Tell me if this is you….
You’ve been dreaming of moving to Italy, but not forever, just for a year or more.
You have a good job, or a successful business and can work from anywhere.
You are not retired and have zero interest in becoming a student again.
And you may also have kids or a spouse that will come along with you.
You’re flexible, financially independent, and ready to make the move.
But you are not Italian, or European so you know that your la dolce vita new life in Italy is limited to 90 days at a time.
How can you extend your stay, get the benefits of a permit to stay, and continue to work?
Well, my friends for some of you, there’s good news.
The Italian Investors Visa
In recent years, we have seen a growing trend from countries offering Golden Visas. They target individuals with higher assets to make a specific investment, either through the government bond or through property purchase, and in exchange, the individual and his family are granted either citizenship or residency and all the rights that come with it.
These initiatives are very popular, especially for individuals who do not have any other means of immigrating to their desired country but have the money to “buy” their way in. You may have heard about Golden visas in Spain, Portugal, and Greece, all of which have been a huge success.
But Italy, being the problem child, has something a little bit different to offer.
It is called the Investors Visa and with the recent 50% slash off the normal investment level required, you now need only 500,000 euro to open the doors to you and your family’s new life in Italy.
I know that 500,000 euros is a lot of money but hang tight because there’s a lot more to it than just a big fat number.
Let’s start with the qualification. To qualify for the Investor Visa, you have a choice. You can:
- purchase at least € 2 million in government bonds; or
- invest at least € 500,000 in equity instruments of an Italian company based in Italy or € 250,000 in case of a start-up company; or
- donate at least € 1 million philanthropic funding supporting projects of public interest in the field of culture, education, immigration, scientific research, recovery of cultural assets and landscapes.
So, which one looks like the better option?
Number two. Of course.
Invest at least € 500,000 in equity instruments of a company based and operating in Italy or € 250,000 in case of a start-up company.
Let’s dive into what this means.
Unlike Spain and Greece, you cannot personally buy a house for 500,000 and get an Investment Visa. You must choose an Italian company that is already in operation for a minimum of one year and based in Italy. It doesn’t need to be profitable, just in operation. However, if you are going to invest in a company, getting a return on your money is always good.
You can invest in private or public companies, like an Italian Energy company for example, or a well-established entity where your money is relatively safe. Or, if you have a higher risk tolerance, you can find a private investment company.
Regardless, the investment must be at least 500,000 euros and the company must be Italian and in operation for one year or more.
If your investment threshold is lower, you can instead, invest a minimum of 250,000 in a start-up but finding these companies to invest in is more difficult and likely a lot riskier. Most people choose an established company where their investment will be safe and provide a return.
There are companies and investment firms that will help you choose the best investment for you, but be careful, as there are also a lot of false claims out there that are designed to lure you in and take your money.
Our investigators checked in on a company that was claiming to get you Italian Citizenship by investment and were promoting it throughout Social Media. This is fake and a scam. You cannot “buy” Citizenship in Italy through investment.
The investor visa will grant you an Italian residency permit, not Italian citizenship. They are very different.
How to Apply
Once you have found the right investment you are ready to apply.
There are two steps to the Investment Visa.
First, you must get the Nulla Osta from the Government, and second, you must apply for the Investment Visa at your local Italian Consulate.
The first thing you need to do is apply to get a Nulla Osta through the Government portal here (www.investorvisa.mise.gov.it).
A Nulla Osta is a certificate of no impediment, meaning there is no legal reason that you cannot apply for an Investors Visa.
You must have a Nulla Osta to apply for the Investors Visa at the Consulate so this needs to be done first.
Who applies? The individual investor or, as of 2020, the Italian Government opened this option even further and allows both individuals and a company controlled by the individual to request the Nulla Osta.
To apply for the Nulla Osta you must include:
- A detailed Curriculum vitae
- Selection of the type of investment you want to make
- Provide a clear criminal record check (of the individual) with no criminal convictions or pending charges
- Proof of financial resources
You will not be able to apply based on “future” resources. You will need to prove you have the funds available at the time of the application.
This must include:
- A bank statement showing the available balance, and;
- A letter from your bank that includes a specific declaration that the bank has carried out all activities necessary under the FATF international standards on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism, and;
- A report of an independent third-party professional, certifying the truthfulness of the information provided.
All your English documents must be translated with certified translations, and you will also need to name the company you will invest in at this point, and you can’t change it. You do not have to make the investment at this stage, just name the company and prove you have the funds.
You must make the investment to the listed Italian company later, but within three (3) months after arriving in Italy.
You can then sign the application (using an approved Italian digital signature) and click submit.
Once you have submitted the documents, you will have to wait up to 30 days for them to review and return your Nulla Osta to the Italian Consulate that you have indicated on your application. You must apply for your Visa within six (6) months of receiving your Nulla Osta or it will expire.
Applying for the Visa
Once you have the Nulla Osta, you need to start the second step and apply for the Investor Visa at your local Italian Consulate. This will involve an application and appointment at the Consulate, but the Visa itself is very easy to get. There are no quotas, no language requirements and you can include your family and dependants. The processing time is very fast, usually within 3-5 working days. Once you receive the Visa, you are on your way to Italy!
About the Visa
The Investors Visa is valid for an initial two (2) years and can be renewed for another three (3) years and again for as long as you maintain the investment.
Once you arrive in Italy, you must apply for your residence permit within eight (8) days of entering Italy. This is the same for all Visas. Once you declare your presence, you will have up to three (3) months to make the investment into the company on record to maintain the residency permit.
You must prove that you have made the investment by supplying bank documentation certifying the purchase (copy of securities dossier), indicating the type, issue date, and maturity date of the securities, and a certificate of deposit of the securities in a financial institution in Italy.
The investment Visa is an excellent solution for you and your family to establish a residency permit in Italy that allows you to come and go as you please without restriction. You do not have to spend 365 days a year in Italy, nor do you have to move your taxable residence to Italy. If you chose to also move your taxable residency to Italy, there are additional tax benefits to high-net-worth individuals that are extremely favorable.
That’s all folks!
From this point, you and your family are free to come and go as you like without restriction. Here is what you need to remember:
- You must invest a minimum of 500,000 euro in an Italian company (in operation for a minimum of one year).
- You must maintain this investment for the duration of your Visa term and all renewals. If you do not, your Visa will be cancelled.
- You cannot (unless very special circumstances) change your investment. It must remain in the first place on record for the duration of your Visa.
- You do not need a language component to qualify, nor do any of your family members.
- You are not required to spend a specific amount of time in Italy.
- You, and your family are permitted to work in Italy.
- There are no quota systems so, if you qualify it is guaranteed.
- It is fast. After you get your Nulla Osta, your Visa application is usually approved within 3 – 5 days.
If you have the capital (500,000 euro) to invest in Italy, for a minimum of two years, and want to move to Italy for any length of time, and need the freedom to work, enjoy everything Italy has to offer, and come and go as you please the Investors Visa is a safe, quick, and easy option.
If you would like more information about the Investor Visa and ways that our legal team can help you safely manage the process from start to finish safely contact us here >>>