Residenza, domicilio and ospitalità: what are the differences

To renew the residence permit it is necessary to have a rental contract, a residenza or a dichiarazione di ospitalità (declaration of hospitality). In this article, we'll explain what they are and what are the differences between them.

A person with foreign origin living in Italy needs a place to live (a house) also to renew his residence permit. This place can be obtained through the hospitality of someone or by renting an apartment or a room.

For some bureaucratic procedures, it is necessary to prove that you have a residenza, that is the place that is recorded in the official documents in which a person lives in a stable and lasting way.

It is important not to confuse residenza with domicilio, that is the place where a person lives, but which does not always correspond to residenza.

The residenza

The residenza is that place where the person lives permanently. However, it becomes official only when it is registered at the Ufficio Anagrafe.

You can apply for the residenza by registering with the Ufficio Anangrafe of the municipality where you wish to reside. Immediately after receiving your application, the Ufficio will give you a certificate valid for 3 months proving that you applied. Within six months you will receive confirmation or rejection of your application. In case of confirmation, you will have to go and collect the official residenza certificate at the Ufficio.

Once confirmation has been received, the Polizia Municipale will come and check that you really live at the address you have indicated.

With the residenza you obtain rights and can access many services in your city. For example, you can vote, get health care, or join the Centro per l’Impiego.

The residenza temporanea and residenza fittizia

The Uffici Anagrafe of the municipalities have registers in which they enter all those people who have requested residenza temporanea, that is the residence for a very short period.

The residenza temporanea is important when your actual residenza is elsewhere and you don’t want to be de-listed for your time away.

The residenza fittizia is different. It is the form of residenza for people with no fixed home or who cannot have a home. It is in a street that does not exist, invented, but has an important legal value.

For the people who cannot have a home, the residenza fittizia is essential to obtain the following documents:

  • the identity card
  • the tessera sanitaria
  • the renewal of the residence permit
  • access to local social services

The domicilio

The domicilio is the place where your work takes place or where your loved ones are.

In many cases domicilio and residenza coincide, they are in the same place, but in other cases they do not coincide. So be careful not to confuse domicilio and residenza!

For example, it may happen that a student moves to another city or another Italian region for study purposes and decides to maintain the residenza in his or her municipality of origin, while changing his or her domicilio.

It is not mandatory to declare the domicilio. In some cases, however, it may be required to fill in some documents for public administrations.

In this case, just write a self-certification of your domicilio, that is a declaration indicating the address.

The ospitalità

The dichiarazione di ospitalità concerns those cases in which someone decides to host you or give you accommodation, without a contract declaring your residenza there.

In this case, your host has the obligation to notify your presence in the accommodation within 48 hours to the Questura, the Commissariato di Polizia or, in the absence of these, the Ufficio Comunale of the area where you live.

He must complete and sign this form and add a copy of both your and his/her (the accommodation owner) identity documents.

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