Read on for the latest information on moving to Italy after Brexit. We will update this advice regularly.
I was restoring my Italian home in 2016 when the results of the UK referendum came through. My sister sent me a message saying ‘We are out’ with a sad face emoji. Waking up to this news was pretty upsetting for me – a British national who had just bought a vacation home in Italy and who wanted to spend long periods of time in it, and eventually help others do the same.
Since 2016, as we all know, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union has taken many twists and turns. We have all been on the rollercoaster and lots of questions remain unanswered.
As with many others, my concerns were mainly about changes to my own freedom of movement as well as my right to live and work in Italy.
These are rights that I, as a UK citizen, have had my entire life, and I’ll admit I have taken these rights for granted. I haven’t only lived in Italy, but I’ve also lived and worked in Greece, Spain & Finland. All visa-free with no hassle. I should also mention here that no national of a European country that I have worked in has EVER questioned my right to be living or working there. I have NEVER been accused of taking a job from a local.
In Italy, my local community seem happy that there are British people buying homes in our town. Combined with the Americans, Argentinians, Brazilians, French, Chinese and Canadian residents, our little community is multi cultural. And the good news here is that nobody seems to have a problem with it.
The world could learn a lot from our tiny Italian hilltop town.
So, how will the future of UK nationals who want to move to Italy and purchase a home be affected after Brexit? How will it impact those who want to retire in Italy in the future? What about those Brits who want to move and work in Italy after the UK has left the EU?
READ MORE: THE COSTS OF BUYING A HOUSE IN ITALY
What the Italian government has said about Brexit
So far, the Italian government has stated that any UK national who is resident in Italy will keep that status until December 2020 (the initial end of the implementation period), with the possibility of needing to obtain a different kind of residence permit (a non-EU permit) after that date. Currently, this seems to be a relatively straightforward procedure that will guarantee UK nationals the same rights as before.
In the event of a no-deal scenario, the Italian government has advised that Britains who are resident in Italy will need to obtain this new permit immediately, which can be obtained by exchanging your current residence permit at your local council office or police station.
What about those who want to move to Italy after Brexit?
For British nationals who are not Italian residents, and are planning on moving to Italy after Brexit, the rules may be slightly different. Non EU nationals currently require a visa to remain in an EU country for more than 90 days, with some exceptions.View them here.
Will British nationals need a visa to visit Italy after Brexit?
According to the UK Government’s website, British visitors will not need visas for short stays in Italy (less than 90 days within a 180 day period). Should you be visiting Italy for longer than 90 days, you will need to obtain a visa from the Italian Embassy in the UK before travel. So planning your visits in advance will be necessary.
Can I still buy a property in Italy after Brexit?
The Italian government has stated that British nationals will still be able to buy houses in Italy after Brexit, the same way that Americans, Canadians, Australians, Chinese and many other non-EU nationals can, and do.
What about transiting through EU countries after Brexit?
The UK government has advised Britains to keep documents relating to travelling to Italy to show border officials in other EU countries. Read their advice here.
When I drive to Italy, I go through France, Luxembourg, Belgium & Switzerland. Currently there are only borders between the UK & France and around Switzerland. Should you have a visa for entering Italy (if you are planning on staying for more than 90 days) you may be required to show this to officials should you be stopped at the border.
As I am an Italian resident who regularly drives to Italy for periods of more than 90 days, I will be keeping documents with me that prove I have been in Italy for this period and have not overstayed in France or any other country. The UK government also has advice on this.
Driving a car in Italy after Brexit
Currently, foreign-registered cars are permitted in Italy for up to 60 days at a time. After 60 days you need to register your vehicle in Italy and pay the fees. The UK government explain this procedure here.
Many people visiting for short stays choose to fly to Italy and rent a car, a simpler process if you are purchasing a home to use for holidays only.
If you are planning on moving to Italy full time, then becoming a resident is required but it gives you access to healthcare and the ability to buy a car. And as we have seen so far, this should not change after Brexit, (it just looks likely that the procedure will).
Pensions in Italy after Brexit
The UK government has stated that pensions can still be claimed should you move to Italy after Brexit, and will currently be uprated until 2022.
If there is no deal, they say they will negotiate terms with the Italian government.
Moving to Italy after Brexit
There are currently 64,000 UK nationals living in Italy, and as the UK government has offered negotiations on a reciprocal basis, we remain hopeful that the rights of the British who live in Italy will not change.
In the meantime, check the websites listed above for updates, and do not be afraid to purchase the house of your dreams. Americans and many other non-EU nationals have been buying property in Italy for years, so there is no reason that we British can’t do the same. My advice is always that as life is short, and as this could drag on for years, waste no time. Do not be afraid to move to Italy after Brexit!
We are entering a new era where we may need a visa to visit countries that we previously have not had to consider, and we will all have to adjust to a new way of planning our travel.
READ MORE: MOVING TO ITALY
Keep Calm and Move to Italy!
Watch the highlights of our previous “Move to Italy Experience” that we held in the hills of Le Marche, including testimonials from some of our house-hunters who stayed with us to get legal advice and the lowdown on buying homes in Italy.
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