Written by Julia in Puglia,
29th October 2020

Thousands of British people have made the move to Italy in the past few weeks – and many more are still in the process – as they beat the Brexit transition door closing. So, what do you need to do as soon as you step off the plane?

If you would like a little help with moving to Italy before the end of the year, contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the experts.



1. Follow the rules!

Check the current rules on the Italian Ministry website to see if you need to self-isolate or have a covid-test on arrival in Italy. This may not be necessary if you can present a declaration to the effect that you have taken a molecular or antigenic swab test, with a negative result, within 72 hours before entering Italy. It is also recommended to download the IMMUNI track and trace app onto your phone and update yourself on local restrictions.

Getting residency in Italy before Brexit

Now you’re in Italy, getting legal should be easier


2. Get a tax number

Before anything else, you need to get a “Codice Fiscale” (Italian tax code). You will be asked for it in various situations including when purchasing or renting a property in Italy. It is issued by the Agenzia delle Entrate (the Italian Revenue Agency) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy. You can find your local revenue office here. You will need to fill in a form and show your passport. Due to Covid restrictions in some areas you might be required to make an appointment. You can also apply at the Italian Consulate in the UK, if you have time before you leave.

3. Find accommodation

To be able to register residency, you will need a permanent address. Ideally, you will have purchased a property you can move straight into and have the documentation for it. If you need to initially go into rented accommodation make sure you have a formal, registered contract.

The police will visit unannounced to check you are living there and that the accommodation is habitable

If staying with friends or family they will need to complete a declaration confirming this. Check with your local commune exactly what they require. Remember that as part of the residency process the police will visit unannounced to check you are living there and that the accommodation is habitable.

4. Buy a property

The dream is to arrive in Italy and purchase a property straight away. If you have the funds ready and available to move quickly, you will be in a strong position to negotiate on price. Get a lawyer to check that everything is in order at the seller’s end.

A house to move to taly before the Brexit transition period ends

A country home in Sicily


You should be prepared to walk away if there are any issues that could delay the sale going through. When we came to Italy, we found a property after one week of looking, and within 6 weeks it was ours.

Get your free Italian Viewing Trip Guide today.


5. Secure healthcare

Once officially resident in Italy you can register with the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), which is low cost. However, your residency application must be accompanied by evidence of one of the following:

  • S1 form, which the UK issues to state pensioners
  • “INPS” (Italian national insurance) enrolment or work contract; or
  • At least one year’s private health insurance policy.

Private Health insurance purchased in Italy starts at about at €150 per year. But, make sure the policy you choose will be accepted by your local Anagrafe office with your residency application, and that the cover is adequate for you needs.  Get the free Healthcare Guide

6. Register your residency

For UK citizens, registering your residency in Italy before 31st December 2020 should be your number one priority. To register that you are now resident in Italy, you must visit the Anagrafe (Registery Office) of your municipality of residence. Decide on what basis you want to apply for residency – i.e. student, pensioner (must be of state pension age), economically inactive (e.g. early retiree) or family member of an EU or Italian citizen.

Can’t get to Italy in time? No problem: see how to move to Italy After Brexit.

Make sure you have all the documents required and take photocopies. The time it takes can vary greatly and often depends how soon the police come out to check you are resident. This can be up to 45 days. Once approved, your residency should be backdated to the date you first requested it. You can then request an Identity card “Carta d’Identita” which you should carry on you, for those occasions when you are asked for ID.

7. Request an “Attestazione”

One of the most important pieces of paper you need to get is the ‘Attestazione di Iscrizione Anagrafica’. There has been a lot of confusion this year, with some comune denying you need one, and others issuing the wrong document. This piece of paper is your proof that you became legally resident prior to 31st December 2020 and are entitled to be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (WA).

The heading on the correct document is:  “Ai sensi dell’art.18.4 dell’Accordo sul recesso del Regno Unito e dell’Irlanda del Nord dall’Unione Europea e del decreto legislativo del 6 febbraio 2007, n. 30”. Look out for the reference to “art.18.4” and the year “2007”. After already going through the residency process, it is possible for this document to be done in minutes.

8. Get your finances organised

Make sure you can demonstrate you have enough money to support yourself and not be a burden on the state. You will be asked to show a bank statement with your residency application. They will be looking for an amount or income that is higher than the current Italian social security income. In 2020 it was around €6,000 for a single person, €9,000 for a couple and €15,000 for a family of four.

Moving money abroad from UK bank accounts, can be extremely costly in terms of exchange rates and fees, most people opt to use a transfer company.  I always recommend Smart Currency Exchange, as they have a lot of experience of transferring money for house purchases and can secure exchange rates that have saved people thousands. It’s advisable to open an Italian bank account, from which you can pay utility bills.

9. Get an Italian phone

When you move to Italy, it’s sensible to get an Italian telephone number as soon as possible. Tradespeople, delivery drivers,  government offices and even other expats aren’t going to want to contact you on a foreign number. When you buy an Italian Sim card you are generally asked for your “Codice Fiscale” and they will photocopy your passport. Monthly payments start from 5 euros.

10. Exchange your driving licence

After moving your residence to Italy, you should exchange your UK driving licence for an Italian one. Currently this is just a straight forward exchange, but after 31st December 2020 you might be required to take an Italian driving test in Italian. As time is short, the quickest way to convert a UK licence to an Italian licence is to visit your nearest Ufficio Provinciale della Motorizzazione Civile. In 2019 it took 20 days, but it may now be longer. This was my experience of exchanging my licence. .


Download the Italy Buying Guide today

The process of buying property in Italy is significantly different from here in the UK. This is why we’ve created our completely free Italy Buying Guide, to provide those dreaming of a new life in Italy with all of the practical, legal, and financial information needed to help them realise that dream.

  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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