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Can an irregular immigrant register child’s birth in Italy?

Question: Hi, I’m living in Italy illegally. My wife, who is also in the country illegally, is expecting a baby. Will it be possible to register our child’s birth with Italian authorities? Thanks.

Answer: It is important to note that Italian law prohibits expulsion of an illegal non-EU foreign immigrant who is expectant.

She cannot in fact be expelled until six months after the childbirth.

Throughout that period, the pregnant woman is entitled to the Permit of Stay for medical treatment (permesso di soggiorno per cure mediche).

In 2000, the Constitutional Court extended this right to the husband living with the pregnant woman. This means that an illegal immigrant, who is a husband of another illegal immigrant who is expectant, is also entitled to the Permit of Stay for medical treatment throughout the wife’s pregnancy, and until six months after the childbirth.

This permit cannot be converted into any other type of permit, so once it expires, the holder must leave the national territory.

One can register the child’s birth in Italy even without the Permit of Stay.

On 7th August 2009, Ministry of Home Affairs issued a Circular letter stating that those either registering their children’s birth or officially recognizing their children are not required to show any documents to prove that they are in Italy legally.

It is therefore possible for an illegal immigrant who gives birth in Italy to register the child’s birth within three days (excluding the day of birth) at the hospital  or within 10 days at the Civil Status Office of the City Council where the baby is born.

An illegal immigrant who registers the child’s birth cannot be reported to the police. The act of registering the child’s birth is considered a move to safeguard the child and for the public interest, so no Permit of Stay is required in order to do so.

Registering the child’s birth doesn’t give automatic right to be registered with the City Council’s Register of the local population. It, however, entitles you to apply for the child’s birth certificate.

Both parents must register their child’s birth by showing their passports or any other valid documents.

The minor child’s right to stay in Italy depends on the parents’ legal status.

The law prohibits expulsion of children under 18 years old, but the children have a right to follow their parents or guardians who have been expelled. Therefore, if the parent doesn’t meet the conditions for obtaining the Permit of Stay, in order to follow the parent who has expelled from the country, the minor child can be required to leave the national territory.

At the expiry of the Permit of Stay for medical treatment issued to a pregnant mother, unless there are exceptional reasons, the parent must leave Italy together with the baby. This permit is normally valid until the baby turns six months old.

By Andrea De Rossi

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 09:54