If you haven’t applied for asylum in Italy and don’t have documents, you can receive an STP card when you go to the health center or hospital. In Italian, “STP” stands for “Straniero Temporaneamente Presente,” or “foreign person that temporarily lives in Italy.”
What you can get with an STP card
An STP card entitles you to receive medical care to overcome serious threats to your health.
With an STP card, you are entitled to receive:
- Emergency medical care related to accidents and/or disease
- Preventive medical treatment, including for contagious diseases and infections
- Essential and urgent medical care for children under 18
- Urgent medical care related to pregnancy and childbirth
What you can’t get with an STP card
Your STP card does not entitle you to register with the Italian public health system. This means you will not be able to visit a doctor for:
- Regular checkups
- Long-term medical care
Where to get an STP card
You can get an STP card from a local health care office, called an “azienda sanitaria locale” (ASL), or from an emergency room or clinic where you receive medical care.
When you go to the ASL or hospital for treatment, you will be asked if you have any form of identification, including from your country of origin.
If you wish to provide the doctors or nurses with your identification documents, the information on them will be registered on the STP card. You can remain anonymous if you prefer, but you will have to provide some general information about yourself, including your age and gender.
What you’ll pay
Medical care using an STP card is free in cases where you are not able to pay for your visit.
How long is the STP card valid for?
An STP card is valid for 6 months. It can be renewed when it expires.
If I go to the hospital, will they report me to the authorities?
Most likely not.
There is no Italian law that requires hospital staff to report you just for being unregistered.
But if hospital staff think your injury or illness may be related to a serious crime, they might tell the police about it, depending on the circumstances.
Where can I get more information?
The Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione (ASGI) has a detailed report outlining the legal aspects of accessing health services as an irregular migrant. Click here to read this report on their website.
The website of the Rome Prefecture provides information on how foreigners can access healthcare in Italy. Click here to visit the prefecture’s website and access this information.
The ASL website of the city of Bergamo, in Lombardy has a page dedicated to explaining the STP card, and its uses and limits. Click here to read more on their website.
We’ve done our best to carefully compile the above information for you, but practices do change region by region in Italy. This means you may have experiences which are slightly different than what is written in this article. If you have questions about any unexpected practices you’re experiencing, feel free to message us on our Facebook page.