Living in Italy

Official information British people moving to and living in Italy need to know, including EU Exit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.

EU Exit: what you need to know

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There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Italy while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate EU Exit, you should:

Italian government residency announcement

On 21 December 2018 the Italian government made an announcement: ‘The Italian Government continues its preparation for Brexit’.

The Italian government confirmed that it will fully implement the rights in article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. It would apply a ‘declaratory procedure’ that will recognise the rights of all UK nationals legally resident in Italy before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020).

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the Italian government confirmed that it is preparing legislative measures. These ensure UK nationals legally resident in Italy before 29 March 2019 will have the right and necessary time to obtain long-term residency status under EU Directive 2003/109. UK nationals will continue to enjoy rights such as access to healthcare, social benefits, employment, education and family reunification after the UK leaves the EU.

We advise UK nationals living in Italy to register as a resident with their local registry office (anagrafe) at their town hall (comune). This will ensure their rights are protected after the UK has left the EU.

Before you go

See our travel advice for Italy and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. You can check a passport for travel to Europe.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See our travel advice for entry requirements for Italy.

If you’re staying more than 3 months, you must apply to your nearest town hall (Comune – Ufficio Anagrafe) for residency (iscrizione anagrafica).

You will need to provide documentation proving the following:

  • you have a work contract or are self-employed in Italy
  • you have sufficient economic resources as well as personal health insurance or a UK social security form, such as an S1 form for pensioners
  • you are an immediate family member joining an EU citizen who fulfils one of the above

You will also be required to show your passport.

You must check with your town hall what further documentation you may need to apply for residency.

Once you’ve been resident in Italy for 5 years, you can apply to your town hall for a permanent resident certificate (attestazione/attestato di soggiorno permanente per cittadini UE)

Applying for Italian citizenship

Once you’ve been officially resident in Italy for 4 years, you can apply for Italian citizenship. For your Italian citizenship application, you may need to order a birth, marriage or death certificate from the UK. You may also need a police certificate from the ACRO Criminal Records Office in the UK. You may also be required to have these and other UK documents officially translated and legalised (apostilled).

Recent Italian legislation (the Decreto Salvini DL n. 113 of 2018) extends the time for considering applications for citizenship from 2 to 4 years. Article 14 provides that this extension of time should apply to citizenship applications ongoing at the date of the decree, 4 October 2018. The Decreto has also introduced a new language test for citizenship applications.

Italian citizenship requires a minimum residence of 4 years for EU citizens and 10 years for non-EU citizens.

We are seeking clarification from the Italian government on whether applications made before the UK exits the EU on the 29 March 2019, and which are still pending decision, will continue to be considered on the basis of EU nationality. We will update this page as soon as information is available.

The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights will allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

In the event of changes to residency rules or registration processes after 29 March 2019, we will update this page as soon as information is available.  


See our travel advice for Italy.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in or visiting Italy.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

If you’re staying more than 3 months, you need to register with the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale: SSN) through your local ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale).

You can register for free with the SSN if:

  • you have a work contract (or are self employed) in Italy or you are an immediate family member of someone who does
  • you’re an immediate family member of an Italian citizen
  • you’ve been officially resident in Italy for 5 years or more
  • you are unemployed, registered on the employment lists (liste di collocamento) or registered for a professional training course
  • you hold a UK social security form, such as an S1 form for pensioners (see below)

If you can’t register for free, you can pay an annual fee to receive state healthcare – you should contact your local ASL office.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Italy. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Italy.

S1 form: healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Italy and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.

When you get your S1 form, register it with your local ASL office (Azienda Sanitaria Locale) before you register with your local GP surgery and get a medical card.

Working in Italy

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

An Italian criminal records certificate from the Judicial Records Register (Certificato del casellario giudiziale) can be issued by any Italian Law Court (Ufficio Casellario Giudiziale c/o Procura della Repubblica, Tribunale) – see Ministero della Giustizia.


See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

Italy and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries.

See information about paying income tax in Italy.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Italy. You can get more information from a tax adviser or business consultant (commercialista) at the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy or Centro Assistenza Fiscale – Tax Assistance Centre (CAF).

You need a tax code (codice fiscale) to open a bank account and find a job. You can get a codice fiscale from Agenzia delle Entrate or from the Italian Consulate before leaving the UK.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.


See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

The UK government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the UK’s exit from the EU. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.

If you’ve worked in Italy, you should apply to the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) for both your UK and Italian pensions.

If you haven’t worked in Italy, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.


See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Italian social security benefits – see Italian social security benefits.

Driving in Italy

See driving abroad and road travel in Italy.

Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country you are living in before 29 March 2019. For more information see driving abroad.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

You need to convert your UK licence to an Italian one within 2 years. To convert a UK licence to an Italian licence, go to the nearest Office of Motor Vehicles (Ufficio Provinciale della Motorizzazione Civile). See Ministero dei Trasporti for the required documentation.


British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections. You’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Italy, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary elections.

Once the UK leaves the EU, UK nationals will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European elections. The UK pushed hard in negotiations for the right to stand and vote in local elections for UK nationals living in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK, but they will not form part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Government has made clear that we will pursue bilateral arrangements with individual Member States to secure this right for both UK nationals living in the UK, and EU citizens in the UK.


See register a birth abroad.


See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).


See travelling with pets.

UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after Brexit for more information.


As well as the European emergency number 112, Italy also has:

  • 113 – police
  • 115 – fire brigade
  • 118 – first aid

See Italy – emergency numbers.

If you need urgent help, contact the British Embassy in Rome or the British Consulate General Milan.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

When you leave Italy, you’ll need to contact your local town hall (Comune) to cancel your Italian residency card.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre. You’ll also need to tell the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS).

See tax if you return to the UK. You should also contact the Agenzia delle Entrate.

If you’re returning to the UK and taking your car, see importing your Italian-registered car to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Italian authorities. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 18 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.
  2. EU Exit update: added in further information about 'applying for Italian citizenship'.
  3. Update on voting rights 2 January 2019
  4. Italian govt announcement on EU exit.
  5. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.
  6. Link to page listing ambassador's messages to British nationals regarding EU exit. Added 8 November 2018
  7. Amended July 2018
  8. We have added more information on applying for Italian citizenship.
  9. More detail on how to register for healthcare added.
  10. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  11. Major changes in all fields
  12. Updated guidance on UK state pensions in Italy
  13. Information added on changes to EHIC rules and health cover for early retirees.
  14. Updated the witness instructions for UK state pension life certificates.
  15. Added link for healthcare in Italy
  16. talian residence permit details updated.
  17. First published.