By Valeria Morosini,Partner - Italy,Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo

As the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020, a new regime has now taken effect for UK nationals living and working in Italy.


1.1 Has any guidance been issued on how UK nationals can obtain settled residence status and permission to work from 1 January 2021 and what proof of residence is needed for current residents to maintain their status?

According to Law Decree no. 22/2019 which entered into force on 26 March 2019 and is still in force, UK citizens and their families who have been residing in Italy for at least five years at the date when Brexit took effect could ask for a long-term residence permit from the local relevant police department before 30 December 2020.

If the five years requirement is not met, UK citizens and their families can ask for a permit called ‘for residence’ which is valid for five years and can be renewed.

The provisions described above apply only in the event of a hard Brexit and start from the date of UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

For Italian citizenship purposes, UK citizens will be assimilated to EU citizens until they take the oath for Italian citizenship, provided that they have been residing for at least four years in Italian territory at the date when Brexit becomes effective and they apply for Italian citizenship by 31 December 2020.

As far as healthcare in the context of social security systems is concerned, in the event of ‘no deal’, on condition that reciprocity is respected, EC Regulation 883/2004 will continue to apply to UK citizens and their families until 31 December 2020. At this stage, there are no provisions regarding how this issue will be managed after that date.


2.1 Do UK employees need a business visa from 1 January 2021?


Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It applies from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. UK citizens can enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

The Schengen exemption applies from 1 January 2021.

  • The border authorities can in any case ask for documentation justifying the reasons and duration of the stay in Italy.

2.2 What documents are needed on arrival for business travel from 1 January 2021?

For stays no longer than 90 days, UK citizens only require a valid travel document. The border authorities can in any case ask for documentation justifying the reasons and duration of the stay in Italy.

2.3 Do UK nationals need additional permission to work for business travel from 1 January 2021 in the event of no deal?

No, as long as the business travel lasts a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.


3.1 Do UK nationals need permission to work and stay in Italy from 1 January 2021?

Yes, as a general rule.

3.2 If permission to work is needed after 1 January 2021, do any quotas apply to the employment of third-country nationals? 

Yes, they apply. A specific decree called ‘Decreto flussi’ provides quotas for employment, seasonal work, and self-employment every year.

In addition to this, there are some particular cases in which entry outside quotas is allowed (e.g. highly specialised workers, executives or lecturers).

3.3 If permission to work is needed from 1 January 2021, what categories of permission are commonly granted?         

The main categories of work permit (which depending on the case may or may not be subject to quotas) are employment, self-employment and seasonal work. Specific types of permit for work purposes related to certain workers (executives or highly specialised employees, academics etc.) are also provided.

3.4 If permission to work or stay is needed from 1 January 2021, how long does the procedure take?    

It depends on the kind of permit to work requested. In any case it may last 60 days minimum. In most cases, a few months may be needed.

The procedure will also depend on the date on which the decree setting the maximum number of non-EU employees allowed to get a work visa is published by the Italian government.

3.5 If permission to work and stay is needed from 1 January 2021, what Government fees are payable?

For a first work permit, the costs are as follows:

  • 1 stamp of EUR 16 for the request form;
  • EUR 30 for the registered letter to be sent to the competent police department;
  • EUR 30,46 for the release;
  • minimum EUR 80 and maximum EUR 130 depending on the kind of permit.


4.1 What formalities apply to UK frontier workers working in Italy but living in another country from 1 January 2021?

Assuming that the UK frontier worker lives in another EU country in compliance with the rules of that state, no additional formalities are required for coming in Italy for work reasons.

In the event that the UK frontier worker lives in a non-EU country, the worker’s formalities have to be compliant with the specific agreement between that state and EU. A case-by-case analysis is needed.


5.1 From what date are third-country nationals entitled to apply for permanent residence?      

A third-country national can obtain permanent residence if s/he has had a regular residence permit for at least five years. In addition, s/he has to meet some requirements (minimum income requirement, adequate accommodation, passing an Italian language test).


6.1 What steps could UK nationals take currently to secure their residence and work status?   

For those who are already living or working in Italy, the safest path is to start the procedures to benefit from the measures explained in question 1 as soon as possible. Starting from 1 January 2021, UK nationals are considered non-EU citizens (with some exceptions).