What is considered a suitable accommodation to obtain a visa/permit of stay?

Oct 18, 2021

Evidence of having a suitable accommodation is a mandatory requirement for most visa/residency applications and must be readily available after entry of the applicant, to be submitted at the first appointment with Immigration authorities. In some cases, it is required also to obtain a visa or a clearance for a family visa.

What is considered a “suitable accommodation”?

(a) A long-term reservation in a hotel, residence, serviced apartment, self-catering, apt. hotel (such type of accommodation may not be acceptable for certain family applications)

or

(b) a private rented/owned house/apartment respecting health & safety regulations and meeting the size standards set forth by the law

Long term reservation in a hotel, residence, etc.

A written confirmation of the reservation, printed on the hotel letterhead and signed by a hotel representative. 
 Depending on the jurisdiction where the application is filed, there may be different requirements in terms of document format and length of reservation. In some locations, authorities are very strict and would not accept a reservation for less than 1 month from the date of the residence permit filing appointment.

Moreover, the letter must be in Italian, contain the employee data and must be presented in original signed by the hotel representative along with a copy of the signatory identity document. Also, because the accommodation is supposed to be temporary, a declaration from the sponsor stating that during the stay in Italy a suitable permanent accommodation will be provided may be required.

Availability of a privately owned house/apartment

Appropriate evidence includes:

  • lease agreement registered with revenue office (Ufficio del Registro) or deed of Purchase of the property
  • copy of mandatory notification to police that the landlord must send when letting/selling accommodation to NON-EU nationals (Comunicazione di Ospitalità).

OR

  • if the property is owned/leased by a third party hosting the foreigner: copy of mandatory notification to police that the host must send when giving hospitality to NON-EU nationals (Comunicazione di ospitalità)
  • Housing feasibility certificate (Attestation of Adequate accommodation according to local standards — Certificato Idoneità Alloggiativa)

What is the “Certificato Idoneità Alloggiativa”?

It is a certificate issued by an office of the City Hall confirming the number of individuals allowed to live in a given property and its compliance with current health and safety regulations. Even if different requirements may apply locally, generally speaking below are the square meters/number of rooms standards to which authorities refer when determining the number of people allowed to live in one household:

Children under 14 years of age are not included in the calculation of the number of people living in the house.

Remarks!!!!

* Each local authority sets specific documentary requirements to be submitted for obtaining the certificate

* In some cases, an inspection at the property is carried out

* Processing time are quite long and may be up to 2 months

* Documentary requirements are generally burdensome and difficult to procure

* Landlords are generally not aware about the need of such certificate and it is very unlikely that they agree to procure the certificate as part of the tenancy agreement.

* As often happens in Italy, each immigration office or immigration police department may check the accommodation documents more or less strictly and sometimes not require the certificate for single applicants, however whenever the applicant has dependents the certificate is always required.

How to ensure that accommodation documentary requirements are met upon entry?

Securing a lease and obtaining the housing feasibility certificate (or even simply applying for it) is in most cases a lengthy and burdensome process. For this reason, it is unlikely that a foreign national who has just arrived in Italy can provide not only a duly signed and registered lease (note that as per the Italian law a lease must be registered within 30 days from signature and therefore the receipt of registration may not be available before 30 days) but also a housing feasibility certificate.

Possible solutions:

  • if possible, the foreign national could visit Italy beforehand, make the accommodation arrangements and obtain the relevant documentation.
  • The sponsor company can arrange accommodation for the foreign national and obtain the documentation on his/her behalf
  • The foreign national or the sponsor arranges for a temporary long-term reservation in a hotel/residence and when the applicant obtains all mandatory documents, a change of address is notified to the Police.

Useful references

Frequently asked questions — https://www.mazzeschi.it/%e3%80%80live-and-work-in-italy-20-faqs/

Glossary of Italian immigration terms — https://www.mazzeschi.it/glossary-of-the-most-important-italian-immigration-terms-and-acronyms/

Living and working in Italy: FAQs — https://www.mazzeschi.it/living-and-working-in-italy-faqs/

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