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Things Every American Should Know When They Want to Live in Italy
Living in Italy is a wonderful experience for many Americans. Some Americans are blessed with Italian American dual citizenship status, so they can live and work in Italy without any special requirements or restrictions.
Other Americans experience life in Italy as a foreign exchange student, seek sponsorship for various work-study programs, or desire sponsorship for employment opportunities. No matter how you intend to experience Italy, there are several things every American should know when they want to live in Italy.
1. Have money saved up and set aside to cover living expenses.
The cost of living in Italy is a bit higher than in the U.S. However, if you are coming from New York City, Los Angeles, or other high-cost cities, you may not notice much of a difference in the cost of living. It might actually be less.
2. Obtain the right visas.
Some people may be required to obtain a visa for entry into Italy. Italy does allow U.S. visitors to remain in the country for up to three months, but you cannot work. If you want to work in Italy, you will need a work visa.
3. Apply for a residency permit.
You will want to apply for a permesso di soggiorno, which is a residency permit for non-residents. The permit will last at least two years and up to five years before you need to reapply if you plan on staying and are still a non-resident. You can submit your application at the local police station after arriving in Italy. There is a permit fee, as well, so budget that into your travel expenses.
4. Secure private health insurance.
Italy does have government-sponsored insurance, and you will want to register for it upon arrival. However, many Americans also arrive with some sort of private health insurance in place, as it can take some time to be approved. Even after being approved for Italy’s Servizio Sanitario Nazionale health insurance, you may opt to keep your private health insurance, which many Americans do.
5. Be aware of travel restrictions to other EU countries.
If you want to venture outside Italy, unless you have Italian American dual citizenship that makes you a resident of Italy as a member country of the EU (European Union), then you may have to obtain travel visas or other such documentation before visiting other EU countries.
6. Football in Italy is a favorite pastime, but not the same as American football.
When we say football in Italy, it means soccer. However, Americans should get used to calling it football when living in Italy. Italians love this sport just as Americans love American football. It is not uncommon for entire towns to close businesses on game days.
7. There are economic differences between the North and South.
Northern Italy is considered to be more high-tech and cosmopolitan than southern Italy. The south is more laidback, with a focus on agriculture, largely in part because the south is considered more “Mediterranean.”
You will also notice a difference in the cost of living between northern and southern Italy. In the north, living expenses will be more, but you will also have more job opportunities. In the south, living expenses are less, but finding a job can be more difficult.
By keeping these things in mind, you will find it much easier to know what to expect when you want to live in Italy.
Before you pack your bags, it is also a good idea to consider applying for dual citizenship in Italy. There are several paths to dual citizenship status, which makes living in Italy even more enjoyable since you are considered a citizen.
To find out if you qualify for dual citizenship status and about the different paths available for Italian citizenship, please feel free to contact the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 today!