The promise made by the UK government to British citizens resident in the EU, that their residence rights would be protected post-Brexit is still a work in progress.
A recent review by the British Embassy revealed that only one-third of British citizens resident in Italy has applied for the electronic “carta di soggiorno” from the Questura. This document is optional and not mandatory, however it is strongly recommended. Due to widespread misunderstanding by the Italian authorities about our new unique status as third country nationals, albeit protected by the UK-EU Withdrawal agreement, this document is without doubt the most effective means of demonstrating permission to reside in Italy.
Permesso di soggiorno
British citizens who were resident in Italy pre-Brexit are frequently and incorrectly asked by Italian authorities to produce a permesso di soggiorno. The computer systems of the Comune and other government authorities require this to be entered automatically when the given nationality is non-EU. British citizens are not required to hold a permesso di soggiorno unless they are applying for residence in Italy after 31st December 2021.
If a British citizen is required to hold a permesso di soggiorno, this implies that they will have entered Italy post-Brexit with a visa issued by the Italian Consulate in their country of residence, for one of the categories of entry visa set out in Law no. 286/1998 as amended (testo unico immigrazione), such as the elective residence visa or a work permit.
We were contacted recently by a British client, resident in Italy for more than 10 years, who was shocked when his accountant notified him that his residence had been cancelled by the Comune. His name and those of other British nationals had been included in a list of non-EU nationals who had failed to declare the renewal of their address (“dimora abituale“), after the renewal of their permesso di soggiorno. The British Consulate intervened in this case. Eventually the error was accepted and his residence reinstated.
We have made representations to the British Embassy in Italy that the application process for entry visas made in the Italian Consulate in the UK is unfairly slow. We have also noticed a substantial rise in the number of refusals of the elective residence visa, often simply due to a misunderstanding by the Consulate of the financial information provided to prove the passive income requirement. This is affecting British citizens who have property in Italy and are applying for residence in order to spend longer than the permitted 90 days at one time in their Italian home.
Any British citizen who does not hold a carta di soggiorno is advised to show the Attestazione di Iscrizione Anagrafica issued by the Comune. In case of an enquiry they can refer to the Vademecum published by the Ministero dell’Interno.