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:
- What is the Italy Golden Visa Program?
- Why Italy?
- Benefits of the Italy Golden Visa.
- Step-by-step guide on acquiring residence permit in Italy.
- Required documents for the Italy Golden Visa.
- Investment options.
- Tax incentives for new residents.
- Should you apply for the Italy Golden Visa?
- Frequently asked questions.
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. The latest Italy Golden Visa changes were made in 2017, so the program has remained unchanged over the past few years.
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.
With arguably the most delicious cuisine in the world, a wide array of beautiful landscapes – lakes, beaches, and mountains – and its strategic location in Mediterranean Europe, Italy has so much to offer. The Italy Golden Visa program is perfect for investors looking to reside in the heart of Europe and embrace the rich and vibrant culture of Italy.
You are strategically placed to get around the continent, with good global connections. When it comes to culture and lifestyle, it is very difficult to beat Italy, with its many historic monuments and art exhibitions on display. Alongside this, it has a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore.
This is without mentioning the incredible climate and the sheer diversity of the country. From the Alps in the north, where you can enjoy skiing, to the sun-drenched south. Then you have Sicily, Sardinia, among many other rich cities to explore – each place with its own traditions and special cuisine. If you invest in Italy in an aim to permanently reside here, you will have a lot to discover and do in this stunning country.
What are the benefits of an Italian Investor Visa
The Italy Golden Visa “Dolce Visa” Program has been attracting many expats and investors from all over the whole world in recent years, offering great benefits for non-EU citizens.
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
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 Italy Golden Visa
There are several investment routes available to obtain the Italian Investor Visa:
Invest at least €2,000,000 in government bonds
Make a minimum investment of €500,000 in corporate bonds or shares
Make a minimum investment of €250,000 in innovative start-ups
Make a philanthropic donation of at least €1,000,000
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 Italian 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 will give 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 its issuance. 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 required documents for Italy’s Golden Visa
To apply for the Italy Golden Visa, you will need to follow some set steps. The first of them is applying for the “Nulla Osta” application, and to do that you will need to present the following required documents.
Documentation for the Nulla Osta
- Contact details.
- Copy of passport.
- Curriculum vitae.
- Investment choice and the transferability and legitimacy 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
Once you receive your “Nulla Osta” application, the following documents should be prepared to submit to the Italian Embassy in your country:
- 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.
Note the following:
1- All the documents you’re submitting should be in original English or Italian, and if you have the original copies in different languages, make sure to include a certified translation.
2- Besides the main documents you will need to prepare, there are some supporting documents that differ according to the type of investment you’re choosing for the Italy Golden Visa. Read the following table carefully to know the exact documents you will need for your case.
|Investment in Government Bonds||1. Certificate of a deposit of the securities in a financial institution in Italy
2. Copy of securities dossier
|Investment in a limited company or startup in Italy||1. Bank statements — should clearly indicate that the investment has been made.
2. A letter of validation of the bank statement — should be signed by an authorized representative of entity.
3. Certificate of Shares Deposit at an Italian Bank or Financial Institution, if you’ve acquired shares.
4. A letter that confirms the receipt of the investment and a copy of the Italian “atto di cessione” (“act of transfer”) filed by the receiving company, if you’ve invested in an unlisted company.
5. Copy of your securities dossier, if the investment has been made in a listed company.
|Donation||1. The copy of the public donation deed.
2. Bank statements — should clearly indicate that the donation has been made.
3. A letter of validation of the bank statement — should be signed by an authorized representative of the entity.
4.. A letter from the recipient company that confirms the donation.
Validity of Italy Golden Visa
It’s worth mentioning that the Itali Golden Visa “Dolce Visa” is valid for two years, and you will be able to enter Italy during this time and apply for an Italy Residence Permit.
The Italy Residence Permit is also valid for two years, starting from the day you arrive in Italy. After two years, you can apply for a three-year renewal.
Documentation for the Italian Residence Permit
Once you arrive in Italy, you will need to start the process of applying for the Italian Residence Permit, and the following documents should be present with you.
- 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 to 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
Renewing your Italy Golden Visa
The main condition for you to be able to renew your “Dolce Visa” is to keep your investment in the country, so you can have your residence permit valid. With at least 60 days prior to the expiry of the current Residence Permit you have; you will be able to apply for the new three-year Residence Permit. Make sure to have a new “Nulla Osta” application to be able to apply for the renewal.
You should also know that the Italy Golden Visa renewal is subject to approval or rejection of the Committee, so prepare your documents carefully.
Italian citizenship through the Italy Golden Visa
Unfortunately, the Italy Investor Visa isn’t a fast or direct way for Italian citizenship. However, if you stay for 10 consecutive years, you can petition for naturalization to become an Italian citizen.
Italy tax incentives for new residents
When looking into the Italy Golden Visa tax for applicants, 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 residents 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.
Alternatives to Italy Golden Visa
As previously mentioned, the Italy Golden Visa program is a very attractive investment program, and many non-EU citizens choose to obtain the Italy Golden Visa. However, there are some other alternatives in Europe that even guarantee you more options and facilities.
You should know that choosing the Italy Golden visa won’t allow you to get your investment funds at the end of the investment period.
Having said that, you need to keep in mind that if you are looking to acquire an investment visa with more diversified economic routes, have a look at some programs in other countries – such as the Portugal Golden Visa or the Spain Golden Visa programs. These schemes offer very attractive and affordable investment routes, allowing you to become a European resident by purchasing real estate for example.
There is also the Greece Golden Visa option. Although it also requires you to stay in Greece for a minimum of seven years to become eligible for citizenship, it offers a real estate acquisition route starting from €250,000.
Italy is one of the most fascinating European countries that receives many expats and investors every year. The Italy Golden Visa provides many benefits to investors looking to secure EU residency. So, if you’re a non-EU citizen and you want to be freely eligible to move inside the Schengen area and enjoy European residency for yourself and your family then start applying now. At Global Citizen Solutions, our team of experts in visa programs and immigration services is happy to help guide you through the process and discuss the available options that best suit your needs. Contact us today to book a free call.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Italy Golden Visa?
The Italy 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 residency and citizenship programs.
Does Italy offer the Golden Visa?
Yes, the Italy Golden Visa program is an immigration by investment scheme that allows non-EU citizens to acquire a residence permit in exchange for an investment in the country’s economy. Qualifying investments start at €250,000.
What is a Golden Visa in Italy?
In 2017, the Golden Visa was introduced in Italy to encourage foreign direct investment. The program allows non-EU citizens to obtain residency in exchange for a qualifying investment in the country’s economy.
Can you buy citizenship in Italy?
Italian citizenship cannot be gained through direct investment. The Italy Golden Visa allows you to gain residency in the country for a qualifying investment worth at least at €250,000. You are then able to become an Italian citizen by naturalization ten years after the date you have been granted a visa, provided that you meet all the requirements.
How much money do I need to invest to get permanent residency in Italy?
To qualify for the Italy Golden Visa, you have to make a minimum investment of €250,000 in the country’s economy.
Can I live in Italy if I buy property?
If you are a non-EU citizen and buy property in Italy, you are permitted to stay in the country for a limited period of time. If you hold a special visa that allows you to apply for a temporary residence program, then you can stay in Italy for a longer time period. At present, there is no real estate route for the Italy Golden Visa.
How can I live permanently in Italy?
If you are looking to live permanently in Italy and can afford to live there without working, your best option is an elective resilience visa. This is issued to foreigners who are retired and can collect income from a retirement or pension plan.