HOW TO GUIDES

Our comprehensive guides provide essential information and advice to help you throughout your life as an expat.

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Leaving Italy and Moving On


When leaving Italy and moving on there are a number of tasks to be completed before departure.

Anyone who registered with their Embassy on arrival now needs to advise them that they are leaving the country.

Local Authorities

Under Italian law, every foreigner in Italy is considered to be either a tourist or a resident. As a rule, a tourist is a foreigner staying in Italy for less than three months.

A resident is anyone who plans to stay in Italy for more than three months, including foreign workers, students on longer courses and retirees. All residents require a permit. Types of permit include:

  • Permesso di Soggiorno (permit to stay): required by non-EU citizens, has an expiry date, is renewable, and is issued for the first six years of residence in Italy
  • Carta di Soggiorno (Non-EU permanent residence card): issued for an indefinite period, after the sixth year of residence in Italy
  • Carta di Soggiorno Cittadini U.E. (EU citizen permanent residence card): issued to EU citizens and their immediate family and dependents who intend to stay in Italy longer than three months

Whichever type of permit may have been issued, it will be necessary to go to the Questura before departure and notify them of the move. A permit is invalid as soon as it carries an incorrect address and if leaving Italy for good it will have to be surrendered.

  • See the Interior Ministry site for more details on residency: Click here (in Italian)

Education

Give schools a reasonable amount of notice of a child's departure. There may be outstanding bills for school fees, transport or meals to be settled.

On registration at a new school in the new country, a parent may be asked for a certificate verifying the latest grade passed by the child. Request this from the school when giving notice of departure. Most private schools will provide an up-to-date report or statement of a child's progress, though state schools may be less helpful. Under normal circumstances a child's report card is only sent home temporarily as it, technically speaking, remains "state property" but parents do have the right to copy it (and obtain a translation if they need one) at their own expense.

Leave a forwarding address for any correspondence.

Housing Issues

Rental contract

Property in Italy can be rented empty (vuoti) with no furniture, light fittings or even a fitted kitchen; semi-furnished (parzialmente arredati) with light fittings, a fitted kitchen and possibly wardrobes; or completely furnished (arredati).

On arrival, an inventory (inventario) of contents and a general report on the condition of the property should have been prepared. This will now be referred to again when the tenant leaves.

Many landlords ask for a deposit equal to one to three months rent. This deposit must be returned with interest within two months of the termination of the lease, less any amount due to the landlord to cover damages or redecoration.

The rental contract will state the circumstances under which the lease may be terminated. Make sure that sufficient notice is given, and always give notice in writing.

Depending on the property, some tenants will have been paying insurance and service charges. It is best to cancel all insurance in writing and by recorded delivery.

Property sales

Those who have purchased property may wish to sell it prior to departure. It is wise to use only a properly registered estate agent. If they are registered they will be listed in the Ruolo degli Immobilairi.

Insurance

House insurance can be cancelled once a sale is completed and in some circumstances a partial refund may be due. It is best to cancel all insurance in writing and by recorded delivery.

Utility bills

As with any house move, there are utility bills to be settled and meters to be read. If meters are not outside the property, access will be required. Leave a forwarding address with all the companies involved. 

Electricity: The national electricity company in Italy is ENEL.

ENEL sends out an estimated electricity bill (bollette) every two months. As a rule, meters are only read twice a year and then an adjusted bill is sent out.

Many homes will have an electronic remote counter which enables ENEL to measure the usage remotely. They can also disconnect customers remotely, therefore it is a good idea to make sure that bills are paid up until departure to avoid early disconnection.

To notify them of a move and to request a final bill, visit the nearest QuiNEL office or telephone them (Italian-language operators only).

  • Find QuiNEL offices by using the map provided: Click here (in Italian)

Gas: The gas market was deregulated in January 2003, so supply could be coming from one of several companies. The property may have mains gas, bottled gas or an outdoor tank.

Whatever type of gas is being used, contact the supplier before departure. Mains gas is billed by volume and so a final account can be prepared by reading the meter.

Bottled gas (bomboli) is bought in relatively small quantities and bottles can simply be returned and the deposit refunded.

Larger outdoor tanks (bombolone) are more common in rural areas. The tank usually remains the property of the company that installed it. Contact them in advance so that they can arrange to collect it if it will not be used by the new occupant. They will also need to prepare a final account.

Water: Every area has its own water company. Water is usually billed twice a year based on an estimate of consumption. When the meter is read, an adjusted bill is sent. Before departure, contact the local water company and ask for the meter to be read.

Telephone and Internet: The national Italian telephone company, Telecom Italia is responsible for providing the landline telephone service in Italy. Contact them to discontinue service and receive a final bill.

Recent deregulation means that there are now other providers offering call services and line rentals.

Contact the supplier for a final bill and to ask for disconnection.

Health Care and Social Security

Any private health insurance cover which has been in force may need changing or cancelling. Ensure that health insurance remains valid until arrival in the new country of residence or continues as appropriate.

Anyone who has been employed will have been paying into the state system. Before leaving Italy, deregister with the local Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL). Many have their own websites to make contacting them easier.

Anyone who has had medical treatment during their stay is advised to ask for their records to be forwarded to their new practitioner.

If contributions were made to a pension fund (state and or private) then this too needs to be addressed and benefits transferred if appropriate. EU citizens can normally transfer benefits between countries quite simply.

Business and Tax Issues

Banking

An Italian bank account should be kept open for a short period to settle final bills (in Euros). Any direct debits in place should be cancelled.

Some banks allow clients to close accounts and change addresses online or over the telephone. If this service is not available, accounts should be closed in person or by sending a letter via registered mail.

When closing an account and moving a balance elsewhere, if transferring cash or securities exceeding €12,500 to or from another country, whether by a resident or non-resident, it must be declared to the Italian Exchange Controls Office.

Credit card companies will also need to be notified of a forwarding address for statements.

Income tax

For those employed, income tax (Imposta sul Reddito delle Persone Fisiche, IRPEF) should have been deducted at source by the employer. Therefore there is no further liability once employment ceases.

The self-employed or those unsure of any outstanding liability (or those who believe they may be entitled to a refund of tax paid) should contact the local tax office (Agenzia delle Entrate).

Correspondence

The Italian post office (Poste Italiane) offers redirection service is known as Seguimi (Follow Me) and should be set up at the local post office at least ten days before the change of address is required. Currently it is publicised as being available for Italy only and not for international destinations. Therefore it may mean redirecting post to a contact who lives in Italy and asking them to forward mail on.

  • For the Poste Italiane website: Click here (in English)

Vehicles and Driving

Foreign residents are permitted to use a foreign-registered vehicle in Italy for up to six months after arrival. At the end of this period the vehicle should have an Italian vehicle registration mark (nazionalizzazione).

Before leaving the country, notify the authorities. Documentation is normally valid only with the correct address so re-registering a vehicle is a priority on arrival in the new country of residence.

  • For information, visit the Italian Highways website: Click here

Embassies in the new country of residence can provide information on the importation of personal goods such as cars. Links to a number of them are given at the end of this article.

Driving licences

The Italian authorities insist that anyone with residency status carries an Italian driving licence. However, foreigners are usually permitted to drive on an EU standard licence, or an international licence for the first year.

For those who have changed to an Italian licence, check that this will be accepted (even if only temporarily) in the new country of residence. Again, Embassies are a useful source of assistance with these sorts of questions.

Animals

Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of quarantine. Their move will almost certainly need documentation and possible additional vaccinations or similar medical treatment.

Most domestic pets need to have documentation before they can travel. The EU pet passport covers dogs, cats and ferrets for movement within Europe and the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) allows qualifying domestic pets to travel to and from the UK without a period of quarantine. Local vets can provide information and documentation. There is a waiting period after vaccination before a vet can carry out blood tests and issue a passport.

As a general rule, animals have to travel in approved containers and by approved routes. Be aware that sudden outbreaks of diseases (such as avian flu) can affect pet travel. Embassy websites are also good sources of information.

Further Information