Becoming an Italian citizen can be a lengthy and complex process but is a 'one time' process for lifetimes of benefits for you and all your future generations. We are here to clarify any uncertainties and answer any questions you have along the way. One such question that is asked frequently is in regard to the AIRE, with many prospective citizens wondering what exactly it is and how to register for AIRE.
AIRE is also known as Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero, which translates to the Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad. It was first introduced in 1988 as a way for the Italian government to keep track of all of its citizens’ records, including those who aren’t currently living in Italy.
It is required that any Italian citizen who is originally from Italy but is currently living abroad, register in the AIRE. This can be done at the AIRE registry, which is located within every Italian consulate. Those who register will have their files held together by the local consulate and the last place you registered when you were living in Italy.
This also applies to you if you are recognized under Jure Sanguinis. Your file will be held jointly between your local Italian consulate and the former municipality in Italy where you or your ancestors lived.
In most cases, AIRE registration happens automatically as soon as your Italian citizenship is recognized under Jure Sanguinis.
You must be registered in the AIRE in order to access any consular services or rights that you would have as a citizen of Italy. For example, you can vote in the national and municipal elections of Italy, even while you are living abroad. You can also vote directly in Italy if you choose to travel there during election time.
Side note: If you are an Italian citizen living abroad in the EU, you can also simultaneously vote for EU elections.
Being registered in the AIRE also allows you to do things like renew your Italian passport or get a new passport altogether.
There are several categories of Italian citizens who are required to register as a part of this process. Those who are natural-born Italian citizens and have decided to live in another country for more than 12 months must register. Also, someone who acquired Italian citizenship by birth, but does not live there (Jure Sanguinis) must register as well.
There are some Italian citizens who acquired their citizenship while abroad, and these people must also register in the AIRE. If you are one of these people, or if you are in the process of gaining recognition as an Italian citizen, then most likely your AIRE registration will happen automatically, as soon as your application process is completed depending on which path you used to acquire Italian citizenship.
Although this process happens automatically for most, there are still some steps you need to take on your own. For example, Law 470/1988 requires that Italian citizens who are moving abroad or who have lived abroad must still register their new residence with the Italian government, especially if they are going to be living there for more than 12 months. This also needs to be registered under the local jurisdiction where the new address of residency will be.
If you are moving to a different home, but you will still be living under the same jurisdiction, you still need to update your change of address and any other personal updates with the AIRE. It is your responsibility to keep updated information with the AIRE registry.
In most cases, as an Italian citizen living abroad, you will need to register for the AIRE, if it isn’t done automatically for you.
There are no real consequences for non-compliance. However, the Italian government urges every Italian citizen to do their part and register so they can be informed of all of your major life events. This also gives you the right to have your documents certified and validated in whatever country you now reside in.
Reporting marriages, births, deaths, and changes in residencies is important so the government can validate these events. Without validated documents and certified records of these events, you may not be able to make use of certain important rights and privileges as an Italian citizen.
Submitting record updates or life events requires an Apostille seal, and everything must be properly translated into Italian. You can send these official documents by mail, email, or the FastIt system.
While we are happy to share a general overview of the documents you might be required to fill out in order to properly submit your information with the AIRE, do keep in mind that some of these requirements may vary from consulate to consulate. Make sure to check with your local consulate to get more concrete details about what you need.
If you were covered by Italian National Healthcare during your time living in Italy, you would lose coverage as soon as you move abroad. But if you are an Italian citizen registered with AIRE, you will be given up to 90 days of emergency medical services a year, completely free. This is only given to you on the condition that you have no other form of health coverage that will pay for emergency expenses. If you did happen to find another form of insurance, you would lose this 90-day coverage.
Side Note: Looking to expedite your submission into the AIRE? Tell your municipality that you are expatriating before you leave Italy, and ask them to start your registration documents. Once you have moved abroad, notify the consulate where you are living. Make sure to do this within 90 days or your request may be invalidated, prolonging your AIRE registration time even further.
Let’s say you have been registered in the AIRE, but you decide to go back to Italy and live there. As soon as you register your residency with the Italian comune (municipality), your AIRE file will be closed. In most cases, your AIRE file will still remain in place if you are moving back to the same comune that you or your ancestors lived in previously. But if you move to a different municipality, that information will be transferred automatically.
As soon as you return back to Italy, you will get a letter that you can take to your Local Health Authority, allowing you to once again receive Italian Healthcare Systems coverage. After submitting all of your files and waiting for approval, your updated ID card and updated Passport proof of residency address will be available to pick up at the local police station.
If you need help figuring out how you can easily register with the AIRE, or if you have other questions regarding Italian citizenship documents, contact IDC for assistance registering with AIRE. We are happy to help you along your Italian citizenship journey.
This page was last updated by Jason LoPresti