Thousands of undocumented migrants including Gambians will benefit from an amnesty announced by the Italian government last week. 

The amnesty is part of the Italian government €55 billion stimulus package to reboot the country’s economy after four months of lockdown due to coronavirus. 

But what does the amnesty means for undocumented Gambian migrants in Italy, who are eligible and how can they apply. Gambiana explains and gives a breakdown of the Italian migrant amnesty: 

What does the migrants amnesty mean?

The amnesty which was proclaimed by a decree provided a six-month temporary work permit intended to allow you to work with a regular contract. If by the end of your six-months you have a contract from your employer, you can apply to convert the temporary permit into a longer-term work permit. 

This amnesty comes as part of a whole “relaunch decree” to try and help the Italian economy and all Italians, including those employed “illegally” i.e. working without proper work contracts. So it is not just to help undocumented migrants.

Who is eligible to apply?

Those who have been working in certain sectors with illegal or non-existent work contracts. Sectors include:



Animal breeding


Domestic work sectors (house maids, carers for the elderly or those with disabilities, childminders)

How many are eligible to apply?

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte refused to be drawn on how many people exactly would be eligible to apply.

In a press conference he said it “wasn’t about numbers but about principles.” 

Some estimates indicate there are 600,000 undocumented migrants in Italy. 


Those migrants eligible to apply must have arrived in Italy before March 8, 2020 and have been documented with a photo ID process on arrival. You SHOULD NOT have left Italian territory since your arrival.

If your residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) expired since October 31, 2019 you can also apply.

How to apply?

Employers can apply on behalf of their workers and pay a sum of €400 flat rate to request the legalization of their employee, either foreign or Italian.

Those whose stay permit expired after October 31, 2019 can also apply for themselves. They would be required to pay a flat rate of €160.

If you want to apply yourself you need to go to a police station (Questura) and file a request between June 1 and July 15, 2020.

You need to demonstrate that you have already been working in one of the designated sectors (i.e. in agriculture or as a domestic worker.)

If you obtain an employment contract from your employer within the six-months temporary permit you can convert it into a work permit.

Who is not eligible?

Those who have been found guilty of crimes, such as drugs, clandestine migration or are considered a threat to public security.

Employers who have been found to have exploited their workers, or aided and abetted clandestine migration or recruitment for labor exploitation or prostitution would also be excluded.

If you qualify:

The amnesty will then suspend any legal proceedings relating to financial, tax affairs or illegal entrance or stay on national territory. Giving you the right to become a fully documented citizen eventually.

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