Are you looking forward to coming to Italy to enjoy La Dolce Vita, sip a glass of good wine while admiring Italy’s fascinating landscapes and monuments? If this is the case and you need information about travelling to Italy, buying a property and perhaps becoming a resident, this article will provide you with some useful pieces of information.

There are many reasons why one should visit or move to Italy; among them are the country’s art, culture, cuisine, life style, welfare system and competitive real estate market, to name a few. However, if you want to visit or live in Italy there are a few things you should bear in mind. First of all, if you come from the United States you do not need to apply for an Italian Schengen Visa (or Short-Stay Visa). In particular, you are allowed to travel to Italy and to all other members of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days for tourist or business reasons and you do not need a visa as long as your U.S. passport is valid for at least 3 months after your planned return to the United States.  As a matter of fact, Americans staying or travelling within Italy for less than 3 months are considered non-residents: among these are people on vacation, for instance, those travelling for work, students enrolled in a school or people carrying out academic research. On the other hand, if you wish to stay in Italy for a period of time which is longer than 90 days, you will need a Long-Stay Visa, which can be provided by the Italian consulate in the jurisdiction where you reside in the U.S.

But what is a Long-Stay Visa?

A Long-Stay Visa is also known as a D-Visa or a National Visa. This type of visa allows you to enter Italy and apply for your Italian residency permit (permesso di soggiorno), which enables you to stay in Italy for more than 90 days.

Depending on the purpose of your stay in Italy, you may apply for one of the following visas:

  • Italy Work Visa – available to foreign nationals who want to move to Italy to work;
  • Italy Study Visa –available to students over 18 who are already enrolled in a school or university in Italy;
  • Italy Family Visa –available to foreign nationals who want to join a family member who has Italian citizenship or an Italian permanent residency permit;
  • Italy Self-Employed Visa – available to entrepreneurs who wish to start a business;
  • Italy Working Holiday Visa – available only to nationals aged 18-30 from countries who are part of a working holiday program together with Italy;
  • Italian Retirement Visa – available to those who can financially support themselves without working.

Therefore, if your goal is to purchase property in Italy and spend more than 90 days in the country it might be worth looking into the above-mentioned visas. We at Italian Real Estate Lawyers can help you find not only the property that best suits your needs but also the type of visa which is most appropriate for you.

It is worth pointing out that if you buy property in Italy and need to establish your residency, you can enjoy a number of tax benefits such as a discount on a tax which is applied to the purchase of your first home (the percentage can vary between 2% and 4% depending on the property), and lower municipal taxes. In addition to this, as an Italian resident you can register with the National Health Service and benefit from free healthcare. As a matter of fact, when you register with the National Health Service, you will be provided with a document called Tesserino sanitario personale (Italian Health Insurance Card) that allows you to benefit from a number of free or partially-paid services (ticket sanitario). These include general medical examinations in clinics, specialist medical appointments, hospitalisation, vaccinations, blood tests, X-rays and ultrasounds, to name a few. Please note that there are also a number of services which are offered regardless of whether you are a resident of Italy; these include social protection for pregnancy and maternity, for instance, vaccinations, and diagnosis and treatment of specific medical conditions.

In conclusion, if you are planning on relocating to Italy and need help with finding the visa that best suits your needs in order to enjoy the property you want to purchase, do not hesitate to contact us at


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