Reception Centres and Integration Services

The Italian government has reception centres available to asylum seekers who lack sufficient financial means to meet their needs and those of their family unit. These centres are run by the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with Prefectures and specialized NGOs/associations or private companies who directly manage the reception centers where people seeking international protection can live and receive services.

There are different types of reception centres where you may be accommodated depending upon where you are in your asylum application.

When you first arrive in Italy, you will be hosted in first-aid and assistance centres for identification and first-aid purposes. After this initial period, you will be transferred into either (i) a first assistance or temporary centre or directly into (ii) a SAI project, depending on availability of places. During the entire asylum procedure, you will be provided with accommodation in Italian territory wherever there is available place. Inside reception centres you have right to receive some important services including: social and psychological assistance, health assistance, cultural mediation, legal support and Italian language courses.

How can I get accommodation in the reception center?

To enter a reception centre, you need to apply for asylum through Police Headquarter and Prefecture.

You need to bear in mind that, although your personal circumstances will be assessed, if you request a place in a reception centre, you cannot choose the location of your reception centre because it depends on availability of spaces within the national network of reception centres.

How long will you have to stay in the reception centre?

During your entire asylum application, you will be provided with accommodation wherever there is available place. Inside reception facilities you have right to receive some services: including social and psychological assistance, health assistance, legal support and languages courses. It is foreseen the withdrawal of reception measures if you leave the reception centre without formal authorization (unjustified abandonment of the centre). The withdrawal is foreseen also in the following cases: threat on public order and security; seriously violent behaviours; and if the applicant possesses sufficient financial resources.

What happens once I get my international protection?

Once you have received a decision recognizing your (i) refugee status, (ii) subsidiary protection status or (iii) special protection status, you have right to stay for six months in a dedicated reception centre (“SAI project”). This six-month period can be extended for another six months. Alternatively, you can stay in private accommodation, which you need to find and pay for yourself.

Who can I contact in case of concerns/problems in the reception centre?

If you tried to speak with managing body of the reception centre but the problem has not been solved, you can directly contact the local Prefecture.

Who can you contact for other services or information?

In case you have any questions about reception or other assistance, you can contact UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, or its partner ARCI, at the Helpline for refugees 📞 +39 800 905 570 or 📞 +39 3511376335 for Lycamobile users/Whatsapp, e-mail [email protected].

Related information

<< Back to Italy homepage >> Select another country on the global page