Once you register with the Italian national healthcare system as a migrant, asylum-seeker or refugee, you will get the tessera sanitaria, your Italian health card that gives you access to health care services and also allows you to get receipts for your medical expenses deductible on your tax return

You can use it to get medicines, book medical checks, in hospitals and so on. On your tessera sanitaria you can also find your codice fiscale.

People also sometimes refer to it as the TS-CNS, which stands for “tessera sanitaria — carta nazionale dei servizi” (in English, health and national services card), as it gives you access to some public services.

If on the back you have "tessera europea di assicurazione malattia" (TEAM), you can use it to access healthcare in other countries of the European Union, Switzerland, Norvegia, Islanda and Liechtenstein, according to countries' regulations.


Who can get it

Everyone who is registered with the Italian Healthcare System can get a tessera sanitaria.

Unfortunately you cannot get tessera sanitaria if you do not have a permit of stay or you are not renewing it, but you will get the STP code to access essential and urgent medical care. Learn more about this option here.

How to get it

You’ll get a tessera sanitaria automatically after you register with the Italian national health care system, the Sistema Sanitario Nazionale (SSN).

If you are in a camp or center, the camp managers will likely register you with the SSN and take charge of the renewal. If you haven’t gotten your tessera sanitaria from your center, ask the operators or camp managers about it. It is possible they may have already registered you but haven’t received your tessera sanitaria yet.

If you are not in a center, you have the right to register yourself with the SSN. To do so, you will need to go to the azienda sanitaria locale (ASL) or local health office of your town or city. If you’re not sure where that is or you need a helpdesk to support you, message us on Facebook and we’ll help you find it.

At the ASL, bring with you:

You should receive your tessera sanitaria by mail at the address you provided or at your camp or center. In the health card you can see your codice fiscale and basic personal data (family name, name, place and date of birth) on it.

How long your tessera sanitaria is valid

If you’re a migrant in Italy, your tessera sanitaria should expire at the same time as your permesso di soggiorno. You can request a new one as soon as you get the receipt of your permesso renewal or conversion. Your receipt should have been issued within the last 6 months.

Then you will receive a new tessera sanitaria once you get your new permesso.

How can you renew it? Follow the same instructions to apply as the first time!

If your tessera sanitaria contains errors

If your personal data present some errors in your health card, you can edit them at any office of Agenzia delle Entrate by showing your documents or at your Comune if you are a registered resident (that is, if you have the residenza).

If you have SPID or CIE, you can edit your data online here by yourself, through "Rettifica dati".

If you lost your tessera sanitaria

In case you lost your health card or got it stolen, you can request a new tessera sanitaria on the Tessera Sanitaria portal, Agenzia delle Entrate website, Agenzia delle Entrate offices, or at the ASL in your area.

When you need your tessera sanitaria

You may need to use your tessera sanitaria to access public services in Italy, including:

  • Medical services
  • Public schools
  • Agenzia delle entrate (tax agency)
  • INPS (social security institute)

How much it costs

You will receive the tessera sanitaria free of charge, but it doesn’t give you full free access to all health care services, as sometimes you may need to pay a fee (“ticket”) depending on your income and the type of treatment you need.

To find out more about health care in Italy, check out our article on your right to access the health care system.