The Investor Visa for Italy is a two-year, renewable visa for foreign nationals intending to make a large investment or donation in Italy.
As one of the largest economies in the world as well as a strategic pathway to the European Single Market, in recent years, Italy has taken action trying to paint itself as an attractive location for foreign investors.
One of these steps was introducing a special tax regime, which is particularly targeted towards holders of the Investor Visa for Italy.
This article will detail the application process and requirements for an Italian Investor Visa.
Who Is Eligible for an Investor Visa for Italy?
You are eligible for an Italian Investor Visa if you are a non-EU citizen, and make a single investment into one of the following:
- A Government Bond issued by the Italian Republic.
- A company incorporated and operating in Italy.
- An innovative startup; or
- You make a philanthropic donation. You can support public interest in the fields of culture, education, immigration management, scientific research, preservation of cultural and natural heritage.
Your investment has to be directed to one entity. In exceptional circumstances, such as a donation for social projects or research which involve more than one participant, a donation to more than one entity may be accepted.
As of 2018, the minimum investment you are required to make to qualify for the visa was lowered by half, going from €1 million to €500,000 for investments in companies operating in Italy, and from €500,000 to €250,000 for investment in a startup.
Additionally, to be eligible you must have no criminal record and your financial assets must have been acquired legally, be transferable and in your name.
How to Apply for an Investor Visa for Italy?
The application for an Italy Investor Visa is separated into two parts:
- The online application for a Nulla Osta (certificate of no impediment)
- The application for a visa at the Italian Embassy or Consulate.
Once you get the visa, you can travel to Italy and receive a Residence Permit, allowing you to live in Italy long-term.
Applying for the Nulla Osta
The application process for an Italy Investor Visa Nulla Osta is as follows:
- Start the online application on the official website by completing a series of forms.
- Submit the required documents. You must scan and attach the documents electronically via the same website.
- Download the Final Declaration and sign it electronically before submitting it.
- The Investor Visa Committee Secretariat will check your documents. If they are all in order, you will get a green light and the Inversor Visa Committee will then evaluate your application. If anything is missing, you will have to submit additional documents. Once all the documents are in order:
- The Investor Visa Committee will assess your application. The Committee is comprised of representatives of several ministries and government agencies.
- You will receive a decision within 30 days.
Applying for the Italy Investor Visa
Once the Italy Investor Visa Committee reaches a decision, you have six months to apply for a visa at the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate.
- You need the Nulla Osta as well as hard copies of all the documents you have submitted. You may be required to submit additional documents as well.
- Once the Italian Embassy/Consulate grants you the visa, you have two years to use it to enter Italy.
After Arrival in Italy with an Investor Visa
Once you travel to Italy, you have to personally go to the Questura (Police Headquarters) to request an Italian Investor Visa Residence Permit. The Residence Permit is valid for two years, starting from when you enter Italy.
You have three months from the date of application for the Residence Permit to make your investment or donation in full. If you fail to do so, your visa will be revoked.
Throughout your time in Italy, you must maintain your investment if you intend to renew and keep your visa.
What Are the Required Documents for the Italy Investor Visa?
The documents you’ll be required to attach electronically when you apply for the Italy Investor Visa Nulla Osta are:
- A copy of your passport, which clearly shows your name, picture, issue and expiration date of the passport, and passport number.
- A Curriculum Vitae (CV) stating your main academic and professional experience.
- Documents proving:
- You own the financial resources that you will invest/donate. E.g. bank account statements, including your name and available funds.
- That your financial resources are licit and transferable. An official letter by the bank/financial institution where your assets are located declaring that they have carried out adequate checks on you in accordance with international standards and the exact sum held by you at the time of signing the letter.
- That you have no criminal charges. A declaration issued by the relevant authorities in your country.
- A description of the nature of the investment/donation and your past experience as a donator or investor. Maximum 1,000 words.
- Proof of consent from the recipient of the investment or donation.
- A Declaration of Commitment to using the funds signed electronically. You can download the Declaration from the online platform. It must state the amount of money you are willing to invest, and where you intend to settle in Italy.
After you receive the Nulla Osta, you have to submit the following documents at the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate and request the Investor Visa:
- Copy of the Nulla Osta along with all the original hard copies of the documents listed above.
- Proof you have accommodation in Italy.
- Proof of income from the previous financial year. Your income must meet the minimum threshold for exemption from healthcare expenses. It is approximately € 8,500.
- A passport-size picture of yourself
- Your valid passport
- Proof of residence in your country
All the documents have to be in Italian or English. If they are not, you must submit a certified translation.
What Is the Duration of an Italy Investor Visa?
The Italy Investor Visa is valid for two years. During this time, you can use the visa to enter Italy and get a Residence Permit.
The Residence Permit for an Investor Visa is also valid for 2 years, starting from the date of entry. You can apply to renew it for another three years by applying at least 60 days before it expires.
Renewing an Italy Investor Visa Residence Permit
You can renew your Residence Permit every three years if you can prove that you have maintained your investment or donation. You have to apply for renewal at least 60 days before it expires, via the online Investor Visa portal.
The Investor Visa Committee will review your application, and determine whether or not you have maintained your investment/donation.
After five years of regular residency, you can apply for long-term EU residency.
Schengen Benefits of the Italy Investor Visa
If you receive an Investment Visa for Italy, you are free to travel to all other Schengen Zone countries without a visa, for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Can the Italy Investor Visa Lead to Italian Citizenship?
Yes, if you live in Italy for at least ten years, you become eligible to apply for Italian citizenship by naturalization. As an Italian citizen, you would enjoy the right of movement (and work) throughout the entire EU, the right to vote, and to pass on your citizenship to your children.
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