Italian Golden Visa- What Prospective Applicants Must Know

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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Italy is one of the most popular destinations for Americans planning to settle abroad. The country offers a perfect mix of unparalleled heritage, natural beauty, and excellent business opportunities. When it comes to immigration, you can explore options such as citizenship by descent, marriage, or naturalization. But each of these has stringent eligibility criteria, so qualifying can be tough if you cannot show ancestral roots in the country, aren’t married to an Italian, or haven’t lived in the country for an extended period.

Thankfully, you can still fulfill your Italian dream by opting for the investment route with the Italian Golden visa. You only need to invest in the country and follow the process to get a permit for permanent residence, which can be converted into an Italian passport later. Before you go ahead, it makes sense to understand the investment requirements and process thoroughly to close it quickly with the right steps. Here is everything that prospective applicants must know about the Italian Golden Visa. 

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Investment requirements

The Golden Visa program is investment-based, which means that you have to invest a specific sum in the country to qualify for the visa. It applies to all non-EEA citizens who are willing and able to contribute to the country and community. The program is apt for high net-worth individuals because it has significant investment requirements. You need to choose one of the following forms of investment to be eligible:

  • You invest a sum of €250,000 in an existing local startup that operates in an innovative field
  • You contribute €500,000 to a local company incorporated and operating in Italy and intend to hold the investment for a minimum of two years
  • You donate €1 million for a public interest project in the fields of education, culture, scientific research, immigration management, or preservation of cultural and natural heritage
  • You invest €2 million in government bonds and intend to hold them for a minimum of two years

You must be 18 years of age when starting with the application process and have clean criminal records and good health, which you must validate with documentary evidence. 

Understanding the process

Once you understand the eligibility requirements and are sure that you can fulfill them, you can start with the application process. It can be long and complicated, but expert assistance can set you on the right track. You can check out this great article via Bersani Law Firm to learn about the entire steps in detail. We will highlight them for you as well. 

  • Obtain a nulla osta: A nulla osta is a no impediment certificate by the Investors Committee for Italy. You can obtain it for free and within only thirty days of an online application. You need to fill some forms and submit scanned copies of documents. These include your passport, proof of funds, a police clearance, a description of the chosen investment route, a declaration that you will invest the minimum sum, and a declaration of the municipality you would want to settle in.
  • Apply for an investor visa: Since the validity of the nulla osta is only six months, you must apply for an investor visa within this period. You will have to submit documents like a valid passport, a copy of your nulla osta, proof of accommodation in Italy, proof of income from the previous year, and current proof of residence. These documents should be in Italian or English.
  • Get the Italian residence permit: Once you have the investor visa, you can travel to Italy and apply for your residence permit. You must do it within the validity of the investor visa, which is two years. The procedure requires you to visit the local police station and apply with your passport pictures and identification documents. This permit is valid for two years. You will have to fulfill your investment commitment after applying for the residence permit. You can reapply for renewal after two years, and it will be valid for three years. After five years, you can get a permanent residence permit. Once you are here for ten years, you are eligible for citizenship by naturalization.

Benefits of Italian Golden Visa

Even as the Golden Visa entails significant investment and involves a lengthy process, there are several advantages you can avail of with it. You can live and travel visa-free in the EU, bring your family along, and eventually work your way to get Italian citizenship after a specific period. The process is simple, quick, and easy, as you can apply online. Italian investors get the advantage of a flat tax option.

Now that you know all about the Italian Golden Visa, you can explore the option as your first step towards your goal of obtaining a second passport. Consider it as your ticket to Italy if you don’t qualify with any other route.