Italian passports are identity documents which allow the holders to travel to all the countries recognised by the Italian Government.
Passports currently issued are valid for 10 years and cannot be renewed.
You may apply for a passport at the London Consulate General if you are an Italian national residing in the London Consular District and are registered both in the Consular Register and in the A.I.R.E. (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti all’Estero – Register of Italians residing abroad) of an Italian “comune” (town hall).
All those who do not satisfy the above requirements are advised to contact the relevant authority (a “Questura” in Italy or another Consulate/Embassy abroad). Only in cases of a proven emergency, and provided the authorisation has been received from the Questura or another Consulate/Embassy, will it be possible to issue a travel document.
NOTE FOR ENTRY INTO OR TRANSIT THROUGH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The new passport, decided at EU level, will make entry into the US easier. Minor children, who are already registered on their parents’ passports, may benefit from this – i.e. entry into the US – only if they have an individual passport. For more information please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome (www.esteri.it) or the website of the US Embassy in London www.usembassy.org.uk
The US authorities have recently announced the launch of a new electronic system to register online the details of nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries intending to go to the United States for tourism or work: “Starting from 12th January 2009, all those who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for an authorisation to travel prior to boarding a carrier (airplane or boat) directed to the US”.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF A PROVEN EMERGENCY
In case of a proven emergency, Italian nationals may apply for a passport by going to the General Consulate of Italy without an appointment, between 9am and 12 noon, Mondays to Fridays, with the necessary documents.
The emergency should be for (1) serious family reasons o for (2) work-related reasons that cannot be postponed. These will need to be substantiated (1) by a medical certificate, or (2) by a request on headed paper signed by your employer. Air tickets will not be considered valid proof (nor any letter from relatives, persons well known to you, etc.).
In accordance with the existing law, in order to issue a new passport the Consulate has to ask for a no-objection (“nulla osta”) to the concerned Italian “Questura”.
Such a procedure also applies to Italian nationals who are regularly registered in the AIRE (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti all’Estero).
Without the needed “nulla osta”, the passport will not be issued, no matter how urgent: the proof of an emergency will only allow the applicant to come to the Office without appointment and to submit the application.
The timing is not fixed and it does not depend on the Consulate: when the “nulla osta” is given by the concerned Questura, the Consulate General will contact the applicant for the collection of the passport.
You will need to pay a priority fee in addition to the normal cost of the passport (click here to know the fee).
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A PASSPORT FREE OF CHARGE
Italian nationals, registered at the Consulate and on the Register of Residents Abroad in their Town Hall in Italy (AIRE), who receive either a Job Seeker Allowance or Income Support may apply for a passport free of charge. However, it is absolutely necessary to provide proof of their benefits in the form of a recent letter (not older than three months) from the Department of Work and Pensions or Job Centre Plus.
In addition to the above categories, missionaries of recognised religions may apply for a free passport, provided they can produce a letter from the head of the mission confirming their status.
The documentation relating to the exemption from payment of the passport must be presented together with the passport application.
Incomplete applications will be rejected.
The Consulate General reserves the right to give the final approval to the application.