Since 2012, Italy has implemented a Start-up law in order to encourage the creation and development of innovative start-ups.

The Start-up policy is designed to promote technological development, employment, and entrepreneurial culture in Italy by issuing with residency permit the non-EU talents determined to establish innovative startups in Italy.

Since the Italian immigration law is rather strict, this new policy offers non-EU citizens an alternative and quick way to transfer their residency to Italy and benefit of certain advantages in taxes and investment.


To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Introduce an innovative business idea (a specific Committee would evaluate it);
  • Invest at least €50.000 to develop their innovative start-up.


There are two routes to apply for the Italian visa:

1.  Direct startup visa application;

2.  Application through a licensed business incubator.

Both routes offer the entrepreneur a priority application and certain benefits in Italy.

In the first case the applicant submits a request to the above mentioned Committee which evaluates the innovative business plan and verify other requirements. After this procedure the Committee may or may not issue a Certificate of No Impediment.

On the contrary, if a certified incubator is willing to host the non-EU national on its premises to establish an innovative startup, and has signed an invitation letter, it is sufficient for the Committee to issue its Certificate of No Impediment without further evaluation.

Once this Certificate of No Impediment is issued by the Committee, the local police needs to issue an authorisation for immigration purposes.

After this procedure the applicant may request an entry visa at a competent consular authority submitting all the above mentioned certificates; documentation demonstrating that applicants possess certified financial resources of at least €50,000 to develop their innovative startup; a proof of a suitable accommodation and health insurance.

If all goes well, an entrepreneur is granted with an entry visa and may obtain a residency permit once arrived to Italy.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.