Thank you to everyone who joined us last week for our live Q & A event on ‘Future Travel and Mobility’. You’ll find below and here on our Facebook page a selection of some of the questions raised.
Please look out for our next session coming soon on residency and registration.
I live in the UK but own a second property in Italy, where I spend a significant part of the year. Will I still be able to divide my time between the EU and Italy after the end of the transition period?
The EU has already legislated that UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in a rolling 180-day period. This will apply from 1 January 2021 onwards, to all UK nationals travelling to and within the Schengen area for tourism, to visit friends or family, to attend cultural or sports events or exchanges, to attend business meetings, for journalistic or media purposes, for medical treatment, for short-term studies or training or any similar activities.
Stays beyond the EU’s 90/180 day visa-free allocation from 1 January 2021 onwards may be possible, but as things stand this will be a decision for the government of the individual Member State to make and implement, in the same way that EU Member States already do for non-EU citizens. To stay for longer than 90 days in a rolling 180-day period, you may need a visa and/or permit from the relevant Member State.
The Travel Advice pages on gov.uk contain the latest information, including on entry requirements, for UK nationals planning to travel to Europe.
We will continue to update those pages with the latest information, including on entry requirements, for UK nationals planning to travel.
I am resident in the UK but I may wish to move to Italy in the future to settle. Will this be possible?
Outside of any negotiated mobility provisions, the European Commission has confirmed that UK nationals who move or travel to a country in the Schengen area after the transition period will be treated as third country nationals under EU and Member State migration rules. UK nationals who want to move to the EU after the transition period will be subject to individual Member States’ domestic immigration rules for third-country nationals, and will need to comply with any visa requirements of the relevant Member State.
I spend 5 months a year in Italy. Can I get residency now, so that I can continue to come and go as I like? And what’s the difference between temporary and permanent residency?
During this year, UK nationals are able to live, work and travel in Italy as they did before exit. If you want to take up residency before the end of the transition period (31 December) you will need to be lawfully living in Italy and register for a residence status.
Provided you are lawfully resident in Italy before the end of the transition period, you will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. This would have implications on your entitlements to healthcare and other benefits in the UK.
You will be able to apply for temporary residence and stay until you have accumulated five years continuous residence, at which point you will acquire the right to permanent residence.
In order to qualify for permanent residence, you will need to have been continuously resident in Italy for the past five years. To be considered continuously resident you need to have spent at least 6 months per year in Italy. Longer periods of absence are allowed in certain circumstances.
Further information on the Withdrawal Agreement is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration.
Further information on applying for residency in Italy is available on our Living in Italy guide.
I am a UK national and want to apply for temporary residency in Italy by the end of the year. Will I be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement if I do so – and do I need to stay in Italy to maintain my temporary residency status?
If you are lawfully living in Italy by 31 December you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Your rights will be protected for as long as you remain lawfully living in Italy. You should register for residency as soon as you can. Italy requires you to register if you are staying in Italy for longer than 90 days.
If you register as a resident you will hold a residency status of a temporary resident. As a temporary resident you will need to be present in the country for 183 days in a 365 day period otherwise you will break your temporary residency status. These days do not have to be consecutive. By following these guidelines, you will build up continuous residency, which is measured in years. If over five years, if you have been in Italy for 183 days total across 365 days for five consecutive years, you will qualify for Permanent Residency.
As a permanent resident under the Withdrawal Agreement you are able to be absent from Italy for up to five years without losing your permanent residency status and your status under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Further information on applying for residency in Italy is available on our Living in Italy guide.
How does 90/180 visa-free travel work? How are the Schengen Area travel rules calculated? Is the 90-day limit reset after every trip?
The definition of a short stay for non-EU citizens in the Schengen area is “90 days in any 180-day period”. This is a rolling 180-day period.
[Wording from European Commission’s user guide – link below] The date of entry is considered as the first day of stay in the Schengen territory. The date of exit is considered as the last day of stay in the Schengen territory. The 180-day reference period is not fixed. It is a moving window, based on the approach of looking backwards at each day of the stay, be it at the moment of entry or on the day of an actual check, such as inland police control or border check on departure. Absence for an uninterrupted period of 90 days allows for a new stay of up to 90 days.
How are the Schengen Area rules implemented for those travelling between Member States/across internal borders e.g. for holidays or weekends away?
The length of a short stay is calculated between the date of entry to the Schengen Area and the date of exit. The time can be spent in any Schengen Area country.
The short stay time-limit is calculated separately in EU Member States that are not part of the Schengen Area. This means that a separate 90 days in any 180-day period can be spent in each of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia individually.
Further information on the Schengen Area travel rules is available on the European Commission’s website – see the user guide above.
Will I need a visa to work in another EU country in the future?
The EU has legislated that UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to and within the Schengen Area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This will apply from the end of the transition period to all UK nationals travelling to and within the Schengen Area for tourism, to attend business meetings, for journalistic or media purposes, to attend cultural or sports events or exchanges, for short-term studies or training and any similar activities.
However, this visa waiver will not apply to UK nationals travelling for the purpose of taking up work or providing a service in the Member States. Member States may require a visa and/or work permit from UK nationals intending to work or provide a service there, even if it is for fewer than 90 days.
UK nationals should check with the Embassy of the country where they plan to travel for work or to provide a service for what type of visa or permit, if any, they will need.
The Travel Advice pages provide the most up to date information on travelling to EU Member States Travel Advice page. These pages are updated on a regular basis.
Information about entry requirements for UK nationals intending to work or provide a service in an EU Member State after the transition period is available here, on our advice pages for providing services in the EU.
Further guidance on travelling to the EU for business after the transition period is available here.
My Italian family members enter the UK using their Italian ID card. Can they continue to do so?
Italian citizens can, for now, continue to use an ID card at the UK border. During 2021, EU citizens (other than those with protected rights under the Withdrawal Agreement) will have to use a passport rather than a national ID card to cross the border. The UK will announce further details of plans in due course and will provide notice of the changes in advance.
How long must my British passport be valid for at the point that I travel to the EU? Is this requirement different during the transition period and after the Transition Period?
UK nationals can continue to travel to or within the EU exactly as they do now until the end of the transition period.
New rules will apply to UK nationals for travel to the Schengen Area from 1 January 2021. British passport holders will need to have at least six months left on an adult or child passport to travel to countries in the Schengen Area. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months needed.
You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
I have residency status in Italy. So how will border officials know I don’t need a visa when I’m travelling back to Italy?
Rules on travelling remain unchanged this year. From next year UK nationals visiting Italy for longer than 90 days in 180 days may need a visa. This does not apply to those with residency status in Italy whose rights to live in Italy are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
If you are a resident we advise you to take your residency documentation with you when travelling (including the new ‘attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica’ issued under the Withdrawal Agreement) as well as your Italian ID card (which is only issued to residents in Italy). This documentation will show border officials that you are not limited to the 90 days in 180 days visa-free travel when returning home.
I am a resident in Italy. Will I need to have my passport stamped when travelling across the Italian border, for example if I visit friends in the UK?
Rules on travel remain unchanged this year. From 2021 UK nationals visiting Italy are likely to have their passport stamped when entering and exiting as evidence of the date of arrival and departure. As a resident in Italy you should not have your passport stamped. We recommend that you take your Italian ID card and your residency documentation with you when travelling.
I would like to have a biometric Italian ID card rather than the paper version I have at the moment. Can I exchange my current one for a biometric card?
You can obtain the updated biometric Italian ID card from your local comune when your current ID card has expired (or you have lost it or it has been damaged). Contact your local comune for more details.
I am a dual-national UK/Italian. What travel documents should I use when travelling between Italy and the UK?
Both a UK passport and an Italian ID card (without the wording NON VALIDO PER L’ESPATRIO) or passport are valid for entering the UK and Italy (Italian ID cards valid for travel are issued to those holding Italian nationality). You may wish to use a UK passport to enter the UK and your Italian ID card or passport to enter Italy. You should ensure that when travelling you hold the travel document that you used when checking into your flights if you are travelling by air.
I live in Italy but regularly work in France. Can I continue to do so from 2021 on the same basis as now?
Frontier workers are defined as EU citizens or UK nationals who regularly undertake economic activity in one or more states in which they do not reside, irrespective of whether they also work in the state of residence. Frontier workers may be employed or self-employed.
Individuals need to be frontier working at the end of the transition period (31 December this year) in order to be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and therefore continue to be able to work as you do now. Your rights are protected for as long as you continue to be a frontier worker.
You should therefore take professional advice as to whether you hold the status of a frontier worker. A frontier worker is a UK national or an EU citizen pursuing genuine and effective work as an employed or self-employed person in one or more host states and who resides in another state, unless or until they no longer retain the status of a worker (equivalent to that as defined in the Free Movement Directive) or they cease to work across a frontier in accordance with Articles 45 and 49 TFEU and Reg. 492/2011.
British Embassy Rome