A MESSAGE FROM JILL MORRIS, HER MAJESTY’S AMBASSADOR
British Embassy Rome
Issue No. 11
Wednesday 5 June 2019
I wanted to update you following the passing of the Italian No Deal decree through the Italian parliament.
Italian Government No Deal contingency planning
The Italian decree on No Deal planning was published on 25 March. Parliament had 60 days to turn it into law. After the approval by the Senate, the text was passed in the lower chamber on 16 May. The law (Legge 20 maggio 2019, n. 41) will be enforced only in the event of the UK exiting the EU without a deal.
You can find a summary of the law’s main provisions, including residency and healthcare rights, in my last Newsletter, as well as on our Living in Italy guide. We will continue to keep these pages updated as we learn more.
What has changed in the final law?
- The loss of permanent residency rights after a 10 months cumulative absence from Italy hasnow been removed. Permanent residency rights (the right to a ‘permesso di soggiorno di lungo periodo’) will be lost after an absence of 6 months in a 12 month period in the last 5 years of residency before Exit.
- The law now includes an explicitreference to reciprocal healthcare including S1 and S2 coverage until December 2020. This again illustrates the Italian commitment to ensure UK nationals resident in Italy on Exit day, and who currently have healthcare paid for by the UK, will continue to have access to healthcare.
- The law protectsthe rights of students in Italy enrolled in 2019/2020 to continue on their current status as well as recognising professional qualifications already held on Exit day or in the process of being recognised.
- A numberof ‘Ordini del giorno’ are now included in the law. These ‘commit the government to consider’ areas not previously included in the Decree, for example: family reunification rights, social security coordination, the recognition of the qualifications of lawyers who practice under home title, the rights of frontier works, voting and ownership rights.
- The law also states that the option of providing atransition period in which to covert a UK driving licence to an Italian one should be considered as well as consideration of providing for the continued mutual recognition of driving licences.
- There is a further commitment to evaluate a mechanism which allows UK nationals with permanent residency rights ‘soggiorno permanente’to continue to be entitled to healthcare on the basis of reciprocity.
How can I ensure my rights are protected under the new law, in a No Deal scenario?
- As I outlined in my last newsletter, 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-EUlong term residency permit (permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo) at your local police station (questura).
- If you have lived in Italy for less than 5 continuous years, you and your family can apply for a non-EUtemporary residency permitwhich 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 willhave until 31 December 2020 to obtain their new permit. Until then your current EU residency certificate will remain valid.
- We continue to engage 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.
Italian citizenship applications
- The law reiterates the previous Decree’s provision on applying for Italian citizenship. UK nationals will have until31 December 2020 to apply for Italian citizenship on the basis of EU nationality if you have been living in Italy for at least 4 years by Exit day.
If the UK leaves the EU with a Deal
- On 21 December 2018 theItalian 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.
EU Settlement Scheme in the UK
- In the UK, we have reassuredEU citizens and their family members living in the UK that they are welcome to stay. The EU Settlement Scheme is now up and running. On Thursday 30 May, Home Secretary Sajid Javidannounced that more than 750,000 applications have now been received. He also announced that 57 organisations across the UK have been awarded up to £9 million in funding to help EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
EU Student funding in the UK
- On the 28thMay the UK Universities Minister announced that EU students starting university in 2020/21 academic year will have guaranteed home fee status and financial support for the duration of courses in England.
- EU nationals who start a higher education course in England in the 2020/21 academic year will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support, Advanced Learner loans as well as FE and apprenticeships support, whether a deal for leaving the EU is in place or not.
- The announcement follows the Government’s existing commitment on student finance for EU nationals starting courses in England in the 2019/20 academic year or before.
What should I be doing now?
- 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 shoulddo 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 shouldrenew 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 ourLiving in Italy page, which we keep regularly 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 EUhas 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 I hosted the latest of our public meetings with UK nationals in Palermo. This month events will be taking place in Naples, Florence and Rome. At all events we are able to update those present on the current situation and to answer questions on a range of issues. So please keep an eye out for futureannouncementsand join us if you can. You can also let us know what regions you would like us to visit by emailing us atuknationals.inItaly@fco.gov.uk.
Jill Morris CMG
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Italy