Italy Golden Visa 2021 The Ultimate Guide by Experts | GCS

With its prime location in Mediterranean Europe, its high quality of life and incredible culture, Italy is an attractive destination for expats and international families seeking European residency. Thanks to the Italy Golden Visa, foreign investors and their families are now able to receive Italian residency in just a few months. 

In this Italy Golden Visa guide, you’ll find detailed information on the following:

  • Step-by-step guide on acquiring Italian residency
  • Investment options
  • Required documentation
  • Tax incentives

What is the Italy Golden Visa Program?
Launched in 2017 by the Italian government to encourage foreign direct investment, the Italy Golden Visa also called the ‘Investor Visa for Italy’, allows non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit in exchange for an investment in the country’s economy.

Valid for two years and renewable for three additional years, the program is ideal for investors seeking to live in the heart of Europe, in a vibrant and rich country.

Benefits of the Italian Investor Visa

  • Obtain Italian citizenship after 10 years
  • Enjoy a special tax regime
  • Live, work and study in Europe
  • Freedom of movement in the European Union
  • Residence extended to your entire family
  • No stay requirements in Italy
  • Online and fast process to obtain the Investor Visa
  • Fantastic lifestyle in stunning Italy

Family benefits

The spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents of the main applicant are eligible to become Italian residents without any additional costs.

How to get the Golden Visa in Italy

There are several investment routes available to obtain the Italy Investor Visa:

Invest at least €2,000,000 in government bonds

Invest at least €2,000,000 in government bonds

Make a minimum investment of €500,000 in corporate bonds or share

Make a minimum investment of €500,000 in corporate bonds or share

Make a minimum investment of €250,000 in innovative start-ups

Make a minimum investment of €250,000 in innovative start-ups

Make a philanthropic donation of at least €1,000,000

Make a philanthropic donation of at least €1,000,000

Investment requirements

In order to maintain your Italy Golden Visa, you must:  

  • Make the investment or donation declared in the visa application within three months of the date of entry into Italy
  • Maintain the original investment for the entire period of validity of the permit

Step-by-step guide to the Italy Investor Visa

1. Submit your documentation

2. The Committee evaluates your application

3. Receive your certificate of nulla osta

4. Apply for the Investor Visa at your local Italian Embassy

5. Enter Italy and request an Investor Residence permit at the Questura

6. Make your investment

7. Renew the residence permit

1. Submit all your documentation to the official Italian investor platform 

2. The Italian Investor Visa Committee evaluates your application

3. Within 30 days of your application, the Committee gives you an answer. If the evaluation is positive, receive a certificate of no impediment (“nulla osta”)

4. With the Nulla Osta certificate, you may apply for an Investor Visa at the Italian Embassy or Consulate of your country of permanent residence within six months of issue. Your investor visa is valid for two years

5. Within eight working days from entering Italy, you must apply for an Investor Residence Permit to the Questura of the place where you intend to stay. The permit is valid for two years from the date of entry to Italy

6. Once you’ve been granted your Investor Residence Permit, you have three months from the communicated date of entry to make your full investment or donation. If you fail to invest or do not maintain your investment the permit will be revoked

7. You can renew your Investor Residence Permit for three additional years as long as you maintain your original donation

Application Processing Time

Obtain Italian Citizenship
After five years of holding the investor visa, you can apply for Italian permanent residency. After ten years from the date you’ve been granted a visa, you may apply for Italian citizenship by naturalization.

All the documents for Italy’s Golden Visa

Documentation for the Nulla Osta

  • Contact details
  • Copy of passport
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Investment choice and the transferability and licit origin of the financial assets used 
  • Clean criminal record 
  • Description of the characteristics of the investment/donation and proof of consent from the recipients
  • A declaration of commitment to use the funds, validated with an electronic signature, including an indication of the amount you are willing to invest and the municipality where you wish to settle

Documentation for the Investor Visa

  • Copy of the certificate of no impediment issued by the Committee, together with all the original application documents
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy, including hotel bookings or availability of third parties
  •  Proof of an income obtained during the previous financial year in your country of residence exceeding the minimum threshold required by law for exemption from healthcare expenses (currently equal to approx. € 8,500)
  • A passport photograph
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of residence in the relevant consular district

Documentation for the Italian Residence Permit

  • Receipt of payment of the € 30.46 postal bulletin for the printing of the electronic document
  • Receipt of payment of the € 50.00 postal bulletin, as a contribution for the issuance of the residence permit
  • A photocopy of the entire passport
  • 2 passport photos
  • A € 16.00 revenue stamp supporting evidence about the accommodation status of the applicant in Italy

Tax incentives

New residents can benefit from a special tax regime if they are willing to transfer their tax residence to Italy. Provided they have not been tax resident in Italy for at least nine years over the previous ten, residents may opt to pay an annual substitute tax of € 100,000 on income produced abroad. This option can also be extended to family members, by paying a further annual substitute tax of € 25,000 per family member. The scheme has a maximum duration of 15 years. 

Should I apply for the Italian Golden Visa?

If you are willing to obtain European residency through an online golden visa program with a fast application process, the Italian Golden Visa Program is a good option. In exchange for a qualifying investment, you and your family are able to obtain Italian residency and benefit from an attractive tax regime in a safe and beautiful European country. 

Having said that, you need to keep in mind that the Italian Investor Visa provides few investment routes, with no guarantee of return on your investment. If you are looking to acquire an investment visa with more diversified economic routes, have a look at the Portugal Golden Visa or the Spain Golden Visa programs. These programs offer very attractive and affordable investment routes, allowing you to become a European resident by purchasing real estate for example.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Italy Golden Visa?

The Italian Golden Visa program is an immigration by investment scheme allowing non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit in exchange for an investment in the country’s economy. Four investment routes are available to applicants: invest in Italian government bonds, innovative start-ups, corporate bonds, or make a philanthropic donation. Qualifying investments start at €250,000.

How long is the Italian Investor Visa valid for?

The visa is valid for two years and renewable for three additional years.

Is my family eligible for the program?

The spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents of the main applicant are eligible without additional costs.

Can I work with an Investor Visa?

Yes, there are no work restrictions for investors. Foreign citizens with an investor residence permit can carry out activities as both employees and self-employed professionals

Can I obtain Italian citizenship?

You are able to become an Italian citizen by naturalization ten years from the date you have been granted a visa, provided you meet all the requirements.

What are the other European Golden Visa programs?

There are several European Golden Visa programs available to foreign investors. Among the most popular are the Portugal Golden Visa, Spain Golden Visa and the Malta Golden Visa.