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Investment Residency

Italy Golden Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 26 October 2022

Italy has a lot to offer: a good cuisine, a wide variety of lakes, beaches, and mountains, and a prime location in Mediterranean Europe. Italy, with its abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a very ideal place to live in. Plus, thanks to its location, it offers good connections with the rest of Europe and the world. 

If you want to live in the heart of Europe and experience Italy’s lively and diverse culture, the Italian Golden Visa program can be ideal for you.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Italy Golden Visa which is one of the easiest routes to getting residency in the country.

What You’ll Find in This Article

What Is Italy Golden Visa?

The Italy Golden Visa, also known as the “Investor Visa for Italy,” was introduced in 2017 by the Italian government to promote foreign direct investment. Italy Golden Visa offers non-EU nationals an opportunity to get a residence visa in exchange for an investment in Italy. 

The program grants a residence permit that is valid for two years. After this period is over, the permit can be extended for three years.

Benefits: What Are the Benefits of an Investor Visa for Italy

While the Italy Golden Visa program is an incentive to attract foreign direct investment into the country, it offers certain benefits to its holders.

Here are the advantages of getting an Italian investor visa:

  • You can be eligible for Italian citizenship after 10 years
  • You benefit from a special tax regime
  • You’re free to travel within the Schengen Zone 
  • You can include your family in your application
  • You and your family can work in Italy
  • You can benefit from the Italian National public healthcare

Apart from these benefits, the Italian investor visa application process is faster and easier when compared to other programs in Europe. 

How To Get an Italian Investor Visa: Investment Options

Italian government advises that it’s committed to making Italy increasingly attractive to international flows of human and financial capital. The introduction of the investor visa for Italy is an example of this commitment.

The program entails four different investment methods:

  1. €2 million investment in Italian government bonds
  2. €500,000 investment in an Italian limited company
  3. €250,000 investment  in an Italian innovative startup
  4. €1 million donations to a philanthropic initiative in Italy 

How To Get a Golden Visa in Italy: Application Process

The application process to get an investor visa for Italy can be divided into three different phases. See the steps below for each phase.

1. Applying and Getting Your Italy Investor Visa

The first step is to get a Nulla Osta (certificate of no impediment), through the official portal of the Italian investor visa. Once you get your approval, you can go to the Italian embassy in your home country to submit an application for a two-year investment visa.

Application

  1. Create your personal account on the Italian investor visa platform
  2. Fill in the required forms and upload the forms
  3. Verify the final declaration with an electronic signature before downloading and submitting it

Preliminary Check and Evaluation

The Committee Secretariat will check your Italian Golden Visa application and you’ll receive an answer within 30 days. There are three possible outcomes:

  1. If your documents and application form complies with the requirements, you’ll get approval. A “Nulla Osta” will be available on your account in the portal
  2. If further documentation is required, you’ll be asked to complete them in 30 days. During this process, your application will be on the “suspended” status
  3. You’ll have a reasoned rejection

Getting Your Visa

  1. After you get your approval and Nulla Osta, you’ll need to visit the Italian embassy in your home country in six months.
  2. At the embassy, you’ll be required to submit all the documentation along with your Nulla Osta.

You can go to Italy within two years from the issuance of your visa.

2. Getting Your Italy Investor Residence Permit

You have eight days after arriving in Italy with your entry visa to submit an application for a permit that is valid for two years. To receive the residence permit, you must complete your investment or donation within three months of the day you arrive in Italy.

Application

For your residence permit application, you’ll need to go to a local police station (Questura) where you’ll submit your passport and entry visa. 

Once you complete this step, log on to the portal and fill in the following information:

  • Your arrival date in Italy
  • Your application date at the police station
  • The location of the police station where you’ve made your application

Investment

This is the step where you’ll need to complete your investment. Once it’s completed, you’ll need to upload the investment proof to the portal.

Evaluation

Your investment proof will be assessed by the Committee. There are three potential outcomes:

  1. If approved, your residence permit will either continue to be valid if you already have one or be issued shortly if the application process is still ongoing
  2. If further documentation is required, you’ll be asked to complete them in 30 days. Still, your obligation to show that you’ve made the investment within three months of your arrival continues
  3. Your residence permit will be either revoked or not released if it’s still under process

Required Documents for Italy Investor Visa Application

For your Italy Golden Visa application, there are certain documents you’ll need to present at different phases.

Here’s a list of documents that you’ll need to submit for your Nulla Osta application:

  • A copy of your passport — all information such as your name, photo, and passport number should be visible
  • Your CV — should highlight your educational and work background
  • Bank statements to prove that you’re going to use your own sources to finance the investment 
  • A letter from your bank confirming the legitimacy and transferability of your funds
  • A clean criminal record 
  • A maximum of 1,000 words letter that outlines the nature of your donation or investment as well as your prior donation or investment experience 
  • Consent proof from the investment or donation recipient 
  • Declaration of Commitment — It must state the amount of money you are willing to invest, and where you intend to stay in Italy

After you receive your Nulla Osta, there are other documents you’ll need to submit to the following documents to the Embassy:

  • Your passport
  • A passport-size photo
  • A copy of Nulla Osta 
  • The originals of all documents submitted previously
  • Proof of your accommodation in Italy
  • Evidence of your income from the preceding fiscal year — should demonstrate that you earn more than €8,500
  • Proof of residence

Apart from the main documents you’ll need to present, there are some supporting documents that you’ll need to show depending on your investment type.

Investment Type for Italian Golden VisaDocuments
Investment in Government Bonds
1. Certificate of deposit of the securities in a financial institution in Italy
2. Copy of securities dossier
Investment in a limited company or startup in Italy
1. Bank statements — should clearly indicate that investment has been made
2. A letter of validation of the bank statement — should be signed by an authorized representative of the entity
3. Certificate of Shares Deposit at an Italian Bank or Financial Institution, if you’ve acquired shares
4. A letter that confirms the receipt of the investment and a copy of the Italian atto di cessione (“act of transfer”) filed by the receiving company, if you’ve invested in an unlisted company
5. Copy of your securities dossier, if the investment has been made in a listed company
Donation1. The copy of the public donation deed
2. Bank statements — should clearly indicate that donation has been made
3. A letter of validation of the bank statement — should be signed by an authorized 4. representative of the entity
5. A letter from the recipient company that confirms the donation

All documents must be in English or Italian. If not, you need to include a verified translation.

Validity of Italy Golden Visa

The Italian Investor Visa is valid for two years. You are permitted to enter Italy during this time and apply for a residence permit using your visa.

Your residence permit is also valid for two years beginning on the day of your arrival in Italy.

Renewing Your Italy Golden Visa

If you keep your investment over the course of the two years that your residence permit is valid, you may apply for a three-year renewal at least 60 days before it expires. You’ll need to have a new Nulla Osta in order to apply.

As with the first application state, the renewal of your Italy Golden Visa will be subject to approval or rejection of the Committee.

Italian Citizenship Through Italy Golden Visa

An Italy investor visa isn’t a direct route to Italian citizenship. However, if you stay in Italy for 10 consecutive years, you can petition for naturalization to become an Italian citizen.

Does Italy Allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, it does. This means that you don’t have to give up on your current citizenship if you acquire Italian citizenship.

However, speaking to immigration experts and authorities in your home country will be helpful before you process your application.

Italy Tax Incentives for New Residents

Every tax resident in Italy is required to pay income tax on their worldwide earnings. While the tax percentage that applies to the value of foreign financial assets is 0.2 percent, this is 0.76 percent for the value of the foreign real estate.

In order to attract high-net-worth individuals, Italy offers an alternative tax structure. This optional tax regime enables new residents to replace regular taxation on all of their income earned outside of Italian territory with a €100,000 lump sum payment once a year.

You can apply for this tax regime if you’re ready to move your tax residence to Italy. The first condition is that you’ve not been resident in Italy for at least nine out of the last 10 years.

The €100,000 substitutive tax is due in full by the following June 30th of each year. By paying an extra €25,000 for each dependent, you can also include your family members under the plan.

Once granted, the regime is valid for 15 years and you can opt-out at any time. If the annual lump payment is not paid, in whole or in part, the status will immediately lapse.

Alternatives to Italy Golden Visa

An Italy investor visa is a good choice if you want to apply for European residency quickly. The program is fast and straightforward with different investment options.

However, if your motivations include getting citizenship in an EU country in a shorter time and without any stay requirements, there are other options such as Portugal Golden Visa. It’s a scheme that offers various investment options, including real estate purchases, which Italy Golden Visa doesn’t. Also, Portugal Golden Visa can lead to citizenship if you stay in Portugal for seven days on average every year.

Another option is Greece Golden Visa. Although it also requires you to stay in Greece for a minimum of seven years to become eligible for citizenship, it offers a real estate acquisition route starting from €250,000.

Conclusion

Italy is a beautiful country that offers many benefits to expats. Living there is easier now thanks to the Italy investor visa scheme which is a direct route to getting residency in the country.

Good luck with your new life in Italy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Italy Investor Visa

How much money do I need to invest to get permanent residency in Italy?

The minimum investment amount to get an investor visa for Italy is €250,000. This option is for an investment in an Italian startup.

Can I get residency in Italy if I buy a house?

Unlike other Golden Visa program options, the Italy investor visa program doesn’t offer a residence permit in return for an investment. However, if you make a real estate purchase in the country and start living there, you can be eligible for certain visas, such as an Elective Residence Visa. Speaking to authorities will be helpful before you make a financial commitment.

Can you get Italy citizenship by investment?

An investor visa for Italy isn’t a direct route to Italian citizenship. However, if you live in Italy for 10 years, you can be eligible for citizenship through naturalization.

Can I live in Italy if I buy a property?

Yes, you can live in Italy if you buy a property but the Italian investor visa program doesn’t cover you. You’ll need to apply for a residence permit separately.

Can you buy an Italian passport?

An investor visa for Italy isn’t a direct means of buying an Italian passport. However, living in the country for a minimum of 10 years can make you eligible for Italian citizenship and a passport. So this means Italy citizenship by investment is possible although it’s indirect.

How much is a Golden Visa in Italy?

The minimum investment amounts for investor visa for Italy start from €250,000 and can go up to €2 million.

Does Italy have an investment visa?

Yes, it does. An investor visa for Italy is available for a non EU citizen who is ready to make a financial contribution to Italy.

How can I move to Italy permanently?

If you want to live in Italy and have sufficient funds, you can consider getting an investor visa for Italy. It’s a direct route to Italian residency and can lead to permanent residency if you meet the stay requirements at the end of five years.

How do I get a residency permit for Italy?

An investor visa for Italy is a route to getting a residency permit for Italy. It grants you Italian residency if you abide by the requirements, such as making an investment or a philanthropic donation.

What is the duration of an Italy Investor Visa?

An investor visa Italy is valid for two years. After this period, you can be eligible for renewal if you’re still keeping the investment.

Can I visit the other Schengen Zone countries with Italy investor visa?

Yes, you can. With your investor visa Italy, you can travel to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days.

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