Detention in Italy

last update: January 2016

If your application for international protection is declined and you receive a denial by the territorial Commission, you can contact a lawyer to appeal to the Court. The court which hears your appeal is the one located in the capital of the District of the Court of appeal in which the territorial Commission is established or the SPAR if you are in such a centre. From the date of refusal by the Commission, you have 30 days to file an appeal, upon expiry of which you no longer have the right to stay in Italy legally.

If you are in a “CIE” or “CARA” you have 15 days to file an appeal. Please refer to the operators of your reception centre or at the organisations close to where you are to find a lawyer to take your appeal.  You can ask an Italian State aid called "legal aid" i.e.. the possibility to appeal against the refusal free of charge if you have an income less than approximately 11,000 euro.



→ Why did you receive a expulsion paper (“foglio di via”)?

You will receive the expulsion paper (foglio di via) in one of these cases:

- If you entered Italy without going through the border post;

- If you entered Italy regularly but you didnot ask for international protection;

- If you have been revoked or refused  permission to stay and you have been held in Italy for more than 15 days;

- If your permit expired more than 60 days ago and you  have no good reason for not renewing  ;

-  You have been convicted of a crimeor if you are suspected of having committed serious crimes.

The expulsion is achieved by accompanying you to the frontier or repatriation to the country of origin.



- If you cannot be detained, you are handed a “foglio di via” with orders to leave Italy within 5 days.

- Minors, long term resident permit holders, spouses or cohabiting relatives cannot be deported (grandparents/grandchildren, siblings) of Italian citizens, pregnant women or if they are in the first 6 months after birth.

-If you received a deportation order, you have the right to appeal against expulsion within 60 days. If the expulsion order is not executable (for example if you do not have documents proving your identity or you must acquire travel documents), you can be detained in a Centre for identification and expulsion (CIE).


→ What are the CIE? Why are you in a CIE?

The CIE are detention centers where citizens from outside the European Union are held. Those citizens do not have a regular residence permit and are waiting to be expelled. In general, those who are held in a CIE have not committed any crime which could lead to custody. There are five CIEs; they are located in Rome, Caltanissetta, Bari, Torino and Trapani but it is likely that others will be opened as required by decisions taken at European and national level (read Fact sheet No 1 for more information about what is new and in any case, we suggest that you contact the associations which are in Chapter 6 for information and help).

Under the law (decreto legge 142/2015), if you are an asylum seeker you can be held if one of these situations is true:

  • you have committed serious crimes;
  • you are considered a danger to public order or State security;
  • there is an escape risk (for example, in the past you claimed false information to avoid a deportation order);

In all these cases, detention in a CIE is allowed only when alternative coercive measures cannot be applied.


→ What is administrative detention?

The term administrative detention refers to the practice, enforced by Italian legislation, to limit the freedom of foreigners who do not have a residence permit. The purpose of this is to identify the person and expel them into facilities.

The detention is called administrative because it is not a punishment for committing a crime, it does not involve a trial and does not require a judge's ruling. It is a regime of deprivation of individual liberties for having broken an administrative arrangement, like not having a residence permit.


→ How long can I be detained in a CIE?

The maximum period of detention within a CIE should be 90 days. If you have already been detained in a prison for 90 days, the maximum period of detention in a CIE is 30 days. In reality, however, the period of detention can be extended for much longer

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