The key factor for obtaining the clearance from the Ministry is being able to submit an “innovative” project rather than the availability of funds. The applicant will need to show that he has the ability to set up a "start-up entity" after obtaining the visa. When a start-up is considered “innovative”? Its innovative character is identified by at least one of the following criteria: at least 15% of the greater value between annual costs and turnover can be attributed to R&D activities; at least one-third of the total workforce are Ph.D. students, holders of a Ph.D. or researchers; or, alternatively, two-thirds of the total workforce must hold a master’s degree; the enterprise is the holder, depository or licensee of a registered patent (industrial property), or the owner and author of an original registered software. Does a start-up need to operate in ITC sector only? This definition is sector-neutral. A company that meets the requirements set out above may operate in any economic sector and still be registered as an innovative startup.
How should I prepare my Italy start-up visa application to increase the chance of being approved?
I learned recently that nearly half of applicants who submitted their applications for Italy start-up visas are rejected. I am in the process of preparing for my application. What are some key points I need to be extra cautious about to increase the possibility of being approved?
Undoubtedly the main thing is to draw up a good business plan. The Italian start-up visa application are based on its economic and financial sustainability, as the Italian government requires that foreigners who will be granted visas will be able to live and work with no aid. Therefore, in order to increase the chance of the application being approved, I would also carry a preliminary analysis based on cash-flow projections.
Preparing a detailed business plan with material proof of the fináncial and economic resources available to make the initial investment, and later support the development of the business, is a key factor. Also, applications made with the support of an Italian startup incubator are taken in good consideration.