Yes, the government confirmed that after five years of regular residency in Italy, foreign citizens can choose whether to renew the investor resident permit for a further three years, under the conditions mentioned above, or apply for an EU resident permit for long-term residents (permanent residency).
What happens after I hold an Italian investor visa for five years?
What is the next stage after obtaining an Italian investor visa and then extending it if I want to keep living and working in Italy? Do I still have to keep my original investment (for instance, the equity investment)? I was told that there is an option to apply for permanent residency (an EC resident permit). What are conditions of applying for an EC resident permit?
You are allowed to keep living and working in Italy, even after five years, by applying for the permanent resident permit. You will not be requested to keep your investment. The conditions to apply are the following: Give evidence of an annual income of at least 15,000 euros and the knowledge of some basics of the Italian language.
It is possible to extend your visa, provided you keep your original investment (i.e., its value must remain the same). With regards to permanent residency, you can apply for it from the moment you obtain any long-term visa (investment visa, business visa etc.).
After obtaining an Italian Investor Visa and extending it up to the maximum length allowed by the law, if you want to keep living and working in Italy, you can apply for a different residence permit. In particular, after five years of legal residence in Italy, you may apply for the "EU long-term residence permit" (permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo). In order to do so, you are not required to keep your original investment (you may for instance, in the case of an equity investment, sell the shares/quotas of the Italian company you have invested in). The requirements for the obtainment of the EU long term residence permit are the following: (1) you should have legally resided in Italy for five consecutive years; (2) you should have an income equal to not less than the Italian annual social allowance (for 2018 the yearly amount is Euro 5,889.00); (3) you should have an accommodation in Italy that is considered adequate and in line with the requirements set forth by the law; (4) you should be able to approve a test on Italian language (exceptions are provided for specific cases). The holder of an EU long-term residence permit is entitled to live and work in Italy. The duration of such residence permit is unlimited and it shall be updated in case of changes such as change of the address or of the passport of the holder. Having obtained the EU long term residence permit and having legally resided for a total of ten years in Italy you may then also have access to the citizenship application for naturalization.