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

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021, you should obtain a new biometric residence card.

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.

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

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 are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

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 guidance on living in Europe.

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 ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) 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:

Additional support

If you need additional support to obtain your new biometric residency card (‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’) issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, or to complete your residency application, read the UK Nationals Support Fund guidance.

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.

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 for your circumstances.

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.

You can also read:

State healthcare: S1

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Italy and you:

  • are receiving a UK State Pension
  • are receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • are a frontier worker who lives in Italy and commutes to work in the UK
  • have been sent to Italy temporarily by your UK employer

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

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

If you are resident in Italy, you must not use your UK-issued EHIC or GHIC for healthcare in Italy, unless you are a student or a detached (posted) worker. Current EHICs will remain valid until the expiry date on the card.

If you are living in Italy, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC or GHIC if you are:

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

The card you receive will depend on when you moved to Italy.

Apply now for a new UK EHIC or GHIC.

An EHIC or GHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

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

You should also read guidance on:

Passports and travel

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you should carry your residence document (‘carta di soggiorno elettronica’, the ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ or your EU residency document), 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 prove 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 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.

If you stay in Italy with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does 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 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 (link 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).

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.

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

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

Read the Department for International Trade’s guidance on:

and sign up for their updates.

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

If you were legally resident in Italy before 1 January 2021, you are eligible for the same tuition fees as Italian nationals.

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.

Moving to Italy to study

If you are planning to study in Italy, make sure you meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Once in Italy you should contact your local immigration office (‘questura’) for details on how to apply for a non-EU national residency permit ‘permesso di soggiorno’. You will need this to register your residency with the town hall.

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

Read our guidance on studying in the European Union.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 (in Italian) from the Consiglio Nazionale Del Notariato (National Council of Italian Public Notaries).

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 20 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. Updated guidance on buying property and working in Italy

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

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

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

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

  9. Uploaded a Healthcare Information Booklet

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

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. We have updated the Citizens' Rights Information Booklet

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

  16. 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.

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

  18. Link to travel advice added for latest coronavirus guidance

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

  20. 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

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

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

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

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

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

  26. Updated 25 July 2019

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

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

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

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

  31. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  41. Update on voting rights 2 January 2019

  42. Italian govt announcement on EU exit.

  43. 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.

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

  45. Amended July 2018

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

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

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

  49. Major changes in all fields

  50. Updated guidance on UK state pensions in Italy

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

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

  53. Added link for healthcare in Italy

  54. talian residence permit details updated.

  55. First published.