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 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 get 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 have been living in Italy since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

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

You can also read:

Coronavirus

Follow the advice of the Italian Government and your local authority. Get more information from the Italian Ministry of Health’s coronavirus site. You should also read the Italy travel advice.

Visas and residency

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

Check the entry requirements for Italy. You should also read the Italian government guidance on visas and the Italian embassy guidance on visas.

You should carry an identification document with you at all times.

Hosting guests at your property

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

You could be fined if you do not comply with this Italian immigration law (in Italian).

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

Visas and residency if you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

If you were lawfully living in Italy before 1 January 2021, you and your family members automatically have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’

You have these rights even if you do not have the Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’ (biometric residency card). The Italian government’s carta di soggiorno elettronica guidance for officials (in Italian) confirms that this card 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.

However, the Withdrawal Agreement carta di soggiorno provides the clearest evidence of your rights. This card is a separate document to the biometric identity card (carta d’identita). We strongly recommend that you request the Withdrawal Agreement carta di soggiorno as it provides the clearest evidence of your rights (in Italian). It also shows your right to enter Italy and exempts you from European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and visa requirements.

To get this card you should book an appointment at your local immigration office at the police headquarters (questura) to have your biometric data taken. This costs 30.46 EUR, and you need to pay with a payment slip which you can get from the post office. Vulnerable people who cannot travel to their local police headquarters to provide their biometric data, will be issued a paper residence card.

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

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.

Appeal process

If your application for the carta di soggiorno elettronica (in Italian) is refused, your local immigration office (questura) will send you a refusal notice.

If you want to appeal, you must send your appeal by recorded delivery (raccomandata con aviso di ricevimento). The date you post your appeal is used as your appeal submission date.

You have 30 days from the date of the refusal notice to appeal. You must submit your appeal either:

Your appeal can only proceed if your grounds for appeal are accepted. You can find more information on the appeals process from your local prefect’s website (in Italian).

We strongly recommend you seek independent, specialised legal advice to support you if you appeal. The British Embassy cannot get involved in individual immigration applications. We cannot provide legal advice as we do not have the authority or expertise.

If your appeal is rejected, you can appeal through your regional administrative tribunal (‘Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale’ or TAR). You have 60 days, from the date you are notified that your first appeal has been refused, to submit your appeal to the TAR.

You can also have the option to appeal to the President of the Republic. You must do this within 120 days of the first refusal notice.

If your appeal is successful, your local questura will contact you to continue with your application for the carta di soggiorno elettronica (in Italian).

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will be notified of the reasons, usually by registered letter. This letter requires you to acknowledge receipt of the appeal decision.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Italy at any time in the future. Read more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance.

They must travel to Italy and then apply as your family member within 90 days of arriving. Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Italian authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Dual nationals

If you are a dual UK – Italian national you must register your residency as an Italian national. You cannot apply for the carta di soggiorno elettronica, but you still have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you are a dual national of the UK and another EU country (but not Italy), you can choose which nationality to register under.

Police identification checks

In Italy you should carry an identification document with you at all times. When you have your Withdrawal Agreement carta di soggiorno elettronica, you should carry it with you.

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.

If a police officer asks you for an identification document, you may need to prove your residency status. 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

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

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from Italy.

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

Check the Italy travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area.

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

If you stay in Italy with an Italian residence permit or long stay visa, this time 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 carry 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 receipt of application. You will have been given this when you asked for your carta di soggiorno or registered your residency with your local town hall.

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 can enter and exit Italy with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare

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

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

You should also read our guidance on:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

If you do not yet have a carta di soggiorno elettronica and are having difficulty getting healthcare, show your provider the Italian Ministry of Health’s note on healthcare rights (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 work in Italy, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement if you were lawfully living in Italy before 1 January 2021.

If you do not yet have a carta di soggiorno, you can show your employer the Ministry of Employment’s information for employers on registering work contracts for UK nationals (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 decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

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 information if you were already living in Italy before 1 January 2021.

If you were settled in Italy as a student before 1 January 2021 but 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 (in Italian).

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

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Italy so that 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) (in Italian).

Find an English-speaking lawyer in Italy.

Read guidance on:

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) in Italian.

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions(NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Italy. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Italy.

If you plan to move to Italy and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Italy. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Italy.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

You can check your UK National Insurance record

Benefits

UK benefits

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

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.

Italian benefits

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

Pensions

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

Read 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 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 must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

UK banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

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

Banking in Italy if you were living there before 1 January 2021

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

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

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

Accommodation and buying property

UK nationals can buy property or land in Italy whether or not you live there. Read 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)

Alternatively you can 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)

If you are having problems accessing property services, show your public notary this guidance from the Consiglio Nazionale Del Notariato (National Council of Italian Public Notaries) (in Italian).

Driving in Italy

You cannot renew or replace your UK driving licence if you live in Italy. You must exchange your licence for an Italian one and you will need to take a driving test. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

The British and Italian governments continue to negotiate long-term arrangements for exchanging driving licences without needing to take a test.

If you need to drive in Italy, you should not wait for negotiations to conclude before exchanging your valid UK licence.

Read the guidance on what actions you must do to drive legally in Italy:

If you started exchanging your UK licence before 1 January 2021

If you started exchanging your UK licence before 1 January 2021, you do not need to take a driving test (in Italian).

If you were resident in Italy before 1 January 2022

You can use your valid UK licence until 31 December 2022. Read article 2.3 of the Italian Government’s 30 December 2021 decree-law (in Italian) which extends the recognition of valid UK driving licences in Italy.

You must exchange your licence for an Italian one by 31 December 2022. You will need to take a driving test (in Italian).

If you became resident in Italy on or after 1 January 2022

You can use your valid UK licence for 1 year from the date you became a resident. You will need to take a driving test (in Italian) to exchange your UK licence for an Italian one.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Italy, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Italian disabled parking card (in Italian). Go to your local health department (ASL) legal medical office to get a medical certificate proving your right to the disabled parking card. Then you must ask the Mayor of your Municipality for the disabled parking card.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Italy

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

You cannot drive a non-Italian registered car in Italy after you have been resident in Italy for 60 days or more.

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 you do not do this, your car may be impounded.

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).

Driving outside Italy with an Italian licence

You can use your Italian licence to visit the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Italian licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Italian licence you may need to apply for an IDP.

Read the EU guidance on:

Voting

You cannot vote or stand as a candidate in Italian national and local government elections, or in 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 can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

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 notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Italy.

Pets

If you’re moving to Italy with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in Italy for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial:

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

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in any EU country.

If your child is at risk of being, or has been, abducted read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the Italian Ministry of Justice guidance on child abduction (in Italian); the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

Read the guidance if you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Italy.

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

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

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

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre and the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) (in Italian). 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.

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 11 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Important information in the ‘Working in Italy’ and ‘National insurance and social security contributions’ sections if you work in Italy, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  2. Guidance reviewed and updated with new information, including in the visas and residency, and working in Italy sections.

  3. Driving section: updated guidance about how long valid UK licences will be recognised for in Italy.

  4. Extension to 31 December 2022 for exchanging your valid UK driving licence for an Italian one.

  5. 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

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

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. Updated guidance on buying property and working in Italy

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

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

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

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

  18. Uploaded a Healthcare Information Booklet

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

  20. 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.

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

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

  23. We have updated the Citizens' Rights Information Booklet

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

  25. 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.

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

  27. Link to travel advice added for latest coronavirus guidance

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

  29. 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

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

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

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

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

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

  35. Updated 25 July 2019

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

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

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

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

  40. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  50. Update on voting rights 2 January 2019

  51. Italian govt announcement on EU exit.

  52. 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.

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

  54. Amended July 2018

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

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

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

  58. Major changes in all fields

  59. Updated guidance on UK state pensions in Italy

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

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

  62. Added link for healthcare in Italy

  63. talian residence permit details updated.

  64. First published.