Foreign nationals, having a currently valid Permit to Stay (permesso di soggiorno) and over 14 years old, if they want to ask for the Non-EU permanent residence card (Carta di Soggiorno) must pass a test showing they know the Italian language, certifying Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages proposed by the Council of Europe.
One submits the request to take part in the test on line, to the relevant Prefecture, depending on the domicile of the candidate, on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.
Those foreign nationals are exempted who have a certificate issued by the University for Foreigners of Siena, the University for Foreigners of Perugia, the Rome 3 University, the Società Dante Alighieri and those who have passed the language test for immigrants at the CPIA – Adult Education Centres.
B1 and B2 level language certifications are also a requirement for admission to the main Italian universities for foreigners who want to follow university graduation courses in the Italian language.
These are the certifications of knowledge of the Italian language:
CILS - Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language ( http://cils.unistrasi.it)
CILS exams passed at Siena’s University for Foreigners certify knowledge of Italian in general, evaluating all communication and language skills (listening, reading, written and oral production, knowledge of communication structures in Italian). They are set up according to the six levels set down in the Common European Framework and also provide tests for children, adolescents and immigrants with poor schooling. They are held in June and December at locations in Italy and abroad.
CELI - Certificate of knowledge of the Italian Language ( http://www.cvcl.it)
The University for Foreigners of Perugia issues CELI certificates which also follow the six levels of the Common European Framework. Besides traditional certificates, there are tests for adolescents and immigrants with limited schooling, and the CIC exams, which are addressed to people who work, or intend to work, in business and organisation contexts, where knowledge of Italian is required. Exams are held in three annual sessions (spring, summer and autumn) in Italy and abroad.
IT - Roma 3 ( http://www.certificazioneitaliano.uniroma3.it)
The University of Rome 3 offers only 5 levels of exams, since the C1 level is not provided. The examination systems are adapted to the relevant level of competence of the Common European Framework and propose authentic situations of use of Italian. The examination sessions are held at different times of the year, depending on the level chosen.
PLIDA - Dante Alighieri Italian Language Project ( http://www.societadantealighieri.org/it/plida)
The Dante Alighieri Society’s PLIDA certificates are on six levels, following the levels of the Common European Framework for languages. The exams, which are held twice a year and which one must register for one month before the test, are held at authorised centres around the world.
AIL - Italian Language Academy ( http://www.acad.it)
The FIRENZE exams proposed by the Italian Language Academy are on the six levels of the Common European Framework and also provide tests dedicated to immigrants with limited schooling. Even though the AIL is not part of the certification recognised by the Ministry for Instruction, University and Research, an increasing number of universities accept the Firenze exams as valid for admission to enrolment. Tests are also provided for certifying commercial Italian (DILC and DALC). Since 2007, the DILC – B1 exam has been recognised by the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Training and Technology as a final exam for Italian as second national language throughout vocational schools in the Swiss Confederation. Exams are held, in Italy and abroad, four times a year at authorised examination centres.