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AIRE: What Is It?
AIRE stands for the Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero, which is commonly translated as the Registry of Italians Residing (or Resident) Abroad. Established in 1988, it is basically a database, maintained by the various Italian municipalities, that contains information on all persons with Italian citizenship who live outside Italy. Registering with the AIRE is considered a right and a duty for anyone who qualifies to enroll.
Who Must Register?
All Italian citizens who plan to reside outside Italy for more than 6 months must register with the AIRE within 90 days of their arrival in the other country. This includes individuals outside Italy who have obtained Italian citizenship through Jure Sanguinis (birthright citizenship) or Jure Matrimonii (marriage citizenship).
You do not have to register with the AIRE if any of the following conditions apply:
- You are an Italian citizen who will be abroad for less than 6 months.
- You are a seasonal worker who will be employed abroad for less than 6 months.
- You are a government employee working outside of Italy.
- You are serving in the Italian military abroad under NATO.
Completing your registration with the AIRE also has the effect of removing you from the Civil Registry of your Italian municipality (if applicable) and canceling your right to access services in the Italian National Healthcare System (SSN).
How to Register for the AIRE
Fortunately, registering with the AIRE is a simple process. You should fill out the appropriate online form, and send it digitally to your local Italian consular office. Again, this should be done within 90 days of your arrival in your new residence outside Italy.
You should also be prepared to show documentation that verifies your identity and your current residence.
Acceptable documents may include:
- Your Italian passport
- Work authorization card
- Driver’s license
- Utility bill
- Similar records
You can contact the local office to find out which records you need.
Benefits of AIRE Registration
There are no legal penalties for failing to register with the AIRE, whether you’ve resided in Italy or not, but doing so confers a number of important rights:
- You have the right to cast an absentee ballot in Italian and EU political elections.
- You have the right to apply for or renew your identification and travel documents.
- You have the right to renew your Italian driver’s license.
In addition, Italian citizens residing anywhere registered in the AIRE who temporarily re-enter Italy are eligible for up to 90 days of emergency medical services, provided that the individual has no other type of insurance policy that can cover the costs of such services.
Maintaining up-to-date AIRE registration is the responsibility of each registrant. You are expected to update your AIRE registration whenever you get married or divorced, change addresses, or permanently move from the U.S. to Italy. To make an update to your record, contact your local Italian consular office.
Why Is It Important to Register with the AIRE?
If you register with AIRE, Italian citizenship means the same abroad as it does if you were living in Italy, and you will be granted all of the consular services an Italy resident would. Whether you acquired Italian citizenship later or were born in Italy, your life will be easier registering with AIRE if you ever need to make contact with the Italian consulate.
Having trouble with your AIRE registration, from obtaining vital records to just going through the process? Not sure how the process works? You can always reach out to the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program for help. Contact us today.