The British Embassy in Rome answers some of the most frequently raised questions by UK nationals in Italy with the latest information on the Withdrawal Agreement and citizens’ rights.
As a UK national I know I should be getting the new biometric residency card from our local questura. But what about the Withdrawal Agreement attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica from the town hall that was released last year?
If you were lawfully living in Italy before 1 January 2021 you are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. The Italian government has introduced a new biometric residency card called a carta di soggiorno elettronica for people covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. The card is not mandatory for UK nationals living in Italy. However, we advise that you obtain it because it will show evidence of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can get the card from your local police headquarters immigration office (questura). Read the Italian government’s guide (vademecum) on how to obtain the card, available in Italian and English. The new biometric residency card is available to your close and current family members, including those currently living in Italy and those that arrive in the future.
The attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica issued according to the Withdrawal Agreement was released last year by the Italian government to those in scope of the Agreement. It is still available from your local town hall. Although this document is not mandatory, you may find it simpler to obtain the new biometric residency card if you can present the attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica to the questura.
Is the new biometric residency card mandatory for those in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement? I’m being told I have to have it to renew my Italian health card or to access services from INPS.
For those already registered in Italy there is no legal requirement to obtain the new card. It is not mandatory.
However, our advice is to obtain it as it provides the clearest evidence of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement in a high-security and simple format. For example, it will provide a simple way of evidencing your rights at the border or when accessing services in Italy. However, if you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement your rights do not depend on holding it and local providers cannot require you to have it. You may be required to provide evidence that you are lawfully living in Italy, such as an EU residence document. If you have difficulties in accessing healthcare or benefits please get in touch with us via our Living in Italy page.
I arrived in Italy in late 2020 and haven’t yet registered for residency. What should I do now?
If you have never registered your residency, but you were lawfully living in Italy before January 1, 2021, you need to apply for the new biometric residency card at your local questura.
When you apply, you need to provide evidence that you fulfil one of the following categories:
– Employed in Italy (evidenced by showing a work contract dated before January 1, 2021)
– Self-employed in Italy (and registered with the Agenzia delle Entrate before January 1, 2021)
– Financially self-sufficient with comprehensive healthcare cover which started before January 1, 2021
– A student who started a course before January 1, 2021 with financial self -sufficiency and some form of healthcare cover in place before January 1, 2021
Check with your local questura what evidence you should provide before you apply.
Once you have obtained the new biometric card from the questura, you then need to register your residency with your local town hall because you have not already done so. Contact them for more information.
I am a permanent resident in Italy. I have an attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE. Should I also get the new biometric residency card?
If you are a permanent resident you will receive the new biometric residency card with a 10-year validity (renewable) when you request it from your local questura. You can show your current permanent residency document (attestazione di soggiorno permanente UE) to the questura to obtain the 10-year card. If you haven‘t obtained a permanent residency document during the last 5 years, the simplest way of doing so is with a certificato storico di residenza available from your town hall. Our advice is that you should get the new card as the clearest evidence of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
I have a third-country national spouse who is out of Italy. S/he would like to join me sometime in the future. What rights will s/he have?
Close and current family members joining you in the future who fall within scope of the Withdrawal Agreement should apply for the biometric card from their local questura on arrival in Italy before registering their residency at the town hall.
The definition of a close family member includes spouses, registered partners, unmarried partners, children under the age of 21, grandchildren and dependent children, and parents and grandparents. They would need to have been your family member on or before December 31, 2020 to be considered as covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (except future children adopted or born).
My regional healthcare authority says I need a permesso di soggiorno before I can renew my Italian health card.
If you were lawfully living in Italy before January 1, 2021, you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Your right to access healthcare as before is protected, including the right to register with your local ASL and to hold an Italian EHIC if eligible. You are not required to have a permesso di soggiorno or the new carta di soggiorno elettronica from the questura to evidence your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. It is sufficient to show evidence of your legal status in Italy such as your current EU residency document or the new attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica if you have it. If you have difficulties in renewing your Italian tessera sanitaria contact the British Embassy in Rome.
I am a resident in Italy. Will my Italian health card still be valid for me and my dependents when visiting the UK?
Your Italian health card (EHIC) remains valid for use when you visit the UK and other EEA countries. The EHIC (also known as TEAM-Tessera Europea Assicurazione Malattia) will cover you for any necessary medical care during a temporary stay in the UK. Remember that the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, and you should always make sure you travel with insurance that covers your needs. If you are an S1 holder living in Italy and you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), this card remains valid for use across the EU for any necessary treatment, until the card expires. Once your EHIC expires you can apply online for a new card – www.nhs.uk/ehic.
I’m confused. I have an Italian biometric identity card already. Is this the same thing as the new biometric residency card?
The new biometric residency card (carta di soggiorno elettronica) is issued under the Withdrawal Agreement for those UK nationals and family members in scope. We are advising UK nationals and family members to get it as it provides the clearest evidence of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. It is available from your local questura.
The Italian identity card is a different document and not a residency document (although you can only have one if you are a registered resident here). It is not mandatory but again useful to have here in Italy.
I am a resident in Italy and use a UK driving licence. Can I continue to do so?
The rules on using a UK driving licence changed on 1 January 2021. UK nationals who have been resident in Italy for 12 months or less can continue to use their UK driving licence here for a maximum of 12 months. If you have been resident for more than 12 months you can no longer use your UK driving licence in Italy. You should obtain an Italian licence and will need to re-sit your test to do so. We are currently engaging with the Italian government on a future agreement to protect the right to exchange your licence. Those who started the exchange process before January 1, 2021 can complete it without having to re-sit their test. Non-residents in Italy such as visitors can continue to use a UK driving licence while visiting Italy. There is no requirement to hold any additional paperwork such as an International Driving Permit from the UK.