Guidance

Living in Italy

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Italy, including guidance on residency, healthcare and passports.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens about moving to or living in Italy. Read about how our Consulate General in Milan and Embassy in Rome can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should obtain definitive information from the Italian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you were living in Italy since before 1 January 2021. These are indicated with sub-headings.

Italy implements the Agreement through a declaratory system. This means that if you were lawfully living in Italy before 1 January 2021, you automatically have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You have these rights even if you do not have the new ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’ (biometric residency card) issued under the Withdrawal Agreement. You should ask for the new ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’, as it provides the clearest evidence of your rights.

The Italian government’s ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’ guidance for officials (in Italian) confirms that the ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’ is not mandatory. You can show this guidance to service providers if you do not yet have a ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’ and you are experiencing difficulties accessing services.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You can also read:

Coronavirus

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

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Italy, see our coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’

If you have lived in Italy since before 1 January 2021, you and your family members have the right to request a new residence document, the ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’. This document shows that you have the rights defined in the Withdrawal Agreement.

This card is a separate document to the biometric identity card (‘carta d’identita’). We strongly recommend that you request the carta di soggiorno elettronica. It shows your right to enter Italy and exempts you from European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and visa requirements.

If you have been legally resident in Italy:

  • more than 5 years as a permanent resident, you can ask for a 10-year renewable ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’
  • less than 5 years, you can ask for a 5-year renewable ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’
  • with permanent residence status and you are under 18 years old, you can ask for a 5-year renewable ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’. When you are 18 years old you can ask for a 10-year renewable ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’

To ask for the ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’ you need to book an appointment at your local immigration office at the police headquarters (questura) in person.

You should read:

If you need further information on how to secure your residency, you may find the International Organization for Migration’s guidance on residence in Italy useful.

Police identification checks

In Italy by law you must carry identification with you at all times.

If you and your family members have been lawfully living in Italy since before 1 January 2021, you are not legally required to carry a residency document to prove your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If a police officer asks you for an identification document, you may need to prove your status under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can show one of these documents:

  • your ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’
  • a copy of your current residency document , which is valid until it expires
  • the Withdrawal Agreement ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’
  • other proof of being legally resident in Italy before 1 January 2021

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you do not need a non-EU national ‘permesso di soggiorno’ and a police officer cannot ask you to show one.

When you have your Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’, you should carry it with you.

Hosting guests at your property

If you host a UK national (or any non-EU national) as a guest, you must inform your local immigration office (questura) in writing within 48 hours after they arrive at your property.

You could be fined if you fail to comply with this Italian immigration law.

If you host an EU national, you must inform the questura if they plan to stay with you for 30 days or more.

Moving to Italy

Check the entry requirements for Italy.

You should also read the Italian government guidance on visas and the Italian embassy guidance on visas.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport in Italy.

Check the travel advice for Italy for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area.

If you have citizenship of an EU / European Free Trade Area (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Italy using your EU / EFTA passport.

If you stay in Italy with a residence permit or long stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Italy, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area.

Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

When you travel, especially within the Schengen area, you should carry with you your residence document (‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’, the ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ or your EU residency document) or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. Other evidence may be your tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence document, carry your certificate of registration.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Italy, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you do not need any extra months on your passport to enter or exit EU countries.

Healthcare

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

If you’re leaving the UK with medicine that contains a controlled drug, check with the embassy about the rules for the country you’re going to before you travel and the NaTHNaC guidance on travelling with medicines.

You should also read our guidance on:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

Read the Italian Ministry of Health’s informative note for local healthcare authorities on implementing healthcare rights under the Withdrawal Agreement (in Italian).

Working in Italy

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

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

Read:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Read the Ministry of Employment’s information for employers on registering work contracts for UK nationals covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (in Italian).

If you live in Italy and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Italy.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Italy officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your recognition decision. Seek advice from the regulator if needed.

Studying in Italy

If you plan to study in Italy, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Italy to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes specific information for those who were already living in Italy before 1 January 2021.

If you were settled in Italy as a student before 1 January 2021 but did you did not register as a resident, you should apply for the new Withdrawal Agreement biometric residency card ‘carta di soggiorno’ from your local immigration office (‘questura’). You should then register your residency with your local town hall.

Read the Italian government’s guidance on the new Withdrawal Agreement residency document.

If you did register as a resident with the town hall before 1 January 2021 including if you registered under the ‘registro della popolazione temporanea’ (temporary register) using a UK-issued EHIC for your healthcare you should now request the new biometric residency card ‘carta di soggiorno’ from your local questura.

Money, tax and banking

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

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).

Find an English-speaking lawyer in Italy.

Read guidance on:

National Insurance

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

Declaring your 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).

UK banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation.

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

Banking in Italy

Italian bank requests for a ‘permesso di soggiorno’ or ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’

If you were resident in Italy before 1 January 2021, you do not need to show your Italian bank a non-EU residency document (‘permesso di soggiorno’) or a biometric residency card (‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’) issued under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If your bank requests either of these documents, you should show them the Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI - Italian Banking Association) guidance (in Italian).

The ABI advises that the non-EU ‘permesso di soggiorno’ is not issued to UK nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, and the ‘carta di soggiorno’ is not mandatory.

Pensions

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

If you are moving or retiring abroad, you must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax.

Read our State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Italy, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper 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.

If you are moving or retiring abroad, you must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax.

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 if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You can request proof from HMRC of the time you’ve worked in the UK and of your UK National Insurance record.

Italian benefits

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

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.

See the visas and residency section for actions you must take if you have guests staying at your property.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

To purchase property, you do not need a non-EU national residency permit (permesso di soggiorno). You may be asked to prove you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can do this by providing an EU residency document such as:

  • attestato di soggiorno (EU residency document)

  • attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE (EU permanent residency document)

  • certificato di residenza (EU residency certificate)

You can alternatively provide documents issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, such as:

  • attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica (residency document issued under the Withdrawal Agreement)

  • carta di soggiorno elettronica (biometric residency card issued under the Withdrawal Agreement)

You may wish to show your public notary this guidance from the Consiglio Nazionale Del Notariato (National Council of Italian Public Notaries) (in Italian)

Driving in Italy

If you live in Italy you should obtain an Italian licence. You will need to take a driving test. If you started exchanging your UK licence before 1 January 2021, you do not need to take a driving test (in Italian).

You can use your valid UK licence until 31 December 2021.

If you moved to Italy after 1 January 2021, you can use your valid UK licence for 12 months from the date you became resident.

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 cannot renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You 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).

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, marriage and civil partnerships

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

If someone dies in Italy read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need:

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 112 in Italy, or dial:

  • 113 for police
  • 115 for fire brigade
  • 118 for first aid
  • 116 000 for missing children

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

To move your pension to the UK, contact 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, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test, you’ll be able to access NHS care without charge.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

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

Published 22 March 2013
Last updated 8 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. Visas and residency section updated: The additional support provided by the UK Nationals Support Fund to UK nationals making their residency application, will end on 30 September 2021. Contact the relevant implementing partner before this date if you need this additional support. 8 September 2021

  2. Guidance reviewed for Money, tax and banking, Benefits, Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, and Useful information sections.

  3. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Italy, Studying in Italy, Emergencies, and Returning to the UK sections.

  4. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to Italy after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  5. Working in Italy section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  6. Updates to Withdrawal Agreement and Visa and Residency sections with updated information from the Italian government; update in Passports section on documentation for spot checks; Driving section updated with latest deadlines on licence validity.

  7. Visas and residency section updated: new information on your legal requirement to register guests staying with you.

  8. Additional support section updated with link to guidance on UK Nationals Support Fund, healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; education section updated with information on moving to study in Italy; and working in Italy section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services and link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  9. Updated guidance on buying property and working in Italy

  10. Update to links regarding Driving in Italy - 7 April 2021

  11. New link to detailed guidance on how to get the new biometric residence card

  12. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines.

  13. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, driving, pet travel and moving to Italy

  14. Uploaded a Healthcare Information Booklet

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

  16. 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.

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

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

  19. We have updated the Citizens' Rights Information Booklet

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

  21. 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.

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

  23. Link to travel advice added for latest coronavirus guidance

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

  25. 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

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

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

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

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

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

  31. Updated 25 July 2019

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

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

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

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

  36. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  46. Update on voting rights 2 January 2019

  47. Italian govt announcement on EU exit.

  48. 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.

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

  50. Amended July 2018

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

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

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

  54. Major changes in all fields

  55. Updated guidance on UK state pensions in Italy

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

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

  58. Added link for healthcare in Italy

  59. talian residence permit details updated.

  60. First published.