Sanatoria: regularization of foreign workers

Sanatoria is an extraordinary measure that regularizes foreign people who are in Italy without documents. It’s not done every year but in exceptional cases. Find out what it means, how it works, and what the last regularization made by the Government was.

IMPORTANT: the period to apply for regularization expired on 15 August 2020 and on 31 December 2020 for the employer who had paid the contribution of € 500.00 without applying during the firs deadline.

ATTENTION: If you have applied for regularization and have not yet received an answer, remember to check with the help of the employer or caf the ministry website. You can only access through their SPID code.

What is regularization?

Regularization means making something that is now irregular become regular. In the case of foreigners, regularization means that a person without regular documents obtains a residence permit.

This act of regularization is also called “amnesty” (sanatoria).

The sanatoria made by the Italian Government is not for everyone. Here below you find information on who can apply and how.

Regularization May 2020

The government has approved a measure to regularize foreign workers. This measure is ONLY for workers who have worked or had worked in the following sectors:

  • agriculture, breeding, fishing, and all related activities;
  • assistance to the elderly and disabled;
  • housework.

There are two different cases where one can apply for regularization:


The foreign person with a residence permit that expired between 31 October 2019 and today and who has worked regularly before this date (therefore with a contract) in the sectors of:

  • agriculture, livestock, fishing, and all related activities;
  • assistance to the elderly and disabled;
  • housework.

may apply for a temporary residence permit.
This permit lasts 6 months (only in Italy) and allows the person to look for another job in the agricultural, personal care and domestic work, listed above.
If in the 6 months the foreign person finds a job with a contract in these sectors, his/her temporary permit will be converted into a residence permit for work reasons.

If you want to apply for this temporary permit, you must:

  • have a passport or another identity document, like for example an identification certificate issued by the embassy of your country of origin;
  • be present in Italy on March 8, 2020, without ever having left Italy from March 8 to today;
  • submit documents, such as the old employment contract, to prove that you worked before 31 October 2019.

IMPORTANT: if in 6 months you find a job in other sectors, such as the construction or restaurant sector, the permit will NOT be converted.

How to apply?

You must be sure to have ALL necessary requirements to obtain temporary permission before applying.

If you have all requirements, you can apply between June 1st and August 15th, 2020.
Here are the instructions:

  1. Before submitting your application, you will have to pay € 130,00 through the modello F24 (RECT 2020), which is the cost of the procedure. You can pay the F24 at the post office or the bank, or online on the website of the Agenzia delle Entrate (Revenue Agency).
  2. You have to apply by sending your request from a sportello amico (help desk) of Poste Italiane. Ask at the counter for the kit with the form to fill out and sign. To the completed form, you must also attach:
    – a copy of your passport or identification (document or certificate), and
    – documents showing that you worked before October 31st, 2019 in one of the three sectors.
    This procedure costs € 30, which you will have to pay additionally to the F24.
    Attention: from June 1-10, the help desk (sportello amico) will receive in alphabetical order. Here is the calendar with the alphabetical order. This means that you will only be able to apply on the day the post office receives people with the first letter of your surname. After June 10th (until August 15th), you can go any day you prefer. Check carefully the opening hours of the closest sportello amico.
  3. After applying, you will be given::
    -a letter with the date of your appointment at the Questure, the police headquarters, to take photos and identification. You have to go to the Questura for this appointment, on the day and time set.
    the receipt of your application submission. This receipt will allow you to stay in Italy legally and to work in the Italian territory in one of the three sectors.
  4. After the Questura has examined your application, you will receive a temporary residence permit if the outcome of your request is positive.
  5. If in the six months of temporary residence you find regular work in one of the three sectors, then with a contract, you can convert your temporary permit into a residence permit for work reasons applying at the sportello amico of Poste italiane.

During the definition of the regularization procedures, the foreign worker cannot be expelled except for serious reasons.
ATTENTION: Pay close attention to the information you find on social media and on Whatsapp. The ones stated above are the only rules for applying. Don’t believe people asking you for money to get an employment contract.

If you need more information, if you have doubts or notice something strange in the application process, contact the associations that deal with the rights of foreigners in your city or the unions.


The employer can apply for the regularization of an irregular employment relationship (a job without a contract or “illegal”) with an Italian or foreign worker. The worker thus obtains a regular employment contract.
With the work contract, the foreign worker can obtain a residence permit for work reasons. The permit is of 1 year if it is a fixed-term contract and 2 years if it is a permanent contract.

The employer can only apply if:

  • The employment relationship is ongoing;
  • The foreign worker has been in Italy since before March 8, 2020 (and can prove it with fingerprints or declaration of presence). Furthermore, he/she must never have left Italy since that date.

How to apply?

The application can ONLY be made online from June 1st to August 15th, 2020 and from 25 November to 31 December 2020 for employers who had paid the contribution but had not applied during the first deadline.
Here are the instructions:

  1. Before sending the application, the employer must pay a contribution of € 500,00 for each worker, using the modello F24 (REDT 2020). The F24 form can be paid at the post office and bank, or online on the Agenzia delle Entrate website (Revenue Agency).
  2. From June 1st to August 15th between 7:00 and 22:00 and from November 25 to December 31 between 9:00 and 20:00 the employer can send the application online through this page In order to access, it is mandatory to have SPID, a digital public identity. SPID can be requested on this page.
    Here is a video tutorial to help fill out the application.
  3. After sending the application, in the personal area (area personale) of the portal, the employer can download the receipt of the application and must give a copy to the worker.
  4. After examining the application, the employer and the worker will be contacted by Sportello unico per l’Immigrazione, or immigration desk, to submit additional documents and, if the application is successful, to sign the employment contract.
  5. The worker will also receive the kit to request the residence permit, already filled by Sportello unico. They will have to send this form to the Questura by post (through sportello amico of the post office).

Employers will be able to receive free help by filling in and sending the application from trade unions, patronati and associations that deal with work related issues.

When the application will not be accepted?

The foreign person:

  • Received the expulsion from Italy for social danger, terrorism or other serious reasons. If instead, they have been expelled for entry or stay irregularities, they can apply.
  • Was convicted (even without final sentence) for drug offenses, for helping foreigners to arrive illegally in Italy or Italians or foreigners to go illegally from Italy to other countries.

The employer has been sentenced in the past 5 years for:

  • Having helped foreigners to arrive illegally in Italy or Italians or foreigners to go illegally from Italy to other countries.
  • Prostitution, child labor and exploitation of people.

These are the general rules for the regulation, but there may be different rules depending on the working situation of individuals. We advise you to always ask for advice from a lawyer, a union or associations that can help you submit your application and check if you respect all requirements.

Where to get help with the application?

The procedure can be difficult to understand and it is normal to need clarifications or help filling in the application.
For this reason, many sindacati and associations have activated services to help the foreign people or employers who want to request the regularization.

If you need information and help to fill in the application, you can:

Go to the nearest sindacato CGIL, CISL, UIL or ANOLF.
To find the nearest sindacato you can search on Google: CGIL + name of your city (for example: CGIL Roma).

You can also call the ARCI-SOS Diritti free number 800 999 977 from Monday to Friday, in the morning (between 9 and 13) and in the afternoon (between 14.30 and 18.30).

The Community Center OXFAM e Diaconia Valdese provides assistance on sanatoria. It is an online counter active from Monday to Friday from 10 to 13. You can call or send a WhatsApp message to the number (+39) 344 187 4631 or write an e-mail to

Alternatively, you can contact the Comunità di Sant’Egidio to get information or book an appointment with the center of Comunità di Sant’Egidio in your area. Call 06 899 22 00 or send an e-mail to

In addition, here is a list of some associations that provide help on sanatoria in each region. This list is constantly updated and information on other sportelli /organizations will be added as soon as available.

Valle d’Aosta
Trentino-Alto Adige
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Emilia Romagna

You can also follow the Facebook page and contact them on Messenger for more information.

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