Italian government guidance for Brits in Italy


Italian government decree sets out details of residency, healthcare rules.

As Brexit looms and many British nationals living in Italy are unsure of how they will be affected, the Italian government has issued a decree outlining emergency measures to be implemented if the UK leaves the EU without a deal – the so-called “hard Brexit”.

British nationals registered as residents in Italy are not currently required to obtain a new non-EU residency permit. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, they should obtain a new non-EU residence permit before 31 December 2020, states the decree.

Those who have lived in Italy for 5 years or more will be eligible for a permanent residence permit. If you have been living in Italy for less than 5 years you will be eligible for a temporary permit. Temporary resident permits will be valid for 5 years.

Both types of residence permits will protect your rights, including access to healthcare, right to work and access to social benefits. UK nationals will need to attend their local police station in person to obtain the new residence permit before December 2020. Your current EU residency certificate (either temporary or permanent) will remain valid until you have obtained your new one.

The decree also confirms that the Italian government is committed to providing healthcare for S1 and S2 holders until 31 December 2020 for those who have previously paid into two systems before the UK leaves the EU.

The S1 is a certificate of entitlement to healthcare if you don't live in the country where you are insured. It is useful for posted workers, cross-border workers, pensioners and civil servants and their dependants. The S2 is the authorisation to obtain planned health treatment in another EU or EFTA country. You should be treated the same as a resident of that country – but you may have to pay a percentage of the costs up front (known in Italian as a “ticket”).

If you are a UK national applying for Italian citizenship and you have the required 4 years of residency in Italy before the date of the UK leaving the EU, your Italian citizenship application will be considered on the basis of EU nationality until 31 December 2020.

The full text of the decree (in Italian) is available on this page of Italy’s Gazzetta Ufficiale.

Already last December, the Italian government had confirmed that it will fully implement the rights in article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. It would apply a “declaratory procedure” that will recognise the rights of all UK nationals legally resident in Italy before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

This, said the Italian government, is a simple and quick way of protecting the tens of thousands of Britons who have chosen to live in Italy, in line with “the open and constructive dialogue launched with the British authorities to fully protect the rights of Italian citizens living in the United Kingdom.”

The British embassy in Rome provides more guidance on this and other matters of interest to British nationals on their page Living in Italy.