Process of Obtaining Italian Citizenship for UK Citizens

Passport stamps indicating immigration status of Italian Citizenship for UK Citizens


Planning immigration from the UK to Italy and want to know the process of obtaining Italian Citizenship for UK Citizens? If you are looking for a simple and easy procedure to gain a permanent settlement in Italy, you have come to the right place. Find out more about your immigration options and everything you need to know before getting started!

If you want to live permanently in Italy, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. 

After spending at least five years in Italy, British citizens can apply for permanent residency. However, after arriving in Italy for the first time, one must obtain a temporary residence visa before applying for a permanent one. In addition, British nationals must also fulfil several requirements, such as having sufficient funds to support themselves, being fluent in the language, and not having a criminal record, in addition to living in Italy for five years.

How to obtain Italian citizenship for UK citizens?  

A national flag of Italy on a black background.

There are four ways to obtain Italian citizenship: 

  • By registering marriage/cohabitation,
  • After residence (naturalization process),
  • Descendants through Italian parents (mother or father);
  • Other pathways can apply as per the Italian law (such as adoption)

What are the minimum citizenship requirements for naturalization?

  • Depending on the applicant’s nationality, he must have been resident in Italy for at least 4 years (or 3 years in some cases) / 10 years.
  • Italian fluency above level B1 shows that you have a minimum income established by law (the limit may vary depending on whether the applicant is single or married);
  • Complete a citizenship application;
  • Pay the application fee,
  • Identification proofs, such as a birth certificate, a marriage certificate and a clean criminal record.  

What are the documents necessary for the Italian citizenship application?

They can vary based on the citizenship pathway applied to a person. The documents can include the following:

  • Certificate of Birth,
  • Certificated of Marriage,
  • Certificate of Death,
  • Certificate of Naturalization,
  • Personal Identification Document,
  • Other Documents,
  •  Identity documents of the spouse,
  •  Documents attesting the residence in Italy,
  •  Documents attesting to the financial situation of the applicant,
  •  Documents of minor children,
  •  Adoption certificate, 
  •  Language certificates, etc.

Ways in which Italian permanent residency can be obtained

  1. Based on a work permit that allows the candidate to live and work in Italy before applying for permanent residence.
  2. Based on residence permits for entrepreneurs that allow foreign nationals to open their business here.
  3. Based on fixed-interest investments approved by the Italian government.
  4. Based on a self-employment visa that allows a foreigner to work as an individual entrepreneur in Italy.

Applying for a permanent residence permit for UK citizens in Italy

British citizens must follow specific procedures when applying for permanent residence in Italy. People wishing to move to Italy should contact the embassy or consulate in their country of origin and request information on the necessary documents. Citizens of the United Kingdom must first apply for a five-year temporary residence permit and then for permanent residence in Italy. UK citizens must have lived in Italy for 5 years before applying for permanent residence.

A italian visa application and passport

Documents needed for an Italian permanent residency permit

UK citizens applying for an Italian residency permit must submit the following paperwork:

  • A document confirming that the foreign citizen has lived in Italy for 5 years (temporary residence permit)
  • Certificate of registration issued by the local police upon entry into Italy
  • Proof of legal domicile in Italy (lease or last utility bill)
  • Proof of self-sufficiency (bank account statements, tax returns, employer receipts)
  • Criminal records and requests issued by the Italian authorities.

What are the different types of visas available to UK citizens to immigrate to Italy? 

A Italian passport kept over Italy national flag

Italy offers a variety of visas, each with specific fees and conditions. 

Work visa: Those who have received a job offer from an Italian company can apply for a work visa to enter Italy.

Student visa: Available to students over 18 enrolled in an Italian educational institution. 

Family visa: British citizens can join family members with EU citizenship or permanent resident status in Italy. Long-term partners are also family members and must demonstrate that they have a long-term, stable relationship. 

Self-Employed Visa: Available to anyone who wants to start a business or be self-employed in Italy.

National visa or optional residence visa: This visa is for those who want to live in Italy and can support themselves without a job. Although often called a retirement visa, it is not just for retirees.

Golden Visa: Also known as the Italian Investor Visa, this is for those planning to invest or donate to Italy.

If you’re still unsure about which country would best suit immigration, another country that UK citizens find extremely appealing is Spain, which has more than 3.5 lakh registered residents.

Golden Visa Scheme in Italy

British citizens have access to various tools to become permanent residents and, if they wish, to obtain Italian citizenship. Italy is one of the friendliest countries in Europe when it comes to providing opportunities for people from third countries. Immigration policy includes a variety of integrated government-supported programs.

Going back to one of the best ways to get permanent residence in Italy, you can’t skip the Golden Visa program, which requires the following:

  1. Invest at least 500,000 euros in start-up companies.
  2. 1 million euros if the investment is made in the form of a donation.
  3. Real estate investments are also accepted if the property’s value is between 300,000 and 500,000 euros.
  4. The minimum annual income of the applicant is 100,000 euros

This program targets a high net worth foreign immigrants, and one of the biggest strengths is that it allows you to own real estate in this beautiful country.


Sometimes the immigration procedure becomes lengthy due to the wrong filing of necessary documents. Consulting an immigration lawyer is the best way to have a smooth process of immigration and have a happy journey towards your new life in a new place. For assistance regarding UK immigration to Italy, you can find legal immigration experts on LegaMart website. We have immigration experts from around the globe, and we will assist you through every procedure of immigration from the UK.


Do I need to apply for visa to travel from UK to Italy?

British citizens are no longer considered EU citizens so new immigration procedures will apply to those moving to Italy from the UK after 1 January 2021. In other words, you must apply for a visa based on the purpose of your stay.

How much money do I need to move to Italy?

The minimum amount required for investors is EUR 50,000 invested through the StartUp Visa program. 

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