I recently moved to Italy for work (I am an EU citizen). My British girlfriend joined me but is unsure if she needs a visa after her 3 months stay is over.

As a British citizen, can she stay more than 3 months in Italy? If she leaves, how long does she has to wait before she can enter Italy again?

If we are not married, can I still help her get some kind of visa?

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    Is your girlfriend seeking work in Italy? Where were you both living prior to the move to Italy? British citizens can only visit for up to 90 days in any 180 day period gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements There’s no provision for a longer visit visa AFAIK vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home.aspx
    – Traveller
    Nov 7, 2021 at 17:58
  • @Traveller A permit for residenza elettiva sounds very similar to long-term visitor permits in other EU countries. The financial requirements are substantial.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 7, 2021 at 20:41
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    @gerrit Your point on the terminology is well-taken but do you honestly think there is any ambiguity whatsoever?
    – Relaxed
    Nov 8, 2021 at 15:18
  • @gerrit And I agree with that (as I already implied) but you can make your point without pretending it wasn't obvious. You would be more likely to elicit a positive response, too.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 8, 2021 at 16:37
  • @Relaxed You're right, I deleted those comments.
    – gerrit
    Nov 8, 2021 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Yes, your girlfriend needs a visa or residence permit to stay longer than 3 months in Italy. The exact limit is in fact 90 days in any 180-day period, which also answers your other question: After an uninterupted 90-day stay, your girlfriend has to stay 90 days outside of the Schengen area (not just Italy) before visting again. Incidentally, it's 90 days and not three months, if she entered on July 1st, she has to leave by September 28th, not September 30th.

It is possible for the unmarried partner of an EU citizen to get a residence permit but you will have to prove you have a long-term relationship. I don't know the exact requirements in Italy but that could mean something like showing you have lived together and shared bills for a couple of years, not merely declaring that she is your girlfriend. Otherwise, she would have to qualify for a visa like any other third country (i.e. non-EU) national, whether for work, studies, or any other purpose provided by Italian law.

  • 10
    Breaking news: Brexit has downsides too! Nov 8, 2021 at 11:07
  • 1
    @Dmitry Grigoryev Five years on from the Brexit referendum, nearly two years since the official exit, and nearly a year since the end of the transition period. Time to move on :-)
    – Traveller
    Nov 8, 2021 at 15:10
  • Thanks for your answer.
    – giac
    Nov 8, 2021 at 16:00
  • 2
    @Traveller And still, after all these years, the whole picture is only in the process of emerging. I wonder how the NHS is doing, now that all the money can finally be diverted. Nov 8, 2021 at 18:10
  • 1
    @Traveller You yourself seem very willing to believe simplistic media narratives, regarding Macron for example. I fail to see what any of this has to do with my answer, though.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 8, 2021 at 21:25

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