Published: 19/11/2020 By The Abode Team
If you're a British citizen living in Italy, you can continue life in your adopted country after the Brexit transition period ends on the 31st of December. But that doesn't mean you can relax entirely just yet. You'll need to take some action to keep all your rights and access to services. This guide, tells you what you need to do in four key areas; residency, healthcare, travel and driving.
1. Registering your residency
If you're a UK national who is legally living in Italy before 31 December 2020 your right to live in Italy will be protected.
Anyone who wants to stay in Italy for more than three months must register as an Italian resident with their local town hall or comune. Once registered, you can apply for an attestazione di regolarità di soggiorno (declaration of legal residence).
If you’ve been living in Italy for more than five years, you should hold an attestazione di soggiorno permanente.
There is a new document – the attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica – that all UK nationals in Italy are now advised to get from their town hall. This applies even if you already have another residency document. That’s because only the new ‘attestazione’ specifically states that you’re covered by the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. If you have non-EU family members, they should also get it.
'The Italian government has been very clear that it wants British nationals living here to stay and they have advised that UK nationals should try to register their residency by the end of the year if you haven’t done so already,” said Jill Morris, the British Ambassador to Italy. “The new Withdrawal Agreement ‘attestazione’ which has been made available is further proof of your status under the Withdrawal Agreement.”
If you have difficulty registering or getting the new ‘attestazione’, get in touch with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which is working with the UK government to support UK nationals on residency (E - UKnationalsIT@om.int or freephone: 800684884)
2. Ensuring you’re registered for healthcare
If you’re living in Italy before the end of 2020, you’ll have a life-long right to access healthcare in Italy, as you do now, for as long as you remain resident. You need to register with the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN) through your local health authority (Azienda Sanitaria Locale – ASL) after registering your residency. You'll need to meet certain requirements to be able to register. Once you're registered, emergency care, GP appointments and hospital admissions will be free – but you might still have to make a co-payment (commonly called 'ticket') to use other parts of the healthcare system.
You can register for free if:
You have a work contract, are self-employed in Italy or are an immediate family member of someone who is.
You’re an immediate family member of an Italian citizen.
You hold an Attestazione di Soggiorno Permanente
You become unemployed after having worked in Italy, and register on the employment lists (liste di collocamento). This also applies if you register for a professional training course while unemployed.
You hold a UK social security form, such as an S1 form for pensioners.
If you don’t fit into one of these categories, depending on where in Italy you live, you may be able to register for healthcare by paying an annual fee – contact your ASL for more information or, alternatively, take out private health insurance.
3. Checking you're ready for trouble-free travel
From 1 January 2021, you'll need six months left on your passport to travel within Europe (be aware that any extra months you had added to your passport's validity when renewing it early last time won't count towards this). You can check your passport's validity here to know for sure if you need to renew it before booking a trip. This new rule applies to children's passports, as well as adults, and applies for travel to most European countries. It doesn't apply for Ireland. Equally, it doesn’t apply if, as a resident of Italy under the Withdrawal Agreement, you want to enter or transit to Italy.
4. Exchanging your driving licence
If you still have a UK driving licence, you should exchange it for an Italian licence before 31st December. After that, the rules on driving licence recognition could change – meaning you could end up having to re-sit your test. You can exchange a UK driving licence at an agency of Italy’s Ministry of Transport.
STAYING UP TO DATE
You can sign for emails with the latest official UK government updates about these topics in Italy. Since 2017, British embassies across Europe have organised 853 Brexit-related outreach events, with more than 510,000 Brits attending in person or online. The Embassy in Italy regularly engages with British community groups, shares information on their social media pages, and hosts regular Q&A sessions for UK nationals in Italy. Sessions are announced both on Facebook and on this government page. Get all the latest official guidance for UK nationals in Italy on these topics and more by visiting the UK government's Living in Italy web page - Living in Italy.