Living in Italy Post Brexit

How Will Brexit Impact Residency for UK Nationals?

living in italy post brexit view of rome

After what seems to be a lifetime of negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, an agreement has finally been made between the two and the U.K has officially left once and for all. However, as a student who wishes to move abroad as soon as my degree is complete, along with hundreds of thousands of others who dream of living across the ocean, living in Italy post Brexit seems somewhat further from our grasp. The main question on everybody’s lips is how will this impact our future aspirations?

Despite constant debate over Boris Johnson’s ability as a leader and negotiator, he silenced all his critics when, ironically, he gave the whole of Britain an ‘early Christmas present.’ After a 4 year long battle, a conclusion was reached on 24th December when both parties agreed to a deal.

It seems as if most of what Mr Johnson had promised was in the deal, but for someone who has had aspirations of living abroad for several years, the most important part was how it affects my future plans.

É una bella giornata!

Celebrating the Italian Serie A soccer match SS Lazio vs Sampdoria 5-1, at Olympic Stadium in Rome on 18/01/2020 ©Shutterstock License

From the delicious food; the traditional music that gives me goosebumps every time I listen; life in the sun; awe inspiring sunsets and views; friendly natives; passionate football (and beautiful women!), every part of this country lets my mind wander. I cannot wait to move to Rome and shout, “É una bella giornata!” with “An evening in Roma” by Dean Martin playing on my vinyl record player in the background.

As of the 1st of January this year, UK citizens no longer have an automatic right to live or work in the EU, so future expats will now have to look at a country’s individual immigration rules. 

A New Biometric

As for Italy, the government has introduced a new biometric for UK nationals and family members. The UK government website states that If you have been a legal resident in Italy for:

  • over 5 years, you will be eligible for permanent residency and a 10-year renewable residency document
  • less than 5 years, you will be eligible for a document with 5 years validity

For people who may just want a glimpse of “La Dolce Vita,” UK nationals can still travel to other “Schengen area” countries without a visa for 90 days. 

One major negative of the post-Brexit deal is the “Erasmus scheme” which is now no longer valid for UK students. The scheme had previously allowed students to study abroad for a year during their course and/or allowed them to gain experience from a placement job in European countries.

The Brexit deal has without a shadow of a doubt, made the changing of countries significantly more complicated, However, it is still possible and for people with as strong a passion as me, it will take more than this to put me off. Residency permits, work permits and much more will be longer and harder to obtain. Yet, the dream of mine still goes on. I am more determined than ever, as I’m sure many others are too!

Find Living in Italy Guidance on Gov.UK


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Maximillian Payne
Maximillian Payne

Contributing Editor

I am an 18 year old student currently studying Journalism at the University of Portsmouth. My life goal and aim is that after I finish my degree, I will move abroad permanently to Italy, in particular Rome, and focus on travel journalism and sports journalism which are my two main passions. It is a very scary thing to think about moving abroad alone at a very young age but my deep passion and desire to live in Italy keeps me so motivated to execute my plans and live my very own ‘Dolce Vita’. Most of my hobbies have some link to Italy, none more so than my love for football as I am a very passionate supporter of club, S.S Lazio. In England, I am a season ticket holder at Chelsea where me and my family have a tradition of eating at the best Italian restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea called ‘Frantoio’. As well as this, I also am very intrigued and interested in the mafia and in particular the ‘Cosa Nostra’. I have many books on the detailing and history of it as well as every film. Unlike most people my age, my music taste is eclectic. I have a huge range of vinyl records as my favourite artists are Elvis, Bob Dylan, Paul Weller and people from those eras. Of course, I do like modern music too but not as much as the 70’s and 80’s! At this moment in time, I am trying to gain as much experience at writing as possible as well as making as many contacts in Italy before I move so I can have the best possible chance of it being a success.

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