Guidance

Living in Italy

Official information for UK nationals living in or moving to Italy, including guidance on residency, healthcare and passports.

What you should do

You should:

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Italian Government and your local authority. You can also read our Italy travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

You can also read:

Attend a citizen outreach event

The British Embassy holds events across Italy for UK nationals. Join one of our online citizens’ outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Italy.

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in Italy before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement

You should check that you are correctly registered and should get a new residence document to evidence your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

The Italian government has introduced a new biometric residence document for UK nationals and their family members. If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021 you should get this document.

Read the Italian government’s guidance on residency, which includes how to get the new document.

If you have been legally resident in Italy for:

  • over 5 years, you will be eligible for permanent residency and a 10-year renewable residency document
  • less than 5 years, you will be eligible for a document with 5 years validity

To request the document you need to book an appointment at your local immigration office at the police headquarters (questura) in person. Make sure you read the Italian government’s guidance on what supporting documentation you will need to provide.

We will update this guidance with details of the new residency document as soon as more information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Read our guide on non-EU family members’ rights.

Additional support

UK nationals who are resident in Italy, and need help to complete their residence application or registration, can get support from organisations funded by the UK Nationals Support Fund.

This support is only available to people who need additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. They may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or people who have mobility difficulties.

Support available includes:

  • answering questions about residence applications, such as the documents you need and how the application process works
  • guiding you through the process, if necessary
  • support if you experience language barriers or difficulty accessing online information and services

If you, or someone you know, are having difficulty completing residence paperwork or have any questions, contact the IOM:

Moving to Italy

Check the entry requirements for Italy and read the Italian embassy guidance on visas.

Healthcare

After you have registered your residency, you need to register with the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN) through your local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale – ASL).

You can register for free with the SSN if:

  • you have a work contract, are self-employed in Italy or are an immediate family member of someone who is
  • you are an immediate family member of an Italian citizen
  • you hold an Attestazione di Soggiorno Permanente
  • you become unemployed after having worked in Italy, and register on the employment lists (liste di collocamento). This also applies if you register for a professional training course while you are unemployed
  • you hold a UK social security form, such as an S1 form for pensioners

If you do not qualify for free SSN registration, you may be able to pay an annual fee to register . Contact your ASL to see if you can do this in the region where you live.

Read our guidance on healthcare in Italy and make sure you are correctly registered.

You can also read:

State healthcare: S1

If you have a registered S1 form and were living in Italy before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same if you are either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • a frontier worker who lives in Italy and commutes to work in the UK

Read our guidance on using an S1 form in Italy to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Italy, you must not use your UK-issued EHIC for healthcare in Italy.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you are:

  • a UK student in Italy
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

Apply now for a new UK EHIC.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance.

If you are registered for public healthcare as a resident in Italy, and are travelling outside of Italy, carry your Italian EHIC (Tessera Europea di Assicurazione Malattia –TEAM) with you. An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

You should also read guidance on:

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence document (EU document or new attestazione), as well as your valid passport when you travel.

If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Italy. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Italy, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Italy.

Passports

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Italy.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Italy, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Renew your passport before booking your travel if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you will must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travel to the UK and Ireland has not changed.

Driving in Italy

If you are a resident in Italy you should obtain an Italian licence. You will need to take a driving test to do so.

For information on driving in Italy, read the guidance on:

If you are in Italy and your UK driving licence is lost, stolen or expires you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will need to apply to the DVLA for a ‘certificate of entitlement’ in Italian to be able to apply for an Italian driving licence.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Italy

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

If you move to Italy with your UK-registered car, you must register your car with Italian licence plates within 60 days of being officially resident in Italy. If not, your car may be impounded.

Be aware that as soon as you start the process of registering your car in Italy you will not be able to use your car, until you get your new documentation and licence plates. For more information, contact an Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile (in Italian).

Working in Italy

If you were legally resident in Italy before 1 January 2021, you have the right to work, as long as you remain legally resident.

If you are planning to come to Italy to work, you may need a visa.

To apply for a job, you may need to provide a:

Frontier workers

If you live in Italy and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country, before 1 January 2021 you may need a permit to show you are a frontier worker. You must also check that you are correctly registered for residency. Read the Italian government’s guidance on the new Withdrawal Agreement residency document.

If you live in the UK or another EU or EFTA country and regularly commuted to work in Italy before 1 January 2021, you do not need a frontier worker permit. However, you can apply for one if you wish. You can obtain a new frontier worker permit from your local immigration office (questura).

Studying in Italy

You will be eligible for broadly the same support as Italian nationals, as long as you were legally resident in Italy before 1 January 2021.

Make sure you are correctly registered for residency and healthcare.

You must have healthcare cover before you can register your residency with your local town hall (comune).

Valid forms of healthcare cover include:

  • paying voluntary contributions (iscrizione volontaria) to register for state-funded healthcare
  • private healthcare cover

A UK-issued EHIC is not valid as evidence of healthcare when you register. You can temporarily register your presence in Italy with the local town hall via the ‘registro della popolazione temporanea’ (temporary register) using a UK-issued EHIC for your healthcare. This registration will ensure you retain your rights in Italy while you are studying here.

Once registered (temporarily or fully) you should obtain the new residency biometric card from your local questura to evidence your rights in Italy. Read the Italian government’s guidance on the new Withdrawal Agreement residency document.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Italy to make sure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Italy continue to apply.

Read guidance about:

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Italy. You can find a tax adviser or business consultant (commercialista) at the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy or Centro Assistenza Fiscale – Tax Assistance Centre (CAF), or find an English-speaking lawyer.

Declaration of overseas assets

Check if you need to file an annual declaration of overseas assets using the Quadro RW form (part of the annual Unico tax form). There are severe penalties if you do not file, or give incorrect or incomplete information.

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).

National Insurance

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Italy.

Banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.

Pensions

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Italy.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Italy, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement changes for more information on cross-border pensions.

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.

Benefits

Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Italy.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Italian benefits

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

Voting

You cannot vote or stand in local municipal elections in Italy or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Italy, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Italy you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Italy.

Getting married in Italy

UK nationals (resident in Italy and elsewhere) continue to have the right to get married in Italy.

Read our guidance on getting married abroad for the latest information.

Accommodation and buying property

UK nationals can buy property or land in Italy whether or not you live there. Read our guidance on buying property abroad.

Pets

If you have a pet passport issued by Italy or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number on 112 or:

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

If you’re the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British Embassy in Rome or the British Consulate General Milan.

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Italian authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently. To help prove you are now living in the UK, de-register with your:

  • local town hall (comune)
  • the Italian State Police (residenza)
  • your local health centre (ASL)

If you get UK State Pension or benefits payments, you must tell the International Pension Centre and the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS). You must also contact the Agenzia delle Entrate before you return to the UK.

If you get healthcare in Italy through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

If you have further questions

Contact us through our web form if you have a specific question on living in Italy.

Disclaimer

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

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 31 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, driving, pet travel and moving to Italy

  2. Uploaded a Healthcare Information Booklet

  3. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  4. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers.

  5. Visa and residency section updated with new links to detailed guidance on how to register for residency

  6. updated to include ANCI guidance on registering as a resident in Italy

  7. We have updated the Citizens' Rights Information Booklet

  8. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  9. Visas and residency section updated to include information about how to access the UK Nationals Support Fund for those who may find it harder to complete their residency applications.

  10. Information added to the 'Visas and residency' section on the impact of Covid-19 measures on local residency processes in Italy

  11. Link to travel advice added for latest coronavirus guidance

  12. A new link to Italian government guidance on residency registration in the ‘Stay up to date’ section.

  13. New information on the Withdrawal Agreement and a new link to Italian government guidance on healthcare in the ‘Stay up to date’ section. 7 February 2020

  14. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  15. Brexit update: information updated in 'driving in Italy after Brexit' section

  16. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  17. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  18. update on getting married in Italy - 26 July 2019

  19. Updated 25 July 2019

  20. EU Exit update: information on no-deal conditions for passports and visas

  21. New link to Ambassador's newsletters - updated 7 May 2019

  22. EU Exit update: updated text for passports, pensions, and returning to the UK.

  23. EU Exit update: updated information on EU Exit in healthcare, visas and residency, driving and working sections

  24. EU Exit update: Italian government issues emergency decree on the UK leaving the EU without a deal explaining the impact it has on UK nationals living in Italy

  25. webpage address for ACRO criminal records office made more precise. March 2019

  26. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  27. EU Exit Update: On residency appointments and information on getting married in Italy.

  28. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  29. Update to section on re-registering a car in Italy 14 February 2019

  30. EU Exit update: Further information about residency applications added to the Italian government residency announcement

  31. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  32. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.

  33. EU Exit update: added in further information about 'applying for Italian citizenship'.

  34. Update on voting rights 2 January 2019

  35. Italian govt announcement on EU exit.

  36. 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.

  37. Link to page listing ambassador's messages to British nationals regarding EU exit. Added 8 November 2018

  38. Amended July 2018

  39. We have added more information on applying for Italian citizenship.

  40. More detail on how to register for healthcare added.

  41. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  42. Major changes in all fields

  43. Updated guidance on UK state pensions in Italy

  44. Information added on changes to EHIC rules and health cover for early retirees.

  45. Updated the witness instructions for UK state pension life certificates.

  46. Added link for healthcare in Italy

  47. talian residence permit details updated.

  48. First published.