23 Jan Italy residency by investment [2023 Guide]
Italy residency by investment – What is it?
An Italian residency visa allows you to enjoy the considerable benefits of living in this wonderful part of southern Europe. The visa can be obtained for a minimum investment of EUR 250,000, and the process can take as little as three months, after which you will have the right to live, work, and study in Italy.
This article shows you how to apply and describes the process and benefits, covering these areas:
- Benefits of becoming an Italian resident
- Why choose Italy?
- Italy residency by investment options
- Italy’s residency by investment eligibility requirements
- How to apply for Italy residency – Step-by-step
- Italy residency by investment – Documents required
- What is the minimum investment required for Italy residency?
- Are there any restrictions on the type of investment that can be made to obtain Italy residency?
- How long does the process of obtaining Italy residency through investment take?
- Can family members be included in the Italy residency by investment application?
- Is a physical presence required in Italy in order to maintain residency status?
- Can I work in Italy with a residency obtained through investment?
- Can I travel freely within the European Union with an Italy residency obtained through investment?
- Is it possible to obtain Italy residency by investing in real estate?
- How much do you need to invest in Italy to get residency?
Italy residency by investment – What is it?
The Italy residency by investment program offers investors a two-year renewable visa in return for financial input into the country. The program (sometimes referred to as the Italy Golden Visa) is ideal for investors who can make a significant contribution to Italy’s economy.
The program offers various investment options involving varying investment amounts, and if your application is successful, you will achieve residence rights within three to four months.
It is important to note that this is not a citizenship by investment program, although citizenship by naturalisation may be available after 10 years of residence under special conditions. Italy allows dual citizenship.
Benefits of becoming an Italian resident
The program has a range of investment options available with varying investment amounts, and successful applicants gain residence rights within three to four months. No permanent stay is required in Italy during or after the application process.
These are just a few of the benefits of living in this culturally rich country:
- Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area, which includes most of the European Union.
- Residence in one of the most celebrated countries in the world, with a rich history and culture, fantastic cuisine, breathtaking scenery, thriving industries, and major cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice and Naples.
- Access to excellent medical care and education facilities and services.
- The applicant’s spouse, children and dependent parents can also request a visa without additional investment.
Why choose Italy?
It’s hard to know where to start when singing the praises of Italy. Single emotive words – including Rome, Venice, Milan, Sicily, Renaissance, Michelangelo, Leonardo, pasta, pizza, Chianti – speak volumes, and the spectacular coastal and inland scenery includes the Amalfi coast, frequently mentioned as the most beautiful location in Europe.
Then there’s the rich history, culture, fashion, works of art and architecture. Italy has it all, and its Mediterranean climate makes it an ideal place to live.
Italy was also a founding member of the EU and has the third-largest economy in the eurozone. This means citizens and residents enjoy very high living standards, with access to excellent real estate, education and healthcare options.
Italy Residency by Investment Options
There are two investment routes: the Investor Visa Program and the Elective Residence Program, with the former offering a range of investment paths.
To apply via the Italy Investor Visa Program, you must satisfy one of these requirements:
- A minimum investment of EUR 250,000 in an innovative start-up
- A minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in Italian shares
- A minimum investment of EUR 2 million in Italian government bonds
- A minimum non-refundable donation of EUR 1 million in projects of public interest in Italy, such as arts, heritage, culture, education, research and development, ecology and immigration management.
Whichever investment route you choose, it must be maintained for the full duration of your visa.
The alternative route is the Elective Residence Program. This is aimed at individuals who can prove a stable substantial annual income from abroad.
Italy’s residency by investment eligibility requirements
Applicants must be over 18 and able to satisfy the financial requirements of whichever investment route they have chosen. There are other eligibility details to consider, too:
- The investment must be made within three months of your arrival in Italy.
- Once the Investor Visa Program application has been approved, you must purchase or rent residential property in the country.
- For the Elective Residence Program, you will need to demonstrate a stable income and must purchase or rent residential real estate following approval.
- The visa is eligible for two years, after which it can be renewed for a further three years, as long as the investment is maintained. The process of obtaining the visa usually takes between 90 and 120 days from the date of the initial application.
- Permanent residence is possible after five years for investors who have fully relocated to Italy (just four years for investors from other parts of the EU).
- No minimum physical stay is required in Italy, unless you seek permanent residence after five years.
How to apply for Italy residency – Step-by-step
The Italy residency by investment process is complicated, but it usually progresses swiftly. These are the basic stages:
- Make an online application for an Italy Investor Visa Nulla Osta (a certificate of no impediment, which is required before the visa application can be submitted). This will involve submitting the required documents via the gov.it website (see the following section for details). You should receive a decision within 30 days.
- Once the Italy Investor Visa Nulla Osta has been allowed, apply for a visa at your local Italian Embassy or Consulate within six months of the Italy Investor Visa Nulla Osta.
- Having obtained the visa, travel to Italy and apply for your residence permit. To do so, you must go in person to the Questura (Police Headquarters) to request an Italian Investor Visa Residence Permit. The residence permit is valid for two years, starting from when you enter Italy.
- You have three months from the date of the residence application to make your investment/donation. If you fail to do so, your visa will be revoked.
Italy residency by investment – Documents required
These are documents you need when applying for the Italy Investor Visa Nulla Osta:
- A clear and legible copy of your passport.
- A CV (resume) detailing your academic and professional experience
- Proof of your financial resources – e.g. bank statements showing your name and available funds.
- An official letter from the relevant bank/financial institution verifying your funds and asserting that all relevant checks have been made.
- A declaration from the relevant authorities proving that you have no criminal charges.
- A description, in your own words, of your intended investment/donation and any past experience as a donator or investor (no more than 1,000 words).
- Proof of consent from the recipient of the investment or donation.
- A declaration of commitment to the scheme you have chosen (download the declaration from the gov.it site). This must be signed electronically and must state the sum you are investing and where you intend settling in Italy.
After you receive the Visa Nulla Osta, the following documents should be sent to your local Italian Embassy or Consulate along with a request for an Investor Visa:
- A copy of the Nulla Osta plus original hard copies of the documents listed above.
- Proof of the accommodation you have bought or rented in Italy.
- Proof of your income from the previous financial year.
- Your current passport.
- A passport-size photograph.
- Proof of residence in your home country.
All these documents should be in Italian or English. You need to submit a certified translation if the originals are in other languages.
What is the minimum investment required for Italy residency?
The minimum investment option available is EUR 250,000, which must be invested in an innovative Italian start-up.
Are there any restrictions on the type of investment that can be made to obtain Italy residency?
Investment must be made in one of the areas stipulated by the Italian government – an innovative start-up, Italian shares, government bonds or a donation in a government-approved project.
How long does the process of obtaining Italy residency through investment take?
The Italy residency visa process is swift and usually takes no more than four months.
Can family members be included in the Italy residency by investment application?
You are allowed to include your spouse and dependent children and parents in the application. There are no additional investment requirements when including other people in the visa application.
Is a physical presence required in Italy in order to maintain residency status?
You do not need to live in Italy, unless you are seeking a permanent residence visa or pursuing citizenship by naturalisation.
Can I work in Italy with a residency obtained through investment?
The Italian residence visa allows you to live and work in the country.
Can I travel freely within the European Union with an Italy residency obtained through investment?
You can travel visa-free in the EU and other Schengen Area countries using your Italian residency visa.
Is it possible to obtain Italy residency by investing in real estate?
Italy does not have a real estate investment option at the moment. Huriya Private can guide you through the investment options currently available.
How much do you need to invest in Italy to get residency?
The cheapest option is a EUR 250,000 minimum investment in an innovative Italian start-up. The other options are EUR 500,000 invested in Italian shares, EUR 2 million invested in Italian government bonds, or a EUR 1 million donation to a government-approved project.