There are a number of legal technicalities that you have to take care of before you come to Italy either on holiday or for permanent relocation purposes.
The first is definitely acquiring official permission to enter the country:
1) Ensure that your passport is up to date.
2) If you don’t carry a European Union passport, make arrangements to process and acquire the appropriate visa.
Photo from archer10(Dennis)
More importantly, carry along several photocopies of your passport and visa separately from the original documents just in case you lose the originals and need back-up evidence to identify yourself.
The Italian law categorizes each foreigner entering the country as either a resident or a tourist:
1) A tourist is defined as anyone visiting the country for not more than 3 months including students and business travellers.
2) A resident on the other hand is anyone staying in the country for more than 3 months.
If you are from a non-EU country, you are required to get a ‘Permesso di Soggiorno’ permit or a ‘Permesso di Soggiorno per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo’ if you intend to stay longer than 5 years.
Besides the permits, there are a few other documents that you will require before you travel:
• You will need one form or another of health and travel insurance. Notably, Italy has one of the best state provided healthcare systems in the world which citizens of EU countries with a free EHIC card use to access free or low cost medical treatment. Other non-EU citizens however do not qualify for full coverage.
If your travel insurance policy does not cover emergency medical treatment and critical issues such as evacuation, then get a policy with extra health insurance. Just like other important documents, make sure to pack photocopies of all your insurance documents in a separate pack from the originals as back-up. You may be on prescription medicine, or travelling with someone with such prescriptions so ensure that you have packed extra quantities of the medicine just in case the medicine is not readily available in Italy.
• For those moving to Italy, it is advisable to get international personal property insurance for added protection of your stuff from point of departure to its destination. You can also look into different types of relocation and expatriate insurance policies sold by some insurance providers. Take time to plan everything including shipment of your belongings way in advance by contacting and comparing different international moving and shipping firms to get the best, and most affordable, quotes.
• Naturally, you will need to notify your bank before moving to Italy and preferably consider international online banking options.
• You will also need to either convert your current driving license to the Italian version or acquire an international driving permit if you do not have an EU country license.
• Other important considerations include organizing your tax payments and forwarding your postal mail to your new Italian address.
Featured image by Sean MacEntee