How to apply for Residency in Italy as an EU Citizen

European Union citizens who want to live in Italy do not need a visa. Part of the EU community, they are entitled to free movement across any EU country. However, EU citizens must still apply for residency in Italy.

In a way, this is a bit of a formality, because EU citizens are guaranteed residency, BUT you have to meet certain basic conditions.

Technically, much like applying for a permesso di soggiorno, EU citizens should apply for residency within 8 days of arriving in Italy if they plan to stay for longer than three months. But unless you are familiar with Italian systems, this is going to be a long process. Simply get started as soon as you can and take it one step at a time.

I am not an EU citizen, but my husband is and we went through the Italian residency process together so here is how to apply for residency in Italy if you hold an EU passport:

  1. Get a codice fiscale: An Italian fiscal code is a unique identifier that is assigned to you based on your full name and birthday. You have to have this officially from the agenzia dell’entrate to even make an appointment for residency (not some weird online version).  Here’s how to get a codice fiscale if you don’t have one.
  2. Make an appointment at the anagrafe. If you live in a large city like Rome, this May have to be done months in advance. Even if this is your first residency, the appointment you need is for a “cambia di residenza”. For these large cities, you can make an appointment online at (which I highly recommend because in Rome the wait for a residency appointment is about 3 months).
  3. Bring the required documents, including your EU passport, a completed Dichiarazione di Residenza, your marriage certificate plus an Italian translation (if applying together), a registered housing contract, and a work contract (or proof of health insurance* and proof of income if you are self-employed). Bring photocopies of each document and/or change and a lot of hope that it is your lucky day and the lone photocopy machine on site is working.
  4. Wait 45 days. Now that you have registered your residency, it needs to be verified. An official will come to visit the address to confirm that you do reside there. If you do not answer the door when they arrive unannounced (e.g. if you are at work or the supermarket etc), they will leave a card with a date and time to come in person to certify that your address is correct. As long as this is done within 45 days of your application, you can now return to the anagrafe to pick up your residency certificate.


*Health insurance should be for a minimum duration of one year. Once you are a resident, you can register for the Italian health system.

46 thoughts on “How to apply for Residency in Italy as an EU Citizen

  1. Melanie says:

    Thanks a lot for this! It is so helpful since the system is… a little complex.
    To clarify, when you say ” *Health insurance should be for a minimum duration of one year. ” – meaning they expect you to register for a private healthcare, in Italy (I suspect it doesn’t work if in your country of origin even in EU?), and for it to last at least one year (from the date of… requesting the residency card?).
    Also, do you happen to know: don’t we need a residency card to be able to have a “registered housing contract”? Or are landlord happy to rent regarding of that?
    Thanks again!

    • Natalie says:

      Actually, you need the registered housing contract first in order to get residency. The landlord renting to you does so legally, and so then you can legally request residency because you are, well, officially a resident.

      There is no residency card for EU citizens. You will eventually get a form if you want one, but when you apply you have to show that you have insurance for one year from that date.

  2. eddie sharples says:

    Hi, thanks for the article. I’m looking for cheap health insurance to fulfill the residency requirements. Which company did your husband use? Many thanks

  3. Melanie Rabier says:

    Hi Natalie!
    You were able to register to the SSN before getting a Residency Card? Did you need anything else specifically to get the insurance?

    • Natalie says:

      Hi! No – we were able to pay for the SSN without getting residency but could not register for the SSN until the residency was confirmed.

      • Teresa says:

        Hi Natalie
        This is very helpful advice. I am in a situation where I have gained residency in Italy after being assured that my work contract is adequate to receive state health care. I am now being told that it’s the wrong sort of contract and doesn’t make the right contributions. I thought that as a UK citizen I could pay a voluntary contribution to the health system, as it looks like you did and therefore have its cover but I am being told that that is not the case either. I would feel much better to be part of a national health system. In our opinion is it possible to make voluntary contributions?

  4. Lacey says:

    My spouse is a dual US/Swiss citizen (which in Schengen… are all the rules the same for Schengen and everyone just says EU for ease?).

    Most income comes from me (a US citizen only), and I am waiting for my visa still, but we file U.S. taxes together and have dual accounts. The lease was only signed in my name and is legally registered. We have many shared financial accounts with an adequate safety net of 6+ months expenses. Health insurance is through my US-based employer and provides for coverage overseas, plus we have an emergency travel policy (but is only issued for 200 days, also through work).

    While I await my visa, could my spouse request residency with the documents we have and immediately buy and register a car? Our US-based insurer does provide auto insurance to expats in Italy at a reasonable rate.


    • Natalie says:

      Hi Lacey – I *think* so! At the very least, your spouse should make an appointment with the anagrafe because this sometimes takes time depending on the commune you are moving to. If the lease is only in your name, you will need the landlord to write an official letter that your spouse also lives there.

      • Geneviève says:

        Hey! My husband is an EU citizen as well and we’re planning on moving to Rome this September, and the whole process is so confusing! You say that we need to apply within 8 days of arrival and that we need a housing contract, but we were planning to live in a convent or in an airbnb for the first month until we can visit and find an apartment. Coming earlier to find one is not an option as we’re in Canada and we have 2 babies… How would you reconcile that? Thanks for any help!

        • Natalie says:

          Your husband should apply for residency as soon as you have a contract. Without a housing contract, he’s not technically a resident, so all the non-EU citizens in the family only have the right to 90 day stays at that point (as far as I know)

  5. Amanda says:

    Hi and thanks for the post ? I want to join my EU husband who lives in Itay, but I’m American. Do I need to enter Italy on a special VISA, or can is a normal tourist VISA ok to go through the process? Thanks!

  6. Vera says:

    Hello Natalie,

    I’m planning to make an adventure trip to Italy. I have EU passport and I planned to come to Italy for 2 months and try to find a job. So maximum I will have Airbnb booked rent and money to live for 2 months and no work contract. What do you think: Should I apply residency? Will they give it to me without work contract?
    Thank you in advance for answer.

  7. Paulo Lizana says:

    First, thanks a lot Natalie for claryfing some points.

    In my case, I had the appointment and I drop off my papers, the gave me a new paper and when I asked the lady told me I’m already resident, is it like that? … anyway, do you know what would happen if they don’t come to my home after 45 days, it has passed almost a monht, I’m starting to worry.


  8. Ken says:

    Hi Natalie,
    My wife and I have been cruising the Med for near 20 years, are from Ireland, have EU passports and are planning to settle in Sicily with our boat, so far we never stay more than 50 days (staying inside our travel ins limit). If settle for one place we’d like to have a car
    Do we need residency to own an Italian reg car?

    • Natalie says:

      I believe you will definitely need it for Italian insurance, even if you are able to purchase the car without it.

  9. Eva says:

    Hey Natalie,
    Thank you for this article.
    I’m a digital nomad employed in another EU country and that’s where I pay my taxes. However, I’ve decided to settle for some time in a small town in Italy. When I went to apply for the residence, they told me I should apply as unemployed because they don’t consider my foreign contract to be valid here. I don’t know if this is true or the person who talked to me is misinformed because they have no experience with nomads working online. Would you advise me to try the procedure as an employed or unemployed EU citizen?

    • Natalie says:

      Hi! I don’t really know… but Italy has residency-based taxation which means that staying for 180 days/year means that your worldwide income is taxable here

  10. Juliette Robson says:

    Thanks for an informative post. We are UK citizens, but have residency in South Africa. This caused major confusion with our Anagrafe (a relatively small town in the Marche region) We got given the runaround quite a few times, we were denied residency here outright at first, but we persevered. They finally asked for our original marriage certificate, original codice fiscale and at some point were interested in our birth certificates too, no matter how much we pointed out that their own requirements did not say this at all. My advice is to take along a calm italian friend who can help as they get very excited when they do not know how to process your documentation and just try and lump the whole lot back at you! But above all be patient and polite and rather take originals and translated copies with you to avoid repeated trips.

  11. Paul says:

    Thanks for your post. My wife & son have EU (mon-Italian) passports as well as US passports. I have only a US passport. We’re planning to retire in Italy and become residents and have been looking at apartments to purchase. There is some confusion as to whether as a spouse of an EU member I would need separate health insurance or, as some have suggested, as the spouse I would be afforded all the rights and privileges of an EU member myself.

    Any thoughts?

    • Dragos says:

      Hello, could you possibly share more information on the online request and processing? From what I checked on the website, you need to be “registered”, which is kind of the whole point for which you are using it in the first place…

  12. Heather Ciechanowski says:

    Paul and I have a similar situation. My daughter and I have EUPassports as well as US passports . My husband has a US passport. We are retiring to Italy. We have recently purchased a home in Tuscany. We are currently back in the US to sell our home in California . I am trying to figure out if we need to purchase health insurance when we return to Italy while we deal with the residency permits or can we simply go to the SSN? If we need to purchase insurance can anyone suggest an Italian carrier?
    Thank you


    • Natalie says:

      Hi Heather – it will depend on your anagrafe, and the person you get. Technically, you should have a work contract that guarantees enrollment in the SSN, or private insurance.

  13. Ben says:

    Hi all,

    Firstly, thanks for the information Natalie, you sure know your stuff! I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this but any advice would be great.

    In a nutshell, I am a UK resident but spend 3 weeks a month in Italy and 1 week in the UK. I work for a UK company and my girlfriend and I have a house just outside of Rome. Everything here is registered under her name (she is Italian) and technically I am a tourist whenever I visit. I am hopeful to change this but looking at all of the different websites I am somewhat confused.

    I am looking to get a Codice Fiscale in the coming weeks, I believe I can go to Rome to do this but I imagine it might be easier said than done based on our current experience with getting anything done – we can’t even get a phone line! Then I was looking at the possibility of dual residency, I’m not sure if this is a thing as some places say it is, where others say it is not possible.

    Finally, I am curious about healthcare, I pay taxes in the UK (but spend most of my money in Italy!) and am unsure what to do about when I’m in Italy, my travel insurance covers me for up to 30 days but I’d rather have full coverage just in case. I’m not sure if I can apply for SSN or should just take out private coverage.

    I’m not sure if anyone has any advice but any sort of guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks,

  14. Brian Grimwade says:

    Hi Natalie
    I think we must have been lucky, we got residency and the Public Health care in 24 hrs !
    We did have a lawyer assist us as we both the commune and the Health people needed proof from the other regarding status prior to issuing the paperwork, a quick word to our solicitor organised our house purchase and 5 mins later all was resolved.
    We also heard a lot about the difficulty of registering a foreign car in Italy but that took only a week and two visits to the office.

  15. Ollie says:

    Hi Natalie, thanks so much for this info. And thanks also for being on hand to answer all of us strangers’ questions! My Italian partner and I want to move into his house together (Impruneta, Toscana), but I’m currently based in the UK (UK citizen, formerly a resident). I wondered if you knew anything about the viabilty of all this in the context of COVID? I know I have to prove residency upon entry, but if I present a copy of my codice fiscale, an Italian student card (I’m enrolled still at university in Padova) and the filled in forms you point to, with proof of a meeting scheduled at the local anagrafe, and proof that my partner (who I would be arriving with) has a house and some form of proof that he formally invites me to live there – what are my chances of turning up and beginning the process in the coming weeks? I speak Italian, already have insurance, an italian bank account, and can find work, although not declared/formally, which probably doesn’t help much. Any pointers would be massively appreciated. Thank you so so so much!!!

  16. Nesli says:

    I am from UK and would like to complete EU residency before 31st Dec
    I have questions if you could help will be much appreciated
    1- Rent contract what type of rental contract it should be? How long and the contract type name?
    2- Any income salary we can show a required? I can only show what I am earning from UK?
    3- Providing that we got the residency after 45 days is it ok leave back to UK to continue my work and go back as often but will not be 183 days a year until I retire , is this OK?
    4- years s there any region or town that residency check could be quickest and rent us not very expensive
    Many Thanks

  17. Helga says:

    I am just so grateful I found this post! I’m about to move to Italy after the lockdown is over, and I’m EU citizen, and been freaking out about all the processes on how to apply for my residency. I’m still really unsure how it’s going to go if I want to register as self-employed in Italy upon arrival, but that’s a smaller issue. Thanks so much for sharing this article, it took off a big worry of my shoulders!

  18. Alex says:

    To all those interested, you can now file your residency application by submitting the required form and relevant docs via email to the Anagrafe in the Municipio where you reside. They are responsive. In the municipio where I live, appointments are not necessary nor available.

  19. Lloyd says:

    My wife is an EU-citizen (Ireland), I’m American. We wish to retire in Italy. If I understood correctly, the web site of an Italian legal firm “Studio Legale Metta”, mentioned that as pensioners seeking residency in Italy, we need to have a statement of benefits (understood) AND Euro 8,400 (Euro 4,200 X two) in a bank account when we apply (not understood). Is this true? Thanks very much. Lloyd

  20. James Unger says:

    My common law partner of 10 years is dual Portuguese/Canadian. I am only a Canadian citizen and as we are not married we have no marriage certificate. As I understand, my Canadian/Portuguese partner would not have a problem getting her residency, but is it possible for myself to get an Italian residency? Would I have to prove a minimum income or does Italy recognize common law equally to marriage? In Canada, common law partners are given the same rights as married couples.

  21. Brian says:

    Hi Natalie, many thanks for this useful information. I work in the UK but as an academic I do not need to be in London for 5-months each year. As such, I am planning to buy a house in Italy and intend spending 6-months each year in Italy with my wife. I have an EU passport but she has a British passport. Can I be resident in Italy if I am earning my income from the UK or must I pay tax in Italy? Many thanks, Brian

  22. Szymon says:

    Hi Natalie,
    Thank you for this article it helped me a lot.
    just a quick question where can I apply for residency and if I study at an Italian public university, do I get insurance

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