ICA: Living in the EU as an Italian citizen
- WTI Magazine #149 Mar 19, 2022
Italian citizenship comes with many benefits; among these is the ability to travel to a number of countries without any restrictions, work, study and reside anywhere in the Europe Union, and access Italy’s high-quality universal healthcare service, affordable higher education system and competitive real estate market, to name a few.
If you are thinking of pursuing - or have already obtained - Italian citizenship by descent and are planning on relocating to Italy and Europe, this article will provide you with an overview of the advantages of moving to the EU as an Italian citizen. However, before we dig deeper into this subject we will briefly outline some of the features that characterize the EU.
Firstly, being a citizen of an EU member state means sharing common cultural, political and economic ties, which have resulted in the creation of a single market which is characterized by the free movement of goods, people, services and money. It also means sharing the EU’s core values such as the respect for human dignity, freedom, equality and the protection of human rights. Furthermore, membership with the EU entails promoting peace, stability and cooperation in a number of policy areas such as climate, the environment, justice and migration. There are several benefits to being an Italian and thus an EU citizen. As mentioned above, in fact, thanks to the free movement of people in the EU, Italian citizens can live, work, study or retire in any EU member state. Therefore, if you are applying for Italian citizenship by descent and you are planning on relocating to Europe, you will not need a visa or a residency permit when you enter Italy, however, there are a few rules to follow based on the time you plan on staying in the country.
Registering as a resident in Italy and in the EU
In particular, if you have been granted Italian citizenship and you decide to visit Italy for a short period of time you do not need to fulfil any formalities, however, you will need a valid passport (if travelling from a non-EU country) or an identity card (if you are traveling from within the EU). On the other hand, if you would like to stay in Italy long-term you will need to register with the registry office (Ufficio Anagrafe) in the municipality in Italy where you intend to reside. Being registered with the Anagrafe comes with many benefits, such as being able to obtain a tax code, registering with the national health service, obtaining an Italian ID, among others.
In order to establish legal residency in Italy you can file an application via the municipality and an officer from the municipality will have 45 days to verify that you are living in the property where you declared that you reside.
On the other hand, Italian citizens who intend to live abroad for longer than one year should register with the AIRE - the registry of Italian citizens residing abroad, which is held by the Italian consulate that covers the jurisdiction where they reside.
If you wish to move to another EU member state for longer than 3 months you will need to register your residence with the relevant authority (often the town hall or a local police station) and you will be issued a registration certificate. You will need to provide information regarding the reason for your stay; if you are not working, for instance, you may need to provide proof that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your stay, and you may also need to purchase a health insurance if you do not meet the requirements to be covered by the national health care system.
As with registering as a resident in Italy you will need a valid form of ID and you will need to provide information to justify your stay (e.g. a certificate of employment in the host country or proof of enrollment in an educational institution if you are a student, to name a few). For the specific requirements to register as a resident in the EU’s member states please visit the following page.
On the other hand, if you plan on visiting another EU member state for less than 3 months you will not need to fulfil any formalities.
If you want to relocate to Italy with your foreign spouse who intends to spend more than 3 months in Italy, he/she can apply for a residency permit. In order to apply your spouse will need your Italian marriage certificate issued by the municipality where the marriage was registered, his/her passport and passport-size photos. Please bear in mind the pre-requisite for your non-Italian spouse to obtain a permesso di soggiorno is that you are registered as a resident in an Italian municipality. The process may take longer than expected and therefore it is advisable for the Italian spouse to register as a resident upon arrival. For more information click here.
If you want to move to another EU member state, as the foreign spouse of an Italian citizen your spouse will need to apply for a residence card via the relevant authorities that cover the jurisdiction where you intend to reside. Note: you can only obtain a residency permit in another EU country if the Italian spouse is formally registered as a resident in that country.
Health care in Italy and in the EU
There are several advantages to being registered as a resident. In Italy, for example, this will enable you to be assigned to a general practitioner and you will be issued an Italian health card (tessera sanitaria), which will allow you to access the national health care system. If you would like to move to another EU member state, it will be worth applying for a European Health Insurance Card. In principle, the health services in another EU country are free of charge, except for payment of a ticket or other cost contribution schemes which are provided by the national legislation in force. Furthermore, if you are planning on relocating to Italy you might consider applying for a Codice Fiscale, the Italian tax code, which is used by public administration bodies to identify citizens living in Italy. The tax code is mandatory to be able to access a few services such as opening a bank account, entering a tenancy agreement, earning a salary and setting up utilities, to name a few. With regards to opening a bank account in Italy, it is worth pointing out that it is convenient to do so if you need to make payments to other countries in the EU. In fact, thanks to the Single Euro Payments Area, it is possible to make cashless euro payments via credit transfer and direct debit to 36 European countries, including several which are not part of the euro area in a fast, safe and efficient way. As for taxation in the EU, it is always advisable to speak with a specialist in international taxation. As a general rule, you are not required to pay taxes in Italy unless you spend more than six months in the country.
In conclusion, if your dream is to move to Italy or to another EU country, Italian citizenship will definitely open the doors to a lifelong investment and a number of benefits. If you are considering applying for Italian citizenship and you need information or help with determining whether you are eligible, please do not hesitate to contact ICA at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 1-323-892-0861. If you need further details please visit italiancitizenshipassistance.com.