Official information British people moving to and living in Italy need to know, including EU Exit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.
EU Exit: what you need to know
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There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Italy while the UK remains in the EU.
While the government continues to negotiate EU Exit, you should:
- read the latest announcement from the Italian government
- make sure you’re correctly registered as resident in Italy
- read UK nationals in the EU: essential information
- follow your local British Embassy on Facebook and Twitter
- attend one of our citizens outreach meetings.
Italian government residency announcement
On 21 December 2018 the Italian government made an announcement: ‘The Italian Government continues its preparation for Brexit’.
The Italian government confirmed that it will fully implement the rights in article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. It would apply a ‘declaratory procedure’ that will recognise the rights of all UK nationals legally resident in Italy before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020).
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the Italian government confirmed that it is preparing legislative measures. These ensure UK nationals legally resident in Italy before 29 March 2019 will have the right and necessary time to obtain long-term residency status under EU Directive 2003/109. UK nationals will continue to enjoy rights such as access to healthcare, social benefits, employment, education and family reunification after the UK leaves the EU.
We advise UK nationals living in Italy to register as a resident with their local registry office (anagrafe) at their town hall (comune). This will ensure their rights are protected after the UK has left the EU.
Before you go
See our travel advice for Italy and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.
The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. You can check a passport for travel to Europe.
Visas and residency
See our travel advice for entry requirements for Italy.
If you’re staying more than 3 months, you must apply to your nearest town hall (Comune – Ufficio Anagrafe) for residency (iscrizione anagrafica).
You will need to provide documentation proving the following:
- you have a work contract or are self-employed in Italy
- you have sufficient economic resources as well as personal health insurance or a UK social security form, such as an S1 form for pensioners
- you are an immediate family member joining an EU citizen who fulfils one of the above
You will also be required to show your passport.
You must check with your town hall what further documentation you may need to apply for residency.
Once you’ve been resident in Italy for 5 years, you can apply to your town hall for a permanent resident certificate (attestazione/attestato di soggiorno permanente per cittadini UE)
Applying for Italian citizenship
Once you’ve been officially resident in Italy for 4 years, you can apply for Italian citizenship. For your Italian citizenship application, you may need to order a birth, marriage or death certificate from the UK. You may also need a police certificate from the ACRO Criminal Records Office in the UK. You may also be required to have these and other UK documents officially translated and legalised (apostilled).
Recent Italian legislation (the Decreto Salvini DL n. 113 of 2018) extends the time for considering applications for citizenship from 2 to 4 years. Article 14 provides that this extension of time should apply to citizenship applications ongoing at the date of the decree, 4 October 2018. The Decreto has also introduced a new language test for citizenship applications.
Italian citizenship requires a minimum residence of 4 years for EU citizens and 10 years for non-EU citizens.
We are seeking clarification from the Italian government on whether applications made before the UK exits the EU on the 29 March 2019, and which are still pending decision, will continue to be considered on the basis of EU nationality. We will update this page as soon as information is available.
The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights will allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
In the event of changes to residency rules or registration processes after 29 March 2019, we will update this page as soon as information is available.
See our travel advice for Italy.
The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in or visiting Italy.
You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.
If you’re staying more than 3 months, you need to register with the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale: SSN) through your local ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale).
You can register for free with the SSN if:
- you have a work contract (or are self employed) in Italy or you are an immediate family member of someone who does
- you’re an immediate family member of an Italian citizen
- you’ve been officially resident in Italy for 5 years or more
- you are unemployed, registered on the employment lists (liste di collocamento) or registered for a professional training course
- you hold a UK social security form, such as an S1 form for pensioners (see below)
If you can’t register for free, you can pay an annual fee to receive state healthcare – you should contact your local ASL office.
S1 form: healthcare paid for by the UK
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Italy and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.
You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.
When you get your S1 form, register it with your local ASL office (Azienda Sanitaria Locale) before you register with your local GP surgery and get a medical card.
Working in Italy
Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).
An Italian criminal records certificate from the Judicial Records Register (Certificato del casellario giudiziale) can be issued by any Italian Law Court (Ufficio Casellario Giudiziale c/o Procura della Repubblica, Tribunale) – see Ministero della Giustizia.
Italy and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries.
We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Italy. You can get more information from a tax adviser or business consultant (commercialista) at the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy or Centro Assistenza Fiscale – Tax Assistance Centre (CAF).
You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.
The UK government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the UK’s exit from the EU. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.
If you’ve worked in Italy, you should apply to the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) for both your UK and Italian pensions.
If you haven’t worked in Italy, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.
If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.
Life certificates for UK state pensions
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.
Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.
Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.
You may be eligible to claim some Italian social security benefits – see Italian social security benefits.
Driving in Italy
Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country you are living in before 29 March 2019. For more information see driving abroad.
You need to convert your UK licence to an Italian one within 2 years. To convert a UK licence to an Italian licence, go to the nearest Office of Motor Vehicles (Ufficio Provinciale della Motorizzazione Civile). See Ministero dei Trasporti for the required documentation.
If you’re resident in Italy, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary elections.
Once the UK leaves the EU, UK nationals will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European elections. The UK pushed hard in negotiations for the right to stand and vote in local elections for UK nationals living in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK, but they will not form part of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Government has made clear that we will pursue bilateral arrangements with individual Member States to secure this right for both UK nationals living in the UK, and EU citizens in the UK.
See travelling with pets.
UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after Brexit for more information.
As well as the European emergency number 112, Italy also has:
- 113 – police
- 115 – fire brigade
- 118 – first aid
Accommodation and buying property
Other useful information
Returning to the UK
When you leave Italy, you’ll need to contact your local town hall (Comune) to cancel your Italian residency card.
To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre. You’ll also need to tell the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS).
If you’re returning to the UK and taking your car, see importing your Italian-registered car to the UK.
Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Italian authorities. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.