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:
- 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.
- 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 tupassi.it (which I highly recommend because in Rome the wait for a residency appointment is about 3 months).
- 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.
- 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.