A MESSAGE FROM JILL MORRIS, HER MAJESTY’S AMBASSADOR
British Embassy Rome
Issue No. 10
Friday 5 April 2019
I wanted to update you following the publication of the Italian government’s No Deal Decree on the 25thMarch.
Italian Government No Deal contingency planning
On the 25th March the Italian government published Decreto-Legge n.22, 2019 which outlined their contingency plans for a No Deal scenario. Articles 14, 15 and 17 of that Decreto provides information about the rights of UK nationals living in Italy, if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal. I’ve included a brief summary below which has also been published on our Living in Italy guide. We will continue to keep these pages updated as we know more.
- If you are a UK national who has lived in Italy for at least 5 continuous years by Exit day and you are in possession of a current residency certificate, you and your family will need to apply for a new non-EU long term residency permit(permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo) at your local policy station (questura).
- If you have lived in Italy for less than 5 continuous years, you and your family can apply for a non-EU temporary residency permit which will be valid for 5 years. After 5 continuous years’ residency you can apply for the long-term permit.
- All UK nationals officially resident in Italy on the day the UK leaves the EU will have until 31 December 2020 to obtain their new permit. Until then your EU residency permit will remain valid.
- We continue to engage with the Italian government for further details on what documentation, if any, will be required when you obtain your new non-EU residency permit. Please remember that this only applies in a No Deal scenario. You are not required to attend your questura now.
Healthcare and Social Security Coordination
- Art 17 of the Decree outlines the Italian government’s offer to continue social security coordination and access to healthcare until 31 December 2020 under the EC Regulation No. 883/2004 on a reciprocal basis. This is a firm commitment from the Italian government to ensure that all UK nationals, including S1 and S2 holders, will have access to healthcare as they do now, on the day after Exit. It matches the UK offer and is welcome news. Further updates will be published in our Living in Italy guide.
Italian citizenship applications
- The Decreto provides welcome clarification on Italian citizenship applications. UK nationals applying for Italian citizenship who have the required 4 years residency in Italy on Exit day will be considered as an EU national until 31 December 2020 when applying.
- I and my team are continuing to meet with the Italian government to gain clarity on remaining issues regarding a No Deal scenario. These include family reunification rights, the validity of UK driving licences after EU Exit, Italian border control measures after EU Exit, voting rights and the recognition of professional qualifications. In the UK, we have reassured EU citizens and their family members living in the UK that they are welcome to stay in the event of a No Deal scenario. We have based our approach on the Withdrawal Agreement, to ensure EU nationals will continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services on broadly the same terms as now. We are working with the Italian government on a fully reciprocal offer.
If the UK leaves the EU with a Deal
- On 21 December 2018 the Italian Government announced that it will fully implement the rights in article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. It would apply a ‘declaratory procedure’ that will recognise the rights of all UK nationals legally resident in Italy before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). UK nationals officially resident in Italy before 31 December 2020 will be able to continue living and working in Italy broadly as they do now. The Withdrawal Agreement commits all parties to implement a smooth, streamlined and transparent procedure for residents to regulate their status post-Exit.
What should I be doing now?
- The Italian Decreto published on the 25th March refers to the rights of UK nationals in a No Deal scenario only. Before the UK leaves the EU, if you are a UK national living in Italy and you haven’t yet registered officially as a resident, you should do so immediately. If you are unable to get an appointment until after the UK leaves the EU, you should retain all evidence of having tried to do so, as well as evidence of living in Italy on Exit day.
- If you are still driving on a UK driving licence, you should exchange your licence for an Italian one before the UK leaves the EU. If you do not, then you may be required to re-take your test after Exit day.
- If your UK passport is nearing the end of its validity, you should renew it now. After the UK leaves the EU, your UK passport will need to have at least 6 months validity remaining to travel to EU countries.
- Please continue to check our Living in Italy page which we will keep updated on how to secure your rights in Italy. When changes are made, you can receive email alerts by signing up here. UK Nationals in the EU has a wealth of official information on the UK Exit and how it might affect you. You can find information for UK nationals living in the EU in the absence of a withdrawal agreement here. Lastly you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well as my own @JillMorrisFCO for further updates.
Last week we hosted the latest of our public meetings with UK nationals in Genova. In the next few weeks events will be taking place in Turin, Lucca and Venice. At all events we are able to update those present on current negotiations and to answer questions on a range of issues. So please keep an eye out for future announcements and join us if you can. You can also let us know what regions you would like us to visit by emailing us at uknationals.inItaly@fco.gov.uk.
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy