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.

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How many work permits will Italy grant in 2023?

The Italian government is drawing up plans to allocate next year's batch of work permits under the new 'decreto flussi'. Here's what we know so far.

How many work permits will Italy grant in 2023?

Italy’s government is working on the next annual decree governing how many and which types of workers will be allowed to move to Italy next year for employment reasons.

At the end of every year, the Italian Labour Ministry publishes the next year’s decreto flussi, which translates as ‘flows decree’; the piece of legislation which governs the number of work permits available to those coming to Italy from outside of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA).

READ ALSO: How many people does Italy grant work permits to every year?

The government has not yet confirmed any details about the next decree, but the number of permits available is widely expected to be cut under the new Italian government, which has a strongly nationalist, anti-immigration stance.

Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, confirmed on Saturday that the government was working on a “strategy” for the 2023 decreto flussi, which is expected to be published at the end of December.

“We would like to have workers arrive in our country already trained” and with a job already lined up, he told reporters.

The Italian government is expected to offer a larger quota of work permits to countries that agree to sign repatriation agreements with Italy for irregular migrants, according to reports in Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The new decree is also expected to extend some types of work permit to two or three years – rather than permits having to be renewed after one year, as is currently the case.

READ ALSO: Visas and residency permits: How to move to Italy (and stay here)

It’s hoped that this change could ease the workload at Italian government offices which have reportedly faced problems in processing work permit applications due to a chronic shortage of staff.

The number of permits available to different categories of worker is subject to change under each decree, but the government has not given any indication as to which groups may be allocated a greater or lower number of permits this time.

The last decree, covering work permit applications for 2022, sharply increased the number of foreign workers allowed to come to Italy, to a total of 69,700, up from 30,000 in 2021.

Most of those permits (42,000) were for temporary seasonal workers, such as those working in agriculture or tourism.

However, the number of permits issued for some categories, such as self-employed workers, did not increase at all in 2022.

READ ALSO: What happened to Italy’s planned digital nomad visa?

Applications for work permits usually open at the end of January. Further details about the application process for 2023 will be available when the new decreto flussi is published.

Getting one of these permits is just the start. As a non-EEA citizen, there are three main documents you’ll need to live and work in Italy: a work permit (nulla osta), a work visa (visto) and a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).

Find out more information about the types of Italian work visa available here.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases or assist with job applications.

For more information about visa and residency permit applications, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s visa website, or contact your embassy or local Questura (police headquarters) in Italy.