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

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.

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
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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EXPLAINED: What’s an ISEE and when will you need one in Italy?

There are plenty of Italian acronyms new residents need to be familiar with, and this may be one of the most important. Here’s what it means and why you’ll need it.

EXPLAINED: What’s an ISEE and when will you need one in Italy?

Long-term Italian residents might be already familiar with the ISEE, but to others it’s no more than a mysterious-sounding acronym seen in reports about Italy’s many government ‘bonuses’ and subsidies.

ISEE stands for ‘Indicatore della Situazione Economica Equivalente’, which roughly translates into English as Equivalent Financial Position Indicator.

In typically Italian fashion though, the full name is likely to leave you just as puzzled as the acronym.

Basically the ISEE is a parameter used by Italy’s government and public administration to gauge the overall economic situation of a household. 

It takes a variety of factors into account, though it is for the most part based on the ages, annual income, assets and any physical disabilities of the members of a household. 

You could think of the ISEE as a sort of ‘financial ID card’, which states your household’s level of wealth and financial security.  

READ ALSO: How foreign nationals can apply for an Italian ID card

Sooner or later, all Italian residents end up crossing paths with the ISEE, usually when accessing means-tested government financial subsidies.

For instance, recently-extended discounts on gas and electricity bills can only be claimed by households with an ISEE of up to 12,000 euros. 

ISEE thresholds are also set for Italy’s universal single allowance, nursery bonus and most exemptions in the public healthcare system.

However, a household’s ISEE status is not automatically calculated by the Italian public administration. So those looking to access a state subsidy must go about claiming their own ISEE certificate independently. 

How do get your ISEE certificate?

It may not come as a surprise to hear that getting an ISEE certificate isn’t nearly as straightforward as it should be.

For this reason, even Italian nationals tend to need the help of private professionals. 

Claiming the certificate revolves around completing the ‘Dichiarazione Unica Sostitutiva’ (Single replacement declaration, or DSU); a form asking claimants about their income, assets and size of their household.

Customer speaking with employee in a tax office in Italy

The ISEE system takes into account a variety of factors, including the age, annual income and assets of any given household member. Photo by Andreas SOLARO

You can complete this form yourself, or have your commercialista (accountant) or another professional do this for you.

INPS recently launched a new online service allowing residents can ask to receive a pre-filled DSU form – some questions are automatically answered based on records held by INPS and the Agenzia delle Entrate – and then proceed to complete the document by themselves. 

Once completed, the form must be submitted either to your local Centro di Assistenza Fiscale (Fiscal Support Centre, CAF) or via the National Social Insurance Agency’s (INPS) website.

A DSU form can be submitted either to your local Fiscal Support Centre (CAF) or via the National Social Insurance Agency’s (INPS) website.
More Italian bureaucracy:

It can be submitted at any time of year, with the resulting ISEE certificate valid until the end of that same year.

The ISEE certificate is usually available within 10 days of submitting the form, though there might be delays if the info given through the DSU doesn’t match the records kept by the Agenzia delle Entrate (Revenue Agency) and INPS. 

Once the certificate is ready, residents can choose to either have it delivered online in downloadable format or pick it up in person. 

The following INPS web page allows users to work out whether or not they might be eligible to claim certain state subsidies by ‘unofficially’ calculating their ISEE status.

Further info about how to get an ISEE certificate is available on the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Politics’ website (in Italian only).