Subsidiary protection: Renewing and converting your permesso

Since the Salvini Decree came into effect, some of you have sent us questions about renewing and converting your Permesso di Soggiorno per Protezione Sussidiaria. If you hold this permesso, here’s what you need to know:

Questure may not renew your permesso if you traveled to your home country.
You do not need a work contract in order to renew your permesso.
Converting your permesso to a work permit means you will lose your international protection status and all the rights that come with it.

Our legal partners at ASGI helped us answer some of your questions in detail below.

How did the decree affect subsidiary protection holders?

Under Italian law, authorities can now refuse to renew your permesso if they find evidence that you traveled back to your home country.

If the questura sees a stamp from your home country on your national passport or your travel document, the National Commission for the Right of Asylum (CDNA) has the right to investigate and determine whether you traveled home for important reasons.

The CDNA could see your trip as proof that the danger of serious harm, which is the reason you got subsidiary protection, no longer exists in your country. This means they can decide not to renew your permesso di soggiorno.

If you’re planning to travel back to your home country, make sure you first ask a lawyer whether your reasons for traveling would be considered important.

You can learn more about how to renew your Permesso di Soggiorno per Protezione Sussidiaria.

I heard I need a work contract to renew my permesso — is this true?

Unlike with humanitarian permits, if you hold a subsidiary protection permit you do not need a work contract in order to renew your permesso.

The questura may ask how you make your living, but this does not mean you need to show a work contract to renew your permesso.

If the questura doesn’t want to renew your Permesso di Soggiorno per Protezione Sussidiaria without a contract, it’s a good idea to get in contact with a lawyer who can help you defend your rights.

If I have a work contract, can I convert my Permesso per Protezione Sussidiaria to a work permit?

It’s first important to know that if you apply for a work permit, you will lose your international protection status and all the rights that come with it. This means that if, for some reason, you lose your job and you’re not able to earn the required minimum income, you may lose your right to legally stay in Italy.

If you have a work contract, you may be eligible to convert your subsidiary protection to a Permesso di Soggiorno Per Motivi di Lavoro, but it’s good to consider all your options before making any decisions. Another option is the Permesso UE per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo, also known as the “ex carta di soggiorno.”

Which permesso is best for me?

A lawyer can advise on what’s best for you and help you understand if you meet the requirements for one of the permessi above. Message us on Facebook if you need help finding a lawyer in your area.

Meanwhile, if you have a Permesso per Protezione Sussidiaria and you’re thinking of converting it to a work permit, you can use the information below as a starting point to understand what each option can offer you.

  • You can learn more about renewal requirements for the Work Permit here.
  • You can learn more about renewal requirements for Subsidiary Protection here.

Neither of these permessi allows me to work outside of Italy. Is there any permesso that lets me do this?

Yes, if you have subsidiary protection you can apply for the Permesso UE per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo, or “ex carta di soggiorno," after 5 years of living in Italy and if you earn a certain income. For subsidiary protection holders, these 5 years are calculated from the moment you submitted your C3 form.

This permesso is valid for an undetermined period of time and allows you to legally study or work in other EU countries, without losing your international protection.

You can learn more about the requirements and how to apply here.

Can I go back to my home country with an ex carta di soggiorno?

According to Italian law, if you decide to go back to your home country and lose your subsidiary protection status for the reasons explained above, you should be able to keep your ex carta di soggiorno if you still meet all the requirements for it.

The law allowing international protection holders to apply for an ex carta di soggiorno is relatively new. This means it’s still uncertain how authorities will apply the law in practice if you lose your subsidiary protection and renew your ex carta di soggiorno.

It’s a good idea to speak with a legal expert or help desk, who can advise on your case, before going to the questura for renewal or as soon as you experience an issue with the renewal procedure.

If you’ve had a different experience as a subsidiary protection holder, you could let us know by sending us a message on Facebook.