Brexit Q&A: How can Brits get residency in Italy and what documents do they need?

What's the new document Brits need to protect their right to live in Italy? And what can you do if you're not registered yet? UK in Italy answers British nationals' questions about how to keep the right to Italian residency after Brexit.

Brexit Q&A: How can Brits get residency in Italy and what documents do they need?
Brits in Italy should get their paperwork in order by the end of 2020. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

The following is taken from UK in Italy's Facebook Live Q&A on Residency and Registration held on September 22nd. You can watch the full session here.

UK in Italy will also be hosting further information sessions, including about healthcare and benefits. You can register to be notified of upcoming meetings here.

I am a registered UK national in Italy. I understand there is a new document I need to get. Can you tell me more?

UK nationals living in Italy by December 31st will have their rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You can find out more about the Withdrawal Agreement here.

If you are living in Italy for more than 90 days you need to register your residency with your local town hall (comune). You will receive an ‘attestazione di regolarita’ di soggiorno’ which is issued under the Italian residency legislation n.30/2007.

READ ALSO:  Brexit: How are Brits' rights to travel and move to Italy changing?

If you have been living in Italy for five years or more you can apply for a permanent residency document called an ‘attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE’. This is also issued under Italian legislation n.30/2007.

The Italian government has now made available a new residency document for UK nationals and their family members who are living in Italy by December 31st 2020. You need to have registered your residency before obtaining it.

The new document is called the ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ and it refers to Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement. It is also available from your local town hall.

To find out more please consult our Living in Italy guide. The Italian government announced the new document via Circular n.3/2020. You can find the circular here.

I am a permanent resident in Italy. My comune told me that I don’t need the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione. What should I do?

The Italian government has made available a new document for UK nationals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement. As a UK national living in Italy before December 31st you have a right to the new document.

The new document is important because it refers to your status under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement. Your current residency document does not.

READ ALSO: Why UK citizens may face problems proving they have permanent Italian residence

If you have difficulty in obtaining the new attestazione you should highlight the Italian government’s circular n.3/2020 which instructs local town halls on how to issue it.

If you continue to have problems you can contact the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for support. Their contact details can be found on our Living in Italy page.

Do I need to obtain a new copy of the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ attestazione if I move from one region of Italy to another?

Our understanding is that you do not need to obtain a second attestazione. However, we are seeking clarification from the relevant Italian ministry.

You should inform your new comune of your arrival. 

Please check our Living in Italy guide for further updates.

I’m a dual UK-Italian national. Do I need the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione?

Dual-nationals who previously exercised their Freedom of Movement rights are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. However, as an Italian citizen you will continue to benefit from your existing free movement rights by virtue of your EU citizenship; this is not subject to the UK leaving the EU and is not dependent on taking any action to secure your status under the Withdrawal Agreement.

As such, UK-EU dual-nationals do not need to take further actions to secure residence rights.

However, a UK national in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (that means lawfully living in Italy by the end of this year) will benefit from other rights under the Withdrawal Agreement as a UK national who has exercised free movement rights.


Photo: AFP

These rights include social security coordination, for example, having contributions made in the UK aggregated with those paid in Italy or other Member States and the right to an uprated UK State Pension, if eligible.

Individuals in scope of the social security coordination section of the Withdrawal Agreement are also protected for reciprocal healthcare cover (S1, EHIC and S2 rights) once they start exporting their state pension. This includes state pensioners already benefiting from that cover.

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Rights to have professional qualifications protected are also covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, provided an application for a recognition decision has been submitted by the end of the transition period.

The way in which UK-EU dual nationals will be able to evidence these rights is yet to be determined. As soon as we have more information we will be updating our Living in Italy guide.

We would underline that your rights in Italy stem primarily from your Italian or EU citizenship.

I am moving to Italy this year. How do I apply for residency?

You firstly need to obtain a tax code or ‘codice fiscale’ which you can do from the Italian Agenzia dell’Entrate. You can do this before you arrive in Italy.

On arrival you should contact your local town hall for an appointment to register. Please check the website of your town hall for information about the documentation you will need to show.

READ ALSO: How to register for residency in Italy before Brexit: A step-by-step guide for Brits

For example, if you are a worker you will need evidence of your employment. Or if you are retired, you will need to show you can support yourself and that you have some form of healthcare.

For more information please check the residency section of our Living in Italy guide.

Will I still be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement if I don’t manage to register for residency by December 31st?

The Withdrawal Agreement provides lifelong rights to UK nationals and close family members as long as you are lawfully living in Italy by December 31st.

This means that you are either a worker, or self-employed, or economically self-sufficient with healthcare cover or a student who is able to support themselves, again with healthcare cover. As long as you can evidence that you were lawfully living in Italy (under one of these four categories) by the end of the year then your rights will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

You should try to register as soon as you can. It is a legal requirement in Italy to do so. By registering you will have further evidence of lawfully living in Italy. But your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement do not depend on you having done so.

I am an au pair – can I still register for residency in Italy?

Unless you have a work contract (you are paying taxes in Italy) or you can evidence that you are self-employed (via a ‘partita IVA’) you will need to register for residency as an economically self-sufficient person. This will require you to prove you can support yourself and that you have some form of healthcare cover.

Au-pairs can register for healthcare with the Italian national health system by paying an annual fee of € 219.40, through ‘Iscrizione Volontaria’. Ask your local health authority (ASL) how to apply.

For more information on registering for healthcare, please see here.

If I am working in Italy and then lose my job, will I lose my status under the Withdrawal Agreement and therefore my current residency rights and access to benefits and healthcare?

Article 7 of The Freedom of Movement Directive allows for those who have worked in a Member State to retain their worker status for six months after becoming involuntarily unemployed.

This is protected under the Withdrawal Agreement, meaning that UK nationals can continue to access unemployment benefits in a Member State if they are:

  • Temporarily unable to work as the result of an illness or accident;
  • Duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having been employed for more than one year and have registered as a job-seeker with the relevant employment office;
  • Duly recorded involuntary unemployment after completing a fixed-term employment contract of less than a year or after having become involuntarily unemployed during the first 12 months and have registered as a job-seeker with the relevant employment office. In this case, the status of worker shall be retained for no less than six months;
  • Embarking on vocational training. Unless they are involuntarily unemployed, the retention of the status of worker shall require the training to be related to the previous employment.

In Italy if you become unemployed after you have lived and worked in Italy for less than a year, and you register on the unemployment list, you and your dependants will continue to have the right to access healthcare for a period of up to 12 months.

If you have lived and worked in Italy for a year or more, you can continue to access healthcare for as long as you remain unemployed, by renewing your registration for healthcare every year. 

If you are experiencing serious challenges in registering or in obtaining the new residency document you can contact the IOM by calling 800 684 884 or emailing them at [email protected].

For more information, see the UK government's guide to help and services in Italy and follow UK in Italy on Facebook or Twitter.

Member comments

  1. Good day everyone,

    I am writing on behalf of my husband and I who are American citizens living in the province of Asti.
    We purchased our home in Italy in the fall of 2018 with the intention of moving here permanently by 2025. For the purchase of our property we were assigned an Italian tax code (codice fiscale). Until 2020, we traveled to Italy 3 times a year spending 4-6 weeks at a time. Our American passports allow us up to 90 days entry without the need of a visa. Obviously, we have “overstayed” our 90 days and are wanting to remain in Italy as we are self sufficient, yet wanting to start our Art/Design/Remodeling Company here in Italy. We are attempting to apply for our Permesso Di Soggiorno & self employed residence permit. Unfortunately, we have a visa problem since it was not a requirement for a less than 90 day stay. I will briefly summarize our situation.

    – We arrived in Italy in February, 2020 through our connection flight in Frankfurt, Germany to return in March, 2020. We have never flown directly into Italy as Germany is our point of entry into the European Union.

    – The Covid-19 Pandemic has forced us to remain in Italy for several reasons: First of all, numerous flights rescheduled by the airlines were eventually canceled. This continued throughout the year. It was recommended (by our American physicians & local Italian Pharmacist) that we remain in Italy until we were fully vaccinated. We were finally able to get our first dose of Pfizer this month through using A.S.L. which has allowed us to move a little more freely to be able to hopefully obtain our permission of stay. Due to pandemic, most government offices were closed and/or provided limited access plus we all were in a consistent lockdown. We attempted on numerous occasions to contact the Questura Di Asti with little to no response.

    As a result, the current status of my husband and I within the Italian territory is irregular. We are currently being prevented from submitting an application for a residence permit because we do not have a VISA. This wasn’t required for us to visit our home at that time (this information has been obtained from our local Patronata that we contacted to complete the application process).

    Considering the unusual nature of our situation, illustrated above, we are wondering how is it possible to proceed with obtaining our VISA while remaining in Italy? We have contacted the American Embassy in Milan, our local comune/mayor, our neighboring comune/mayor, the local polizia, etc, etc, etc. We are aware that others around the world have been displaced for numerous reasons. We are hoping that a LOCAL IT member(s) has been able to overcome this unlikely situation. Any and all comments/questions are welcome.

    Thank You,
    M & B

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Non-EU family members of EU citizens can obtain long-term residence, court rules

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that non-EU citizens who have residence rights in an EU country as family members of an EU national can acquire EU long-term residence.

Non-EU family members of EU citizens can obtain long-term residence, court rules

EU long-term residence is a legal status that non-EU citizens can obtain if they have lived continuously in an EU country for at least five years, have not been away for more than 6 consecutive months and 10 months over the entire period (although the rules are different for Britons covered by the Withdrawal Agreement), and can prove to have “stable and regular economic resources” and health insurance. Applicants can also be required to meet “integration conditions”, such as knowing the language.

Long-term residence status grants equal treatment to EU nationals in areas such as employment, self-employment or education, as well as the possibility to move to other EU countries under certain conditions. 

But the procedure to get this status is not always straight-forward.

In this case, a Ghanian national who had a residence permit in the Netherlands because of a ‘relationship of dependency’ with her son, a Dutch citizen, saw their application for EU long-term residence refused.

The Dutch authorities argued that the residence right of a family member of an EU citizen is ‘temporary in nature’ and therefore excluded from the EU directive on long-term residence.

The applicant, however, appealed the decision and the District Court of The Hague referred the case to the EU Court of Justice for an interpretation of the rules.

On Wednesday the EU Court clarified that non-EU family members of EU citizens who live in the EU can indeed acquire EU long-term residence.

The EU long-term residence directive excludes specifically third-country nationals who reside in the EU temporarily, such as posted workers, seasonal workers or au pairs, or those with a residence permit that “has been formally limited”.

A family member of an EU citizens does not fall into this group, the Court said, as “such a relationship of dependency is not, in principle, intended to be of short duration.”

In addition, EU judges argued, the purpose of the EU long-term residence directive is to promote the integration of third country nationals who are settled in the European Union.

It is now for the Dutch court to conclude the case on the basis of the Court’s decision, which will apply also to the other EU member states.

The European Commission proposed in April to simplify the rules on EU long-term residence, especially when it comes to obtaining the status, moving to other EU countries and the rights of family members. 

These new measures are undergoing the legislative procedure have to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council. These rules also concern Britons living in the EU as family members of EU citizens.