Moving to Italy after Brexit

Now that Brexit has come and gone, the process for British citizens considering moving to Italy has become more arduous and complex. The process faced by British citizens is currently the same as for other non-EU citizen
Article Last Updated: 17 May, 2024 under Elective Residency Visa in Italy

Now that Brexit has come and gone, the process for British citizens considering moving to Italy has become more arduous and complex. The process faced by British citizens is currently the same as for other non-EU citizens.

While no doubt the process is more complex, there still remain viable for those who, despite the obstacles put in place by Brexit, still want to take the plunge and start a new life in Italy.

1. Have an Existing Income of Sufficient Value with No Need to Work in Italy  

If you are earning at least €31.000 Euros on an annual basis (whether based on a pension or any other kind of regular income) you can also apply for residency in Italy – though for non-working purposes only.

If more than one person is applying (for instance you intend to come with your spouse/partner and children) the income required will increase approximately to€7000 per year for each additional member .

You can also apply even if you do not have regular income, but simply deposit the same amount in a bank account/s during the time of residency, so over 31.000 Euros for 1 member and an additional €7000 (approx.) for each additional member. Technically, the Italian government may check that the appropriate minimum amount is maintained in the account for the duration of the residency, however in practice this seldom occurs.

In order to apply for a permit of residence for elective residence you must also have available a house to be elected as a residence and Health Insurance: the Italian government provides a universal healthcare system that covers Italian residents, regardless of nationality. However, Italian Elective Resident Visa applicants must give evidence that they have their own qualifying health insurance. You should make sure that the health insurance plan can cover medical expenses (e.g., prescriptions, doctor visits, hospitalization and ambulance transportation) for at least 30.000 Euros per person per year and a miminum duration of 1 year.

After five years of regular residence, in the presence of the necessary requirements, the holder of a residence permit for elective residence can apply for a long-term EU residence permit.

An important difference between this route to residency and the elective residence is that here you are not entitled to work in Italy, but it is perhaps a more accessible option for residency in  Italy.

Even not being allowed to work in Italy that does not mean you will not be allowed to work in any other country provided you do not lose Italian residence by staying abroad working for longer periods of time.


2. Irish and other EU Passport Holders

Many people in the UK are entitled to an Irish or other EU passport as a result of being born there or indeed if a parent or grandparent was born in another EU country.

While this depends on the rules of the individual EU States, if a British citizen is able to successfully apply for an EU passport, they may apply for residency in Italy with all the typical rights to live and work here.

Once that application has been processed, their spouse and children may apply for residency on the basis that their family member is resident in Italy (See 'Have a family member in Italy, with which he/ she wishes to reunite' below).

3. Have a Family Member in Italy, With Which to Reunite 

If your spouse or civil partner or either of your parents are Italian or are from an EU country living in Italy and registered here, and you wish to reunite with them you could also apply for residency as family member of an Italian or EU citizen who are allowed to have residence in  Italy.


5. Where the Applicant has lived in Italy Already for a Specified Minimum Period of Time.

In order to qualify for this option, you must provide evidence that you have lived in Italy before the end of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement i.e. before the 30th December 2020 and that you have not lost such residence. 


6. Set-up an innovative business in Italy 

Another option to get a residency visa that could allow you to work in Italy is provided by the start-up visa, under Law 221/2012.

This is a residence permit created for those non-EU citizens who want to open a start-up business in Italian territory. Upon compliance with the requirements set-out in the relevant legislation, Italian immigration law will grant you residency as a result of your business idea. However, bear in mind that business must be truly innovative and the project is required to be aligned with the interests of Italy. In order to be accepted, your project must fulfill the following conditions:

  • It has to create employment for the country, at least in the long-run, and be a positive stimulus for the general Italian economy and good investment opportunities.
  • The business must involve a high level of technology and enhance the socio-economic development of Italy.

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