Italy Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful information about Italy’s programs


How do I get residency by investment in Italy?

Italy has three options for foreigners seeking residency by investment - an investor visa for non-EU nationals who can meet minimum investment requirements, elective residency visa for those who want to live in Italy and can support themselves without working, and a resident non-domiciled program which involves a tax on foreign income.

How much do I have to invest to get residency in Italy?

That depends on which residency path you choose. The investor visa could cost anywhere from 500,000 euros to 2 million euros. You need at least 31,000 euros per year in income other than work for the elective residence visa. The amount goes up to about 38,000 for a married couple. The resident non-domiciled program has an annual tax of 100,000 on foreign income. Applicant’s family members pay 25,000 euros per person.

How much do I have to invest to get citizenship in Italy?

Italy doesn’t have a direct citizenship by investment program, but you can become a citizen after getting your residency and living and working in Italy for 10 years. The amounts you have to invest to become a resident depend on the type of visa you choose.

What are the requirements for residency by investment in Italy?

If you’re a non-EU national applying for residency through the investor visa you have to invest 2 million euros in Italian government bonds and keep the money there for at least two years. Another option is to put 500,000 euros in equity instruments in a company doing business in Italy or 250,000 euros in an innovative start-up or 1 million euros in philanthropic funding that will benefit the public. Foreigners have to prove that they have the funds and submit a written declaration of investment plans. They also have to apply for a document called Nulla Osta through the Italian Ministry of Economic Development online portal and then apply for the investor visa outside of Italy. After five years of temporary residency, an investor can become a permanent resident.

To get the elective resident visa, foreign citizens have to file the application at the local consulate since it can’t be done in Italy. They also need to have at least 31,000 euro in income other than work (38,000 for married couples), have appropriate accommodations and register at the local police headquarters within eight days of arriving in Italy.

The resident non-domiciled program taxes interested investors 100,000 euro per year on all foreign income for up to 15 years after the investor chooses this option on the annual tax return. There is an option to opt out, but no option to opt back in.   

How long does it take to get residency by investment in Italy?

Processing the investor visa takes about 30 days and results in temporary residency for two years with the option to renew it for three more years. After that, an investor can become a permanent resident. It usually takes up to 90 days to get the elective residence visa.

How many countries can I visit with an Italian passport?

An Italian passport gives you visa-free access to 188 destinations.

Do I have to be present in Italy before getting the residency by investment application approved?

Part of the process for investor visa requires a visit to the Italian embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country. However, the applicant has to complete the process after arriving in Italy.

Can I add my spouse and children on my application?

That depends on which residency path you choose, but there are options to include your spouse and children in the process as family reunification.

What are the criteria for my children to qualify for residency or citizenship in Italy?

Children under 18 years old can qualify as dependents for family reunification. Children over 18 years old can be included if they can’t support themselves because of health issues. Children can come and stay in Italy with the investor for the duration of the visa.

Do I have the right to work in Italy after I obtain the residency through this program?

If you have the elective residence visa, you are not allowed to work in Italy or remotely. If you invest in a start-up, you will work for the company.

What is the tax situation after obtaining Italian residency or citizenship? Will the investor be required to pay taxes on income obtained from sources abroad?

A foreign investor who chooses the resident non-domiciled program will be paying 100,000 euros a year in taxes on all foreign income for up to 15 years. The investor’s family members will pay additional 25,000 euros per person if their residence is transferred with the investor.  

Will Italian citizenship automatically grant me European citizenship?

Italian citizens can live and work in any European Union country.

How long do I have to wait before I can sell my investment in Italy? 

You have to keep the investment as long as you have the investor visa.

Will my Italian citizenship expire?

No. The Italian citizenship does not expire.

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