ROME – Can you tell the difference between the advertising of a vacuum cleaner from that of a sofa? Are you able to give or understand directions? If the answer is no, forget getting an Italian residence permit. The new rule dates back from the 9th December: from that day, in fact, the issue of a residence permit for EC long-term residents (former residence card) is subject to passing a test of knowledge of Italian.
How does the new procedure work?. Foreign nationals can book online their exam through a dedicated page on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. The request is taken in by the system and transferred to the competent prefecture. If the demand is regular, the prefecture shall call the immigrant within 60 days, always online indicating the date, time and place of the test. The first examinations should therefore not be taken before February 1, 2011. The test requires a basic knowledge of Italian language and in case of rejection you can do it again, re-applying. Where is the test performed? At the provincial centers for adult education, on the national territory.
Who is exempted? Those who have the certificates that certify the knowledge of Italian at a level no lower than A2 of the Common European Framework,who have academic qualifications or professional qualifications (diploma of Italian secondary school or certificates of attendance to university courses, master’s or doctorate) and those who have severe limitations on the capacity for language learning.
Delays. “In fact, this test – says the responsible for the immigration service of the Patronato ACLI, Pino Gulia – aggravates the already onerous work of public administration and is likely to extend further the procedures for the issuance of ordinary documents required for foreign citizens, creating problems to those who have expiring residence permit now and who are meeting the requirements to request permission for long-staying. ”
Test without courses. “The anomaly of this procedure – adds Anthony Russo, head of immigration for ACLI – is that to establish a proof of knowledge of the language without having planned and designed a structured system for teaching the Italian language. We demand that immigrants to do the test without them ever doing the courses, except those persons entrusted with the initiative of Volunteering.