Moving to Italy: your relocation checklist

Federica

Updated on Jul 15 • 9 minute read

If you’re moving to Italy, you’ll quickly discover that a picturesque, art-infused locale awaits. Filled with inspired choices, such as Milan or Florence, there are several world-class universities, promising internships or positions at innovative startups and multinational corporations.

But before boarding a plane, it’s imperative that you research all of the regulations and requirements for moving to Italy. Do yourself a favor and make relocating abroad as stress-free as possible. Did someone say ‘relocation checklist’? We’ve packed this guide with top tips and tricks to make your move to Italy simple and smooth. Before long, you’ll be finding housing, packing your bags and getting ready to explore your new home-from-home in one of the best places to live in Italy.

Your checklist for moving to Italy

Before making your dreams of a meditterranean lifestyle come true, you need to get your ducks in a row. to-do lists are borung, but you’ll never want to move without them.

Some parts of the moving abroad process really shouldn't be underestimated, such as applying for a visa or making appointments for getting your Tax Identification Number.

Here's your general checklist for moving to Italy:

  • 1. Plan your budget
  • 2. Check your documents
  • 3. Get a suitable visa
  • 4. Keep track of deadlines
  • 5. Book appointments to de/register
  • 6. Make health insurance arrangements
  • 7. Get your Italian Tax ID (Codice Fiscale)
  • 8. Open an Italian bank account
  • 9. Evaluate your insurance
  • 10. Find your accommodation
  • 11. Terminate/sublet your current home
  • 12. Cancel your memberships
  • 13. Change phone contract
  • 14. Cancel/register utilities
  • 15. Make backup copies
  • 16. Familiarise yourself with Italy

Now, let's fill in some details for your checklist for moving to Italy. Make sure to adapt the checklist to your situation, so you’re completely prepared for your move:

1. Denaro, Denaro, Denaro: Unfortunately, moving abroad isn’t cheap! Make sure you have an accurate overview of your financial situation beforehand and how much money you should keep on the side for your move. Make sure you have more than the minimum amount, so you can account for unforeseen circumstances. Also, check out the average salaries for your (future) industry in Italy!

2. Check your documents: Ask yourself: what is the expiry date of my documents? such as my driving license, identity card, or passport? Your opportunity to brush up on all the documents you’ll need to make your move. Don't forget to prepare documents for your pets, if you're bringing them along for the adventure!

3. Visa: If you're moving to Italy from the EU, chances are you've been lucky here. The situation looks different when you move from the USA to Italy. Which visa do you need to enter Italy and what are the requirements? Make sure you have the right visa, depending if you’re intending to stay for work or studies.

4. Deadlines: Get an overview of all upcoming deadlines. Which timings do I have to meet for my visa? When do I have to enroll in my university courses? What information or documentation does my Italian employer require?

5. Offices: As your center of life is shifting, you should book an appointment at the municipality in your new city to register. In Italy, you need to register your new place with the municipality so you pay the right amount of taxes.

6. Health insurance: Most expats and students from EU countries can relax here: typically, you’re covered internationally by your home health insurance. Are you staying in Italy permanently? Then make sure you take part in the Italian public health insurance program. Foreign nationals should pay a visit to the nearest local health authority, the Aziende Sanitaria Locale (ASL), and register with a doctor.

7. Tax ID: Make sure you prepare to get your Tax ID. You can get this ID when you arrive in Italy, but if you want to be super prepared, make sure you ask your local Italian consulate or embassy about the Codice Fiscale. You’ll be in contact with them about your Visa anyway!

7. Bank: Contact your bank and check whether your debit/credit card also works in Italy. This will help you make your payments until you can open your own Italian bank account.

8. Insurance: Which types of insurance do I need in Italy and to what extent am I covered by my existing insurance schemes?

9. Finding accommodation: Possibly one of the most important things on your checklist! Take some time to learn about the neighbourhoods in your new city. To prevent falling for scammers, you should search for accommodation on a safe platform like HousingAnywhere. You can rent your new place from abroad, with protection of your rental payments until after you move in!

10. Termination of apartment/ subletting: Do you want to return to your old place after you've lived in Italy? Then list your place online and look for a subtenant. Make sure you talk to your landlord about your options, before you do!

11. Cancel memberships: Luckily, by moving abroad, you normally receive a special termination clause for your fitness or hobby club that allows you to terminate your contract without any early termination fees.

12. Phone: Does my phone also work abroad? Coming from an EU country, your internet will also work in Italy. However, things look different coming from the USA or other non-EU countries. Your best option may be to switch to a local telephone contract in Italy.

13. Cancel/register utilities: If you are moving out of your flat for good, you should cancel your old contracts and choose utility providers for your new home in Italy - if they are not already included in your rental price.

14. Backup copies: Make a photocopy of important documents that you can carry with you.

15. Get to know Italy : Finally, to boost your enthusiasm about the country, try to get the hang of the country a little and maybe even learn a word or two in Italian! Watch an Italian movie with subtitles or sign up for a penpal site to make some friends in Italy in advance!

Finalize your university, internship or employment choices

Before throwing yourself into living arrangements, you’ll need to finalize your placements. Of course, this includes deciding on a university, looking into open internships or finding a ladder-climbing position at a successful Italian company. Be sure that you’ve received your acceptance letter, or have been formally offered a position in writing before signing lease agreements and buying your airplane tickets!

Find the perfect housing

Housing is in high demand throughout Italy, especially in more prominent cities such as Rome, Milan, Florence and Turin. Therefore, as soon as you have verification from your selected university, internship or employment, you should begin to search for accommodation, pronto!

The first thing that you’ll need to do is assess your budget for moving abroad. Remember that there are always more monthly expenses than rent.

When you’re looking over the rental agreement, note if utilities are included. If not, you can expect to pay for:

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Wi-Fi

When you begin to search for housing, the typical choices that you will have include:

  • Staying in a student dorm (if you’re studying at a university)
  • Sharing an apartment with friends, other students or co-workers
  • Renting a private room

Residency Requirements for Italy

Residency requirements are different for every country, regardless of their geographic location. Luckily for you, the residency requirements for Italy are pretty straightforward, and you should have no foreseeable problems, as long as you have the right documentation and carefully follow government regulations.

If you plan to stay for more than three months in Italy, you will need to register your residence and apply for a permit with the office of Anagrafe in your municipality. This will also be needed when getting a bank account or a variety of other necessities while you’re in Italy.

To register at the Anagrafe, the following documents are required:

  • A completed application form
  • Proof that you have obtained housing (e.g a rental contract)
  • ID card or passport
  • Valid health insurance
  • Four passport-sized photographs
  • Proof that you can sustain yourself financially during your time in Italy
  • Work contracts or offers
  • Bank account paperwork
  • Documentation illustrating how you will receive a financial allowance while abroad

You will also need a tax number, which is similar to a social security number. Once you have registered, then you can visit the tax office in your municipality with your passport and fill out the tax number form. You will receive the number on the spot, and an official card will be mailed to you.

Student Visas and Work Permits

There are several different visas and permits that may be required during your stay in Italy. The following information will help you decide which one pertains to your individual situation and needs.

Students

If you are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, then you will not need a visa. However, you will receive a registration certificate when you register your residence, which is valid for up to five years and is detailed above. If you are from any other countries, then you will need a residence permit and a student permit, which you must register for within eight days of your arrival in Italy.

Schengen Visa

Schengen is a collection of countries within the European Union, which enables easy travel from one country to another within this area, without needing a passport. If you have a visa from the Schengen area, you can stay for a determined amount of time without worrying about any other visas or applications.

The documents required to apply for a Schengen Visa include:

  • Two visa application forms - Sign at the bottom, and always answer truthfully; any incorrect answers delay the visa.
  • Valid passport - Must have been issued within the last 10 years and have at least three months until expiration.
  • Two copies of a passport-sized photo - Must have been taken in the last three months.
  • Copy of passport data - Include your passport’s biometric data.
  • Previous passports - Produce any previous passports that you still have.
  • Proof of roundtrip transportation - Provide your flight information both in and out of the Schengen area.
  • Proof of residency - Supply proof that you are a current resident of your home country.
  • Insurance - Submit proof of travel medical insurance up to €30,000.
  • Payment - Visa fee is €60.
  • Financial verification - Proof that can include a scholarship of at least €631 a month, three months’ worth of bank statements or financial sponsorship.
  • Proof of housing - Must have confirmation from a dorm, a letter that you’ll be staying with a relative or a rental agreement.
  • Acceptance letter from a university in the European Union - Must include your name along with the length and type of program.
  • Academic qualifications - Provide academic records or a diploma to show that you meet the requirements of the university’s program.

Quick Tip: Remember that this is only a short-term visa lasting up to three months. This is the simplest option for short stays, but keep in mind that it will not cover an entire semester.

D Visa

The D Visa is for long-term stays and is rather easy to obtain; it is the obvious option for those studying in Italy for more than three months. However, your degree course will need to include a total of 80 hours per month. Along with your application, you will need to supply:

  • Valid passport and other travel documents
  • Recent photo that is passport-sized
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Letter of acceptance from a university in Italy
  • Proof of financial income or sponsored financial support totaling €900 per month
  • Valid health insurance
  • Copy of current diploma

If your home country is a part of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, then you’re in luck, because you will not be required to apply for a work permit. If you do come from a country outside of these areas, then the documentation required to apply for any work visas will include:

  • Completed visa application form with any applicable fees
  • Medical certificate to show that you are healthy
  • Employment contract or signed offer
  • Valid passport or travel documents
  • Recent passport-sized photo
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy
  • Incoming and outgoing flight itineraries
  • Copy of birth certificate, translated to Italian
  • Nulla Osta (offer and proof of employment from the employer)

For regular work visas in Italy, the employer must first make a request to the ISD (Immigration Single Desk). The visa request must then be made by the individual in their home country.

Individuals may also apply for similar self-employed visas. Additionally, highly skilled workers may apply for the EU Blue Card before entering Italy, and then may seek employment once there.

Quick Tip: As you prepare to move to Italy, it’s important that you gather all of the required documents before you leave your home country. If one is missing or lost, it is a lot easier and quicker to visit a local office to get a replacement, rather than attempt to do so via a website or mail.

Look Into Health Insurance

Just as it is important to stay healthy at home, it is paramount to be sure that an illness or injury doesn’t set you back while you’re living abroad. The best way to do so? Ensure that you have the adequate (and required) health insurance.

The good news is that things are quite simple when it comes to health insurance in Italy. If you are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, then you will be seamlessly covered by your regular health insurance plan. Simply bring your European Health Insurance Card and utilize it whenever you are in need of medical services.

If your home country is elsewhere, then you will need to apply for an Italian health insurance card after you have your residency permit and your identity card. Additionally, private healthcare is available, but at a premium. If you do find yourself in the case of a medical emergency while in Italy, you should dial 118. However, if you do not speak Italian, you can also call 112, which is the emergency services number for all of Europe.

So now that you have completely read through all the helpful tips of this relocation checklist, you can really start to begin dreaming of moving to Italy. There will be delicious, inexpensive foods in Pisa to sample, breathtaking pieces of art and a vibrant culture known for its friendliness, openness and diversity.

That’s right, it’s officially time to book a place in Italy! Whether you move to a bustling metropolis, a quieter city along a sparkling waterway, a town with views of the Alps or Dolomites, you are sure to gain a suitcase full of memories and experiences that you will remember for a lifetime.

Benvenuto in Italia!

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