PASSPORT FEES
The cost of an ordinary passport in € 42.50 with an additional administrative charge of €73.50. As from 24 June 2014, in pursuance of article 5-bis of DL n. 66/2014, the issuance tax is no longer due, nor, for the years following the first, the annual government tax in the case of the passport’s use for travel in countries not members of the European Union. On the basis of Consular tariffs, this modification goes into effect outside of Italy as from 8 July 2014. Passports are issued free of charge in the following cases:
the applicant is considered an emigrant as described in T.U. 13.11.1919, n. 2205 (converted into Law no. 473/1925), article 10 of which states that "considered an emigrant, for emigration laws and regulations, is any citizen who expatriates for reasons exclusively of manual labour or small business, or to join a spouse, ancestors, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins and grandchildren 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);
persons 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 PASSPORT
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, and is issued in cases of temporary inability to provide fingerprints, and only in emergency circumstances in which it can constitute the sole instrument by which to ensure the safety, health or economic interests of an Italian national.It has a potential validity of up to one year,and its bearer is not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program for entry into the United States of America.
DOCUMENTATION NECESSARY FOR ISSUANCE OF THE TEMPORARY PASSPORT:
In addition to the requirements listed for the Ordinary Passport (see point 2A), the following are to be submitted:
due documentation of the temporary inability to provide fingerprints;
statement by the applicant of the existence of the urgent circumstances in which the document can constitute the sole instrument by which to ensure the bearer’s safety, health or economic interests;
receipt for payment of fees and government taxes for the use of the passport, in the absence of the exemptions stated in art. 19 of Law no. 1185/1967.
TEMPORARY PASSPORT FEES
2.C. GROUP PASSPORT
Group passports are issued exclusively by the Italian Police in Italy (Questura) for cultural, religious, sports and tourism reasons, or others in pursuance of international accords. Application can be made by a group leader with a valid passport, and allows for the expatriation for purposes of travel only, of groups of from 5 to 50 persons. It is valid for a maximum of 4 months from the date of issuance.The current fee is € 5.50 for the passport.
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, will have to 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 obstructed its issuance, in pursuance of art. 3 of Law no. 1185/67;
when its bearer abroad is unable to supply proof of having complied with alimony obligations deriving from rulings by judiciary authorities or the request of minor or disabled descendents, 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. PASSPORT FOR ENTRY INTO THE USA WITHOUT A VISA.
Eligibility for the US Visa Waiver Program requires:
electronic passport, optical passport issued or renewed before 26 October 2005, and passport with digital photo issued between 26 October 2005 and October 2006.
Those eligible for the "Visa Waiver Program" are:
travelling exclusively for business and/or tourism;
going to the United States for less than 90 days;
in possession of a return-trip ticket.
In the absence of any one of the above-listed requirements, a visa will become necessary. Passports must be valid, with an expiration date subsequent to the bearer’s re-entry into Italy. Failure to leave the US within 90 days could compromise future eligibility for the program. Minors are admitted to the Visa Waiver Program only if they are in possession of an individual passport.
NOTE: The above-listed requirements are subject to change without notice and it is therefore always advisable to verify the validity of one’s passport with the US authorities before leaving.
6. 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 date who has either been robbed of or lost a passport) and with insufficient time for the necessary 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, another destination. Further information can be found in the “Emergency Travel Document” section.
PASSPORTS LOST OR STOLEN ABROAD and FOUND AND TURNED IN TO THE ITALIAN CONSULATE
Passports lost or stolen abroad and later found and turned in tot he local authorities are turned over to the consulate in the jurisdiction in which they were lost or stolen. In that case, anyone who have recently suffered the loss/theft of their passports abroad is advised to contact the locally authorised consulate office for further information. Passports can be collected in one of the following ways:
directly from the consulate in question;
by mail, with shipping charges at the bearer’s expense.
Once a lost/stolen passport has remained unclaimed at a consulate office for a maximum of one year from the date in which the local authorities turned it in, it is destroyed without any further communication.
Further up-to-date information is available on the website http://www.viaggiaresicuri.it/ (safe travelling).