Applying for Italian citizenship is not mandatory, as you could opt not to get it for any reason. Therefore, you will be able to extend your investor visa as many times as suits you best, provided you keep all requirements in place. I can confirm you initially will get a two-year resident permit and can extend it for another three years, but then you will be able to extend again until you reach 10 years of staying in Italy to be able to become eligible for citizenship as specified above. Obviously, the performance of your business impacts your ability to extend it if you close it or become bankrupt.
How many times can I extend my investor visa before applying for Italian citizenship?
I am preparing my application for the Italian investor visa. I understand that initially I will get a two-year resident permit and can extend it for another three years. However, I also learned that after living in Italy for 10 years, one becomes eligible for citizenship. How many times can I extend my permit? Does the performance of my business impact my ability to extend it?
The Italian investor visa has an initial duration of two years and it can be then renewed for further periods of three years as long as the investment is kept and all the other conditions for its issuance are maintained. The performance of the company does not affect per se the possibility to renew the permit. However, the company shall be still active and operating. After five years of legal residence in Italy under an investor visa, you may apply for an EU long-term resident permit and then after another five years (for a total of 10 years) of legal residency in the country, you can apply for Italian citizenship.
There’s no limit to the number of renewals that can be granted. After five years of regular residence in Italy, you can choose whether to renew the investor resident permit for a further three years (if you have maintained the original investment) or you can apply for an EU resident permit for long-term residents (a permanent resident permit which does not require renewals). Please note that to renew the investor resident permit you must maintain the original investment. However, if meeting the requirements, you can apply for a conversion of the investor permit into another type of resident permit (e.g., a resident permit for self-employment).