Italy should have a new immigration law before summer, relaxing restrictions adopted by the previous centre-right government, Welfare Minister Paolo Ferrero said last week. Speaking after a meeting with local authorities and immigrant associations, he explained that his department, together with the Interior Ministry, has nearly finished drafting the bill. ‘The measure should start its passage through parliament in January and be finalized by spring,’ he said.
The new law will overturn 2002 immigration legislation that has often been criticized for the fact that only foreigners with an Italian work contract are allowed a residency permit. Residency permits last just two years, and if immigrants lose their job before the expiry date they are re-quired to leave the country.