EXPLAINED: What are the different documents Italy's British residents need after Brexit?

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EXPLAINED: What are the different documents Italy's British residents need after Brexit?
Brits living in Italy may still have more work to do to get their paperwork in order. File photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Don’t know your ‘carta’ from your ‘attestazione?’ Don’t worry, you're not alone. Here's a rundown of the post-Brexit Italian paperwork you'll need to be aware of.


There has been plenty of confusion among British nationals recently about the different documents needed to prove their Italian residency status after the UK's exit from the European Union.
Some readers have contacted The Local to ask for clarification about the new biometric ID card for those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, which is called a carta di soggiorno - similar to the name of an existing residency document.
"The variety of documents issued to non-Italians resident in Italy is truly bewildering, not helped by the similarity of their names," said citizens' rights group British in Italy.
Here we take a look at the difference between this important document and some of the many others we may need, or have been issued in the past.
EU biometric carta di soggiorno 
"The new biometric card for those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is called a carta di soggiorno and is valid for 5 years," British in Italy explain.
If you are entitled to permanent residence (ie. you have 5+ years of legal residence) you get a carta di soggiorno permanente which is valid for 10 years, but can be renewed right at the end of that period."


You can obtain the card from your local Questura, or police headquarters. Find details of the application procedure in English here and Italian here.
The biometric carta di soggiorno is a new document, and it's not the same as any other residency documents despite several of them having similar names.
It has a similar purpose to the WA attestazione, a paper form that many of Italy's British residents obtained from their comune last year in order to prove their status.
British in Italy notes that the attestazione document is now "not always being accepted (by Italian authorities) as the necessary proof that we are covered by the WA.”
"These documents are not to be confused with any of the following:
  • Permesso di soggiorno – the permit to reside issued to Third Country Nationals (ie nationals of a non-EU country) now, and which those of you who arrived here before 2007 were given at the time.
  • Attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica di cittadino Ue – the certificate of registration of residence of an EU citizen or family member in a Comune.  From 2007 until 31st December 2020 this was the document issued to UK nationals who took up residence in Italy.
  • Attestazione di soggiorno permanente per cittadini dell’UE– certificate of permanent residence as an EU citizen, issued also to UK nationals with 5 years legal residence until 31st December 2020.
  • Attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica ai sensi dell’Art. 18.4 dell’Accordo sul recesso – the paper certificate issued between February and the end of December 2020 to UK nationals and their family members covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • Carta di soggiorno di familiare di un cittadino dell’Unione – issued to non-EU family members of an EU citizen including of a UK citizen until 31st December 2020.
  • Carta di soggiorno permanente per familiari di cittadini europei – issued to those non-EU family members of an EU citizen who have permanent residence including those of a UK citizen up to 31st December 2020.
  • Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo – issued to third country nationals with at least 5 years legal residence (and on some additional conditions) and their family members.Unlike the Withdrawal Agreement, it confers some rights of mobility between EU countries and those who need such mobility (eg for work) should think about applying for it, though no guidelines have yet been issued in Italy on how this can be done by a British citizen covered by the WA.
  • Certificato storico di residenza anagrafica – a certificate issued by a Comune to prove the residence of a person at some point in the past."


For now, British in Italy is urging people to apply for their biometric carta di soggiorno as soon as possible.

For more information, check the British government's Living in Italy website and the British in Italy website.

See The Local's Dealing with Brexit section for more updates.



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