Moving to Italy For Members

Moving to Italy: Healthcare fees and changes to Italian citizenship laws

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Moving to Italy: Healthcare fees and changes to Italian citizenship laws
If you're thinking of moving to Italy, you'll want to make sure you secure access to healthcare. Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP.

Moving to Italy, a country infamous for its red tape, can seem like a daunting task. Our new newsletter is here to answer your questions - this month we're looking at proposed citizenship law changes and Italy's new healthcare fee.


Here at The Local we're an international team living in Italy - which means we've either grown up navigating Italian bureaucracy or been through the simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking process of moving countries.

Our new newsletter is aimed at people who are in the process of moving, have recently moved and are still grappling with the paperwork or perhaps are just thinking about it - and we'll share a monthly selection of practical tips. Our team is also available to answer questions from subscribers to The Local.

Staying healthy

A major concern for many people considering moving countries is healthcare - specifically how to access care in Italy, and whether you need to pay for expensive health insurance in order to move.

Readers expressed their dismay at the start of this year when Italy's government confirmed it would introduce a minimum €2,000 annual charge for some foreign residents to access its national health service - plans which ministers first announced last October with vague wording leaving many people unclear how they would be affected.

While not all foreign residents are affected by the change, as many are eligible for free public healthcare, some British nationals have already reported wrongly being charged despite having permanent residency rights, due to an ongoing issue with proving their status after Brexit.

Some readers also say they're now considering switching to private health insurance as it might work out cheaper; we looked into whether this could be a good option for foreigners who are liable to pay the new fee.

Applying for citizenship

If you have an Italian ancestor - and the paperwork to prove it - Italy is fairly generous when it comes to handing out ancestry-based citizenship; and for some people, it's their ticket to moving to (or staying permanently in) Italy.

One Italian lawmaker last year however tried to change all that by proposing a bill which would mean introducing a language test and generational limit for applications for citizenship via ancestry, arguing that increasing numbers of people were abusing the system in order to gain entry to the EU or US.


Readers asked this month whether there had been any progress with the bill, so we took a look at whether this amendment is likely to pass any time soon and whether people who plan on making an application soon stand to be affected.

Of course, if you've only just started considering the idea of applying for Italian citizenship via ancestry (also known as jure sanguinis), there's a lot to understand.

We've got a legal expert's advice on navigating the citizenship application process here, with the details of where and how to submit your application and the documents you'll need to gather, plus some insights on what applicants can expect in terms of waiting times and costs.

And finally, this month we also answered the question of when exactly you can get your all-important Italian passport once your citizenship application is approved.



The Local's Reader Questions section covers questions our members have asked us and is a treasure trove of useful info on all kinds of practical matters. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, head here to leave us your questions.


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