Living in Italy – GOV.UK


This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Italy. Read about how our consulate general in Milan and embassy in Rome can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Italian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Italy since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You can also read:

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Italy. Check which type of visa and/or work permit you may need with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Italian Consulates in London, Manchester or Edinburgh before booking an appointment.

You should carry an identification document with you at all times.

Hosting guests at your property

If you host a UK national (or any national of a non-EU country) as a guest, you must inform your local immigration office (questura) (in Italian). You must do this in writing within 48 hours after they arrive at your property.

You could be fined if you do not comply with this Italian immigration law (in Italian).

If you host a national of an EU country, you must inform the questura if they plan to stay with you for 30 days or more.

Visas and residency if you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

If you were lawfully living in Italy before 1 January 2021, you and your family members automatically have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’

The Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’ (biometric residence card) provides the clearest evidence of your rights. This card is a separate document to the biometric identity card (carta d’identità). We strongly recommend that you request the Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’. It also shows your right to enter Italy and exempts you from European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and visa requirements.

To get this card you should book an appointment at your local immigration office at the police headquarters (questura) to have your biometric data taken. This costs 30.46 EUR, and you need to pay with a payment slip, which you can get from the post office. Vulnerable people who cannot travel to their local police headquarters to provide their biometric data, will be issued a paper residence card.

If you have been legally resident in Italy:

  • more than 5 years you can ask for a 10-year renewable carta di soggiorno as a permanent resident
  • less than 5 years, you can ask for a 5-year renewable carta di soggiorno as a temporary resident
  • with permanent residence status and you are under 18 years old, you can ask for a 5-year renewable carta di soggiorno. When you are 18 years old you can ask for a 10-year renewable carta di soggiorno

You enjoy rights even if you do not have the Withdrawal Agreement carta di soggiorno. The Italian Ministry of Interior’s ‘vademecum’ confirms that this card is not mandatory (in English and Italian). You can show the ‘vademecum’ to service providers if you do not yet have a carta di soggiorno and you are experiencing difficulties accessing services.

You should read:

If you need further information on how to secure your residency, you may find the International Organization for Migration’s guidance on residence in Italy useful.

Appeal process

If your application for the carta di soggiorno (in English and Italian) is refused, your local immigration office (questura) will send you a refusal notice.

If you want to appeal, you must send your appeal by recorded delivery (raccomandata con avviso di ricevimento or raccomandata A.R.) or by certified email (PEC). The date you post your appeal is used as your appeal submission date.

You have 30 days from the date of the refusal notice to appeal. You must submit your appeal either:

Your appeal can only proceed if your grounds for appeal are accepted. You can find more information on the appeals process from your local prefect’s website (in Italian).

We strongly recommend you seek independent, specialised legal advice to support you if you appeal. The British Embassy cannot get involved in individual immigration applications. We cannot provide legal advice as we do not have the authority or expertise.

If your appeal is rejected, you can appeal through your regional administrative tribunal (‘Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale’ or TAR). You have 60 days, from the date you are notified that your first appeal has been refused, to submit your appeal to the TAR.

You also have the option to appeal to the President of the Republic. You must do this within 120 days of the first refusal notice.

If your appeal is successful, your local questura will contact you to continue with your application for the carta di soggiorno (in English and Italian).

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will be notified of the reasons, usually by registered letter. This letter requires you to acknowledge receipt of the appeal decision. Should you be unsuccessful you should be aware that you may have overstayed your permitted allowance in Italy and face a penalty for doing so as well as expulsion.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Italy at any time in the future. Read more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance.

They must travel to Italy and then apply for the ‘carta di soggiorno’ from the local immigration office (‘questura’) as your family member within 90 days of arriving. Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Italian authorities overseas should issue family reunion visas free of charge and through an accelerated procedure.

Dual nationals

If you are a dual UK – Italian national you must register your residency as an Italian national. You cannot apply for the carta di soggiorno, but you still have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you are a dual national of the UK and another EU country (but not Italy), you can choose which nationality to register under.

Police identification checks

In Italy you should carry an identification document with you at all times.

If you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement you are not legally required to carry a residence document to prove your rights. However when you obtain the Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’ you should carry this with you to prove your status. If you do not yet have the ‘carta di soggiorno’ you can prove your status by showing either

  • a copy of your current residency document, which is valid until it expires
  • the Withdrawal Agreement ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’
  • other proof of being legally resident in Italy before 1 January 2021

You do not need a non-EU national ‘permesso di soggiorno’, and a police officer cannot ask you to show one if you have rights as a UK national under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Permitted absence

Temporary residents

If you have been legally resident in Italy for less than five years you may be absent from Italy for periods not exceeding a total of six months within each year. A year is calculated as the anniversary of the date when you became officially resident in Italy.

Longer absences are permitted for specific reasons including for military service (no time limit).  A single absence of 12 months is permitted for reasons including (non-exhaustive): pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training or posting abroad.

Permanent residents

You can leave Italy for up to five years and then return without losing your status under the Withdrawal Agreement. The five-year absence rule also protects those who were absent from Italy at the end of the transition period (prior to 1 January 2021) but return to Italy within 5 years.

If you are planning on being absent from Italy you should obtain the Withdrawal Agreement ‘carta di soggiorno’ before your departure. It is likely to make things easier for you on your return.

On return to Italy you can use your ‘carta di soggiorno’ to evidence your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement or your previous EU residence document. You should register your residence with your local town hall as soon as you can.

The Withdrawal Agreement enables Italy to restrict these rights if the individual is a serious or persistent criminal, or if they seek to abuse or defraud the system.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Italy.

Check the Italy travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area.

If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Italy using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Italy with an Italian residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Italy, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Italy. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

The EU’s Entry/Exit Scheme

In autumn 2024, the EU is due to introduce the Entry/Exit System (EES) – a new automated IT border system for registering non-EU nationals, including British nationals, travelling for a short stay, each time they enter the external borders of European countries using the system. It will replace the current manual stamping of passports at the border. 

British travellers will be required to provide their name, passport details, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images) as well as the date and place of entry and exit upon entering the EU. These details will be held on file for three years, meaning British nationals making repeat visits to the EU within a three-year period will not have to go through the same registration process each time.

British residents in the EU will be exempt from registering with the EES but they will be required to show a residency document as agreed under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement or the Schengen Border Code. For British residents in Italy, this will be one of the documents listed in page 46 of Annex 22 of the Schengen Border Code (PDF, 1MB).

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

When you travel, you should carry your Italian residence document or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.
Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Read EU guidance for UK nationals on entering and leaving the Schengen area. 

When the EU’s Entry/Exit system (EES) is introduced in autumn 2024, British nationals who have been lawfully resident in the EU since before 1 January 2021 and are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement will be exempt from registration, provided they hold the correct documentation. They will be required to show a uniform-format biometric card which is included as a residency document under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

For residents of Italy, this card is the Carta di soggiorno (residence card or permanent residence card). Although having a Carta di soggiorno is not mandatory in Italy, we strongly recommend all those who do not have a card obtain one.

We expect that beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement may face significant delays and difficulties at borders if they do not have a Carta di soggiorno. To get this card you should book an appointment at your local immigration office at the police headquarters (Questura) to have your biometric data taken. You should read:

You must proactively show your Carta di soggiorno if you are asked to show your passport at border control.

If you have applied for your Carta di soggiorno, but have not yet received it, carry your receipt of application. You will have been given this when you asked for your Carta di soggiorno at the Questura.


Read our guidance on healthcare in Italy and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

You should also read guidance on:

If you need a private doctor check finding an English-speaking doctor in Italy.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

On 15 February the Ministry of Health published an information note that stated (translated from original in Italian):

“British nationals who entered before 31/12/2020 and are still present in Italy: they can compulsorily enrol (iscrizione obbligatoria) with the Italian National Health System (SSN – Sistema Sanitario Nazionale) as beneficiaries of the provisions of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which, moreover, in Article 23, provides for equal treatment with domestic nationals.”

Since this was published, and particularly in recent days and weeks, it has become clear to us that not all Italian authorities are consistently following this guidance. We know that some beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement are facing significant problems accessing health services and renewing their healthcare cards.  We are urgently speaking to all relevant parts of the Italian government to clarify the situation so that we can give clear advice to those affected as soon as possible. 

We also know that this problem is linked to the many difficulties some are experiencing with obtaining an attestazione di soggiorno permanente and/or the Carta di Soggiorno permanente. We are working to help with these issues too.

We will update this page as soon as we have further news.

Working in Italy

If you are planning to move to Italy and work, you may need a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a:


If you work in Italy, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement if you were lawfully living in Italy before 1 January 2021.

If you do not yet have a carta di soggiorno, you can show your employer the Ministry of Employment’s information for employers on registering work contracts for UK nationals (in Italian).

If you live in Italy and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Italy.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Italy officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Italy

If you plan to study in Italy, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Italy to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Italy before 1 January 2021.

If you were settled in Italy as a student before 1 January 2021 but you did not register as a resident, you should apply for the new Withdrawal Agreement biometric residency card carta di soggiorno from your local immigration office (questura). You should then register your residency with your local town hall.

Read the Italian government’s guidance on the new Withdrawal Agreement residency document (in Italian).

If you registered as a resident with the town hall before 1 January 2021, you should now request the biometric residency card (carta di soggiorno) from your local questura. You should also request this if you registered under the ‘registro della popolazione temporanea’ (temporary register) using a UK-issued EHIC for your healthcare.


The UK has a double taxation agreement with Italy so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Italy. You can find a tax adviser or business consultant (commercialista) at the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy or Centro Assistenza Fiscale – Tax Assistance Centre (CAF) (in Italian).

Find an English-speaking lawyer in Italy.

Read guidance on:

Declaring your assets

Check if you need to file an annual declaration of overseas assets using the Quadro RW form (part of the annual Unico tax form). There are severe penalties if you do not file, or give incorrect or incomplete information.

You can get more information from a tax adviser or business consultant (commercialista) at the British Chamber of Commerce for Italy or Centro Assistenza Fiscale – Tax Assistance Centre (CAF) in Italian.

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Italy. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Italy.

If you plan to move to Italy and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Italy. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Italy.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

You can check your UK National Insurance record.


UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Italy.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Italian benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Italian social security benefits:


Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Italy.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Italy, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

UK banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Banking in Italy if you were living there before 1 January 2021

If you were resident in Italy before 1 January 2021, you do not need to show your Italian bank a non-EU national residency document (permesso di soggiorno) or a biometric residency card (Withdrawal Agreement carta di soggiorno elettronica).

If your bank requests either of these documents, you can show them the Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI – Italian Banking Association) guidance (in Italian).

The ABI advises that the non-EU national permesso di soggiorno is not issued to UK nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, and the carta di soggiorno is not mandatory.

Accommodation and buying property

UK nationals can buy property or land in Italy whether or not you live there. Read guidance on buying property abroad.

See the visas and residency section for actions you must take if you have guests staying at your property.

If you were living in Italy before 1 January 2021

To purchase property, you do not need a non-EU national residency permit (permesso di soggiorno). You may be asked to prove you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can do this by providing an EU residency document such as:

  • attestato di soggiorno (EU residency document)
  • attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE (EU permanent residency document)
  • certificato di residenza (EU residency certificate)

Alternatively you can provide documents issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, such as:

  • attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica (residency document issued under the Withdrawal Agreement)
  • carta di soggiorno elettronica (biometric residency card issued under the Withdrawal Agreement)

If you are having problems accessing property services, show your public notary this guidance from the Consiglio Nazionale Del Notariato (National Council of Italian Public Notaries) (in Italian).

Driving in Italy

Read the guidance on what actions you must take to drive legally in Italy:

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of obtaining an Italian licence.

If you became resident in Italy on or after 1 January 2023

You can use your valid UK  licence for up to 1 year from the date you became resident.

If you became resident in Italy before 1 January 2023

You cannot drive in Italy using your UK licence. You need to exchange it for an Italian one.

If your UK licence has expired

You cannot use it to drive in Italy. However, you can exchange your UK licence if it expired less than 5 years before you present it for exchange.

Exchanging your UK licence

You can exchange your UK licence for an Italian one without needing to take a test. This follows the Agreement that the UK and Italian governments signed on 23 December 2022 about exchanging driving licences.

How to exchange your UK licence

To exchange your licence, you must book an appointment with your local ‘Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile’ (Motorisation Office, webpage in Italian). When you attend the appointment, make sure you bring the required foreign licence exchange documentation (in Italian), view the section ‘Richiesta conversione patente non comunitaria’. Contact your local Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile for further enquiries about your exchange.

Who can exchange their UK licence

If you became resident in Italy on or before 31 December 2020 you can exchange your UK licence at any time.

If you became resident in Italy on or after 1 January 2021 you can only present your UK licence for exchange within 6 years of becoming resident.

Which UK licences can be exchanged

Your UK licence must be a full, non-provisional and valid licence. You can also exchange an expired full, non-provisional licence, as long as it has not expired for more than 5 years before you present it for exchange.

Age restrictions

There is no age restriction on exchanging your UK licence. However you must meet Italian age requirements for the driving category you’re exchanging to.

UK licences issued by exchange of a licence originally issued elsewhere

If your UK licence was first issued in another country, you can exchange it if that country has a licence exchange agreement or understanding with Italy. If it does not, you will need to take a test to obtain an Italian licence.

Lost or stolen UK licences

If your UK licence is lost or stolen, you must provide a copy of the loss or theft report filed with the Italian police authorities in addition to the other documents. If you cannot provide this report, you will need to take a test to obtain an Italian licence.

Special ID cards

If you hold a Ministry of Foreign Affairs special ID card, you do not need to exchange. You can continue to drive with your UK licence.

Licences issued in Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey

The guidance on exchanging your licence also applies to:

  • full, non-provisional and valid licences issued in Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey
  • any licence issued from Gibraltar, Jersey and Guernsey that expired less than 5 years before you present it for exchange

You cannot exchange expired driving licences from the Isle of Man.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Italy, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Italian disabled parking card (in Italian). Go to your local health department (ASL) legal medical office to get a medical certificate proving your right to the disabled parking card. Then you must ask the Mayor of your Municipality for the disabled parking card.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Italy

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

You cannot drive a non-Italian registered car in Italy after you have been resident in Italy for 90 days or more.

If you move to Italy with your UK-registered car, you must register your car with Italian licence plates within 90 days of being officially resident in Italy. If you do not do this, your car may be impounded.

As soon as you start the process of registering your car in Italy, you will not be able to use your car until you get your new documentation and licence plates.

For more information, read Art. 93-bis of the Italian Highway Code (in Italian) and contact an Ufficio Motorizzazione Civile (in Italian).

Driving outside Italy with an Italian licence

You can use your Italian licence to visit the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Italian licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Italian licence you may need to apply for an IDP.

Read the EU guidance on:


You cannot vote or stand as a candidate in Italian national and local government elections, or in European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Italy, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Italy read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Italy.


If you’re moving to Italy with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:


Dial the European emergency number 112 in Italy for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial:

  • 113 for police
  • 115 for fire brigade
  • 118 for first aid

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in any EU country.

If your child is at risk of being, or has been, abducted read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the Italian Ministry of Justice guidance on child abduction (in Italian); the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

Read the guidance if you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Italy.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Rome or the British Consulate General in Milan.

Returning to the UK

Tell the Italian and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently. To help prove you are now living in the UK, de-register with:

To move your Italian pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre and the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) (in Italian). You must also contact the Agenzia delle Entrate before you return to the UK.

If you get healthcare in Italy through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Contact us through our web form if you have a specific question on living in Italy.

Contact the British Consulate General Milan

Contact the British Embassy Rome

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