This section is dedicated to family support services and benefits available in Italy such as family allowances, maternity/parental leave and assistance. Moreover, here follows some useful information on family reunion and child care system.
For general information about family issues, visit the European Commission website: Your Europe - Family.
In most cases, as long as you can support your family members financially, your spouse and children (Non EU/EEA, Swiss nationals) should be allowed to join you when you are in Italy to work, study or carry out research and you hold a permit of stay valid for at least one year. Family members allowed to family reunion are:
- spouse not legally separated, 18 years old or older;
- children younger than 18;
- dependent children of age;
- dependent parents of the applicant for family reunion, if the applicant is the only offspring of his/her parents.
Family member will need an entry visa that you will apply for through an on-line procedure available (only in Italian) in the Italian Ministry of Interior website. You will need to fill in Form S (Modello S) to get an entry clearance (nulla osta) which is prior to the entry visa. Afterwards you will be called for an interview by the Immigration office (Sportello Unico per l’ Immigrazione) at Prefettura to collect other documents concerning accommodation (i.e. certificate of dwelling suitability (idoneità alloggiativa) or form T2 (Modello T2 in case you are guest) and documents on income (which should not be not lower than the annual Italian social allowance increased by half of the same amount for each family member wishing to join you in Italy).
N.B. The dwelling suitability is not requested for researchers holding a permit of stay for research purposes.
The procedure to get the entry clearance takes up to 180 days.
Once it is ready your family members have 6 months to apply for the entry visa at the Italian Diplomatic Representation (Consulate or Embassy) in their country of residence.
Remember that once in Italy, within 8 days from their arrival they must apply for a permit of stay for family reunion at the Immigration Office at Prefettura. They can request there also the Italian tax identification code. The permit of stay of family members will have the same duration of the applicant’s.
N.B. It is recommended to contact your host organisation or the nearest EURAXESS Services Centre to get support on the procedure and the documentation to be added.
Immigration offices (Patronati) offer advice and support for free to foreigners on immigration and daily-life formalities like family reunion.
More information Italian Ministry of Interior website (available only in Italian)
Specific allowances (Assegno per nuclei familiari - ANF) may be claimed from paid employment deriving from employed (subordinate or parasubordinato) work contract or from social security benefits (i.e. unemployed worker and on maternity or sickness leave, pensioners, etc.). Family allowances are generally paid by the employer (direct credit in the payslip) or by INPS (by cheque) for work contracts registered with gestione separata (i.e. parasubordinati).
The amount of allowances depends on the household income (ISEE - Indicatore della situazione economica equivalente) and the number of family members.
Workers are entitled to family benefits also if their family members (i.e. spouse, children) live in the country of origin, provided that the specific conditions required are fulfilled (please check with your employer or/and INPS).
Dependent children tax credits (detrazione per figli a carico) may be claimed from either parents. The credit amount varies according to the income. Ask your host organisation for more information.
Other family benefits (i.e. baby bonus) can be issued by local Authorities like Municipalities, Provinces or Regions. Specific information can be obtained by the Social work services of the municipality you live in.
Maternity and parental benefits
In Italy maternity benefits cover medical assistance, paid time off and cash benefits.
Prenatal care and medical assistance are provided directly and free of charge by the National Health Service (SSN). Female workers are entitled to paid time off (permessi retribuiti) for prenatal visits and controls during working hours.
It is recommended to to contact the nearest family planning clinic or Local Health Authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale – ASL) to get more information.
General information on medical care (i.e. getting a pediatrician) in Italy, visit the Health and Medical Care section.
Maternity and parental leaves (Congedo di maternità/paternità) are foreseen by law. It could be compulsory and optional suspension (periodo di astensione obbligatoria e facoltativa or congedo di parentale) of the performance of work by a working mother and father. Maternity and parental leaves are paid time off.
The compulsory abstention (periodo di astensione obbligatoria) may start two months prior to the expected date of birth delivery and ending three months after the actual date of the birth delivery.
The optional abstention (periodo di astensione facoltativa or congedo parentale) covers a period of 6 months during the baby's first year of life. In addition, parents can request some periods of abstention to work in case of illness of the child under 3 years of age.
N.B. Workers registered with the separate administration (gestione separata) and independent workers have a period of optional abstention for a period of only 3 months during the baby's first year of life.
Please contact your host organisation for information on maternity and parental leaves conditions.
Specific support and advice on family benefits are provide by Immigration office (Patronati) for free.
Child care system
In general, for children under the age of three the possibilities are: Daycare Centres (asili nido), Baby Parking (Crèche) or baby sitters
Daycare Centres can be run by the City Hall (Comune) or private (in this case there is an agreement with the national education system). Attendance requires a monthly payment depending on the selected timetable and the household income. Reduced monthly rates are foreseen in public daycare centres and in private centres operating within the public system.
Baby parking facilities provide occasional care for children. Usually they charge on an hourly/daily basis.
For further information on the child-care system, contact the dedicated office (i.e. Social work services) of the Municipality you live in. Other information can be found on the Education and schooling system section.
More information INPS website (available only in Italian) and the European Commission – Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities website.