Health

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19

Extraordinary measure to file a request for a residence permit

From June 1 to July 15, 2020 as an extraordinary measure, it will be possible to file a request for a residence permit so as to promote the transformation of undeclared work into regular employment in the following sectors of the labor market:

a) agriculture, husbandry, fishing and related activities;
b) personal assistance services;
c) domestic work.

Who can file the request?

Employers can file a request to hire foreign nationals already present in the country or can declare the existence of an irregular employment relationship to be regularized. The foreign nationals involved must have had their picture and fingerprints taken or be present in Italy prior to March 8, and must not have left the country after this date.
Foreign nationals with an expired residence permit as of October 31, 2019, – not renewed or converted into another type of residence permit – can file for a temporary six month residence permit valid for the entire country..
Those who file the request must have been present within the country as of March 8, and must have been engaged in the above listed activities.

Should a foreign national obtain salaried employment (in the field of agriculture, fishing, husbandry, personal assistance services, domestic work) during the temporary six month residence permit, the temporary permit will be converted into a residence permit for work purposes.

The requests can be filed in accordance with the procedures set by the Ministry of the Interior at a:

  • Unified Immigration Desk
  • The Questura Immigration Office.

The requests can be filed after the employer has paid a lump-sum non-refundable contribution of € 500 to cover the expenses related to the transformation of undeclared work into regular employment for each worker. If the request is made by a foreign national the non-refundable contribution is € 160.

The requests will not be considered if:

In the last 5 years the employer has been found guilty of aiding illegal immigration, crimes directly related to the recruitment of persons for the purpose of prostitution or of minors to employ in illegal activities, or of acting as a gang master and of labor exploitation.

If the employer does not sign the residence permit at the Unified Immigration Desk or refuses to hire the foreign national.

Foreign nationals who have received an expulsion order, who are the subject of alerts issued for the purpose of denying entry to the country, have been found guilty of sexual and drug offenses even if it is a non definitive judgment, facilitating illegal migration or other offenses related to the recruitment of persons for prostitution or minors to be employed in illegal activities, do not qualify.

Nor do foreign nationals who are considered a threat to the public order qualify.

From the moment the decree becomes law to the point when the procedure is finished all criminal and civil actions are suspended against employer and worker for:

Employment of a worker for whom a request of regularization has been filed,
Illegal entry and stay on national territory.
During the length of the procedure the foreign national cannot be expelled except for very serious reasons.

The above information provides a general picture. It is not meant to address individual situations. And should further explicative notices be issued to further define the conditions, it’s best to talk to a labor consultant, or contact the ARCI Free Number 800 90 55 70.

You can find more info on the platform Juma Map https://coronavirus.jumamap.com/it_it/home/.

The platform’s content is available in 15 languages: Italian, English, French, Aramaic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Spanish, Punjabi, Russian, Albanian, Somali, Urdu, Wolof, Tigrinya.

General Information Regarding Covid-19

All citizens in Italy, regardless of whether or not they are migrants, asylum seekers or refugees have been asked not to leave the house except in exceptional circumstances. Travel limitations have been in effect since March 10 and will last until at least April 14. Anyone placed in quarantine, or who has tested positive for the virus is forbidden from leaving the house.

You can only leave your house to go to work, for health reasons or for special needs. You need to fill out a form and carry it with you which the police can check.

The cultural and social organization ARCI, which also provides support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, has closed all its public offices. They are still providing help online via email and telephone and have posted a number of posters and documents in several languages with frequently asked questions. You can contact them by email: numeroverderifugiati@arci.it or via a toll-free number 800905570 or via Lycamobile and Whatsapp on +39 3511376335 (If you are inside Italy and are calling from an Italian number then it would be 03511376335).

 Most migrants and asylum seekers have to go to the police administrative headquarters, the “Questura” to renew their residence permits or asylum papers. However, most Questuras ask that you contact them via email rather than go in person to their offices. According to information from ARCI, the immigration services at most questuras are temporarily suspended. This includes renewing and issuing residency permits. Most other public offices are open and people are working where they can from home, but there are no, or very few, “front office” (i.e. contact with the public) activities taking place.

For the rest of Italy, the Questura di Roma has a link to the immigration portal where you can check if your residence permit is ready to be collected. On the front page of the portal, all non-urgent appointments will be delayed and you will receive a new appointment via SMS (text message). Questions relating to documents and renewals are suspended and new dates for appointments will be communicated via text message (SMS).

Before turning up at a Questura, the portal asks you to put in your username and password which you should have received when you applied for your residency/work permit or asylum/refugee status to see at what stage your application is currently. You can call this toll-free number 800 200 309 if you have a question on the process.

 Poste Italiane, the Italian national post service is another place where migrants and asylum seekers need to go to renew their residence permits, work permits and other official documents. Most Italian post offices remain open but some will be closed or are open only on alternate days. Others have suspended certain services like the possibility of pre-booking an appointment online.

Anyone using a post office will be asked to maintain the requisite distance of at least one meter between themselves, the employees and any other client in the shop. There are reports of long queues for all services because of this. Look at your local post office or on the website www.poste.it to find out whether your local office remains open. Poste Italiane also says that most appointments relating to immigration are suspended and will be rescheduled for a later date.

According to information from Arci (March 18) most territorial commissions making decisions on asylum and international protection are partially suspended. In particular the hearings for asylum seekers and administrative decisions will be delayed to later dates.

The Ministry of the Interior has said that all activities related to the expulsion of migrants found to be illegally on Italian territory will continue as normal.

The Ministry has also said that anyone wishing to apply for asylum can do so as this international right is guaranteed as normal. Arci says anyone finding they are unable to apply for asylum at this time should contact them to signal problems in the system.

For those expecting decisions on their asylum cases in the courts, most hearings are postponed until at least April 15. But check with your individual lawyer, whom you should contact by phone or email.

All residence permits with an expiration date between 31 January 2020 and 15 April 2020 remain valid until 15 June 2020. (Art. 103, comma 2 Dl Cura Italia)

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Healthcare rights

Healthcare rights include the right to general outpatient and specialist medical examinations, hospitalisation, vaccinations, blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds and medicines. As a resettled person, registration to the National Health Service (SSN) is compulsory for you and your family members. Once you have registered, you will receive a health card as an identification document. You have the right to receive healthcare for free or for money. The amount to be paid is called “ticket” and depends on the region you are living in. To register to the SSN, you must go to the ASL of the territory in which you have your residence or dwell (indicated in the residence permit), producing the following documents:

  • (i) identity card;
  • (ii) tax code;
  • (iii) residence permit;
  • (iv) self-certification of residence.

At the time of the registration, you can choose the general practitioner (or family doctor) or pediatrician of your choice for your children. Registration is valid for the entire duration of the residence permit, and will retain its validity during its renewal phase of the permit and even if you have appealed against the decision not to renew or revoke it.

How can I access healthcare?

If you already have a health card and a family doctor and want to go for a medical examination, you can simply go to the doctor’s office. In case you need an outpatient or specialist visit, the family doctor can write a prescription (or “ricetta”) you will then have to bring with you at the hospital, where you will usually have to pay the ticket. To book an appointment, you can call the free number of the hospital or visit the C.U.P. (“Centro Unico Prenotazioni”) of the ASL, the office that manages all bookings for medical examinations. If you need a visit to a private practice where you will have to pay a fee, you can directly call the practice to book a visit. As for vaccinations, you can ask your general practitioner or go to the ASL’s vaccination office.

Available Services

Primary healthcare

Primary health care is a service you have the right to freely access from the moment you register to the SSN. This service allows you to choose your general practitioner or pediatrician of your choice at the time of registration consulting a list of available doctors at the relevant ASL office. It also gives you the right to replace them by making a simple request. The general practitioner and the pediatrician of your choice can examine you and your children up to the age of 14 in their office or at your house if you cannot move, prescribe medications, analyses and specialist examinations, issue certificates and request hospitalisation if they deem it necessary. Remember that the choice of a pediatrician is mandatory if your children are aged under 6 years. Primary healthcare also includes the immediate assistance of a doctor at your house, which you can request at any time in cases of serious need, and the medical service provided by doctors who have an agreement with the ASL at night times or during holidays in independent facilities located in each city.

Emergency

In cases of serious emergency (accidents, injuries and any situation endangering your life) you can go to the Emergency Room of the nearest hospital, ask for the intervention of a doctor by calling the free number 118 active 24 hours a day, or go to the nearest medical guard (remember to look at the scheduled hours). You should bear in mind that when you call the 118, you need to communicate calmly and accurately:

  • what happened (accident or other);
  • where you are (town hall, street, house number, telephone);
  • number of people involved.

Specialist

To do a specialist examination, you must ask your general practitioner to write a prescription which, together with your health card, you must then present to the ASL booking office of the territory in which you have your residence. Some ASLs have a telephone system that helps you reach out to a specialist and book a visit. Besides, you can also go to laboratories or private clinics located in each city if you need a specific examination. In both cases, you will have to pay a fee unless you fall into one of the following categories:

  • (i) social pensioners and dependent family members;
  • (ii) unemployed and pensioners aged over 60 years;
  • (iii) disabled civilians with a disability of more than 2/3 or with an accompanying allowance;
  • (iv) people injured at work and all categories of citizens exempt for pathology or particular conditions.

Nevertheless, there are some specialist visits that you can request free of charge, such as early diagnosis of cancer, non-compulsory vaccinations and tests to protect pregnancy. For further information on the procedure to be followed and the documentation to be submitted, you can directly ask the family doctor or pediatrician of your choice.

Where can I get medicine?

If you feel sick and need some medicines, you can buy them in one of the many pharmacies in each city. Pharmacies are easily recognizable thanks to a distinctive green symbol in the shape of a cross. Generally, you can ask the pharmacist whether you need specific medicines or advice based on the problem you have. If it is a serious problem, you will normally have to show a prescription written by your general practitioner or the doctor who visited you in the hospital in order to be able to buy the medicines; if the problem is minor – such as a cold, fever or allergy – you can buy medicines without prescription. It is important to know only a few pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, while most have variable hours (09:00 – 13:00; 15:30 – 19:30).

Further Information and Links

Emergency – Milano, Roma, Venezia email: info@emergency.it 

MEDU (Medici per i Diritti Umani) – Roma Via dei Zeno, 10 phone 0697844892 mobile 3343929765  email: posta@mediciperidirittiumani.org  

MSF (Medici Senza Frontiere) Via Magenta 5 – Roma  phone 0688806000 email: msf@msf.it  

Croce Rossa Italiana –  free number: 800166166 email: urp@cri.it