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Assistance to citizens abroad

Social assistance is offered to Italian citizens who become indigent and are, therefore, eligible to receive economic or other aid in order to overcome momentary difficulty. For more detailed information in this area, visit the following website.

HEALTHCARE ASSISTANCE

In the Republic of Estonia, a country member of the EU, is recognized the Italian health card (tessera sanitaria). This card entitles you with healthcare assistance only in case of emergency.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The Consular Office of this Embassy can distribute subsidies to Italian citizens residing stably within their consular jurisdiction and who find themselves in verifiable situations of exceptional need, such as delayed arrival of government assistance check, disability, unusual medical conditions involving special medical, dietary or pharmaceutical expenses not covered by local assistance, and so on. The indigent Italian national is required to provide documented proof of his/her situation of exceptional need. Subsidies cannot exceed the maximum limit established by ministerial provisions. This type of assistance also includes the issuance or renewal of Italian passports at no charge to Italian citizens in financial difficulty.

Italian citizens in transit who fall victim to theft of money or documents can also request loans with the promise of refund to the Italian Treasury. Loans are granted on the basis of evaluations made by the Consular Office of this Embassy. For more information, please contact the Italian Embassy in Tallinn or consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

LOANS WITH PROMISE OF REFUND – CHANGE OF REIMBURSEMENT METHOD

In compliance with the obligation to join the “Piattaforma Incassi”, from 30 June 2024 the repayment methods for loans with promise of repayment granted pursuant to art. 24, paragraph 2, of Legislative Decree no. 71 of 3 February 2011 have changed.

It is now possible to repay loans granted exclusively through the following methods:

  1. a) at post offices in Italy, contacting the counter operator;
  2. b) via the website www.poste.it;
  3. c) at the Consular Office that granted the loan or, on occasion, at any other Consular Office.

At the following link (only in Italian) are detailed instructions on how to make the refund via the Italian Post Office.

For any further clarification, you can contact Office I of the Directorate General for Italian Citizens abroad and migration policies at the following email address: dgit-01@esteri.it.

REPATRIATION AND MEDICAL REPATRIATION

A particularly delicate sector within the assistance activities aimed at Italian citizens abroad concerns the repatriation of Italian nationals in serious difficulty that cannot be resolved locally in the foreign countries where they find themselves. The repatriation services provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the competent local authorities (prefectures, police commissaries, municipalities, local health departments, social services) concern:

  • Italian emigrants who need to return to Italy permanently for economic or health reasons;
  • abandoned minors;
  • the mentally ill (the procedure is very complex in this case since it requires the presence of one or more qualified escorts, as well as the identification of specialised hospitals);
  • Italian citizens who have reached the end of a period of imprisonment or have been expelled;
  • elderly people without families for whom admittance to retirement homes in Italy has been requested;
  • seriously ill people who cannot be treated locally for lack of suitable facilities.

Repatriation procedures at the expense of the Treasury are limited to cases of substantiated indigence as verified by the diplomatic-consular network; in all other cases, repatriation takes place subject to the signing of loans along with the promise of repayment to the Treasury.

REPATRIATION OF CORPSES

The loss of a loved one is always painful but, should it happen abroad, the need to resolve certain practical problems compounds that sorrow.

Here it follows some instructions to cope with these problems.

In order to repatriate a corpse, the Consulate contacted will have to forward a request to the Italian municipality concerned to obtain a declaration of “nulla osta all’introduzione della salma” (police clearance for a corpse to be received in Italy from abroad). Once this declaration has been received from the municipality the funeral home appointed by the family, who are having the corpse of the person repatriated at their own expense, will be able to proceed.

It is possible, however, to apply for reimbursement of expenses or contributions from regional and the local government bodies.

In the case that an Italian national has died in a certifiable state of indigence, the Consulate or Embassy that has been contacted can provide assistance to the deceased Italian national’s destitute relatives residing abroad in the form of the total or partial refund of any properly documented funeral expenses sustained locally.

CONSULAR PROTECTION AND LEGAL QUESTIONS

Much of the help provided within the framework of consular protection and assistance concerns citizens who have encountered problems with the local legal system, or who are involved in accidents; the repatriation of bodies of deceased persons; the search for Italian nationals who have not maintained contact; assistance to Italian parents whose foreign spouse (or a spouse with dual citizenship) has abducted a child and taken it to another country.

In the case of accidents occurring abroad, the diplomatic-consular representations make sure that Italian citizens receive adequate medical treatment locally, that relatives are duly informed and that all possible assistance is provided in case return to Italy is required.

In the case of an Italian national being arrested in a foreign country, the Consulate can:

– make consular visits to the detainee;

– indicate a possible lawyer;

– maintain contact with family in Italy;

– provide the detainee with healthcare, food, books and newspapers where necessary and permitted by local regulations;

– intervene as regards transfer to Italy should the Italian detainee in countries belonging to the Strasbourg Convention on the transfer of prisoners or other ad hoc bilateral agreements;

– intervene, in certain cases, to support requests for pardon on humanitarian grounds.

The Consulate cannot:

– intervene in court on behalf of the Italian national;

– pay the detainee’s legal expenses.

INTERNATIONAL ABDUCTION OF MINORS

The problem of the international abduction of minors has become increasingly relevant in the last few years, both due to the increase in often turbulent separations between people of differing or dual citizenship, and due to the greater awareness and sensitivity with which the problem is being viewed in our country.

The only binding instrument at the disposal of the Italian parent for recuperating the minor is the Hague Convention of 25.10.1980 (Central Authority for Italy and the Department of Juvenile Justice at the Ministry of Justice). In cases where the Convention is not applicable the Ministry fully implements its institutional functions, adapting its intervention to the specific nature of each case.

TRACING ITALIAN NATIONALS ABROAD

Law 675/96 regarding the privacy of personal information states that no public body can release information on persons to private citizens without the consent of the parties concerned.

Therefore, once the person being traced has been located, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must obtain that person’s consent before informing those who submitted the request for the search.

Application of legal restrictions and constraints must then be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Within these guidelines it is possible to initiate a search by sending an email to consolare.tallinn@esteri.it. For further information, please contact the Italian Embassy in Tallinn or consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.