Living Abroad in Italy
Visas and Accessing Italy
Citizens from Britain and other European Member countries can enter Italy for a period up to three months at a time without applying for residency. Residency is only required when an individual plans to reside long term in Italy.
For people with EU nationality who desire to live in Italy longer term (more than three months) a Permesso di Soggiorno is also mandatory. This can be achieved during the first three months of residency but it is better to apply early at the local police.
American citizens traveling to Italy may also stay in the country for up to three months. Americans who are staying in a hotel will not need to have an official visa but those who are residing in private residences and propose to stay beyond a week have eight days to apply to the local police station (stazione di polizia) for a Permesso di Soggiorno which allows the foreigners to stay up to a maximum of three months.
Americans who wish to become a resident in Italy have to have authorization to do so in the form of an official entry visa before they come to Italy. Americans can apply and get this from the nearest Italian consulate in their current hometown. The approval process can be lengthy so prepare early versus later.
Upon arrival, as an American, in Italy one must go to the stazione di polizia with your visa to receive the Permesso di Soggiorno which you must then take within 20 days to the Vital Statistics Bureau for acquiring a Certificato di Residenza or permit for residence. One must be patient when it comes to processing residency paperwork as it does take time.
Accommodation and Property in Italy
Even those arranging to spend the rest of their lives in Italy should let a place before they committing to purchasing a property mainly due to many areas have slow real estate markets. Renting a room or for an extended period in a hotel room ([discuss and compare rates first, please) and searching for a place to place their belongings – Rentals agencies are abundant and they can assist in securing a long term rental.
The majority of rentals are rented unfurnished and in general, properties are cheaper if they are located further away from commercial establishments. Unlike the USA or the UK, in Italy one has to commit to renting a property for a quite a while. Contratto di libero mercato (free market contract) rental agreements are for four years ! OR you can opt for less time utilizing the contratto convenzionale ( which is a standard contract) which made for three years! The contract will automatically be renewed unless you give notice of six months before expiration, So always give notice!
In terms of owning property, [foreign citizens are allowed to buy property in Italy but there is 20% tax added on to the purchase price for fees.
Education and Schools in Italy
Children in Italy can go to pre-school from the ages three to six before beginning essential schooling at age eleven. Foreign kids can be included in the national school system although parents of first-born often send their children to private or international schools.
The Italian school system after age eleven is structured as one system up to age fifteen is for middle schools and the secondary system is for fifteen year olds up to age nineteen.
In regards, to having foreign children attend international schools – or for families who will relocate again it makes sense, for those with older children who are at critical exam phase in their schooling career it also makes sense. For families with younger children and desire to make Italy a permanent residence, it cannot be stressed strongly enough the need for children to pick up the language, socialize and to integrate with their peers. In certain situations, the municipal schools are expected to be the best choice .
Healthcare in Italy
The last point about living overseas in Italy relates to being healthy! While there is a well run state health care system. Italy is burdened and under funded which results in long waiting lists and places where the level and availability of certain types of care and medical facilities are limited. In the end, many expatriates who can afford to , buy private insurance if and when it is necessary.
Here are some Reasons to Learn Italian
Learn and speak the Italian language abroad. Immerse yourself into the Italian culture when you Live in Italy.