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Childbirth allowance in Italy: regime extended to certain categories of non-EU citizens

The new rules are included in a message from the Italian institution for social welfare (INPS) and they follow the indications contained in a sentence of the Italian highest Court of Appeal.

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On 7th April 2022, INPS released message No. 1562 to summarize the legal provisions on the childbirth allowance and to indicate the new requirements for non-EU citizens.

Childbirth allowance

The childbirth allowance (also known in Italian as Bonus Bebè) was introduced into the Italian legal system in 2014 with article 1, paragraphs 125-129 of the law No. 190 of 23rd December 2014 (legge di stabilità 2015).

It is a bonus intended for families for each child born, adopted or in pre-adoptive foster parenting that is paid every month for the first year of age of the child or, in case of adoption, for the first year of entry into the household. The allowance is addressed to Italian, EU and extra-EU citizens in possession of a valid residence permit and is intended for each child.

Starting from 2020, new thresholds for identifying the wealth criterion (ISEE) have been introduced but, following the application of the principle of universal access, also those who exceeded the 40.000 euros threshold or those without any ISEE indicator were entitled to receive the bonus, limited to the minimum amount.

The allowance was not extended for this year (2022), but it will be still valid for the births and adoptions that took place in 2021 and up to the end of the first year of the minor or for the first year of adoption of the minor.

Regime extended to certain categories of NON-EU citizens

The legislation on the childbirth allowance provided that extra-UE citizens had to be in possession of the EU long-term residence permit in order to be entitled to receive the bonus, as indicated in art. 9 of the Legislative Decree No. 286 of 1998 (Consolidated Immigration Act). However, this norm was recently declared unconstitutional by the Italian highest Court of Appeal (“Corte di Cassazione”) in the ruling number 54/2022 published on 4th March 2022.

The ruling establishes that also extra-UE citizens in possession of a residence permit for working or research purposes with a validity of more than six months are entitled to receive the bonus.

Consequences of the new provisions

In light of the new provisions, the requests submitted by extra-UE citizens owning a residence permit for working or research purposes, which are now in a preliminary stage, must be accepted.

Moreover, potential proceedings aimed at obtaining the review of the requests that were rejected due to the dearth of the requirement of possession of the long-term residence permit, may be accepted by the competent regional structure according to the above-mentioned ruling.

How to apply for the childbirth allowance

The request for the bonus is made for each minor on the following page of the Italian Institution for social welfare (INPS), by accessing it with the applicant’s personal login credentials. The application must be submitted by one of the parents within 90 days from the birth of the minor or from the entrance of the adopted minor into the family household.

After the application is submitted, the allowance is granted within 30 days from the date of the request.

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Regulatory Framework

Message No. 1562 from INPS

Reference (Italian only)

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