The British Prime Minister’s mention this week that his government is planning to abandon the plan to ensure all EU migrants to the UK must be coming for jobs paying over £30,000 suggests that “freedom of movement” could be less of an issue than anticipated for those moving to Italy. Indeed, for most people looking for a new life in Italy, Brexit shouldn’t be the end of your plans, but just the start!

Buying a home in Italy after Brexit

Why Brexit is not the end of your Italy property dreams

When the UK leaves the European Union next week, some new rules will apply to British people moving there. The good news is that property buyers will be completely unaffected by Brexit. It is only if you are moving to Italy permanently that new rules will apply.

Even those who will be affected – principally those planning to retire, work or study – have until the end of 31 December 2020 to become resident abroad and keep all their current EU rights.

If you’re going to buy property in Italy, register for the next free Your Overseas Home show in London on 7 March. They’re specifically designed to help serious buyers with advice from legal, financial and real estate professionals based in Italy.

Here are your essential need-to-knows.

The transition period

The UK and EU have allowed a transition period – currently set to last until 31 December 2020 – where current rules will continue. If you move to the EU permanently before then you should retain all your rights to residence, healthcare and pensions.

The door is still open for your Italian property-owning dreams

The right to buy and own property

You will continue to be able to buy and own property in the EU after Brexit, just as before, even after the transition period. Property ownership does not come under EU control. You should also be able to rent it out, just the same as an EU citizen.

Access to health services

For holiday home buyers:

During transition: You can continue to use your EHIC to access Italy’s health services under current reciprocal healthcare arrangements.

After transition: The EHIC may continue to operate, but if not you will require travel health insurance

For retirees/relocation

During transition: You can continue to use your EHIC and reciprocal healthcare arrangements

After transition: The government has said it wishes to continue a version of the EHIC system. However, you should assume you will need health insurance until this is finalised.

If you’re moving after the transition period, read How to Live in Italy After Brexit.

Right to residence

Staying less than half the year: You should not need a visa. Most non-EU citizens are allowed free access without a visa for 90 days in every 180.

Staying more than half the year: If planning to live in the EU full time, and you cannot move before the transition period ends, you will probably need a visa. Several types are available in different countries.

“What about me?”

I’m buying a holiday home:

No problem. Nothing will change.

I’m moving to Italy to retire/work/study, BEFORE 31 December 2020

No problem. You will not need a visa, but remember to get an Italian residency card as soon as you can. You can include direct family members too.

I’m moving to Italy to retire/work/study, AFTER 31 December 2020

You may need a visa. A range of visas will be available, including a retirement visa for those not needing to work, or a working visa if hoping to work.

Download the Italy Buying Guide today

The Italy Buying Guide walks you through each stage involved in buying property in Italy, and offers invaluable insights from expats and experts who understand the process. The guide will help you to:


  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

Download your free guide to buying in Italy

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