The transition period agreed between the Great Britain and the European Union will start on 31 January 2020 and, until 31 December 2020, everything will remain unchanged – including the principle of free movement of persons, goods, capital and services. This 365-day window, however, will be useful for English citizens who reside or intend to reside in Italy, in order to regularize their position on the national territory.

Much will depend on the arrangements that will be made between the UK and Europe during this transitional period. In May 2019, the Italian Government passed a new law (Law no. 41 of 20 May 2019), aimed at introducing regulatory measures in the event of a “no deal”. In particular, Article 14 of the Law provides that, for citizens who have already completed a period of residence in Italy of more than 5 years, to be able to apply directly to the Questore in Italy for the “EU residence permit for long-term residents” and, for those who have not yet completed the 5 years of residence, a “residence permit for residence”, valid for 5 years, thus allowing you to mature the time needed to apply for a permit for “long-term residents”.

The new rules will also apply to applicants for citizenship: if the four years of legal residence on the national territory required by Italian law to apply for citizenship and thus obtain an Italian passport have already been accumulated, before the UK leaves Europe, applications submitted within the term of the transitional regime will be considered taking into account European citizenship.

If a deal will be reached, British citizens will continue to enjoy their rights guaranteed by their membership to the Union for the entire period of the transitional regime. During this period, however, it is advisable for those who have not yet registered their residence, to proceed with the registration at the registry offices of the municipalities, in order to take advantage of the facilitation measures provided by the aforementioned law for UK citizens who want to stay in Italy, in the event of an exit without agreement.