The Repatriation Fund (Articles 13 and 14 of Law no. 943 of 30 December 1986) has been established by the INPS with the aim of ensuring the necessary economic means for repatriating workers from third countries who do not possess them.
The same Fund also guarantees the repatriation of mortal remains of third-country workers who died in Italy.
The contribution was abolished in 2000. The fund is therefore being exhausted, and claims may be accepted within the limits of the Fund's remaining capacity.
The Fund is intended for dependent workers from third countries.
In the event of repatriation of mortal remains of third-country dependent workers, the claim may be submitted by:
- relatives within the fourth degree of the deceased, residing in Italy;
- representative institutes of foreign immigrant citizens formally established in municipality administrations;
- associations of non-EU foreign immigrant citizens, in legally-established registers or records at local, regional or national administrations;
- associations or institutions that carry out activities in favour of immigrants and are registered in registers or list established by law at local, regional or national administrations.
The following may not benefit from the Fund for repatriation:
- frontier workers;
- foreign workers visiting for study or vocational training purposes;
- foreigners employed by institutions or companies operating in the territory of the Italian Republic who have been temporarily admitted, at the employer's claim, to carry out specific functions and tasks for a fixed period, and who are required to leave the country when such functions or tasks have ended;
- foreigners employed in institutes of international law;
- artists and entertainment workers, unless in the cases provided for by Article 2 of the aforementioned law;
- maritime workers;
- all citizens of EEC member states;
- foreign workers for whom more favourable special rules are laid down in the implementation of international agreements.
What am I entitled to?
INPS assumes the cost of repatriation by bearing the cost of the ticket for the means of transport chosen by the worker (plane, train, boat or other public means).
In the event of repatriation of the mortal remains of a third-country employee, INPS reimburses the funerary and transportation costs for the person that paid them.
Requirements for claiming assistance from the Repatriation Fund to the state of which they are nationals are:
- residence in Italy;
- regular residence permit (even if expired by a maximum of six months);
- valid employment relationship with at least one compulsory contribution paid or due;
- lack of financial means to meet the necessary costs, as attested by a declaration of responsibility issued by the worker when applying for assistance from the Fund. The lack of financial means is understood as an annual income that is no greater than that which is required in order to obtain the social allowance.
Workers from third countries may profit several times from the benefit paid by the Repatriation Fund provided that the new employment relationship, duly established, is not seasonal and that at least two years have elapsed since the previous repatriation.
The same requirements also apply to the repatriation of mortal remains of third-country dependent workers.
When can I claim?
The claim should be submitted with the passport and a statement of employment relationship certification or equivalent documents from the last employer (contribution slip, copy of the employer's countersigned authorisation to commence work, salary slip, etc.) in attachment.
After having carried out all relevant formalities, INPS shall communicate the right or otherwise to the benefit in writing to the individuals concerned. In the event of a positive outcome, it is necessary to wait for the communication from the IOM, appointed by INPS to handle the issue of travel document necessary for repatriation.
The payment of the incurred costs is therefore carried out directly by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) which subsequently asks the complex agency of Ostia Lido to reimburse the amounts advanced on behalf of INPS.
For the repatriation of mortal remains of the third-country worker, the claim should be submitted by a relative or by the person who incurred all the costs of transporting the body and must issue a declaration of responsibility for the deceased worker's state of poverty.
The claim must include:
- documentation proving the family relationship;
- death certificate of the immigrant person certifying the date and place of death;
- substitute of sworn affidavit certifying that the expenses have not been incurred by another institution or public body;
- invoice and/or other accounting documentation of the costs incurred for the transfer of the mortal remains.
How can I claim?
The claim to INPS can be submitted online by using the dedicated service (INPS circular no. 42 of 21 March 2012).
Alternatively, claim can be made by:
- phoning the Contact Centre on +39 803 164 (free from Italian landlines) or +39 06 164 164 from mobile phones;
- by electronic services offered by patronage institutes and intermediaries thereof.