Rome riverside with Castel Sant'Angelo | Become an Italian Resident


​Before you move to Italy you might be wondering about the residence permit, what it requires, and if there are any benefits associated with it. Whether you plan on going to work in Italy, to study, or to retire, you’ll need to apply for the residence permit.

Obtaining the Residence Permit

Any non-EU national who wants to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days must apply for an Italian long-stay visa before going to Italy as well as Italian Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno) after arriving in Italy. Having the long-stay visa is only valid for entering Italy legally and generally lasts long enough to cover the duration that acquiring the residence permit takes. You have to apply for the residence permit regardless of the reason you want to live there.

Within 8 days of arriving in Italy you are required to register with a local Police station (Questura) in the province in which they are staying and apply for the Residence Permit. You’ll have to fill out some paperwork, specifically a declaration of residence (dichiarazione di residenza). Being a police station, you’ll also be fingerprinted.

Once you’ve filled out this paperwork you’ll need to find a post office or a Patronato to pick up what’s colloquially referred to as “The Kit.” This has all of the additional paperwork and list of documents you’ll need to complete the residency request. Additionally, a Patronato will also be able to help you complete all the forms, and since they are a non-profit organization, they ask only for a €20 donation: this is well worth every cent because The Kit can be intimidating, especially for those who are not fluent in Italian. Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order before filling it out (you’ll need all of the same documents that you used to apply for the initial entry visa plus the declaration of residence from the police station. A complete list can be found within the application kit itself).

Once the Kit is complete you’ll find yourself back at the post office to mail it, at which point they will give you a slip of paper with your appointment time at the Questura. The appointment will generally be within 60 days, but it can take up to 6 months at the longest. It’s important to keep both the piece of paper and the receipt because you’ll need to present them at your appointment. A general piece of advice is to make copies of every document and to scan them if you can.

If you’re coming to Italy with a work permit, the residence permit is generally renewable as long as you have a contract, beginning with either a one-year or two-year permit. After five years of renewing the residence permit you’re eligible to apply for a 5-year permanent residence permit. After having lived in Italy for 10 years you’ll be eligible for applying for Italian citizenship, the final step in your journey.

It’s not until you have acquired the citizenship of one of the EU countries that you obtain full rights under the law on an equal ground with other EU citizens. So, your new Italian citizenship will be valid across the entire EU should you choose to move.

The length of your residence permit determines how far in advance you’ll need to mail all the documents to renew it:
●      Permits up to six months: At least 30 days before it expires;
●      Permits valid for 1-2 years: At least 90 days before it expires.
The renewal process is much the same as the initial process. After grabbing a new application kit you can head to a Patronato again. The only difference this time is that you’ll need to provide your tax documents in addition to the other documents to prove that you made enough money to remain in Italy.

Finally, after having obtained residency in Italy, you can go to the town hall (Comune) in your town or city and make the request for a personal ID which is in addition to your residence permit, both of which you should carry at all times. Until you receive the permanent residence permit your ID will say, in the bottom right-hand corner: “non valida per l’espatrio” meaning that the ID alone is insufficient for travel and you will still need to provide your residence permit and/or passport when requested. For all other situations it’s acceptable.

Rome riverside with Castel Sant'Angelo | Become an Italian Resident
View of the river Tevere in Rome with a view of Castel Sant’Angelo

Accessing Healthcare

​All non-EU residents need to have private health insurance until they are eligible for a Permanent Residence card. While relatively inexpensive for private care, especially compared to the US, it is an expense that Italian citizens do not pay out of pocket, but is covered for everyone through taxes.
Questura in Venice with police boats.
A picture of questura in Venice

Benefits of Being a Resident

Becoming an Italian resident brings you some tax benefits. The most notable is a reduced payment of a 2% tax on the purchase of your primary home and reduced payment of other municipal taxes. For instance, it won’t be necessary to pay the annual tax on the ownership of your property.

Holders of an Italian residence permit are entitled to the same benefits as citizens under EU law which includes, but is not limited to access to schooling, medical and social benefits. As far as social benefits are concerned, non-citizens can still be excluded from non-contributory pension schemes (the type where an employer contributes everything) although they are entitled to some form of pension based on the amount of work they have contributed.

Additionally, Italian residents have the possibility of enrolling in the Italian health services (NHS) and benefiting from the same level of health care assistance provided to Italian citizens. After registering with the NHS you’ll receive a document called the “Tessera Sanitaria” which is your new Health Insurance Card. It entitles you to a lot of free or part paid services. Included are: medical examinations in clinics, specialist medical appointments, hospitalization, blood tests, vaccinations, X-rays and ultrasounds, medicines and so on. It should be noted that even non-residents are entitled to some degree of healthcare, specifically with accidents and emergencies, but not to the other entitlements that come with residency.

The ultimate benefit of being a resident is staying in Italy long enough to obtain citizenship. Italian citizens enjoy a high level of healthcare at little to no cost at all along with a generous pension system compared to other EU countries.

It might seem like an arduous process, but once you’re in the groove everything gets easier. And, as usual, organization plays a very important role in the process.

For more information about this, check out about video below about tax residency in Europe, and our video about elective residency visa.

Planning to move in Italy? Check out if you are eligible for a tax credit for new residents, and our guide for immigration in Italy.


  1. Sera Natasha Kellogg

    I would like to relocate to Italy on their new relocation project where they also finance your relocation and help you get settled. I am from India, a graduate of History honours and a history buff. I am 22 years old single woman and I want to know how I can relocate to one of the towns in Italy where they are offering financial assistance to relocate to small Italian towns.
    I want to know if I need to take up a job there or start my own business there to qualify for the relocation program.

    Please contact me on

    1. Once you get residency you can apply for the national ID card, which is delivered to your residency address within 20 days

  2. If I retire from the USA, and get Italian Residency, how long am I allowed to spend outside Italy and still maintain my Italian Residency? How many total days per year or days per trip? Does the answer change if you are still in the EU?

    1. If you are registered as a resident in Italy you are deemed as a tax resident of Italy regardless of the actual number of days spent to Italy

  3. I am a minor student with long stay in Italy. How do I apply for fiscal code being a minor and my parents in my hometown; not in Italy??

  4. I arrived in Italy in 2017 for a masters program. As guided by the school, I got all my paper work done except registering with the municipio for residency despite the fact I had a proper contract. All other houses I stayed in, I wasn’t given a contract but only an agreement which I believe I couldn’t use to declare residency. After 3years, I now stay in an apartment with a sub e tro contract of 18months but I was told this contract comes with domiclio but I was told I could not use it for residency. Is this true? If so, Please what can I do?

  5. I am a US and Canadian citizen. I arrived in Italy in 2008, with a 1 year permesso di soggiorno. At the end of the year I re-applied but did not receive a response. After that, I applied for and received consecutive permessi di soggiorno, and have had a permesso di soggiorno illimitato since 2014. I have copies of my permessi going back to 2010. I have a carta d’identita` from 2016 and I had to re-do it in 2021 because the Ministry had made a mistake about my place of birth. I have earned money and paid taxes in Italy, and I have had my partiva iva since 2011. What year would begin my 10 yr residency period for applying for an Italian passport?

  6. Will a permanent work with contract in Italy enable you to get a permanent residence permit even if you’ve not lived there for 5 years or more ??

  7. Hello, interesting article. I’m a UK citizen who is a resident of Estonia. I’m looking to move to Italy for at least 6 months (my partner has got a job there), do I have to go through the same routes as a non-EU citizen even though I am a resident of Estonia currently?


  8. Hello. I already got my Italian citizenship. Do I still need a “permezzo di soggiorno” to reside in Italy? Or am I still subject to the 90 day limit? Thanks!

  9. With regard to getting residency, and providing proof of income/job, what are the requirements for the Self Employed?

    I’m based in the UK but hold an Irish passport so am an EU Citizen. I am currently self employed through which I sell my handcrafted products globally online, and I am looking to move to Tuscany the end of next year.

    My main concern is applying for residency and providing proof of my self employment – would you expect there to be any problems, or is this quite a straightforward process.

    Really looking forward to hearing from you and any help would be great.


      1. Hi.

        I’m an EU citizen so switching self-employment over from my own country to Italy and registering as a resident looks straight forward – I’m curious about healthcare access for self-employed.

        I presume once I register as self-employed and have my Partita IVA I can register and access the SSN straight away, or is there a waiting period?

        Any requirement on EU citizens to have private health insurance before they can register as a resident?

        Thanks for any feedback you can provide!

  10. Can I use a PO Box address to register my residency? I will be exploring Italy over the next year staying in temporary accommodations like house sitting and Airbnbs, essentially moving home every 2 – 4 months. Do you know if I can use a PO box address to register my residency instead of having to update it it every time I move?(Or at least change it after a few months to a PO Box address?)

  11. My father renounced his citizenship as a minor prior to 1992, so I am not eligible for citizenship. My local consulate informed me that I am able to reacquire citizenship after I live in Italy for 3 years. I was considering the Elective Residency Visa. My questions are:

    1. You answered a question from a blog commenter recently telling them that there was a special Visa for the purpose of citizenship reclamation. Can you tell me what this is called? I can’t seem to locate any special Visa for this purpose.

    2. If I proceed with the Elective Residency Visa using rental income to qualify, am I really barred from working (my own business, remote, no Italian clients) while I reside in Italy? How would they know?

    3. If I do work with the Elective Residency Visa, can I just draw funds from the LLC to keep from breaking the working rules?

    1. 1. now you just need a tourist VISA
      2. You cannot qualify for work even overseas. They know based on the tax returns you have to submit for renewal
      3. you can get dividends from your LLC

  12. Hi,
    I am Irish and live and work in Ireland, but I would like to buy a home in Italy to spend a few months a year there. As an EU citizen how simple for me to obtain residence (and then hopefully a mortgage)?

    Many Thanks

    1. Mortgage is fairly difficult to get prior two years of residency. If you acquire residency in Italy you may also transfer your Tax residency to Italy; care shall be taken when registering in Italy

  13. Hi, I am a resident in the USA and I bought a land with ruins that I will build a house on. I bought it with all architectural drawings and a permits to build. I took over a project from the seller who was planning to build it. I am trying to figure out about invoices from the geometra and construction firm. The invoice from geometra contains 5% of pension fund + 22% VAT. Can you please comment if that it applicable for non EU citizens or residents? I am not planning to be a resident of EU or Italy in a near future. Thank you!

  14. Hello.
    We are US citizens and my husband and I are totally confused about residency permits, cards, etc.
    He is now also Italian citizen (juris sanguinis). We are married 32 years and own a home in Italy for 15 years. Husband is registered with the commune and living there. Our marriage is registered with the commune. I want to stay with him. What card/ permit exactly do we ask for/apply for and what are the steps please?
    A patronata filled out a “kit” for me and took all my original documentation. I don’t know exactly what permesso it is for…we paid 170€+ at the post office. Please can you answer??!
    Thank you so very much,

  15. Thank you for your helpful blog!
    Currently following the proposed changes to driver licenses exchange law going through the EU parliament. We are traveling to Abruzzo this June to look at retirement in this wonderful area, but don’t think retaking our driver’s license test at 60 makes sense. Any information or thoughts on this new law passing?

    Don Geary
    Sarasota, FL

    1. Unfortunately there is no agreement between the US and Italy for the driving license exchange. Therefore, you ought to take the exam again

  16. Hi,

    I have been offered a role in Milan and have come over on the EU Blu Card process. I have been to the police station to obtain the Fiscal code and sign the contract of stay. I have my appointment on the 27th of April to have my fingerprints taken (I am unsure of the next steps if I am honest!). I am also due to sign my tenancy contract on the 1st of April 2023 and have the following quesiton:

    When would I be classed as an Italian resident?

    The reason I ask is, I am a UK citizen and will be driving my car to Milan on the 6th of April 2023. I am aware I have limitations to the use of my car and the validity of my UK drivers licence. I believe I can drive for a year in Milan fomr the date of my residency and that I must change my licence plates WITHIN 90 days of my resident status.

    If I can undertand when I am classed as a resident, I can then work out when I need to change the UK licence plates to Italian ones. I am thinking that if I am not a resident until I receive my residence permit OR regsitered with the Aanagrafe, would the clock for registering my car in Italy not start until I am a resident (so I can drive for longer whtout having to change the licence plates if that makes sense?)

    I have tried calling the various departments to discuss but have no luck due to my poor italian. Any assistance would be sincerely appreciated.


  17. hi, i have a valid permanent residency as i worked in italy in the past . however i have moved outside EU for work the last 10 years. this year i moved to norway. is it possible to apply for residency and how long will it take if i moved back to italy.

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