Italy confirms post-Brexit visa rules for British nationals

After the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st 2020, British citizens hoping to move to Italy will require a long-stay visa, Italian authorities have confirmed.

Italy confirms post-Brexit visa rules for British nationals
The bureaucratic process involved in moving to Italy is set to get a lot more complex for Brits from January 1st. photo: AFP

“Starting from January 1st 2021, British citizens planning to stay in Italy for more than 90 days (‘long stay’) within 180 days, will be subject to national visa requirements, according to the Italian immigration rules applied to third country nationals,” read a statement posted on the website of the Italian consulate in London on Thursday.

It read: “Starting now, British citizens may submit a Long Stay visa application for entry on 1 January 2021 or later”.

If applying for the following purposes:

• Study
• Religious purposes
• Mission
• Elective residency

Applications for long-stay visas for the following reasons can be made from January 1st, 2021 (as these require you to obtain the 'Nulla Osta' permission document):
– Work (including sport related activities and research)
– Family reunion and adoption
– Investment and start-ups
– Conversion of residence permits originally issued for study or traineeship purposes.
British citizens coming to Italy for a short stay of less than 90 days (in a 180-day period) will not require a visa, the consulate confirmed.
“In accordance with the provisions of the EU Regulation 2019/592, starting from 1 January 2021 (the end of the transition period) the United Kingdom will be added to Annex II of the EU regulation 2018/1806.”
This means that “British citizens will therefore not need a Schengen short-stay visa to spend up to 90 days in Italy within a period of 180 days.”
No details on the process or cost of obtaining a long-stay visa were given.
The consulate advises visiting the Interior Ministry's website for more details about the process of applying for a long-stay visa.
Further details about visas can also be found on the Italian government's dedicated visa information website (available in English).


If you are already lawfully living in Italy by the end of this year, your rights should be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. This extends to your close family members.
British citizens who are moving to Italy before December 31st, or are already here but haven't yet registered as a resident, are strongly recommend to register before the end of the year.
Anyone hoping to move to Italy after the end of the transition period however would be subject to the new visa requirements.

See The Local's Brexit section for more details and updates.

Member comments

  1. Does anyone know if the 90-day rule applies to UK citizens arriving before 31-Dec?

    Arrived in Italy early Dec and submitted residency app that is currently snarled up in bureaucracy and local uncertainty over policy.

    Next appointment is scheduled just over a week before I’d need to leave if 90 days counts from my arrival date.

    Hoping I can stay until at least 31 March to give this time to resolve but the back up plan is to return to UK and apply for the long-term visa so obviously want to avoid an overstay report.

    Can’t seem to find any guidance on whether:
    a) 90 days does apply and starts from when I arrived in EU
    b) 90 days applies only from 1 January when I became a third-country national (so have until 31 Mar)
    c) it doesn’t apply because I arrived before Brexit as an EU citizen

    I will contact the consulate/FCO for their take on it but just wanted to check to see if anyone else has already checked the same scenario and what their answer was.

  2. Me and my partner are in a similar scenario. We also arrived in early December but failed to apply for residency before the cut-off date.

    My understanding is that the 90 days starts from the 1st Jan. This was confirmed by an immigration solicitor. Here is their website –

    They were very quick to reply so might be worth sending them an email yourself.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


EXPLAINED: What are the main obstacles to finding a job when moving to an EU country?

Moving to another country is never easy, as it requires going through cultural changes and administrative formalities. It can be even more complicated when looking for a job.

EXPLAINED: What are the main obstacles to finding a job when moving to an EU country?

According to new data released by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, the knowledge of the national language and the recognition of professional qualifications are the two most common obstacles experienced by foreign-born people in finding a ‘suitable’ job in countries of the European Union.

Overall, about a quarter of people born outside the EU who had experience in working or looking for work in the bloc reported some difficulties getting a ‘suitable’ job for level of education (without considering the field of expertise or previous experience).

The Eurostat analysis shows that the situation is better for EU citizens moving within the bloc. But there are major differences depending on countries and gender.

Life can be more difficult for women

In 2021, 13.2 percent of men and 20.3 percent of women born in another European Union country reported obstacles in getting a suitable job in the EU place of residence.

These proportions however increase to 20.9 percent for men and 27.3 percent for women born in a non-EU country with a high level of development (based on the United Nations’ Human Development Index) and 31.1 percent for men and 35.7 percent for women from non-EU countries with a low or medium level of development.

Finland (42.9 percent), Sweden (41.7 percent), Luxembourg (34.6 percent) and France (32.1 percent) are the countries with the highest shares of people born outside the EU reporting problems. Norway, which is not part of the bloc, has an even higher percentage, 45.2, and Switzerland 34.3 percent.

In contrast, Cyprus (11.2 percent), Malta (10.9 percent), Slovenia (10.2 percent), Latvia (10 percent) and Lithuania (6.7 percent) have the lowest proportion of people born outside the EU reporting difficulties.

Lack of language skills

The lack of skills in the national language is most commonly cited as a hurdle, and it is even more problematic for women.

This issue was reported by 4.2 percent of men born in another EU country, 5.3 percent of those born in a developed country outside the EU and 9.7 percent of those from a non-EU country with a middle or low level of development. The corresponding shares for women, however, were 5.6, 6.7 and 10.5 percent respectively.

The countries where language skills were more likely to be reported by non-EU citizens as an obstacle in getting a relevant job were Finland (22.8 percent), Luxembourg (14.7 percent) and Sweden (13.1 percent).

As regards other countries covered by The Local, the percentage of non-EU citizens citing the language as a problem was 12.4 percent in Austria, 10.2 percent in Denmark, 7.8 percent in France, 5.1 percent in Italy, 2.7 percent in Spain, 11.1 percent on Norway and 10.1 percent in Switzerland. Data is not available for Germany.

Portugal (77.4 percent), Croatia (68.8 percent), Hungary (58.8 percent) and Spain (58.4 percent) have the highest share of people from outside the EU already speaking the language as a mother tongue before arriving, while more than 70 percent of non-EU citizens residing in Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Norway said they had participated in language courses after arrival.

Lisbon Portugal

Portugal has the highest share of people from outside the EU already speaking the language as a mother tongue before arriving. (Photo by Aayush Gupta on Unsplash)

Recognition of qualifications

Another hurdle on the way to a relevant job in EU countries is the lack of recognition of a formal qualification obtained abroad. This issue was reported by 2 percent of men and 3.8 percent of women born in another EU country. It was also mentioned by 3.3 percent of men and 5.9 percent of women born in a developed country outside the EU, and 4.8 percent of men and 4.6 percent of women born in a less developed non-EU country.

Eurostat says this reflects an “unofficial distrust” among employers of qualification obtained abroad and the “low official validation of foreign education”.

The lack of availability of a suitable job was another factor mentioned in the survey. In Croatia, Portugal and Hungary, this was the main obstacle to getting an adequate position.

This issue concerned 3.3 percent of men and 4.5 percent of women born in another EU country, 4.2 percent of men and 5 percent of women born in a developed non-EU country It also worried 3.9 percent of men and 5.1 percent of women born in a less developed non-EU country.

Restricted right to work due to citizenship or residence permits, as well as plain discrimination on the grounds of origin were also cited as problems.

Discrimination was mostly reported by people born in a less developed non-EU country (3.1 percent for men and 3.3 percent for women) compared to people born in highly developed non-EU countries (1.9 percent for men and 2.2 percent for women).

Citizenship and residence permits issues are unusual for people from within the EU. For people from outside the EU, this is the only area where women seem to have fewer problems than men: 1.6 percent of women from developed non-EU countries reported this issue, against 2.1 percent of men, with the share increasing to 2.8 and 3.3 percent respectively for women and men from less developed non-EU states.

The article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK.