A complete guide on moving to Italy from the UK

Moving to Italy after Brexit is easy. Learn everything about visas and living in Italy in this guide.


6 minute read
Updated on 20 Dec 2023

Warm weather, a laid-back lifestyle, beautiful architecture, and delicious food are reasons why 67,000 British citizens have chosen Italy as their new home. If you're keen on moving to Italy in 2022, you should know how the new rules affect you.

Below we'll share advice on:

  • Moving to Italy - getting your visa and residence permit
  • Living in Italy - sorting out your healthcare, driving license, taxes, and retirement plans

Can I still move to Italy after Brexit?

British citizens can still move to Italy after Brexit. You can travel to Italy visa-free for a total of 90 days within a 180 day period.

You’ll need a visa and a residence permit if you're going to Italy for work, study, family reunification, or a simple visit of more than 90 days.

There're a variety of immigration routes available that you can use to move to Italy after Brexit, as you'll see below.

What are the types of visas for Italy?

Italy offers a variety of visas, each with its own set of fees and conditions.

  • Work Visa: Those who have already received a job offer from a company in Italy can apply for a work visa to enter Italy.
  • Student Visa: It’s open to students over the age of 18 who’re already enrolled in an Italian educational institution.
  • Family Visa: UK citizens can join a family member that holds an EU citizenship or permanent residence status in Italy. Long-term partners are also considered as family members and they're required to prove that they're in a long-term and stable relationship.
  • Self-employed Visa: It’s available to whoever wishes to open a business or be self-employed in Italy.
  • National visa or elective residency visa: This type of visa is designed for those who want to live in Italy and can financially support themselves without working. Although it is commonly referred regarded as a retirement visa, it’s not restricted to retirees.
  • Golden Visa: Also known as Italian Investor Visa, this is for those who intend to make a large investment in or donate to Italy.

What are the requirements for applying for an Italian visa?

All Italy visa applications require the below documents:

In addition to these, you’ll need to submit specific documents depending on the type of visa you're applying for. Please check these specific requirements as the costs and documents differ depending on your type of visa.

How long does the visa application process take?

The typical processing time for a visa application is 3 weeks to 3 months. In case of complications, we recommend that you apply for your Italian visa 3 months before your intended date of travel.

Once you obtain a visa for your stay in Italy, you’ll be permitted to enter the country. Once in Italy, you'll need to apply for a residency permit no longer than 8 days after your arrival date.

What is the process for obtaining an Italian residence permit?

To apply for an Italian residence permit as a British citizen, do the following:

  • Submit a residence permit application at any post office where there’s a “Sportello Amico” counter
  • Fill up some paperwork called “The Kit” to get your appointment at the police station (Questura)
  • Go to the police station on the day of the appointment and bring the required documents along with your Italian visa.

How long is an Italian residence permit valid for?

The type of residence permit you receive depends on the type of long-stay visa you hold.

Here're the most common types of residence permits and their validity:

Purpose of residence permitValidity
Seasonal work6-9 months
Academic1 year
Regular employmentUp to 2 years
Family reunification2 years
Golden Visa2 years

How long does it take to get an Italian residence permit?

You’ll be able to receive your Italian residence permit within 4-6 weeks starting from the date of your application. It can take up to 3 months for a permanent residence permit.

Living in Italy after Brexit

After all your paperwork is sorted out, it's important to know what to expect from living in Italy as a British citizen. Here’re some things you’ll need to arrange:


Healthcare in Italy is efficient and mostly free. After you’ve registered as a resident, you’ll be able to have access to the national health system.

If you’re employed or self-employed, you can register for free state healthcare, also known as “iscrizione obbligatoria”. However, if you’re not working or paying social security contributions, you should register with the national health system by paying a fee, known as “iscrizione volontaria”.

If you don’t register with the Italian health system through one of the above methods, you can still sign up for private health insurance.

Driving Licence

If you’ve got a UK driving licence issued by the mainland, you can continue to use it in Italy for a limited period:

  • If you become an Italian resident after January 1, 2022: you can use your valid UK license for a year from the date you become a resident. You’ll be required to take a driving test (in Italian) to exchange your driving licence.
  • If you became an Italian resident before January 1, 2022: you can keep your UK license until December 31, 2022. After this date, you must exchange your license for an Italian one and you’ll be required to take a driving test in Italian.
  • If you already exchanged your UK driving licence for an Italian one before January 1, 2021, there’s no need to take a driving test.

If you lose your driving licence or need to renew it, you’ll need to exchange your British driving licence for an Italian one.

If your British driving licence was not issued by the mainland, you’ll need to exchange it for an Italian one.


Taxes in Italy are progressive, ranging from 23% to 43%. In addition, regional (0.9% to 1.4%) and local taxes (0.1% to 0.8%) are also imposed.

The Italian tax year runs from the 1st of January and ends on the 31st of December. Italians follow the “Modello Redditi'' which is a model that defines the tax filing deadline on the 30th of November. For this reason, taxes are paid in advance in Italy (40% of the yearly tax is paid in June, and the remaining 60% is paid in November).

Missing any of the deadlines results in a minimum fine of €250, with a potential increase from 120% to 240%.

Good news: The UK and Italy have reached a double taxation agreement, which means that you don’t pay taxes in both countries on the same income.

Retirement plans

The best option for British citizens wanting to retire in Italy is to apply for an elective residency visa. To be eligible for this visa, you must show to have enough money to support yourself.

Here're the requirements to obtain a visa:

  • A single person must earn at least €31,000 per year, while a married couple must earn at least €38,000 per year
  • Proof of address, which can be either owned or leased
  • Proof of health insurance, with a minimum coverage of €30,000 and coverage for all medical expenses.
  • Certificates of Civil Status (marriage and birth certificates)
  • Evidence of a clean criminal record in your home country

How to get a permanent residence permit in Italy?

After living 5 continuous years in Italy, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. You need to:

  • Prove that you’ve sufficient funds (at least €448.52p/m) or proof of employment
  • Pass the Italian CILS exam showing that you’re proficient in Italian (B1 Level and above) and that you know the culture and customs.
  • Show proof that you’ve no criminal record during your time in Italy.

How to get Italian citizenship as a British citizen?

Love it in Italy and want to become an Italian citizen? There’re 3 primary paths to gaining Italian citizenship:

  • Descent: if you can prove legitimate ancestral relations
  • Marriage to an Italian citizen: after you’ve been married for 2 years (if residing in Italy), 3 years (if residing outside of Italy), or 1 year if you’ve minor children together
  • Naturalization: after you’ve spent 10 consecutive years in Italy

You can have dual citizenship as both Italy and the U.K. allow that despite Brexit.

Dual citizenship provides U.K. citizens with many advantages:

  • The ability to work and reside in Italy and other 27 EU countries without requiring a visa
  • Access to Italian health care
  • Access to educational benefits such as paying Italian fees and not being subject to fees for foreigners
  • The ability to automatically grant Italian and EU citizenship to any children under the age of 18

For those thinking of moving to Italy after Brexit, this guide should have answered all your questions! Good luck in starting your new adventure!

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