If you would like to live in Italy but do not have any of the required criteria that grants dual nationality it still is possible to gain the right to live in Italy.  There are several options available; as Britain has left the EU some paths to residency are now a little longer.  One advantage of the alternative routes to residency is that there is no requirement to demonstrate Italian heritage, so a search for your forefathers' birth certificates etc. is avoided.  Most types of visa that grants residency requires the applicant to be financially sound and with a self-sufficient income. 

It must be remembered that with regard to the various visa opportunities there is no "right" enshrined obliging the Authorities to grant a visa to anyone.  As with any application to live in a country other than one's own there are various criteria to be fulfilled, including a number of factors some of which are discretionary, which must be satisfied in order to proceed. Elze Obrikyte, an associate in Giambrone's immigration team, commented "applicants for any of the various visas available to facilitate residency in Italy would be extremely wise to ensure that their application is completed with the assistance of  a lawyer with expert knowledge of the immigration process, as without expert advice their application could be rejected due to an easily remedied matter", she further commented "anomalies, once noticed, can be rectified prior to the application being submitted, avoiding having a rejection and having to start the process all over again."

Elective Residency Visa

This type of visa has one of the least demanding sets of criteria to fulfil.  An applicant must have sufficient income for all day-to-day living expenses, taxes and municipal charges that are levied, the expectation is that the applicant will be in receipt of an income of at least around €30,000 for a single person and a greater sum is required if a couple wish to relocate to Italy.  They must also have health insurance.  The income cannot be derived from any work in Italy.  The applicant should also own a freehold property, however a leasehold property will be considered.

Start-up Visa

The start-up visa scheme launched in 2012 is aimed at non-EU who set up a business in Italy to enable them to also live in Italy.  An investment of at least €50,000 is required, preferably more.  The applicant must provide proof that they have the investment funds. Also, the start-up business must be innovative and provide the opportunity for research and development.

The Golden Visa

The Golden visa scheme, also known as the Investor visa programme, is aimed at high-net-worth individuals and requires substantial financial investment. Requiring a minimum investment of €500,000 in a new business and if the investment is to be by way of philanthropy it cannot be less than €1 million. An investment in real estate with a value of between €300,000 to €500,000 is accepted and the individual must have an independent income of at least €100,000. Alternatively, an investment in government bonds is also an option.

All types of visa require the applicant to be of good character, over the age of 18 years and be able to demonstrate that they are able to undertake the level of investment required.  Once accepted the applicant can extend the visa to include their spouse, parents, minor children and adult children on the condition that they are able to support themselves financially.

If you would like more information on obtaining a visa for residency in Italy 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.