The powerful charm of Italy lures people from across the globe, with its fabulous climate, wonderful cuisine and unique cultural background. Many people return again and again to enjoy relaxing holidays in various picturesque regions of Italy. Retirement to Italy becomes an attractive prospect and there is more than one way to achieve residency in Italy.

Once you have made the decision to retire and live permanently in Italy an elective residency visa may be one of the best routes for a retired person to choose to enable them to live in Italy after the UK parts company with Europe. The process must be started in the Italian consulate of your home country, there can be some slight variation to the criteria from consulate to consulate but the basic requirement are broadly the same. Elze Obrikyte, who heads Giambrone's immigration team in Italy, strongly advises that you provide comprehensive evidence that you are able to fulfil all the required criteria. Elze commented, "the consulates have a degree of discretion with regard to the acceptance of an application for an elective residency visa and I would recommend that an applicant seeks the assistance of an immigration lawyer to ensure that the supporting documentation is correct and sufficiently comprehensive that it would be impossible to be refused." Elze further remarked, "it can be understandably puzzling to an applicant, due to the consulate authorities having slightly varying criteria, which is why it is crucial to be advised by an expert lawyer who can interpret the consulate's expectations."

An elective residency visa only conveys permission to live in Italy not to work, all income must be derived from outside Italy and it is not a "right", there is no obligation to grant an Elective Residency visa even if all the criteria are fulfilled; however it would be highly unlikely to be refused for no reason. There is no requirement to have Italian heritage.

The principal requirements are as follows:

  • An applicant must have substantial liquid assets in the shape 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 for a single applicant rising to €39,000 for a couple with an additional amount for each child of the family
  • 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 applicant must have comprehensive health insurance

The expert lawyers at Giambrone will be able to assist you to present your application to the consulate authorities in the best possible way which will make it easy for your submission to be understood and reviewed. The most important element to your submission is your financial position; the authorities must be persuaded that you will never be a liability to Italy. Should, against the odds, your application is refused due to irregularities within your documentation there is an appeal process which enables applicants to remedy and errors or omissions. Elze has a track record of success and her team has successfully guided several of Giambrone's clients through the process of applying for an Elective Residency visa under her supervision. Once granted your visa lasts for one year and can be renewed year on year provided your ability to fulfil the criteria has not changed.

If you would like to know more about applying for an Elective Residency visa 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.