Posted by Millie Empson on May 23rd, 2019.
Italy is a popular destination for Brits who want to dive into living la dolce vita abroad. From the food, to the culture, to the weather, Italy could be the perfect place for you to relocate in Europe.
But if you want to make the leap and move there, here are a few things you will need to consider.
Currently, both the UK and Italy are part of the European Union, which means you can visit for up to three months without a visa.
To enter the country as a British citizen you require a valid passport for the date of the duration of your stay in Italy.
However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal it is likely this approach will become less relaxed. Possibly, you may find that you will be expected to have at least six months validity on your passport from the date you arrive in the country.
If you wish to stay longer you may need a residency certificate (attestato d’iscrizione anagrafica) that will grant you residence for five years.
After the five years have passed you will then be able to apply for permanent residency.
Rents are cheap in Italy compared to the UK, and in rural locations you will find rent is much cheaper. If you are looking for retirement properties or somewhere far away from the hustle and bustle of a city this could be the perfect option for you.
If you are planning to purchase a property you’ll probably need to make a large transfer of money. One way you can save money on this is to take advantage of transfer options from TorFX, such as a Forward Contract. This will allow you to fix exchange rates for up to two years.
For those of working age it is generally advisable to find a job before you take the plunge and move to Italy. Finding employment in Italy can be more challenging compared to the UK. The unemployment rate in Italy is considerably higher, and this is especially true among young people.
One thing to note is that it can be difficult finding work if you do not speak Italian. However, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or working in the tourism sector would be a good place to start as these often require people with high levels of English.
If you work for a multinational corporation in the UK that has a base in Italy it is worth enquiring about whether there are any expat transfer opportunities. This can bag you a good salary and you may even be given a generous relocation package.
If you move to Italy you will need to open a bank account there for everyday transactions and bills. To open a bank account you will have to wait until you have moved to Italy, unless you are opening a non-resident account.
The easiest way to open your account is in person, and to do this you will need the following:
Once you have opened your account a great way to save money on transferring money between your British and new Italian bank account is to use a currency transfer provider.
Using a currency provider such as TorFX you will be able to save money by getting the best exchange rates and saving on bank transfer fees.
Much like the UK, Italy has a national healthcare service, the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). This can be cheap for expats to use as long as you have the required paperwork as a resident.
As an EU national (for the time being, at least) you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to gain access to the SSN. However, once you have residential status and your Italian identity card (carta d’identità) you will then be able to apply for an Italian health insurance card (tessera sanitaria).
However, many expats still prefer opting for private health insurance. The costs of this will vary depending upon your age and state of health.
If you have children, or plan on having children while you are in Italy, another factor you will need to consider is schooling.
Education in Italy is considered to be of a high quality, although you may find the style of teaching a little different. There is more of an emphasis on oral tests rather than written ones.
Undertaking some form of education is compulsory for kids in Italy from the age of six to sixteen, while any pre-school education is optional and homeschooling your kids is permitted.
One thing to note is that public education is free to everyone, including the children of expats.
Many expats will send their children to a public school as it is a great way for your children to integrate into the local community and learn the language. However, you may find that local children are given preference for places in public schools over the children of expats.
If you would prefer your children to be taught in English there are many private international and foreign schools. These are generally only chosen by wealthy expats and those with generous education allowances as part of their expat packages as these private schools are notoriously expensive.
Good luck moving to Italy!
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