Italy is renowned as a tourist destination: it is home to a wide variety of breathtaking natural landscapes, such as snowy mountain peaks, beautiful hills and lakes, and stunning beaches with the clearest water; it is rich in music, history, culture and cuisine; it is also in a strategic geographical position and is thus well-connected to hundreds of cities in Europe and elsewhere. If you would like to relocate to Italy, enjoy your time in the country without any restrictions and perhaps purchase a property there, this article will provide you with information regarding a potential avenue you could pursue: applying for the Investor Visa, which can open the doors to fulfilling your Italian dream.

The Investor Visa, also referred to as the Golden Visa, was first introduced in Italy in 2017 with the 2017 Budget Law as an initiative of the Italian government to stimulate and promote foreign direct investment.

Who can apply for this type of visa?

The visa is designed for HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals) and more specifically for non-EU citizens who can invest  money in strategic assets for Italy’s society and economy. The Golden Visa program is valid for two years; however, it can be extended to three years. When the 5-year period of time has elapsed, the individual can apply for a long-term residency permit. The Italian government has established four categories applicants may invest in and the thresholds are as follows:  

  • Government bonds – € 2 million;
  • Italian limited liability company operating in Italy – € 500,000;
  • Italian start-up company – € 250,000;
  • Philanthropic donation – € 1 million.

There are other requirements one must meet in order to apply. In particular, investors need to provide the Italian authorities with proof that they hold the funds, and that they have clear criminal records. Investors cannot combine multiple categories to invest in; in other words, they may only select one among the four and invest in multiple areas within the chosen category. Investors have three months from their arrival in Italy to proceed with the investment; the advantage of this is that investors do not need to transfer their funds prior to their arrival in Italy.

The process to apply for the visa is quick and easy, and the application is also processed swiftly. In order to file an application, individuals need to create a personal account on the website of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, they then need to fill in the forms and upload the required attachments, such as a copy of their ID, proof of financial resources, criminal records and any other supporting documentation. Finally, they need to sign a declaration and submit the application. If the application is complete, the Committee Secretariat will evaluate it and provide the applicant with an outcome within 30 days from the date of submission. If the application is approved, the Committee will issue a “Nulla Osta”, a certificate of no impediment which will give the applicant a maximum of six months to apply for the visa at the Italian embassy or consulate that covers the jurisdiction where the applicant resides; finally, the visa will allow the applicant to enter Italy within two years from the visa’s date of issuance. Once the investor enters Italy, he/she will need to go the “Questura” (police headquarters) within 8 days of arriving. The Questura will be responsible for providing the individual with a permit of stay, which is valid for two years starting from the date of entry to Italy.

It is worth mentioning that investor visa holders are required to carry out the investment throughout the 2-year period otherwise the permit may be revoked and no longer renewed. Among the benefits of applying for the investor visa is the possibility for its holders to travel to other Schengen countries, benefit from a special tax regime, access the Italian national healthcare system and extend the permit of stay to immediate family members.

Therefore, if you wish to move to Italy and you would like to be able to stay there beyond the 90-day limit which applies to non-EU citizens, invest in the country and potentially purchase property there, the investor visa can help you achieve your goal. If you would like more information about the application process, or further details about the Italian real estate market and the areas in Italy which are worth considering for your long-term investment, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Our team of legal experts, real estate consultants and attorney will guide you through Italy’s great variety of prime locations. Please contact us at info@italianrealestatelawyers.com for further details.  We will be happy to help you!

 

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