Brexit For Members

'Seek legal advice': Your advice on applying for Italian visas post-Brexit

The Local Italy
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'Seek legal advice': Your advice on applying for Italian visas post-Brexit
Moving to Italy as a UK citizen has become complicated as a result of Brexit - but what exactly should you expect? Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP.

Now that Britain is well and truly out of the EU, just how much harder is the process of moving to Italy from the UK after Brexit? British readers share their experiences of applying for visas as 'third country nationals'.


Freedom of movement between the UK and Italy may be over, but the desire many people have to move between the two countries to live and work remains very much alive.

To learn more about how the process of moving to Italy as a British national has changed in the past couple of years, The Local asked British readers for your experiences of applying for an Italian visa post-Brexit.

The two most common routes explored by those who responded were a spousal visa - for which you need to be married to an Italian citizen - and an elective residency visa, which requires a sizeable passive income.


A spousal visa application is generally regarded to stand a much higher chance of success than the elective residency visa, for obvious reasons - but it isn't without its challenges, as reader Alex James found.

James was ultimately successful in his application to relocate from London to Terracina, Lazio with his Italian wife, but describes the process, which took five months in total and cost several hundred euros, as "a nightmare".

READ ALSO: 'Not just extra paperwork': What it's like moving to Italy after Brexit

"Dealing with the office workers, no one seemed to know what they were doing and had a genuine lack of interest in helping you," he writes.

He singles out officials at the Agenzia delle entrate - Italy's tax agency, with which all residents are required to register - as being particularly obstructive: "they were so unhelpful and didn't allow my wife to help translate".

Those questionnaire respondents who didn't have Italian spouses instead opted to apply for the elective residency visa.

This option is generally only available to retirees, as you're not allowed to work when you arrive; and requires a substantial passive income.

You'll need a generous passive income to be granted an elective residency visa in Italy.

You'll need a generous passive income to be granted an elective residency visa in Italy. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP.

The latter requirement tripped up one anonymous writer who had hoped to move to Veneto, but whose application was denied "due to insufficient income, despite substantial savings."

The amount of supporting evidence required for the visa is "VERY onerous," says Jan Bennett, who recently started her application process and hopes to relocate from Staffordshire to Penne, Abruzzo.

"We have to provide evidence of income and assets, to meet a threshold that does not seem to be actually documented anywhere," she adds.

READ ALSO: Permesso di soggiorno: A complete guide to getting Italy’s residency permit


"So far, it is very complex and stressful as we keep being told different things by different people."

Julia Hurstfield from Cheshire purchased a home in Umbria with her spouse in May 2022 with a view to moving over with the elective residency visa.

They managed to get an appointment to file their application eight weeks later - but, like our other respondent, were turned down on insufficient income grounds.

The couple then turned to an Italian legal team who believe they do meet the threshold but were mis-assessed the first time around, largely due to the requirement to apply on separate forms despite having joint bank accounts.

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

They are now making a second application, having already spent £3,000 on legal costs so far. So far, they've found the process "frustrating and stressful."

"The UK and Italian websites do not provide sufficient or detailed information to make this process viable," Hurstfield says. Her advice for those planning to make an application?


"Seek legal advice and assistance from experienced and specialist lawyers who can assist and fully advise you at the outset."

"I was a UK lawyer and we fully researched what was required & followed the recommendations but it wasn’t enough," she adds.

"Spend the money at the outset and pay the lawyers... as always it's a question of presentation!"

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey, including those who are not quoted here.

Have you applied for a visa in order to move from the UK to Italy post-Brexit? How did your experience compare? Please share your thoughts with other readers in the comments section below.


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