There is more than one route for foreigners to permanent residency in Italy if you simply would like to live in Italy, as opposed to travel throughout Europe and work in Italy.  It is possible to apply for an Elective Residency Visa to enable you to stay longer than the statutory 90 days currently permitted in Italy.  If you fit the criteria for the Elective Residency Visa it is a speedier method of gaining the right to live in Italy than that of citizenship.  An Elective Residency Visa is initially granted for one year and can be renewed at the end of that period providing there has been no change in circumstances.

There are various factors that have to be fulfilled by applicants, some of which are discretionary.  The principal requirements are as follows:

  • There is no requirement for an applicant to be of Italian heritage
  • An applicant must have substantial funds upon which they can rely on as an income
  • The precise amount is not defined however it is generally expected that it should be in excess of €31,000
  • The income may not arise as a result of work in Italy or from anywhere else
  • The income must derive from investments or a self-sufficient business, a property may be considered
  • An applicant must, ideally, own a property, although a leasehold property may be considered
  • An elective residency visa does not bestow the right to work in Italy

There is no obligation to provide an Elective Residency Visa, this is not a right, and there is considerable discretion that can be applied by the Italian consular authorities when granting such a visa.

The expert lawyers at Giambrone can assist you with the steps you will be required to take to apply for an Elective Residency Visa.  Applications must be made through the Italian consulate in your home country and you should be aware that it may take some time to organise an appointment.  The comprehensive application form will need to be completed prior to your appointment; you will also be required to produce extensive documentation to prove that you are able to fulfil all the terms of an Elective Residency Visa.   You may need to have your documents translated, the translations may have to be verified as valid translations. Amongst the various things you will have to be able to demonstrate is that you own a home or have registered a lease contract and have comprehensive medical insurance in accordance with the requirements for the Elective Residency Visa.

As with many bureaucratic procedures the secret of a successful application is to be absolutely sure that your application does not have any deficiencies or anomalies that may stall or even halt the whole process.  Details really matter in this type of application and all your documentation must be accurate and consistent.  As mentioned previously there is a reasonable amount of discretion within the Consulate authorities and there is no statutory right to such a visa and it could be that your application could be rejected. However, in those circumstances, there is an appeal process and the opportunity to remedy any irregularities that may appear in your documentation.  Obviously, it is far better to ensure that everything about your application is absolutely sound and have expert eyes review your application prior to submitting it. The Giambrone immigration team have successfully guided several clients through the procedure who are now very happily living in Italy.

If you would like assistance with an Elective Residency Visa or to know more about the process please click here

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.