To British Nationals in Italy,
Before many of us take a summer break with our friends and families, I wanted to provide a further update on Italy’s implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and your citizens’ rights. Over the last few months, I and my team have engaged with UK nationals living here. Through online events and discussions we are aware that many of you continue to have questions around your future rights and how to evidence those rights. I hope therefore that the information below is a useful summary of the latest developments. As always, you can find comprehensive information on our Living in Italy page gov.uk.
The new Withdrawal Agreement “attestazione”
If you are a UK national living in Italy by the end of the year your lifelong rights will be protected under the Withdrawal Agreement for as long as you remain a resident in Italy.
You first need to register your residency with your local comune/municipio if you have not already done so. You should try to do this by the end of the year. You can find out more about how to register on our Living in Italy guide. You should also consult the website of your local town hall.
Once you have registered your residency, you need to obtain the new Withdrawal Agreement attestazione, again from your local comune. The name of the new document is the Attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica (ai sensi dell’art.18.4 dell’Accordo sul recesso del Regno Unito e dell’Irlanda del Norddall’Unione Europea e del d.lgs. n. 30/2007).
It is mandatory to obtain the new document but there is no deadline for doing so. You are not required to hand in your current residency document and should not do so. The new attestazione is issued in addition and not to replace current documents.
If you have difficulties in obtaining it, you should take along the relevant government circular (circolare n.3/2020) which you can find here. You can also find it on our Living in Italy page on gov.uk.
We are aware that some UK nationals are experiencing problems in obtaining the new document. We continue to engage with the Italian government to resolve these issues.
Please do get in touch with us via our Living in Italy page if you do have difficulties in obtaining the new document.
International Organisation for Migration (IOM) support for UK nationals in Italy
The FCO has announced funding for organisations 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.
The services available for people who need this additional support include:
- answering questions about residency applications, such as the documents required and application procedure;
- guiding individuals through the process, if necessary;
- supporting people facing language barriers or difficulty accessing technology.
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 to discuss how they may be able to help you. You can contact them on: 800 684 884 or email: UKnationalsit@iom.int
Dual Nationals living in Italy
Dual nationals (UK-Italian or UK-Other Member State) who previously exercised their freedom of movement rights (for example a UK national who moved to Italy to work and gained Italian citizenship) are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. However, as an Italian citizen or other EU 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 further action to secure your residence rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
As a dual national, who has exercised their free movement rights before the end of the transition period and is therefore in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, you will benefit from rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. Social security coordination is the key element and includes (as for all those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement):
- contributions made in the UK continuing to be aggregated with those paid in Italy or other Member States;
- the right to an uprated UK State Pension, if you meet the existing eligibility criteria will continue; and
- reciprocal healthcare cover (such as S1, EHIC and S2 rights) once you start exporting your UK State Pension, including UK State Pensioners who are already benefiting from that cover in Italy.
And as for all those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement you will also benefit from having professional qualifications protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. To do this, you need to ensure you have your qualifications recognised. You have until the end of the transition period to submit an application for a recognition decision if you are yet to do so. The way in which dual nationals will be able to evidence these rights is yet to be determined by the Italian authorities. We are seeking clarification on these plans and we will publish information on our Living in Italy guide as soon as it becomes available.
Healthcare Rights under the Withdrawal Agreement
If you are living in Italy before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Italy will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident.
You need to be registered as a resident to access state healthcare in Italy. At the moment, UK nationals living in Italy usually access the Italian health system in one of these ways:
- registering to use the Italian state health system
- using a UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for temporary stays
- registering a UK-issued S1 with the Italian health system
The S1 form entitles UK nationals to access to state healthcare on the same basis as an Italian citizen. You are entitled to an S1 if you receive a UK State Pension or certain other benefits.
If you are employed or self-employed, you can register with the national health system for free. You can register your dependants at the same time. If you are not working or paying social security contributions, you may be able to register with the national health system voluntarily by paying a fee each year. This depends on the region of Italy you live in. If you cannot register voluntarily in your region, you will need to take out private health insurance.
If you are living in Italy before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Italy will stay the same for as long as you remain legally resident. This means you will continue to get state healthcare in Italy from 1 January 2021 on the same basis as an Italian resident. If you have yet to reach state pension age, you will have the right to apply for a UK S1 once you start drawing your UK state pension, providing you are legally resident in Italy before the end of 2020 and remain covered under the Withdrawal Agreement.
For further information on how to register for healthcare in Italy please consult our healthcare pages on gov.uk.
Future validity of the UK-issued EHIC
There will be no changes to healthcare access for UK nationals visiting or living in Italy before 31 December 2020. The agreement temporarily protects EHIC and S2 for UK nationals who find themselves in Italy on 31 December 2020 (this includes third country nationals who are ordinarily resident in the UK or hold a valid UK-issued EHIC). You will be able to complete any treatment you are undergoing or have access to ‘needs arising’ treatment through your EHIC in Italy, until you leave Italy by travelling to another EU Member State or returning to the UK.This includes people on holiday.
Longer term, some UK-issued EHICs in Italy are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Such as:
- UK state pensioners living in Italy at the end of Transition Period (you can continue to use your UK-issued EHIC when accessing healthcare in another EU member state),
- UK students studying in Italy at the end of Transition Period,
- Individuals who are frontier workers at the end of the Transition Period, for as long as they continue to be covered by the Agreement, and
- EEA or Swiss nationals residing in the UK by the end of the Transition Period.
- UK Nationals already living in Italy who hold an Italian EHIC (known in Italy as TEAM – Tessera Europea Assicurazione Malattia) may use this when accessing healthcare within the EU and UK
For people not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements between the UK and EU are subject to negotiations, which are currently ongoing.
New UK Government information campaign for UK nationals living in the EU
The government has launched a major new public information campaign to help businesses and individuals to prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December.
As part of the wider campaign launched on 13 July to help people prepare for the end of the transition period, the FCO is leading a campaign aimed at UK nationals living in the EU to help ensure they take the actions they need to be ready, including applying for residency and checking their access to healthcare. This campaign will include adverts on social media, podcasts, billboards and English-language newspapers in countries across the EU, and will continue until June 2021.
Staying in touch with UK nationals in Italy
During lockdown, we postponed our face-to-face outreach meetings with UK nationals across Italy. However, we have continued to stay in touch via our social media channels including running live Q & A sessions on Facebook.
We have published a new Information Guide for UK nationals on the Withdrawal Agreement on our Living in Italy guide.
Please do feel free to download it to share with friends and family.
We have also updated our Living in Italy guide this month. It now includes further information on residency as well as the new attestazione. Lines on healthcare have been updated as well as on driving licence validity. Please do continue to consult these pages for the very latest information. You can also get in touch with us via our Living in Italy page if you have any questions about your rights.
I wish you and your family and friends a very enjoyable summer.
With warm wishes,
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy