Explained: What Brits need to know about visas for Italy after Brexit

Explained: What Brits need to know about visas for Italy after Brexit
After Brexit, travellers from the UK to Italy will need to know the visa rules. Photo: Niklas Halle'n/AFP
UK nationals looking to spend time in Italy may require a visa now that they are no longer EU citizens. Here's a guide to your options.

Brexit has complicated life for Britons looking to come to Italy for any number of reasons. And now, UK nationals who are not residents in Italy have to factor in that they may need a visa to visit.

Will Britons need a visa for a short visit to Italy?

No, Italy is not requiring a visa for British tourists to visit for up to 90 days. 

Business travellers will not require a visa either, as long as their trip is no longer than 90 days.

In both cases, note that your passport will need to be valid for at least three months from the date of entry into the Schengen zone.

What is the 90-day rule?

The rule, which applies to all non-EU residents, says that people who are not resident can only spend 90 days out of every 180 in the EU.

So in total over the course of a year you can spend 180 days, but not all in one block.

READER QUESTION: Can Brits stay more than 90 days in the EU if they have a European spouse?

It’s important to point out that the 90-day limit is for the whole Schengen area, so for example if you have already spent 89 days in Italy you cannot then go for a week in Spain. 

This Schengen calculator allows you to calculate your visits and make sure you don’t overstay.

Will Britons need a visa to move to Italy long-term for work or family reasons?

In this case, the answer is yes, as the end of freedom of movement between the UK and the EU effectively ends any long stays without a visa.

UK citizens wishing to move to Italy for the first time from 2021 have to apply for a new long-stay visa.

The application should be made before they leave for Italy.

The bureaucratic process involved in moving to Italy became more complex for Brits from January 1st. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

What are the different Italian visa types available?

Requirements and fees vary depending on the type of visa you need to apply for.

Here is a quick overview of the types of visa available for non-residents hoping to spend more than 90 days in Italy.

Long-stay visa

Italy announced in December that from January 1st it would be requiring UK nationals to apply for a long-stay visa if staying in the country for more than 90 days.

A long-stay visa is also known as a national visa, elective residency visa, or D-Visa. This is the type of visa you have to get if you want to apply for residency in Italy.

However, note that a visa isn’t the only permission you need if you want to live in Italy. With the correct visa, you can enter Italy. After that, you’ll also have to get your Italian residence permit, which is what authorises you to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days.

The visa application costs €116.00.

The following documents are required, according to the Italian consulate in London:

  • Completed visa application form (See here)
  • Recent photograph in passport format 
  • Valid travel document with an expiry date at least three months longer than the visa requested 
  • Proof of a “stable and regular” income (no minimum amount is specified)
  • Details of residence accommodation, such as a rental contract 

For more information, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website or contact the Italian consulate in London or in Edinburgh.

Other types of visa:

Italy has several other types of specific visa available, with varying fees and requirements for each. They are:

Italian Work Visa: available to foreign nationals who want to move to Italy for salaried work. You will already need to have a job offer in Italy before you can apply.

Student Visa: Students over 18 who are already enrolled in an Italian educational institution can apply for this.

Family Visa: Available to foreign nationals who want to join a family member who has Italian citizenship or an Italian permanent residence permit. Additional requirements for this visa include proof of the citizenship or residency status of the family member.

Self-Employed Visa: This is available to entrepreneurs who wish to open a business, or to self-employed individuals wanting to work in Italy.

Working Holiday Visa: Available only to 18-30- year-old citizens of countries which are part of a working holiday programme along with Italy.

Italian Retirement Visa: Available to those who can prove they are able to financially support themselves without working in Italy.

For more details about the fees, documentation and application process for each type of visa, see this online visa calculator from the Italian Foreign Ministry, or contact the Italian consulate in London or in Edinburgh.

See The Local’s Brexit section for more updates.


Member comments

  1. We have just got our first Italian car insurance and our English no claims bonus was taken into account, it was through Clement ‘s they were excellent. Bernadette and Drummond

    1. Hi. That’s interesting, I have asked Clements for a quote as we’re about to embark on a car purchase in Italy. We’re going to use a dealership, but wondered if you have any tips please? We hope UK and Italy’s shared view (per ambassador’s newsletter) for no driving test comes into effect soon.

      1. I think you have until the end of this year re driving test, we had ours changed without the test do it ASAP, they do however take your UK license away.
        I think a little bartering is the order of the day and it cost €900 to change the car to our name.
        Good luck
        Bernie n Drum

        1. Thanks for the note re Clements. They took our UK no claims into account and were able to offer better terms than starting on band 14. For anybody reading this note, try to keep a record of individual years no claims discounts from your UK insurers- they will help the process.

  2. Does anyone know if the 90 day rule applies if you arrived in Italy before 31 December?

    If so, does it start from the date you arrived or 1 January?

    (I’m currently the guinea-pig for my local town hall and police on delays in an “was EU when they applied but now isn’t EU because we ♥ bureaucracy so lets ♥ bureaucracy some more”. Obviously, I don’t want an overstay mark if I remain here while that’s resolved.)

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