Are you poised in readiness for Brexit? Readiness is defined as ‘the state of being fully prepared for something’ and/or ‘a willingness to do something’. We could say that the UK does not meet defintion 1 and the EU probably doesn’t meet definition 2. But at this late stage in the game we don’t have time to think of those who dragged us into this. We now have to think about ourselves and ensuring our preparedness for the 31st Dec 2020. With this in mind we are providing some further updates in this November edition of our newsletter.
Studying abroad – but from home because of Covid?
Do you have student children studying in another country where they do not yet have residency, or have friends who do? If so, this could be important information for you and them. A small number of students, mostly in their first year of study abroad but who are studying online from home due to COVID-19, could face problems establishing their residence in the country where their university is situated. This could affect not only their right to go there to study but also their Withdrawal Agreement right to work there when their studies are over.
For more details, and what you might be able to do to protect the students’ position, see the British in Europe explanation here
Worried about crossing borders after this year?
Lots of people are unsure about the rules which will apply to us after December 31 when we cross a border to enter or leave Italy. For the British in Europe summary of the new rules click here
As a reminder – Italy has adopted a declaratory system to implement the Withdrawal Agreement. If you have managed to get the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione take that with you when you travel outside Italy. If you have not then take your ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica di cittadino dell’Unione europea’ or your ‘attestazione di soggiorno permanente’ or if you are a non-EU family member the corresponding ‘carta di soggiorno’. And, of course, your passport!
Banking and financial intermediaries in the UK
We have been in touch with quite a few British in Italy subscribers who have recently been contacted by their UK banks and/or financial intermediaries to explain that they will be unable to work with EU based clients post Brexit. The banks in question are Barclays, Lloyds Group, NatWest, Coutts and the Halifax Group. The contact seems to a bit of a scatter gun approach (except Barclays) so to avoid getting caught out at the last minute, we would suggest that if you are using the services of a UK based financial institution and/or intermediary, but living permanently in Italy, that you contact the various companies to ensure that they are still able to work with you after the 31st December. If not, then you may still have time to look for alternative arrangements before Brexit day.
Yet another application to make – this time for a new UK EHIC card
The UK has just decided that everyone who is entitled to an EHIC card issued by the UK will need to apply for a new one by December 31st because after that date, existing EHIC cards “may no longer be valid”. This only applies to EHIC cards issued by the UK! Remember, though, that EHIC is simply the card entitling the holder to emergency treatment on a temporary visit to an EU country they do not live in, for example when they are on holiday. It does NOT affect your right to medical treatment in Italy IF YOU LIVE HERE PERMANENTLY. So, for example, if you are a UK State Pensioner living in Italy with an S1 form, any medical treatment in Italy will continue to be paid for by the UK under the S1 scheme, not under EHIC (though of course, like all Italians, you will still have to pay for the “ticket”). Nor does a UK EHIC card affect the holder’s right to medical treatment on a visit to the UK.
**Who in Italy can apply for the new UK EHIC card?**
Those living in Italy with an S1 form receiving a UK state pension or other qualifying benefit, and their dependents. (See the next topic for changes to the rules on which benefits qualify for an S1). Frontier workers living in the UK but working in Italy by 31st December 2020 who have an S1 form, as long as they continue to be a frontier worker. UK posted workers who are able to continue their posting after 31st December under Italian immigration law. UK students whose home is in the UK but who are studying in the EEA or Switzerland by 31st December 2020 for the duration of their study period. The card will be limited to enabling treatment in the country of study.
Is there a deadline to apply?
No, but it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible, especially if you are planning to travel in EU/EEA countries over the end of the year or in early 2021. The reason is quite simple – if you do not have the new card you might have difficulty getting treatment after December 31, or it might be difficult to get the UK to reimburse you if you have had to pay for it. Applications are being accepted in phases. All those listed above can apply now except posted workers who have to wait until December.
How do I apply?
At present you can only apply online. Do so here. British in Italy has tried it and it is a very simple process. Other ways of applying will be available “later in the year”. If you have trouble getting a new card or need one urgently call +44 300 330 1350.
Disability benefits – important changes in the right to medical treatment
From January 1st 2021 the UK Government is removing the right of the holders of certain UK disability benefits to receive an S1 form entitling them to medical treatment in the country they live in at the UK’s expense (though S1 holders still pay for the “ticket” where an Italian would have to). We set out the official statement of the changes below. Briefly the UK will no longer issue an S1 form to people who have not applied for or received one of the affected benefits by 31st December 2020, but there are transitional arrangements to protect those who already get, or have applied for, the benefit in question. The benefits affected are:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
- Carers Allowance (CA)
- Attendance Allowance (AA)
The new rules are as follows:
For applications from 1 January 2021, S1 forms will no longer be issued on the basis of exporting PIP, DLA, CA or AA. “Exporting” a benefit means that the benefit is paid by the UK to someone who is not resident there. For individuals who have already been granted a S1 form on the basis of exporting PIP, DLA, CA or AA, they will continue to be covered by this S1 form, even if this is after 31 December 2020 for as long as they export the benefit. For individuals that have been granted a time-limited S1 form, they will be able to apply for renewal for as long as they are still in receipt of one of the benefits in question. For individuals that have already applied for an S1 on the basis of exporting one of the above benefits (PIP, DLA, CA or AA) then an S1 form will be issued providing a person otherwise meets the criteria. For individuals who have not yet applied for an S1 on the basis of exporting one of the above benefits (PIP, DLA, CA or AA), there will be an opportunity to do so by 31 December 2020, before the position changes in 2021. If you are in this category you should apply as soon as possible. If you leave it until after 31 December, you will no longer be able to do so.
** This does not affect those who qualify for an S1 form on the basis of another benefit, such as a UK State Pension. You will still be entitled to the S1 when they get the State Pension, even if this is after 31st December 2020. **
Keep up to date with the British Embassy
The Embassy has published a number of clear and useful guides to citizens’ rights, including how to register as resident. They are also running a series of online Regional roadshows where you can get one-to-one advice. The following information from the Embassy’s website shows how you can keep up to date with their outreach sessions and information.
Upcoming British citizens outreach meetings
23 November 2020 – Live Q&A session on Embassy Facebook page on Healthcare, Benefits and Pensions
For the latest Embassy updates and information events
- visit the British Embassy Italy Facebook page
- read the Living in Italy guide
- sign up to email alerts
- read the Citizens’ Rights information handout
- read the Citizens’ Rights information booklet for UK nationals in Italy
- read the guide on residency registration in Italy
- read the guide on non-EU family members’ rights
We were hoping that we might be able to hang up our boots after the 31st December 2020 and bring this tumultuous ride to an end for the British in Italy team. However, it appears that there may still be some pressing issues to resolve in 2021 and so we will hang around for a little longer to ensure that we keep you informed of anything that may affect you as the UK departs from the EU.
|A MESSAGE FROM JILL MORRIS, HER MAJESTY’S AMBASSADOR |
British Embassy Rome
Issue No. 21 Friday 20 November 2020
| To UK nationals in Italy, |
There have been some important recent announcements from the UK on healthcare, and I want to update you as a UK national living in Italy on your rights to access healthcare here. I would also like to provide a brief update to UK nationals living in Italy who hold an accredited status with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (and are not therefore registered with the town hall), as we are aware there are a number of UK nationals living in Italy with this status including staff employed at the UN agencies in Rome.
Healthcare for UK nationals living in Italy by 31 December 2020
Your rights to access healthcare in Italy will stay the same from 1 January 2021 for as long as you remain resident.
If you have not yet registered for healthcare as a resident in Italy, we strongly encourage you to do so. UK nationals can find further guidance on how to register correctly on our healthcare page on gov.uk.
If you live in Italy and you are entitled to an Italian EHIC (TEAM), your entitlements will continue when you visit the UK or when travelling across the EU both before and after the transition period, as long as you are legally resident in Italy before 31 December 2020 and remain covered under the Withdrawal Agreement.
UK European Health Insurance Card (UK EHIC) for those who live in Italy
From 1 January 2021, UK nationals living in Italy and whose healthcare is currently funded by the UK will continue to be entitled to a UK issued EHIC. These include those claiming a UK state pension, students studying in Italy and others who, under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), will continue to be covered as they are now.
If you fall into one of these groups, you will be able to apply online for a new EHIC, also referred to as Citizens Rights Agreement (CRA) EHIC, to replace your existing card at nhs.uk/ehic. Applications to the new EHIC portal are being opened in phases, and the portal is already open for S1 form holders (pensioners, those in receipt of a qualifying benefit, and their dependants, frontier workers), and students. The portal will be opened for other groups in due course, and we will inform you as soon as possible.
If you are an S1 form holder, we advise you to use the new EHIC portal now to apply for your new EHIC. You can continue to use your current UK-issued EHIC across the EU and EFTA countries as normal until at least 31 December 2020, however your current EHIC may not be valid after this date. There is no deadline for the application, but we recommend that you apply early, especially if you’re planning to travel in EU/EEA countries over the end of the year or in early 2021.
If you are planning to travel, please remember that your EHIC does not replace travel insurance, and you should also ensure you have travel insurance if you are travelling to the EU/EEA.
As an S1 form holder, if you do not receive your new EHIC before you travel to another EU/EFTA country, you can request a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) by calling +44 191 218 1999 if you need any medically necessary treatment. Please see here for more information on UK EHIC rights and obligations.
Information for UK nationals working in Italy with MFA accredited status
As a UK national working in Italy with MFA accredited status, for example as a UK national employed at one of the UN agencies, I want to update you on your rights and to provide you with details of where you can find more information and support.
Your right to continue to live and work in Italy
UK nationals who hold diplomatic or accredited status do not fall under the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the UK and the EU which includes articles on citizens’ rights. That is because these UK nationals have diplomatic status. Your right to live and work in Italy comes from other international treaties including the Vienna Convention. You are therefore not required to register as a resident while living here. Should you wish to register as a resident this is possible, but you should be aware that it may impact your immunities and some privileges. You should discuss your options with your local HR advisor.
If you are accredited with the MFA and therefore not registered as resident in Italy and you are accessing healthcare via a UK-issued S1 (whereby the UK pays for your healthcare) we continue to seek clarity on the future validity of your S1 to access healthcare in Italy. We will keep you updated as more information is made available. We also advise you to discuss your healthcare options with your employer. Future reciprocal healthcare rights for those arriving in Italy from 2021 are part of the current negotiations between the UK and the EU.
Further rights of those with accredited status
There are some rights in Italy that remain to be agreed to ensure they are protected beyond the end of this year. These include the right for all UK nationals (including those with accredited status) to use a UK driving licence in Italy without additional paperwork. We are also keen to reach a reciprocal agreement with Italy that any years spent in Italy under accredited status can be counted towards a future residency application. And we are seeking agreement on the future rights of family members and partners to work in Italy during their family member’s posting.
Please rest assured that we are engaging with the Italian MFA on those rights which are not covered by the Vienna Convention and other relevant international treaties but which were based on the UK’s membership of the EU. We will keep you updated with the latest information we have.
How to stay informed
The British Embassy will continue to issue specific messages to UK nationals who hold diplomatic or accredited status in Italy over the coming weeks. My team also plans to hold further (virtual) outreach events with UN agencies in Rome over the coming months.
All UK nationals can find the very latest information on our Living in Italy page on gov.uk. This remains our key resource for UK nationals. It includes details on residency, healthcare and benefits, pensions, driving licences and how to get in touch with us.
We will be holding more live Q & A events for UK nationals on Facebook. Please do join us if you can.
And we have just launched a ‘Registration Roadshow’ for UK nationals across Italy. Each roadshow, hosted with our UK Nationals Support Fund partner the International Organisation for Migration, is held for a specific region or city in Italy and you can sign up for a one-to-one session with our policy experts via our Facebook channel.
My warm wishes to you and your family and friends.
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy
20th November, 2020
UK National living in Italy?
Do you want to know more about your healthcare rights after the end of the transition period? Or do you have a question about your benefits or your future pension rights?
The British Embassy Rome will be hosting a Q & A session on healthcare, benefits and pensions on Monday 23 November. During this time you can post a question and our panel will try to answer as many questions as possible during the live session. After the event we’ll publish some information in response to those questions we didn’t have time to answer.
To connect to the live session, open our Facebook page on 23 November at 16:00 and watch the live video in the posts section.
Please note that this event is targeted at healthcare and benefits/pensions. Only questions related to this topic will be considered.
If you have a question about the Covid-19 pandemic including measures Italy has in place, please consult our Travel Advice page on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy
If you have a citizens’ rights question concerning another topic, please do look at our Living in Italy page on www.gov.uk/livinginitaly. Look out too for our future sessions which will cover other areas.
To help us answer as many questions as possible during the live session please submit single questions only.
We look forward to hearing from you!
British Embassy Rome
27th October, 2020
If you know any UK citizens who have recently arrived in Italy, please share with them this very helpful Q&A session with staff from the British Embassy in Rome:
Thank you to everyone who joined our latest Q & A event for UK nationals. We focused our session on those newly arrived in Italy or thinking of moving to Italy.
You can find below a selection of the questions raised as well as some of those we were unable to answer during the live session itself.
Please check our Living in Italy guide for more information. You can find details there on how to register your residency, on healthcare access and on what actions you need to take before 31 December if you wish to settle in Italy.
If you have difficulties in registering or in obtaining the new attestazione you can also get in touch with the International Organization for Migration (IOM): UKnationalsIT@iom.int – tel. 800 684884
Q. I am thinking of moving to Italy. If I do it this year will I enjoy lifelong rights in Italy after the end of the transition period?
A. During this year, UK nationals are able to live, work and travel in Italy as they did before the UK left the EU.
Provided you are lawfully resident in Italy before the end of the transition period, you will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.
You should try to register your residency in Italy by 31 December to secure your rights as a resident here. If you are unable to register you should ensure you keep evidence of living in Italy this year such as a work contract, rental contact, utility bills, bank statements etc.
Further information on applying for residency in Italy is available on the Living in Italy guide.
If you move your official residency to Italy this could have implications on your entitlements to healthcare and other benefits in the UK. You may not maintain the same access to benefits and services in the UK.
Further information on the Withdrawal Agreement is available here.
Q. I have a second property in Italy and spend half the year here. Do I need to spend a certain amount of time in Italy to have a residency status that is recognised?
A. If you are lawfully living in Italy by 31 December you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Your rights will be protected for as long as you remain lawfully living in Italy. You should register for residency as soon as you can. Italy requires you to register if you are staying in Italy for longer than 90 days.
If you register as a resident you will hold a residency status of an ‘ordinary’ (or temporary) resident. As an ordinary resident you will need to be present in the country for 183 days in a 365 day period otherwise you will break your residency status. These days do not have to be consecutive. By following these guidelines, you will build up continuous residency, which is measured in years. If over five years, if you have been in Italy for 183 days total across 365 days for five consecutive years, you will qualify for Permanent Residency.
As a permanent resident under the Withdrawal Agreement you are able to be absent from Italy for up to five years without losing your permanent residency status and your status under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Further information on applying for residency in Italy is available on our Living in Italy guide.
Q. I have just arrived in Italy. What are the first things I need to do to ensure my rights are protected here?
A. You should apply for a Codice Fiscale (tax code) from the Italian ‘Agenzia delle Entrate’ if don’t have one already.
If you are not working or self-employed or your healthcare is not covered by the UK (for example you are not an S1 holder) you should obtain some form of health cover. In some regions you will be able to pay an annual fee to obtain healthcare cover, called ‘Iscrizione Volontaria’, or you may need a private health insurance policy.
You should register your residency – called ‘iscrizione anagrafica’ – with your local town hall or ‘comune’. Please check with your town hall what exact documentation you will need. This will depend on which route you are using to register as a resident (employed, self-employed, retired, financially self-sufficient, student etc.).
The local police will then visit the address that you have declared as your place of residence to check you live there.
After 45 days from your date of application you have the right to obtain your residency document if you haven’t already been issued with it. Your date of residency will start from the date of your application.
Once you have registered your residency you should request the new attestazione issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’). The document should include the words “Ai sensi dell’art.18.4 dell’Accordo sul recesso del Regno Unito e dell’Irlanda del Nord dall’Unione Europea e del decreto legislativo del 6 febbraio 2007, n. 30”.
If you need help in registering your residency or in obtaining the new attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica, please get in touch with the International Organization for Migration IOM, their details are on the Living in Italy guide (and see above).
Q. I don’t think I will arrive in Italy this year due to the restrictions on travel as a result of the Covid pandemic. Can I apply for residency in Italy remotely?
A. You cannot apply for residency remotely as the local police will check that you live where you say you do.
To be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement you need to be able to evidence that you are lawfully living in Italy before 31 December. You should try to register your residency by this date. If you are unable to do so you should try to start the process and keep evidence of living in Italy by 31 December such as a work contract, rental contract, payment of utility bills etc.
Q. I have no idea how to register my residency in Italy. It seems so complicated! Where can I find more information?
A. You can find information on how to register your residency on our Living in Italy page. You can also find there the Italian government’s guidance on residency registration in English as well as guidance issued to town halls by the Italian Association of Town Halls on registering UK nationals. You can also contact the International Organization for Migration IOM if you have difficulties, they provide hands-on support for UK Nationals trying to register their residency in Italy.
Once registered you should obtain the new ‘attestazione’ issued under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can find the Italian circular announcing this attestazione on our Living in Italy page. This includes a template of the document.
We have recently published two ‘How to…’ videos on residency on our UKinItaly Facebook page. These provide a step by step guidance for UK nationals.
Q. When I arrive in Italy I’m going to be staying in a hotel as I haven’t found somewhere to live. Can I still apply for residency? I’m keen to do it before the end of the year.
A. You cannot register your residency using a hotel address (or AirBnB room or apartment). If you are staying in rented accommodation the rental agreement must have your name on it and be a formal, registered contract. If you are staying with friends or family they will need to complete a declaration confirming this.
You should check with your local town hall or ‘comune’ exactly what they require as evidence of your property.
Q. If I arrive in Italy now and register for residency, do I then need to get the new attestazione as a second document? Or is it just one document I need?
A. If you have already registered your residency in Italy you now have the right to obtain the new attestazione from your town hall. It is issued under the Withdrawal Agreement and the document should make reference to it. Do not submit your current residency document to obtain the new attestazione as it can be issued in addition to it.
If you are new to Italy and are in the process of registering your residency, your town hall may issue you with only the new attestazione as your single residency document. That is because it refers to both the relevant EU law under which you are registering your residency and to the Withdrawal Agreement. Or your town hall may issue you first with a residency document issued under EU law and then the new attestazione. Either option is valid.
Please see our Living in Italy guide for more information.
Q. Can I register for healthcare with my local health authority (ASL) before registering my residency?
A. You need to be registered as a resident to access state-funded healthcare in Italy and, at the same time, evidence of your entitlement to health cover is required when you register your residency.
If you’re employed or self-employed you have an automatic entitlement to register with the national health system. This is called ‘iscrizione obbligatoria’. Your work contract and/or last payslip and/or declaration from your employer will be evidence of your health cover when you register your residency or, if you are self-employed, evidence of registration to Chamber of Commerce or another professional order and VAT (aperture Partita IVA) or Social Security institute registration (apertura posizione INPS).
If you are not employed in Italy, evidence of health cover could be your UK S1 form. You are entitled to an S1 form if you claim an exportable UK state pension or another qualifying UK benefit, or you are a dependant of someone who does.
Q. How can I access state-funded healthcare in Italy if I don’t work and I don’t pay social security contributions in Italy?
A. You may be able to register with ‘Iscrizione Volontaria’ by paying an annual fee, if you don’t qualify under other entitlements. This depends on the region of Italy you live in.
The fee covers one calendar year, from 1 January to 31 December, and each annual payment will also cover family dependants. Your ASL will tell you how much and how to pay, on the basis of previous year’s income, with a minimum fee of € 387,34 up to € 2.788,86.
Please note that you will not be asked to provide evidence of pre-existing health conditions when applying. Your payment receipt should be sufficient evidence of healthcare cover when registering your residency, but this might depend on where you live. Ask your Town Hall for more information.
You are then able to complete your healthcare registration with your ASL. You will be entitled to register with a GP and you will receive an Italian health card for use in Italy. You will not be entitled to an Italian EHIC (TEAM) but you might qualify for co-payments exemption (‘esenzioni’ ticket) if you meet the requirements, depending on the region where you live.
If you don’t qualify to register for access to state-funded healthcare, when applying for residency you’ll need to take out private health insurance. Your policy will need to be valid across Italy for at least one year and cover all eventualities for you and your family members.
Q. I am a student. What options are available as evidence of health cover if I want to register my residency?
A. As a student you can register with Iscrizione Volontaria by paying an annual fee of € 149.77, depending on the region where you live. This special fee does not cover family members.
If you don’t qualify to register for access to state-funded healthcare, when applying for residency you’ll need to take out private health insurance. Ask your Comune for more information.
If you are a student in Italy before the end of 2020 and you are habitually resident in the UK, you’ll be able to use your student UK-EHIC until the end of your course. From 1 January 2021, your EHIC will only be valid in Italy. However your UK EHIC will not be valid as evidence of health cover when registering your residency.
Q. If I don’t move to Italy until next year, can I still register for residency and be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement?
A. Outside of any negotiated mobility provisions, the European Commission has confirmed that UK nationals who move or travel to a country in the Schengen area after the transition period will be treated as third country nationals under EU and Member State migration rules.
You should explore the precise details and provisions within Italian domestic immigration systems.
If you move to Italy next year you will not be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. Stays of longer than 90 days in 180 days may require a visa and a permit of stay. Please check the Italian government’s website as well as the website of the Italian Consulate in the UK for more information.
British Embassy Rome
from the British Consulate Genoa
- ANCI has published our joint guide for town halls on registering UK nationals. This has been sent to all 7,800 town halls and many have already published it on their website. There is a link to it on our Living in Guide.
- At our lobbying the Italian government has now provided its citizens’ rights webpage in English: as well as English-language guidance on registering. Again these can be found on our Living in Guide.
- Short guidance on the Withdrawal Agreement as well as an explainer has now been published on gov.uk. Links to these will be added to our LiG.
- DWP has published updated lines on how UK nationals in the EU can evidence their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement for UK authorities. This is relevant when providing eligibility for an uprated UK state pension, contribution aggregation, right to export benefits etc. in the absence of a ‘WA residency document’ (dual-nationals).
- The Commission has published a new Your Europe page on citizens’ rights. UK nationals can use a drop down menu to find information on their member state. Information is fairly high level but it is still a useful resource for UK nationals.
Our Communication to UK nationals
- We have now updated our Citizens’ Rights Information Booklet and our Citizens’ Rights Handout. You can find both on our Living in Guide. Please feel free to print out copies for UK nationals.
- We will shortly be publishing two new guides on gov.uk: registering your residency and a guide for non-EU family members of UKNs so please look out for those and feel free to share.
- Our series of 4 ‘How to’ videos for UK nationals is being published on our facebook page. Please do take a look. They cover residency, healthcare and driving licences.
- For information on healthcare registration please continue to signpost UK nationals to the healthcare pages here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-italy. Vitto will shortly be publishing a new guide on registering for healthcare as well.
- On Thursday we officially launch our British Embassy-IOM Registration Roadshow in Bologna. UK nationals can sign up for a 1-2-1 session with an IOM caseworker plus BE Rome staff for an advisory session on residency registration. Next venues include Umbria, Siena, Lucca, Venice. As part of the roadshow we will be holding 1-2-1 meetings with key local authorities in the locations to discuss issues around UKN registration and to seek agreement on joined up communication plans. The Bologna comune has already agreed to publish our poster in key locations after our meeting with them on Monday. I’ll share the poster when it’s ready.
- We will continue to hold live Q & A sessions for UK nationals on a range of issues. So please do join one if you can.
- Look out for Jill’s series of interviews with English language newspapers over the coming weeks on citizens’ rights including Wanted in Rome, The Florentine and The Local.
- In November we will be launching a new campaign within a campaign – Tell A Friend – aimed at Italians in Italy to land our key messages with UKNs via word of mouth. A second element of our campaign will target UKNs in the UK who have friends or family living in Italy.
Geraldine Williams | Regional Consular Policy Advisor – Italy, Malta, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia
British Embassy Rome | Via XX Settembre 80/a | 00187 Rome | Italy
Tel: +39 06 4220 2213 | Mob: +39 346 695 8206 | ECHO: 8350 2213l
To British Nationals in Italy,
From the British Ambassador, Jill Morris CMG
I want to update you on the latest Italian government measures related to Covid-19. And to provide a reminder on Citizens’ Rights of the key actions we are advising UK nationals to take before the end of this year. I also want to provide you with details of where you can find more information and support.
New travel requirements – travelling between Italy and the UK
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) now advises against all non-essential travel from the UK to Italy, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country. If you are returning to the UK from Italy, you will need to self-isolate on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on our Travel Advice page on gov.uk
For those arriving in Italy from the UK, the Italian government requires a negative COVID test. You will be asked to show evidence that you tested negative in a test administered in the 72 hours before your travel. You should not use the NHS testing service in the UK to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test. Alternatively, you can get a free test on arrival at some airports, or at a testing facility in Italy shortly after you arrive. If you test positive within Italy, you will be required to enter quarantine until one negative test has been recorded. Your quarantine may last from 10 days to 3 weeks, so you should be prepared in case you test positive. The same testing requirement is in place for those entering Italy from Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Additionally, if you have stayed in or transited through a small number of listed countries in the 14 days prior to entering Italy, you will be required to self-isolate on entering Italy. If you cannot do that for any reason, then entry to Italy may be refused.
You should download and complete a self-declaration from the Ministry of Interior before you travel to Italy and inform local authorities of your presence.
For more information please see the ‘Entry Requirements’ section in our Italy Travel Advice pages on gov.uk
Latest measures in Italy
Social distancing (at least one metre distance), regular hand hygiene, and the use of masks remain key containment measures. Masks must be worn across Italy in public indoor spaces and outdoors except for isolated spaces (i.e. countryside) where isolation can be maintained at all times. Using a mask is also recommended in private homes in the presence of non- family members. Those who refuse to wear a mask may be fined between €400 and €1,000. Anyone with a temperature of over 37.5° must remain at home and contact the GP.
Parks are open and outdoor exercise is permitted, subject to social distancing. Funerals are permitted to take place with limited attendance. Churches can celebrate mass, weddings and baptisms. Receptions following civil and religious ceremonies are limited to 30 people.
Only six people can sit together at a restaurant, bar or café. These venues must close by midnight and from 1800 can only serve customers who are seated at a table. Seating will be preassigned within theatres, cinemas and concert venues and has been limited to permit social distancing. Dance activity in nightclubs and open air venues has been suspended and parties are not permitted. Museums and archaeological sites are open but entry must be pre-booked.
In-class school and university courses are authorised, with on-line teaching support as available. School trips or guided external visits are suspended. Access to hospitals and clinics by accompanying people is limited and will be approved individually by each hospital.
Lastly, smart/agile working is strongly encouraged.
Regional authorities in Italy are empowered to adjust these measures in keeping with local requirements; regional differences may therefore apply in addition to the restrictions listed above. Measures may also vary between towns; local mayors were recently given powers to close some public spaces from 2100 if they choose.
The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and contains the agreed deal on Citizens’ Rights. It includes a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.
If you are resident in Italy at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Italy. Please read our Living in Italy page on gov.uk for more information.
In the meantime, please make sure you are registered as a resident in Italy. The rules on residency registration remain the same during the transition period. The Italian government has issued guidance on residency registration which you can find on our Living in Italy page in both English and Italian here
If you have already registered as a resident, you now have the right to obtain a new attestazione from your local comune. This new document will be further proof of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. For more information about the new attestazione, please read the Italian Ministry of Interior’s circular (in Italian). It includes a sample of the new document. You should take this to your local comune when requesting it.
In cooperation with the Embassy, the Italian Association of Town Halls (ANCI) has issued new guidance to local town halls on registering UK nationals and on issuing the new attestazione. You can find a copy on our Living in Italy pages and again you may wish to download it and take it with you when you visit your town hall.
UK Nationals Support Fund
The government is funding organisations across the EU to provide practical support to UK nationals who may have difficulty completing their residency application or registration. This support is available only to those who need additional help. This may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties.
In Italy, this practical support is being provided by the International Organisation for Migration. If you or someone you know may have difficulty completing the paperwork, you can contact them on 800 684 884 or by email Uknationalsit@iom.int
How to stay informed
You can find the very latest information on our Living in Italy page on gov.uk. This remains our key resource for UK nationals. It includes details on residency, healthcare and benefits, pensions, driving licences and how to get in touch with us.
We are publishing a new series of ‘How to’ videos on our Facebook page. These cover how to register for residency, obtain the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione, exchange your UK driving licence, and register for healthcare. Please follow us on social media (on Facebook and Twitter) and let us know what you think of our videos.
We will be holding more live Q & A events for UK nationals on facebook. Please do join us if you can.
Lastly, we will shortly be publishing new guides on how to register your residency and how to register for healthcare. Please keep an eye out for these on our social media.
My warm wishes to you and your family and friends.
With warm wishes,
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
From the British Embassy in Rome (17th September)
Thank you to everyone who joined our Facebook live event last week on residency and registration. Our panel included Greta Nonni of the International Organisation for Migration. IOM is our UK Nationals Support Fund implementing partner in Italy and are providing support to UK nationals in registering.
We’ve included a selection of the questions raised below. If you have other questions regarding applying for residency in Italy or about obtaining the new Withdrawal Agreement residency document, or your question on the day was not answered, please consult our Living in Italy guide. You can also get in touch by using our contact form.
If you are experiencing serious challenges in registering or in obtaining the new residency document you can contact IOM by calling 800 684 884 or emailing them at Uknationalsit@iom.int
I am a registered UK national in Italy. I understand there is a new document I need to get. Can you tell me more?
UK nationals living in Italy by 31 December will have their rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You can find out more about the Withdrawal Agreement here.
If you are living in Italy for more than 90 days you need to register your residency with your local town hall (‘comune’). You will receive an ‘attestazione di regolarità di soggiorno’ which is issued under the Italian residency legislation n.30/2007.
If you have been living in Italy for five years or more you can apply for a permanent residency document called an ‘attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE’. This is also issued under Italian legislation n.30/2007.
The Italian government has now made available a new residency document for UK nationals and their family members who are living in Italy by 31 December 2020. You need to have registered your residency before obtaining it.The new document is called the ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ and it refers to Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement. It is also available from your local town hall.To find out more please consult our Living in Italy guide. The Italian government announced the new document via Circular n.3/2020. You can find the circular here.
I am a permanent resident in Italy. My comune told me that I don’t need the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione. What should I do?
The Italian government has made available a new document for UK nationals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement. As a UK national living in Italy before 31 December you have a right to the new document. The new document, called the ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ is important because it refers to your status under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement. Your current residency document does not.
If you have difficulty in obtaining the new attestazione you should highlight the Italian government’s circular n.3/2020 which instructs local town halls on how to issue it.
If you continue to have problems you can contact IOM for support. Their contact details can be found on our Living in Italy page.
I am moving to Italy this year. How do I apply for residency?
You firstly need to obtain a tax code or a ‘codice fiscale’ which you can do from the Italian ‘Agenzia dell’Entrate’ (here).
You can do this before you arrive in Italy. On arrival you should contact your local town hall (‘comune’) for an appointment to register. Please check the website of your town hall for information about the documentation you will need to show. For example, if you are a worker you will need evidence of your employment. Or if you are retired, you will need to show you can support yourself and that you have some form of healthcare. For more information please check the residency section of our Living in Italy guide (see link).
Will I still be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement if I don’t manage to register for residency by 31 December?
The Withdrawal Agreement provides lifelong rights to UK nationals and close family members as long as you are lawfully living in Italy by 31 December. This means that you are either a worker, or self-employed, or economically self-sufficient with healthcare cover or a student who is able to support themselves, again with healthcare cover. As long as you can evidence that you were lawfully living in Italy (under one of these four categories) by the end of the year then your rights will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. You should try to register as soon as you can. It is a legal requirement in Italy to do so. By registering you will have further evidence of lawfully living in Italy. But your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement do not depend on you having done so.
I am an au pair – can I still register for residency in Italy?
Unless you have a work contract (you are paying taxes in Italy) or you can evidence that you are self-employed (via an ‘IVA number’) you will need to register for residency as an economically self-sufficient person. This will require you to prove you can support yourself and that you have some form of healthcare cover. Au-pairs can register for healthcare with the Italian national health system by paying an annual fee of € 219,40, through ‘Iscrizione Volontaria’. Ask your local health authority (ASL) how to apply. For more information on registering for healthcare, please have a look here.
Do I need to obtain a new copy of the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ attestazione if I move from one region of Italy to another?
Our understanding is that you do not need to obtain a second attestazione issued under circular n.3/2020. However we are seeking clarification from the relevant Italian ministry. You should inform your new comune of your arrival. Please check our Living in Italy guide for further updates.
I’m a dual UK-Italian national. Do I need the new ‘Withdrawal Agreement attestazione’?
Dual-nationals who previously exercised their Freedom of Movement rights are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. However, as an Italian citizen you will continue to benefit from your existing free movement rights by virtue of your EU citizenship, this is not subject to the UK leaving the EU and is not dependent on taking any action to secure your status under the Withdrawal Agreement. As such, UK-EU dual-nationals do not need to take further actions to secure residence rights. This is consistent with the approach being taken in the UK where EU citizens, who are also British citizens, cannot apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as they already hold a UK immigration status, i.e. their British citizenship.
However, a UK national in scope (that means lawfully living in Italy by the end of this year) of the Withdrawal Agreement will benefit from other rights under the Withdrawal Agreement as a UK national who has exercised free movement rights. These rights include social security coordination, for example, having contributions made in the UK aggregated with those paid in Italy or other Member States and the right to an uprated UK State Pension, if eligible. Individuals in scope of the social security coordination section of the Withdrawal Agreement are also protected for reciprocal healthcare cover (S1, EHIC and S2 rights) once they start exporting their state pension. This includes state pensioners already benefiting from that cover. Rights to have professional qualifications protected are also covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, provided an application for a recognition decision has been submitted by the end of the transition period. The way in which UK-EU dual nationals will be able to evidence these rights is yet to be determined. As soon as we have more information we will be updating our Living in Italy guide (see link). We would underline that your rights in Italy stem primarily from your Italian or EU citizenship.
If I am working in Italy and then lose my job, will I lose my status under the Withdrawal Agreement and therefore my current residency rights and access to benefits and healthcare?
Article 7 of The Freedom of Movement Directive allows for those who have worked in a Member State, to retain their worker status for six months after becoming involuntarily unemployed.This is protected under the Withdrawal Agreement, meaning that UK nationals can continue to access unemployment benefits in a Member State if they are:- temporarily unable to work as the result of an illness or accident;- duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having been employed for more than one year and has registered as a job-seeker with the relevant employment office;- duly recorded involuntary unemployment after completing a fixed-term employment contract of less than a year or after having become involuntarily unemployed during the first twelve months and has registered as a job-seeker with the relevant employment office. In this case, the status of worker shall be retained for no less than six months;- embarking on vocational training. Unless they are involuntarily unemployed, the retention of the status of worker shall require the training to be related to the previous employment.In Italy if you become unemployed after you have lived and worked in Italy for less than a year, and you register on the unemployment list, you and your dependants will continue to have the right to access healthcare for a period of up to twelve months. If you have lived and worked in Italy for a year or more, you can continue to access healthcare for as long as you remain unemployed, by renewing your registration for healthcare every year.
British Embassy Rome
Advice to British citizens in Genova from Denise Dardani, the UK’s Honorary Consul, as the post-Brexit transition period draws to its end:
A source of useful information is the Living in Italy Guide on Gov.UK which is the “Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Italy. Including guidance on residency, healthcare, passports and the Withdrawal Agreement”.
For UK citizens, I must impress on you the importance of registering at the Comune, as an Italian resident.
What you should do
- register as a resident in Italy (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-italy…)
- register for healthcare as a resident in Italy (http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/home.html and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-italy)
- exchange your UK driving licence for an Italian one (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-italy#driving-in-italy)
If you are resident in Italy before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.
You must register as an Italian resident [https://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/17985b2d0db2288ab785808552 (in Italian)] if you want to stay in Italy for more than 3 months. You will get one of the following from the local town hall or comune:
- an attestazione di regolarità di soggiorno
- an attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica or attestazione di soggiorno permanente (if resident for 5 years or more)
The rules on residency registration remain the same during the transition period. Read the Italian government’s guidance on residency processes for UK nationals (http://www.governo.it/sites/new.governo.it/files/documenti/documenti/Notizie-allegati/governo/BREXIT/ANAGRAFE_vademecum_2020.pdf in Italian).
If you have already registered as a resident and have a residency document, you should obtain the new attestazione from your local comune. This new document will be proof of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
For more information about the new attestazione, read the Italian Ministry of the Interior’s circular (https://dait.interno.gov.it/…/circolare-n3-dell11… in Italian). It includes a sample of the new document. You should take this to your local comune when requesting it.
If you have already been to the Comune and have met with difficulties, do call the Milan British Consulate at: 02 723001.
Alternatively you may contact:The International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
- Hotline: 800 684 884
- Email: UKnationalsit@iom.int
Denise Dardani is also flagging up the launch of a new, four-part ‘How to’ video series for British subjects in Italy.
The first video – How to register for residency – was published today. You can find it here: The next three videos will focus on obtaining the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione, registering for healthcare and exchanging your driving licence. Please feel free to share this with anyone who is likely to be affected by the changes to the UK’s status.
Last week the British Embassy held an on-line Q&A session on ‘Future Travel and Mobility’ for British citizens living and working in Italy. Here, for Brits who missed it, are a selection of the questions, and the Embassy’s answers. Those interested can find more on the Embassy’s FB page.
Please look out for the Embassy’s next session (coming soon) on residency and registration.
Q. I live in the UK but own a second property in Italy, where I spend a significant part of the year. Will I still be able to divide my time between the EU and Italy after the end of the transition period?
A. The EU has already legislated that UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in a rolling 180-day period. This will apply from 1 January 2021 onwards, to all UK nationals travelling to and within the Schengen area for tourism, to visit friends or family, to attend cultural or sports events or exchanges, to attend business meetings, for journalistic or media purposes, for medical treatment, for short-term studies or training or any similar activities. Stays beyond the EU’s 90/180 day visa-free allocation from 1 January 2021 onwards may be possible, but as things stand this will be a decision for the government of the individual Member State to make and implement, in the same way that EU Member States already do for non-EU citizens. To stay for longer than 90 days in a rolling 180-day period, you may need a visa and/or permit from the relevant Member State.
The Travel Advice pages here contain the latest information, including on entry requirements, for UK nationals planning to travel to Europe.We will continue to update those pages with the latest information, including on entry requirements, for UK nationals planning to travel.
Q. I am resident in the UK but I may wish to move to Italy in the future to settle. Will this be possible?
A. Outside of any negotiated mobility provisions, the European Commission has confirmed that UK nationals who move or travel to a country in the Schengen area after the transition period will be treated as third country nationals under EU and Member State migration rules. UK nationals who want to move to the EU after the transition period will be subject to individual Member States’ domestic immigration rules for third-country nationals, and will need to comply with any visa requirements of the relevant Member State.
Q. I spend 5 months a year in Italy. Can I get residency now, so that I can continue to come and go as I like? And what’s the difference between temporary and permanent residency?
A. During this year, UK nationals are able to live, work and travel in Italy as they did before exit. If you want to take up residency before the end of the transition period (31 December) you will need to be lawfully living in Italy and register for a residence status.
Provided you are lawfully resident in Italy before the end of the transition period, you will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. This would have implications on your entitlements to healthcare and other benefits in the UK.
You will be able to apply for temporary residence and stay until you have accumulated five years continuous residence, at which point you will acquire the right to permanent residence.In order to qualify for permanent residence, you will need to have been continuously resident in Italy for the past five years. To be considered continuously resident you need to have spent at least 6 months per year in Italy. Longer periods of absence are allowed in certain circumstances.Further information on the Withdrawal Agreement is available here.
Further information on applying for residency in Italy is available on our Living in Italy guide.
Q. I am a UK national and want to apply for temporary residency in Italy by the end of the year. Will I be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement if I do so – and do I need to stay in Italy to maintain my temporary residency status?
A. If you are lawfully living in Italy by 31 December you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Your rights will be protected for as long as you remain lawfully living in Italy. You should register for residency as soon as you can. Italy requires you to register if you are staying in Italy for longer than 90 days.
If you register as a resident you will hold a residency status of a temporary resident. As a temporary resident you will need to be present in the country for 183 days in a 365 day period otherwise you will break your temporary residency status. These days do not have to be consecutive. By following these guidelines, you will build up continuous residency, which is measured in years. If over five years, if you have been in Italy for 183 days total across 365 days for five consecutive years, you will qualify for Permanent Residency.
As a permanent resident under the Withdrawal Agreement you are able to be absent from Italy for up to five years without losing your permanent residency status and your status under the Withdrawal Agreement. Further information on applying for residency in Italy is available on our Living in Italy guide.
Q. How does 90/180 visa-free travel work? How are the Schengen Area travel rules calculated? Is the 90-day limit reset after every trip?
A. The definition of a short stay for non-EU citizens in the Schengen area is “90 days in any 180-day period”. This is a rolling 180-day period.[Wording from European Commission’s user guide – link below] The date of entry is considered as the first day of stay in the Schengen territory. The date of exit is considered as the last day of stay in the Schengen territory. The 180-day reference period is not fixed. It is a moving window, based on the approach of looking backwards at each day of the stay, be it at the moment of entry or on the day of an actual check, such as inland police control or border check on departure. Absence for an uninterrupted period of 90 days allows for a new stay of up to 90 days.
Q. How are the Schengen Area rules implemented for those travelling between Member States/across internal borders e.g. for holidays or weekends away?
A. The length of a short stay is calculated between the date of entry to the Schengen Area and the date of exit. The time can be spent in any Schengen Area country.
The short stay time-limit is calculated separately in EU Member States that are not part of the Schengen Area. This means that a separate 90 days in any 180-day period can be spent in each of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia individually.
Further information on the Schengen Area travel rules is available on the European Commission’s website – see the user guide above.
Q. Will I need a visa to work in another EU country in the future?
A. The EU has legislated that UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to and within the Schengen Area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This will apply from the end of the transition period to all UK nationals travelling to and within the Schengen Area for tourism, to attend business meetings, for journalistic or media purposes, to attend cultural or sports events or exchanges, for short-term studies or training and any similar activities.
However, this visa waiver will not apply to UK nationals travelling for the purpose of taking up work or providing a service in the Member States. Member States may require a visa and/or work permit from UK nationals intending to work or provide a service there, even if it is for fewer than 90 days.
UK nationals should check with the Embassy of the country where they plan to travel for work or to provide a service for what type of visa or permit, if any, they will need.
The Travel Advice pages provide the most up to date information on travelling to EU Member States Travel Advice page here. These pages are updated on a regular basis.Information about entry requirements for UK nationals intending to work or provide a service in an EU Member State after the transition period is available here, on our advice pages for providing services in the EU.
Further guidance on travelling to the EU for business after the transition period is available here.
Q. My Italian family members enter the UK using their Italian ID card. Can they continue to do so?
A. Italian citizens can, for now, continue to use an ID card at the UK border. During 2021, EU citizens (other than those with protected rights under the Withdrawal Agreement) will have to use a passport rather than a national ID card to cross the border. The UK will announce further details of plans in due course and will provide notice of the changes in advance.
Q. How long must my British passport be valid for at the point that I travel to the EU? Is this requirement different during the transition period and after the Transition Period?
A. UK nationals can continue to travel to or within the EU exactly as they do now until the end of the transition period.
New rules will apply to UK nationals for travel to the Schengen Area from 1 January 2021. British passport holders will need to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel to countries in the Schengen Area. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months needed.
You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
Q. I have residency status in Italy. So how will border officials know I don’t need a visa when I’m travelling back to Italy?
A. Rules on travelling remain unchanged this year. From next year UK nationals visiting Italy for longer than 90 days in 180 days may need a visa. This does not apply to those with residency status in Italy whose rights to live in Italy are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.If you are a resident we advise you to take your residency documentation with you when travelling (including the new ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ issued under the Withdrawal Agreement) as well as your Italian ID card (which is only issued to residents in Italy). This documentation will show border officials that you are not limited to the 90 days in 180 days visa-free travel when returning home.
Q. I am a resident in Italy. Will I need to have my passport stamped when travelling across the Italian border, for example if I visit friends in the UK?
A. Rules on travel remain unchanged this year. From 2021 UK nationals visiting Italy are likely to have their passport stamped when entering and exiting as evidence of the date of arrival and departure. As a resident in Italy you should not have your passport stamped. We recommend that you take your Italian ID card and your residency documentation with you when travelling.
Q. I would like to have a biometric Italian ID card rather than the paper version I have at the moment. Can I exchange my current one for a biometric card?
A. You can obtain the updated biometric Italian ID card from your local comune when your current ID card has expired (or you have lost it or it has been damaged). Contact your local comune for more details.
Q. I am a dual-national UK/Italian. What travel documents should I use when travelling between Italy and the UK?
A. Both a UK passport and an Italian ID card (without the wording NON VALIDO PER L’ESPATRIO) or passport are valid for entering the UK and Italy (Italian ID cards valid for travel are issued to those holding Italian nationality). You may wish to use a UK passport to enter the UK and your Italian ID card or passport to enter Italy. You should ensure that when travelling you hold the travel document that you used when checking into your flights if you are travelling by air.
Q. I live in Italy but regularly work in France. Can I continue to do so from 2021 on the same basis as now?
A. Frontier workers are defined as EU citizens or UK nationals who regularly undertake economic activity in one or more states in which they do not reside, irrespective of whether they also work in the state of residence. Frontier workers may be employed or self-employed.
Individuals need to be frontier working at the end of the transition period (31 December this year) in order to be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and therefore continue to be able to work as you do now. Your rights are protected for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker.
You should therefore take professional advice as to whether you hold the status of a frontier worker. A frontier worker is a UK national or an EU citizen pursuing genuine and effective work as an employed or self-employed person in one or more host states and who resides in another state, unless or until they no longer retain the status of a worker (equivalent to that as defined in the Free Movement Directive) or they cease to work across a frontier in accordance with Articles 45 and 49 TFEU and Reg. 492/2011.
British Embassy Rome
A MESSAGE FROM JILL MORRIS, HER MAJESTY’S AMBASSADOR British Embassy Rome
Thursday 30 April 2020
To British Nationals in Italy,
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide information on the measures still in place in Italy to manage the Covid-19 health emergency, as well as to update you on our work on citizens’ rights in Italy.
Coronavirus and Phase II
The Italian government has now issued details of its Phase II planning. You can find full information here. In summary, ongoing restrictions remain in place – so individuals should only leave home for work and health reasons or necessities, e.g. food shopping/pharmacy visits, individual exercise. Self-declarations are still in use and for now the latest autodichiarazione of 26 March is still valid (be aware the form may shortly change). Visits to family members living within the same region will be permitted, wearing masks and respecting at least 1 metre distance. Travel between regions is still prohibited – aside from reasons of work, urgency or health. People will be allowed to return home (residence or domicile) from wherever they are, carrying a self-declaration form. Access to parks and public gardens is allowed provided safety measures can be respected and people observe at least 1 metre distance. Nurseries, schools and universities remain closed with continued on-line teaching. Masks are compulsory across Italy when in closed public spaces, including on public transport and in all conditions where compliance with social distancing may be more complex. In some regions, gloves may also be compulsory. Children below the age of 6 and people suffering from disabilities which are not compatible with the prolonged use of masks are exempted.
Where to find information
You can find more information on the government’s measures on the Italian Ministry of Health website (in Italian) and the Frequently Asked Questions document on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (in English). Our Italy Travel Advice page also has all the most up to date details including links to the main government pages.
Travel between Italy and the UK
If you plan to travel between Italy and the UK, please consult the Italian government website here which details the requirements on entering Italy from overseas. Our Travel Advice page also has information on travelling to the UK here. Those travelling to Italy from the UK will need to evidence their reason for travel including presentation of a valid residency document before departure. You will need to complete two copies of the self-declaration form which should be presented before boarding in the UK and on arrival in Italy. Non-residents may be refused permission to travel unless you can prove a valid reason for entering Italy. Restriction on entering is being applied strictly so travel must be shown to be of absolute necessity. Masks must be worn on board the plane. On arrival in Italy you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. You must inform your local health authority of your place of quarantine. Travel to the UK is permitted for a valid reason. On arrival in the UK you should comply with the current lockdown measures detailed here. These may change at short notice so please continue to consult the official information. Alitalia is operating limited flights between Rome and London. Flight schedules are likely to change at short notice. Please consult the airline website for further details.
Many of you have asked about the impact of Coronavirus on citizens’ rights. When the UK left the EU we entered a transition period until 31 December, during which EU law continues to apply and the rights of UK nationals largely remain unchanged, including access to healthcare. The UK government’s position is that the transition period will not be extended beyond 31 December this year. We continue to engage with the Italian government to ensure the rights of UK nationals here are recognised and to prepare for the end of the transition period. The Italian government has provided information on your continued rights here. And the Ministry of Health has confirmed the continued right to access healthcare for those eligible here. If you have any difficulties, you should signpost the relevant service provider to these Italian government websites. You can also get in touch with us by calling +39 06 4220 0001 (option 2) for those in central and southern Italy or +39 02 72 3001 (option 2) for those in the north of Italy.
The Withdrawal Agreement
You must be officially resident in Italy by 31 December in order to continue to enjoy lifelong rights under the Withdrawal Agreement for as long as you remain resident in Italy. The Withdrawal Agreement protects rights such as access to healthcare, benefits and pensions including the right to an uprated UK state pension (including when claiming it in the future). These lifelong rights extend to your close family members. Please see our Living in Guide for more details. Only those legally resident by 31 December will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. If you have not yet registered as a resident you should contact your local comune to see if they are permitting registration during this time. The Italian government has issued an additional document, a new ‘attestazione’, to evidence your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. This is available to you if are already registered as a resident with your local anagrafe. You can read more here. During lockdown the Italian government has advised that you should not try to obtain the new ‘attestazione’. There will be time to do so later this year.
Support for UK nationals in regulating their status in Italy
We are delighted to announce that the International Organisation for Migration will be delivering the UK Government’s UK National Support Fund in Italy. They will be supporting UK Nationals with the necessary local procedures to obtain and maintain the right to be resident in Italy after the end of the transition period. IOM’s work will complement the UK government’s strategy, which includes the allocation of £3 million in support of organisations helping UK Nationals across several European countries. The new programme will be launched later this month and will run for 12 months, i.e. until 31 March 2021. You can read more here.
Virtual Drop-In Session
We recently held a Q & A session for UK nationals living in Italy. Below are a selection of the most popular questions raised:
We are Italian residents currently located in the UK. Are we permitted to drive through France to our home in Italy? If so, what paperwork do we need?
For information on returning to Italy as a place of residence, please consult the information available on the Italian government website here: If planning to travel through France you will need to meet the specific requirements of the French government during lockdown. This includes the completion of a self-declaration form before travel. More information can be found here including links to the relevant forms.
I am a legal resident of Italy, I was led to believe previously that if there was no deal, my Italian health care would cease at the end of the transition period unless Italy and the UK reached a separate agreement in this respect. Does this apply now?
The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals legally resident in Italy. To be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement you must be resident in Italy before 31 December. Your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, including continued access to healthcare, are lifelong for you and your close and current family members for as long as you remain resident in Italy. Your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be affected by the results of the negotiations taking place between the UK and the EU this year – those negotiations concern the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement is an international treaty that has already been agreed and entered into force on 31 Jan 2020.
As a British citizen employed full-time in Italy for the past 6 months, if my company decides to use cassa integrazione, am I entitled to the same help/benefits from the Italian government as my Italian colleagues?
The answer to your question is yes. There might be conditions related to the length of service, i.e. you could receive a lower amount related to the fact you have worked for six months only. The temporary extraordinary ‘cassa integrazione’ related to the pandemic is currently provided for a period of 8 weeks. More generally under the EU Freedom of Movement Directive, those who are living in Italy this year and employed are entitled to support from the state if there is a change in your status. You are entitled to the same help and benefits from the Italian government as a host national – including beyond the end of this year as someone covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, provided you are legally resident in Italy. You may wish to discuss your situation with your local work consultant or CAF (Centro di Assistenza Fiscale).
I have been made redundant as a result of the pandemic. Is there any financial assistance that I can apply for while in lockdown?
A UK national who is involuntarily laid off is protected by EU law during the transition period and indeed beyond this year under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. That means eligibility for state benefits as a result of being made unemployed. In Italy if someone has an ordinary regular contract and is made redundant, he/she is entitled to an unemployment subsidy (“Nuova Prestazione di Assicurazione Sociale per l’Impiego”- NASPI) for a limited number of months and/or until they find another job. Different conditions may apply, so you may wish to discuss your situation with your local work consultant or CAF (Centro di Assistenza Fiscale).
Will UK nationals living in Italy continue to receive state pension increases after the transition period?
Those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. resident in Italy by 31 December this year) and in receipt of a UK state pension will continue to receive it after the end of the transition period. It will continue to be uprated beyond the end of this year for as long as you remain in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. resident in Italy). This also applies to those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement but not yet claiming a UK state pension. When they reach pensionable age and are eligible for a UK state pension they will also receive an uprated pension provided they remain resident in Italy.
Will there be an extension to the Transition period?
The Government was elected on a manifesto which made clear the transition period would end on 31 December. That is now enshrined in primary legislation and it remains our policy. We will not ask to extend the transition period, and if the EU asks we will say no. Extending the transition would simply prolong the negotiations, prolong business uncertainty, and delay the moment of control of our borders. Extending the transition would mean we will have to make further payments into the EU budget. It would also keep us bound by EU legislation, at a point when we need legislative and economic flexibility to manage the UK response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Staying up to date
Please continue to check our Living in Italy guide for updates. You can sign up to my newsletter and be notified when new information is published. You can also receive updates via our social media channels including FaceBook and Twitter. I want to assure you that I and my team in Italy will continue to reach out to you and offer our support.
With warm wishes,
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy
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