Dublin III Italy

last update: January 2016

You will find here informations for asylum-seekers about:

  • Going to another country in the European Union
  • Travelling to another European country after obtaining the residence permit in Italy
  • In case you arrived from another European country (so-called Dublinato)
  • Possible news in Italy and Europe from end of 2015 (hotspots, relocation, forced returns and bilateral agreements)

Just scroll down to find your case.



Within the European Union, there is a legislation called the Dublin Regulation, which came into effect with the new provisions on the 1 January 2014, which lays down the rules and procedures for deciding in which country of the European Union an asylum seeker can apply for international protection.

Read section asylum If you are identified using the “simple” procedure, there is the possibility of leaving Italy and applying for international protection in another country of the European Union, without the risk of being sent back to Italy (although we are not able to assure you that your asylum request will be accepted by the country where you are going). 

If you are identified according to the “complete” procedure. you are registered in the EURODAC system and, according to the Dublin Regulation, Italy must examine your application for international protection.  Therefore, if you go to another country, you might be sent back to Italy.

However, according to the “Dublin Regulation 3” there are the following exceptions:

a) the “clauses of discretionality” (the “sovereignty clause” and the “humanitarian clause”) stipulate that, for specific individual situations, the application for international protection must be evaluated not by the first country of arrival, but by the country where the asylum seeker actually wants to apply;

b) if 12 months after your arrival in Italy you have not yet applied for asylum, you do not have to apply in Italy, because Italy is not responsible for your asylum application;

c) if you arrived in Italy, did not apply for asylum and there is evidence that you stayed for at least 5 consecutive months in another country of the European Union before applying for international protection, this country has to examine your application;

d) if a close relative of yours (i.e. husband, wife, father, mother, son/daughter) has already been granted international protection in another country of the European Union, you can apply for asylum in this country asking for family reunification (ricongiungimento familiare) To do so, your relatives have to make a written request to the Italian state; if you are a minor (under 18 years old) you can ask for family reunification in the country of the European union where you have one or more relatives, such as father, mother, brother, sister, son/daughter (minor), uncle, aunt, grandmother.

In any case, we suggest that you contact the contacts listed in the contact section  to have more information.


After obtaining the residence permit can you go to another European country?

If you were granted international protection, subsidiary protection or humanitarian protection, and if you have the electronic residence permit and the document/travel ticket, you have the right to move freely within the territory of the European Union (except Denmark, Great Britain and Ireland) without visas for a maximum period of three months.  The three-month period starts from when you are officially registered by the authorities of the State in which you travelled. That may not coincide with the date of entry into the country.

If you have been granted international protection and at least five years have passed from the time you formalised the asylum application, you can request an EU residence permit for long-term residency. If you have this type of residence permit – which has a limited validity – you can stay in another Schengen State for a period longer than 90 days, according to the laws in force in the Member State.



If this is the case, it means the country you went to sent you back to Italy because that country has proved that the first country in which you arrived was Italy, so according to the Dublin Regulation, Italy has to consider your asylum application. However, there are some exceptions, listed above.

IMPORTANT: remember that you can in any case appeal, with the help of a lawyer, to the “discretionary clauses” of the Dublin Regulation. These are the “sovereignty clause” and the “humanitarian clause”. Until your appeal has been examined and a final decision has been taken, you have the right to stay in the country where you wanted to apply for asylum, without being sent back to Italy. Contact the associations or lawyers in the European country where you are at the moment, so that they can help you bring an appeal against your refoulement to Italy. You can find contacts in these countries here.




The opening of hotspots assures that European asylum Office (EASO), Frontex and Europol give their support to the Member States to speed up the identification, registration and fingerprinting practices of migrants. The main result will be the separation between migrants who will be given the right to ask for international protection (political asylum) and those that will be signed as "economic migrants" and may receive a decree of refoulement/expulsion/retention and therefore cannot apply for international protection. According to the agreements between the European Union and the Italian Government, those "economic migrants" will probably have to stay within the hotspot for a few days before receiving a "respingimento differito" (that is, a refusal sheet that "calls on" migrants to leave the country within 7 days. Everybody who is stopped in the Italian territory with this document will risk ending up in a CIE (identification and expulsion centres).
The plan is to concentrate the arriving migrants in some ports, especially in Sicily, where all procedures should be carried out, such as health screening, pre-identification, recording, photo-Dactyloscopic surveys and signalling. A hotspot has already been opened in Lampedusa and a further three will follow in Pozzallo, Porto Empedocle and Trapani, which will add to those in Augusta and Taranto. After medical screening every person will be interviewed by immigration officials who will fill out the so-called “foglio notizie”, with biographical data, photo, basic information and information on the applicant’s wish to request international protection. Based on these procedures, people will be marked and a photo will be taken of them and they will be identified as  CAT2 (illegal entry) except those who will be considered relocatable (CAT1: asylum-seekers) or even those who demonstrate willingness to apply for international protection and therefore, will formalise the intention by completing the form C3, in facilities for asylum seekers (regional hubs), to where they will be transferred after registration. Those belonging to CAT1 will be in a position to be relocated to other EU countries,.They will have to complete, with the support of EASO officials, a specific form C3 in English. Those considered as CAT2 will be transferred, by buses or planes, to centres of identification and expulsion (CIE).


Those countries of origin for which relocations are allowed (i.e. sending from Italy to another EU country that is not chosen directly by the applicant) are currently only Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.) Those replacements are still very few (until December 2015 only 129 asylum seekers have been relocated from Italy).

Those who are not from these countries and choose to ask for protection in Italy will likely be transferred from hotspots to regional hubs (at the moment only those of Genoa and Bologna are active, but soon there should be a hub for each Italian region). Those who refuse the identification and photo-reporting are likely to be imprisoned within the CIE (see section detention).

Forced returns and bilateral agreements
In 2015 almost 4000 migrants were deported to their countries of origin, deemed not to be entitled to political asylum or to receive humanitarian protection. These deportations often violate migrants’ rights, both in terms of how they are carried out and the risks that the returnees will face in their countries of origin.

European governments, including Italy, have already entered into or will enter into bilateral agreements with some countries of origin of migrants (such as Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria and soon  probably Gambia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and maybe others). All these countries – along with others – are or will be regarded as "safe countries" and then migrants from these countries will most likely be denied the possibility of seeking political asylum in Italy and Europe.

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