Immigrants in Italy who are waiting for the renewal of a regular permit to stay in the country (permesso di soggiorno) will be allowed to go home for the holiday period and then return to Italy provided they meet certain conditions. They must not pass through any other Schengen country on their journey, and on their return to Italy they must have with them their expired permit, the receipt, with photograph, given to them by the police when applying for the permit renewal and a valid passport. This concession is expected to expire mid January although no date has been specified.

Renewal of permits to stay in Italy for immigrants from outside the European Union should only take 20 days, but in the two major cities, Rome and Milan, the waiting period can be from eight to eleven months. This is in spite of considerable re-organisation of the offices where permits are processed.