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How to Move to Italy: What You Need to Know

how to move to italy

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People worldwide wonder, “is it possible to move to Italy? And if so, how?” If you are asking these questions, then you are in good company. This blog will explain everything you need to know about how to move to Italy!

It’s no surprise that Italy is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, seeing as it boasts Rome’s ancient and picturesque landmarks, Venice’s charming waterways, Florence’s beauty, and delicious, delectable cuisine.

Italy has a great climate with a low cost of living and excellent healthcare, which makes it very attractive compared with other countries or regions, such as southeast Asia.

The main factor influencing whether you can move to Italy is your nationality. Your immigration status in Italy depends on several variables, including whether you are an EU citizen. This is particularly important for Americans as they consider Italy one of the top vacation destinations.

Moving to Italy as a US citizen

U.S. citizens can live in Italy, with a couple of restrictions. First, suppose your parents or forefathers were born in Italy and immigrated to the United States. In that case, you may receive an Italian passport, which allows you to live in Italy without needing a visa or permanent residency.

However, you must obtain a visa before entering Italy and a permesso di soggiorno if you plan to remain there longer than 90 days. 

Enter Italy with a work permit or work visa, for example. You’ll receive a permesso di soggiorno per lavoro (residence permit for work reasons), or if you enter with a student visa, you’ll obtain a permesso di soggiorno per studio (residence permit for study reasons). The kind of visa you enter Italy with determines your permesso di soggiorno.

Obtaining a visa is more difficult compared to this. So let’s dive into the visa types with the most straightforward option first.

What is the Schengen Visa?

You can get a Schengen Visa if you want to live in Italy for three months. US citizens don’t need to apply for a Schengen Visa as the border control will give it to you when you cross.. This visa allows you to travel throughout Europe’s Schengen area to visit places like France, Germany, Austria, and more. 

So if you’re a Digital Nomad, you can stay in Italy and visit other parts of the Schengen area for 90 days. After three months, you must leave the Schengen area for at least another 90 days, so you can visit the UK, Turkey, or other countries in the world, before returning to Italy.

However, if you plan to say for more than 90 days, life becomes a little more complex for non-EU citizens, like Americans, Canadians, and Australians.

Learning about the Self-employment or Freelance Visa

Italy does not sponsor visas for freelancers because they are not employees, so they created this visa. It’s ideal for Digital Nomads who plan to live in Italy for more than 90 days and puts people on the pathway to permanent residency.

However, like many permits, there are limitations. There is a yearly quota for the number of visas that are available each year, so late applicants may be left disappointed. Each year, the immigration authorities unveil the “decreto-flussi,” as it is known.

To apply for this visa, you will need to have:

  • Proof of accommodation in Italy
  • Proof you are self-employed
  • Clearance from the Italian police, known as a “Nulla Osta”
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself

Explore The Startup Visa when moving to Italy

If you have an idea for a business or new company, you can move to Italy to launch your venture. The immigration officials will need to determine if it is “innovative,” which can be tricky to figure out, so we recommend working with a lawyer for this.

To apply for this visa, you will need to:

  • Register your business in Italy
  • Invest at least €50,000 into the business
  • File an application for an Innovative Company
  • Be the legal representative for the company. 

You can join an existing startup if your investment is €100,000 and you are becoming a C-suite or board member.

This visa has a streamlined, fast-track process, attracting those moving and acting quickly.

How to move with an Italian Elective Residence Visa

This visa is for those who already have some passive income set up. For example, this can be investment income from real estate or a pension. However, you cannot actively work on the Elective Residency permit

This visa is often known as a retirement visa because a pension is the most common type of passive income. 

To apply for this visa, you will need to have:

  • Proof of accommodation in Italy
  • At least €31,000 yearly in passive income
  • The passive income threshold usually increases by 20% for a spouse and 5% for each child but each consulate can enforce a different amount, so it’s best to check first
  • Healthcare insurance

Moving to Italy with an Entrepreneur Visa

Entrepreneurs can move to Italy under this visa if they invest a sizeable sum into the country. Italy created this visa to encourage foreign investment into the country. The main requirements include forming at least three jobs in Italy and investing a minimum of €500,000.

To apply for this visa, you will need to have:

  • A business plan
  • Proof of funds and tax documents

This visa application must be submitted directly to the Italian Consulate in your home country, and it can take up to 120 days to get a decision. If successful, the applicant must also obtain the “permesso di soggiorno,” a residence card. 

How to Get an Italian Investor Visa

Investors can also obtain an investment visa if they help fund strategic assets in Italy. These should be elements that will bring future benefits to Italy’s development. It’s the fastest and most attractive residence visa in Italy.

The investor has four main options to start their visa journey. They can either:

  • Invest €250,000 in an innovative startup
  • Invest €500,000 in an Italian company
  • Donate €1 million to a philanthropic cause
  • Purchase €2 million in Italian government bonds

To apply for this visa, you will need to have:

  • A completed application form for the visa
  • A valid passport with at least two blank pages
  • Proof that the applicant can support their lifestyle and their family members. This is at least €6,085.43 annually for the principal applicant
  • A clean criminal record
  • An electronic signature that’s recognized by the EU’s authorities
  • A CV or resume showing your experience and education

Furthermore, you will need the following depending on the type of investment. 

Innovative startup investment:

You must provide proof that the funds were transferred to the startup from the bank and that you are authorized to invest. 

Investment in an Italian company:

You must supply proof that you’ve transferred money to the company, that you’re authorized to invest, and that a notary has certified your purchase of shares. 

Investment in a philanthropic cause:

A philanthropic cause may require a bank statement showing proof of payment and a letter confirming your donation, but it depends on the type of organization. 

Buy Italian government bonds:

You must provide documentation of the bond purchase from the broker or financial institution. 

How to move to Italy as an EU citizen

The European Union has created a policy known as ‘free movement,’ which allows people from one country to move to another country and seek employment there. The same applies to Swiss and EU nationals. 

Therefore it is much easier to move to Italy if you are an EU, EEA, and Swiss citizen. These groups can move to Italy if they are employed or self-employed in Italy, are studying, or can financially support themselves and their families.

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens can move to Italy, but they must register at the local Anagrafe (Register Office) to establish residence. The specifications vary according to the Anagrafe you choose, but you will need the following paperwork.

  • Proof of why you are moving to Italy. This can be a university enrolment form or an employment contract.
  • ID documents
  • Healthcare insurance 
  • Proof of Italian accommodation

Moving to Italy is a great option. The country offers a vibrant and healthy lifestyle, excellent healthcare, and a low cost of living. It also provides an outstanding work-life balance, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy your life.

If you have any questions about the visa process in Italy, always feel free to reach out via email. We hope that this guide was helpful! As always, if you need help, contact us today!

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