I'm still struggling to come into this space and type words that make any sense but I'll give it a shot. We've got our residency, finally.
There's still so much to be done, and we can't really do much of that until they finalise how our address will be structured. Being given an address is one of the best things to come out of all of this - it legitimises our community - without it we'd no chance of getting residency. But the Italian structure for these things is interesting... we can't be given a certain format of address because we're not a road... we're not truly a square, either. So they're still figuring that bit out.
Without that address we can't register to vote or get a doctor or change our driving licenses or get our ID cards or do most of what we need to do because all of these things require our address, and changing an address after the fact is costly and time thirsty. So we need to wait a bit longer before we can fully start the process of becoming Italian residents.
Having the residency is a massive relief. It doesn't offer us much protection; it isnt citizenship. What it does do is stop us becoming illegals in the event of a no deal, and that's about it. We are at least on a par with other immigrants now. The EU27 haven't yet decided how they're go to manage all of the British citizens living in their countries and we're still very much in limbo. But at least we have this. It's the very minimum but we have it.
So far its cost us €7,000 - that's moving the business, getting married (we weren't planning either of these but our immigration status needed them); all of the back and forth in translating and legalising our documents. The actual residency application itself was free, it was everything we needed to do that cost.
Next up is sorting out a car. We were going to import our current one but a new eco tax has added an extra couple of grand to that, and we can't afford that option any more. The car side of things, including getting insurance (which we need to start from scratch) is going to cost in the region of €5,000 (this includes the transfer of details, converting drivers licences too) and that'll basically eat up the last of our life savings. So we've got to scrap our current car - which breaks our hearts, it's one of the most reliable vehicles we've ever had - and find something that we can afford locally. We're not towing trailers across the continent anymore and a smaller run-around will do for now.
Despite the huge financial and emotional costs, I'm looking forward to moving forward. We won't be coming back to the UK this summer. We can't really afford it anyway so if folks wanna see us, they know where we are, I guess. Doing our first full summer in Italy is gonna be a challenge but I'm up for it. Aran's very happy at the prospect of a whole summer with his friends.
This week I'll be doing our very last tax returns to HMRC and I'm mighty excited about that. That'll be one of the very last ties we cut and it feels pretty significant in my head. Its bye bye UK time, officially.