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16 Jun. 2023


Temporary protection, residence and healthcare in Italy: answers to the most frequently asked questions

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Temporary protection, residence and healthcare in Italy: answers to the most frequently asked questions

Italy has hosted many Ukrainians on its territory. Today, most have settled down, but some continue to face difficulties. Find answers to frequently asked questions about healthcare, temporary protection and living in Italy

Issuing a policy Green card for traveling abroad by car
Issuing a policy Green card for traveling abroad by car

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, about 170 thousand Ukrainians have moved to Italy. Some of them remain in this country to this day. However, some of them face difficulties during registration and during their stay in this country. We are publishing answers to the most common questions.

The answers were prepared by UNHCR and Intersos with the help of volunteers.

Find the 7 best places to live in Italy for a high quality of life here.

Temporary protection in Italy

With a temporary protection permit, can Ukrainians travel to non-Schengen countries?

To travel to non-Schengen countries, Ukrainians need to have a valid passport (some destination countries may require a biometric passport) and possibly a visa (if required by the destination country). It is not necessary to have a permit issued by the Italian authorities (which can be requested only in case of returning to Italy).

However, for more information, Ukrainians are advised to consult the governmental websites (e.g., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) of the country to which they plan to travel.

Can Ukrainian citizens travel to the EU with a Ukrainian identity card but without a travel document?

If you are eligible for temporary protection but do not have a travel document, the authorities at the border of the country of first entry into the EU must allow you to continue your journey, if necessary, for example by issuing a travel document and a visa or by using travel forms related to temporary protection legislation.

If I have temporary protection, what is the maximum period for which I can return to Ukraine?

Currently, there are no specific rules that would prevent a person with temporary protection from returning to their country of origin, nor do they set a maximum period of stay.

Can I travel 4 months after submitting an application for temporary protection if I am still waiting for a temporary residence permit to be issued?

While waiting for the issuance of a temporary residence permit with temporary protection, you can travel or move to another city in Italy, but you will need to collect your temporary residence permit from the same department where you applied for the status.

You are also allowed to travel abroad to the Schengen countries while waiting for your temporary residence permit to be issued. To do this, you need a biometric passport.

Important! You can travel abroad only during the first 90 days after entering the first country.

How long can I stay outside Italy and then return with a residence permit?

It depends on the type of residence permit. 

It is worth noting that Ukrainians are exempt from visa requirements in the Schengen area and can temporarily stay in the territory of an EU member state, other than the one that issued the residence permit, for up to 90 days (within a 6-month period) if they have a biometric passport or travel document.

Italian and European legislation is not unambiguous and leaves room for interpretation, so it is always advisable to seek clarification from the competent Questura.

What should people do who have not yet made an appointment with a Questura?

Given that the duration of the procedures may vary, it is advisable to contact the competent Questura, the Immigration Department, possibly even with the help of a specialized association or a trusted lawyer. Remember, however, that once you receive a receipt for your residence permit application, you can already exercise your rights to temporary protection. You can then check the status of your application at the link.

Read about health insurance in Italy for expats 2023 here.

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Reception centers and integration services in Italy

What rights can Ukrainians count on during temporary residence?

There is no single explanation at the national level. The general goal is to offer citizens general reception measures and supportive measures for integration and autonomy (food and accommodation, basic goods and services, orientation and access to territorial services, mediation, legal orientation, language courses, assistance with school enrollment, etc.)

The specific provision of goods and services depends on an individual agreement between the management body and the municipality.

For more information, you can contact the management of the temporary accommodation center where you are staying. 

Can I move to another region of Italy under temporary protection or change my place of temporary residence?

A request for transfer to another accommodation center must be motivated by real needs, and the actual transfer usually depends on the possible availability of places in the respective district. A motivated request, accompanied by the necessary documents, must be sent to the prefecture (zone IV), the civil protection service or the municipality of the city where you are staying (depending on the type of accommodation center).

If I leave the reception center for a certain period of time, can I lose my right to be admitted?

According to Italian law, unauthorized abandonment of a temporary accommodation center entails the cancellation of reception and accommodation activities. For many years, the prefectures have generally decided to cancel reception measures if persons have left the facilities without justification for more than 48 or 72 hours. However, persons staying in the centers are able to apply to the prefectures through the authorities running the centers for permission to leave for a longer period, justifying the reason for such a request.

If I am staying in a temporary accommodation center in Italy, do I have the right to work?

After submitting an application for temporary protection, you can work as a subordinate (including seasonal) or self-employed worker, attend professional training courses, undergo internships and have access to other active employment policy measures, under the same conditions as Italian citizens.

For employment and other procedures, you can use your temporary residence permit for the purpose of temporary protection or the receipt of submission of documents for obtaining a permit (if you are still waiting for it to be issued), as well as the Italian tax code that you were assigned when you applied for temporary protection.

Medical care in Italy

How to choose your general practitioner and pediatrician?

An application for a residence permit for the purpose of temporary protection guarantees medical care on the national territory, on an equal footing with Italian citizens, by registering with the ASL Local Health Authority at the place of residence. 

The "place of residence" means the address indicated in the residence permit application. The application for a temporary residence permit allows you to assign a general practitioner and/or a freely chosen pediatrician to your child. 

Registration is usually carried out in an office or at a counter called "doctor's choice and feedback". In the same office, you will be able to choose a general practitioner and/or pediatrician for minors. 

You will be given a paper document that contains:

- identification code

- name;

- full name of the selected doctor and/or pediatrician.

Please note that each selected family doctor or pediatrician has an outpatient clinic and must guarantee free general medical examinations on certain days and hours.

At the same time, to be sure of receiving proper medical care, you should take out health insurance that covers insured events. It takes 3 minutes to take out an insurance policy and guarantees the medical services we are used to receiving at home.

To protect yourself from troubles abroad and save money on treatment, we recommend purchasing health insurance in advance.

How do I apply for free medicines needed for treatment?

After registering with the national healthcare system, it is advisable to contact your family doctor for this information.

We remind you! Ukrainians staying in Italy by their own car must register it. Read more about vehicle registration and how to exchange a Ukrainian driver's license here.

Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 

Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

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