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Move to Italy With Confidence! 5 Myths About the Elective Residency Visa Debunked

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Are you a retiree looking to start your new life in Italy?  Well, the Elective Residency Visa (ERV) may be your ticket to living your dream.

The ERV is a visa category specifically designed for retired individuals who wish to move and live full-time in Italy.  However, there are a few myths circulating around about this visa that could get in your way of success.  

No need to worry though, I’m here to debunk five of the most common myths and give you the facts you need to make an informed decision so you can prepare for a successful application. 

Retire to Italy

Myth One: You can Apply Directly in Italy

This is not true.

One of the common myths about the ERV is that you can simply arrive as a tourist and apply for a visa directly in Italy. However, this is not true. The ERV is a visa that requires pre-approval from the Italian consulate in your home country before you travel to Italy.

You must submit your application and supporting documents to the appropriate consulate and undergo a review process of up to 90 days. Once your application is approved, you will receive a visa sticker in your passport, which you must present upon entry into Italy. 

Myth 2: You Can Use an Airbnb as Your Address in Italy

False! Contrary to popular belief, it’s impossible to use an Airbnb or temporary address when applying for this visa. To obtain the ERV, you must provide evidence of a suitable and permanent residence in Italy. This typically includes a long-term rental with a registered lease, or the deed of sale (not just an accepted offer) for a property in Italy.

You will need to plan on securing a genuine and stable residence in Italy before applying for the ERV, which can take several months.

Myth 3: €31,000  Passive Income Is Sufficient to Apply

Not quite! This figure is the minimum amount required by each applicant and is very discretionary.  I have never heard of an applicant with the bare minimum being successful.  You will need more, much more.  

The actual financial requirements for the ERV can be complex and may include various factors beyond the passive income, such as the cost of living in Italy, applicants’ age, marital status, source of income, debt, and additional financial resources to cover healthcare and other expenses.

It’s best to also keep in mind that all incoming funds outside of any pension should be regular, reliable, passive income that is guaranteed for life. This is the trickiest part of the application process.

Myth 4: You Can Still Do Some Consulting Work on the Side

Absolutely not! It’s important to note that holders of a permit to stay based on the Elective Residency Visa are forbidden from doing any kind of work whatsoever. This includes operating any type of business (no B&B), consulting (no phone calls to clients), or selling items directly (writing books on Amazon) regardless if the client is not in Italy.  If you are sitting in Italy where you are doing the activity, you are deemed to be “working” and you will jeopardize your residency permit altogether – so make sure to adhere firmly to this rule above all else!

The ERV is specifically designed for retired individuals who do not intend to work or engage in any employment in Italy.

Myth 5: You Can Use the ERV to Extend Your 90 Days in Italy

No! Unfortunately, this isn’t true either.

Another common myth about the ERV is that it can be used to spend a year in Italy by extending the 90-day tourist visa. However, this is not accurate. The ERV is a distinct visa category that is intended for people who wish to retire and live in Italy full-time.  It is not intended as a means to extend your tourist stay in Italy beyond the 90-day limit or to be used as a workaround to stay in Italy continuously.

You are required to establish residency once you arrive in Italy.  The name in itself explains this requirement Elective “Residency” Visa and it’s crucial to thoroughly understand the requirements and limitations.

So, do you qualify for the Elective Residency Visa?  If you’re not sure, we have a little 2-minute quiz that you can take here.

If you’re ready to apply and start living where you feel happier, healthier, and more alive, then I urge you to seek further information and take the next step and apply for the ERV.  It is not an easy visa to get, and you must follow the instructions perfectly. 

If you’re successful, in just a few short months you could be sitting in your favorite Piazza, drinking your favorite beverage and pinching yourself – to make sure it is real.

Need 1:1 help?  We are happy to help guide you through all stages of your move to Italy all you need to do is ask

Drop us a line if you have additional questions about applying for the Elective Residency Visa.  

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