What is international protection?

International protection in Italy is when you receive protection from the Italian government because you cannot safely return to your home country.


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Why do people need protection?

Every year, people come to Italy seeking protection. Some come because they have already suffered persecution. Many others come because they fear that they will suffer persecution in their home countries. They may be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, social group, political opinion or sexual orientation and gender identity.

What are the types of international protection in Italy?

There are two main types of international protection: refugee status (asylum) and subsidiary protection. There is also a third type of special protection.

Learn about types of international protection you can get in Italy.

How can I apply for international protection?

The very first step of the application is submitting your international protection request to the frontier police or at the Questura (police headquarters). After having received your request, the Questura will make an appointment with you to fill in the C3 form. The C3 from is the Italian official form to request international protection. The Questura officer will ask you questions and will write your answers about your personal details (like your name, your age, your country of origin etc.) and your reasons for seeking protection (like your reasons for leaving your country, where your family is etc.). A mediator will help you answer the questions.

If you want, you can bring to the appointment a letter written by you in your own language and/or translated into Italian where you tell your personal history and why you need protection. You should also bring all the documents to support your request. For example, you can show:

  • Identity documents (passport, birth certificate, student identification card, household registry, national identity card, or political party membership card)
  • Identity documents for the family members who traveled to Italy with you
  • Marriage certificate and birth certificates for your children
  • Academic records (school records, certificates, and diplomas)
  • Medical records from hospitalization or treatment due to mistreatment in your home country
  • Any other documents that you think might be important and can help support your application

The more supporting documents you have in your application, the better chance you have to get protection. But you can apply even if you don’t have any documents.

It is important that you give your residence/reception center address to the Questura because the Questura will inform you about the next steps of your request by mail.

What happens after I submit my application?

  1. The police will send it to the Commissione Territoriale per il Riconoscimento della Protezione Internazionale, or CTRPI. This is the territorial commission for international protection. It decides if you will be granted protection.
  2. The Commissione Territoriale will set an interview with you within 30 days from the application date. The Questura will send you a letter to let you know your interview date. If you live in a reception center, the people who work in the center will tell you the date of the interview. (Many NGOs who help migrants say that the 30-day deadline for setting the interview is rarely met. They also claim that the applicant is almost never informed about the authorities’ decisions to extend the deadline.)

The interview

The interview is the most important part of the application. It is important that you tell the Commission all the reasons that led you flee your country, so the Commission will have all the important information to decide whether to give you international protection. During the interview there will be an interpreter to help you. The Commission has the duty of confidentiality, that is, to keep secret everything you say, so do not be afraid to tell them even more intimate and personal aspects of your life. Depending on your answers, the Commissione decides if it will grant international protection.

After the interview, the CTRPI has 3 days to make a decision. If the CTRPI is unable to make a decision, it must gather more information and complete the procedure within 6 months of the application date. In exceptional cases, the period is extended to 9 months. However, this deadline is not always met.

If your application is refused, you can appeal against the decision within 30 days. You are allowed to stay in Italy until you get the outcome of the appeal. The waiting time depends on the Courts and the number of appeals that the Court is examining. If the Court’s outcome does not arrive, don’t worry. Keep on waiting.