Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (99)

Pat Carey

Question:

100 Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the reason the Italian authorities have introduced a requirement that Irish citizens visiting Italy have to hold an Irish passport which is valid for a period of six months after the expiry of the period spent in Italy; if this requirement breaches provisions in the treaties governing the free movement of persons within the European Community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8168/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

I am not aware of any requirement on the part of the Italian authorities that Irish visitors entering Italy must have a passport valid for six months after the date of their departure. I understand, however, that in the case of persons applying for a residence permit to stay in Italy, some local authorities may insist that their passport be valid for at least six months after the date of their application. This is to ensure that they will have a valid identity document throughout the period before their local residence permit is issued, a process which can take up to six months in some instances.

My Department is not aware of any complaints from Irish citizens in Italy about this type of requirement. Irish citizens in Italy can renew their passport at the Irish Embassy in Rome during their stay in that country.