On January 30st, by approving the "Withdrawal Agreement", in the text proposed by the British conservative Government led by Boris Johnson, the European Parliament has prevented the risk of a "no-deal" Brexit which, in the past few months, seemed closer than ever to become reality.

Now that the Withdrawal Agreement has been officially  approved and entered into force, after the UK left the  European Union at 00:00 of February 1st 2020, in order to ease the consequences of the divorce between the EU and the UK might have on millions of people, a transition period will begin, during which European laws and regulations, including the freedom of movement of people, will continue to apply and be fully effective.

During such transition period, which is due to expire on next 31st December 2020, British citizens will continue to be free to move to and settle down in other UE member States, and  European citizens will continue to be free to move to and settle down in the UK, just like they were before Brexit.

From an Italian immigration law standpoint, the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement means that, for the entire duration of the transition period:

  • UK nationals will be entitled to move to Italy for work purposes without previously obtaining any work authorization and/or entry visa;
  • UK nationals will be entitled to move to Italy for study purposes without previously obtaining any study visa; and
  • UK nationals' third-country family members will continue to be treated as family members of European citizens and, therefore, they will be entitled to apply for and obtain an Italian residence permit for family purposes.

It remains understood that those UK nationals who are willing to move to or are already living in Italy shall take all the necessary steps in order to regularize their presence in the Italian territory by and not later than the end of the transition period,

which at the time being, unless further extensions will be agreed upon between the British Government and the  European institutions, is December 31st 2020.

In particular, British citizens shall register their residence (iscrizione anagrafica) with the Townhall of the Italian city where they are living, in order to secure their legal position and immigration status and to continue to enjoy the rights they are entitled to even after the expiration of the aforementioned transition period.

After such a date, in fact, EU law will no longer apply to British citizens, who will be treated just as any other third-country nationals and will therefore be entirely subject to the  provisions of Italian immigration law concerning entry visas and work/study/residence permits.

In the upcoming months the Italian Government will most likely take actions in order to set the rules that will apply to British citizens already legally residing in Italy at the time the transition period comes to an end and LCA Studio  Legale corporate immigration team will promptly share any news in this regard.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.