Immigrants in Italy from outside the European Union who are waiting for a renewal of their permesso di soggiorno (permit of stay) will be able to travel home this summer, thanks to a special ruling from the ministry of the interior. In order to get what amounts to a temporary exit permit they will need to show a valid passport, the officially-stamped request for the renewal of their original permit, as well as a copy of the original or the original document itself. They must also exit and return through the same frontier post.
They will be able to travel between 1 July and 30 September, but will not be able to transit through any Schengen country. Romanians, one of the largest immigrant groups in Italy at the moment, will be hardest hit by this provision as they will either have to fly home or take the overland route through Slovenia, instead of through Austria.
According to the Roman Catholic relief reoganisation Caritas there are 600,000 immigrants in Italy waiting for the renewal of their permits. At present it is taking up to a year to obtain a renewal in Rome and 6-8 months in Milan.