expat life in Italy not easy

Expats find it hard to settle in Italy

Life in Italy News

InterNation’s Expat Essentials Index ranks Italy in the bottom five out of 52 countries for ease of settling. Its bureaucracy is singled out for particular criticism.

The networking site InterNations compiles an annual Expat Essentials Index. Based on the opinions of 12,000 foreigners, it provides a ranking of countries based on different aspects of getting started in a new country.

The index focuses on four key elements of daily life – housing, language, digital life, and admin topics  – and how challenging they are for foreign residents.

Image: InterNations

The latest press release shows Italy came 48th out of 52 countries. Below Italy were  Kuwait, China, Japan and Germany.

Topping the rankings were: Bahrain, UAE, Singapore, Estonia, Oman, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kenya and Canada.

Where did Italy fail in accommodating foreigners?

Italy received its lowest mark in the Admin Topics category, ranking 49th out of 52. Over two thirds of foreign residents surveyed (68%) said they found local bureaucracy difficult to deal with, coming in 29 percentage points above the global average.

Italy also ranks in the bottom ten for ease of opening a bank account and ease of obtaining a visa. It came 44th in both areas.

 “The bureaucracy here is extremely burdensome to the point of ridiculous, in almost all aspects of life from getting a visa to getting a driver’s licence and beyond,” a US American expat is quoted.

Read also: Rome and Milan worst places for expats

Part of the burdensome bureaucracy may be down to the lack of digitalisation. Italy came in at 45th position out of 52 in the Digital Life Subcategory. More than a third (38%) are unhappy with the availability of administrative services online (vs. 21% globally). Another 16% struggle with obtaining high-speed internet access at home (vs. 11% globally). A further 11% are unhappy with the lack of cashless payment options (vs. 8% globally).

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