Residence in another Member State

The right to enter and reside may be limited only for reasons:

  • of public policy
  • of public security
  • of State security
  • and for imperative grounds of public security

Similar provisions also apply to family members accompanying or joining the Union citizen, i.e.:

  • the spouse;
  • the partner with whom the European Union citizen has contracted a registered partnership;
  • the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependants and those of the spouse or partner;
  • the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner.

Without prejudice to any right to free movement and residence of the person concerned, entry and residence is generally facilitated for the following persons:

  • any other family members, irrespective of their nationality, who, in the country from which they have come, are dependants or members of the household of the Union citizen having the primary right of residence, or where serious health grounds strictly require the personal care of the family member by the Union citizen;
  • the partner with whom the Union citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested.

If you are a foreign family member (i.e. you have citizenship of another country that is not a member of the European Union) you will be entitled to a ‘residence card of a family member of a Union citizen’.

Remember that you must always carry your identity document or passport with you. If you do not do so, there are no penalties or fines, but you may not be able to cross the border and officials and police officers might accompany you to their offices in order to identify you (‘stop and account’ Article 11 of Law No 191 of 18 May 1978)

Temporary transfer to another Member State – Stays of less than 3 months

Union citizens have the right of residence in Italy for a period not exceeding 3 months without being subject to any conditions or any formalities other than the requirement to hold an identity card valid for going abroad. Foreign family members of a Union citizen can enter and stay in Italy without being subject to any formalities provided they hold a valid passport and, where required, an entry visa, unless they already hold a valid ‘residence card of a family member of a Union citizen’. Both Union citizens and their foreign family members can declare their presence in Italy.

‘Declaration of presence’ for European Union citizens

If you are a Union citizen or their family member, you can declare your presence in Italy at a police station depending on the length of your stay. Within eight days of entering Italy, EU citizens and their foreign family members have the right to attend the immigration office of their local police headquarters to declare their presence in Italy. If you have not submitted a ‘declaration of presence’, it is assumed that your stay has lasted more than 3 months, unless proven otherwise.

If you intend to stay for less than 3 months, you are not obliged to declare your presence.

  • If you do not make this declaration, you can still prove that you have been in Italy for less than 3 months;
  • if you do not provide this evidence, you are considered to have been staying for more than 3 months;

in order to make the ‘declaration of presence’, you must go to the police headquarters of the Province where you are staying within eight days of arrival and fill in a special form. Alternatively, if you are staying in an accommodation facility (hotel, B&B, etc.) the registration submitted by the owner is valid as a ‘declaration of presence’ and you must request a copy of it, which you will have to show, if required, whenever requested by public security officers and agents.

To apply for a ‘declaration of presence’, you will always need an identity document valid for going abroad for EU citizens and a passport for their foreign family members. If you intend to stay for more than 3 months, you must apply for residence by registering with the public records office.

Registering with the public records office

If you are a Union citizen and wish to stay in Italy for a period longer than 3 months, you must apply for registration in the public records office of the municipality of residence. In this case, in addition to what is required by current legislation for Italian citizens, you must submit the following documentation:

  • if you are staying for work reasons: the work pursued;
  • if you are staying without pursuing working activities or for study or training reasons:

- the availability of sufficient financial resources for your stay, calculated on the basis of the annual social pension in relation to the number of dependent family members, which can be done by self-certification;

- your health insurance policy,

- for study purposes only, documentation proving enrolment in a recognised public or private institute;

• for a family member of a Union citizen who has citizenship of a Member State but no independent right of residence, a document certifying your status as a family member or dependent family member (which may be self-certified) is required.

The application for registration with the public records office can be submitted in person to the municipality of your habitual place of residence or electronically to the same municipality, following the instructions available on the relevant institutional website.

The municipality will issue you with a certificate as evidence of filing the application for registration with the public records office.

Family members of the Union citizen who do not have an independent right of residence must submit:

  • a valid identity document or passport and an entry visa, if required;
  • a document certifying their status as a family member and, if required, as a dependent family member;
  • evidence that the family member who is a Union citizen has applied for registration with the public records office.

Any Union citizens who applied for a residence card before 1 April 2007 can register at the public records office based on a receipt issued by the police headquarters or the Italian postal service and by means of self-certification of compliance with the requirements of the new rules.

Remember that:

  • there is no time limit for registering with the public records office
  • EU citizens and their family members do not incur fines or other consequences for not registering with the public records office or for not having their registration certificate with them at all times

However, please remember that if you do not have documentation certifying your registration with the public records office with you, you may be asked to prove that you meet the requirements for your stay. Otherwise you may be subject to forced removal from Italy. You cannot be fined under any circumstances.

Remember that the residence card lasts for 5 years.

Residence certificates last for 6 months.

Permanent transfer to another Member State – Stays of more than 3 months

If you are a Union citizen, you have the right to stay in Italy for over 3 months, if:

  • you are employed or self-employed in Italy;
  • you have sufficient financial resources for you and your family members not to become a burden on the country’s social assistance system during your period of residence and have comprehensive health insurance cover or equivalent in Italy;
  • you are enrolled at a recognised public or private institution to study or undergo vocational training and have sufficient financial resources for you and your family members not to become a burden on the country’s social assistance system during your period of residence and have comprehensive health insurance cover in Italy;
  • you are a family member accompanying or joining a Union citizen with the right to reside for over 3 months.

All EU citizens and their family members must hold an identity document valid for going abroad according to the legislation of the State of which they hold citizenship. Third country family members of a Union citizen must have a valid passport and, where required, an entry visa. EU citizens and their family members who do not have travel documents may be accompanied to a police office to verify their personal identity and the conditions determining their stay.