In spite of the current financial crisis and the instability characterizing the modern Italian political landscape, it’s not doubted that there still are many persons who dream of living in Italy.

In this article, I attempt provide readers with some instructions that could help them decide on what type of (long term/permanent) VISA matches their needs.

First, I clarify that there are many different types of long term VISAs. The most common are the following: Work Permit, Family Reunification

In this brief article we’ll deal with the Elective Residency VISA.

This VISA allows persons having an income that is generated in their Country of permanent residency, to live in Italy.  A typical example is that of retired people: in accordance with the Italian Regulations (namely, Decreto Legislativo n° 286/1998) a non-European citizen (hereafter the applicant) is requested to prove that he relies on an income that allows him to live in Italy without working (the amount of which is determined by the Italian Consulate located in the Country where the applicant is from).

This income cannot be generated by employment and there must be proof that sufficient funds that will cover the expenses of the applicant in Italy in the near future exist.

While pension is a good example, other types of acceptable income for the acquisition of an elective residency visa include income generated through lease agreements (i.e. renting properties) and dividends (unless the applicant is employed by the company or is CEO/Manager Director – in general, he can’t have any kind of job that requires his physical presence in his Country of origin).

As previously argued, the exact amount of the income is determined by the Italian Consulates which means that it varies from State to State: for example, the Italian Consulate of Miami requires a minimum of 4,000 USD/month.

The steps that the applicant must make to obtain this type of VISA are the following: the applicant must file an application form at the Italian Consulate of his/her Country, by submitting all the documents required, such as a copy of his/her passport, a document that provides evidence of the income he/she generates (pension plan or a bank statement) and a document which proves that the applicant has secured accommodation in Italy (in other words, a purchase or a a rental agreement).

If the submitted documents comply with requirements set by the applicable regulations, the Italian Consulate will provide the applicant with an “entrance VISA” that allows him to enter Italy and apply for the Elective Residency VISA.
This needs to be done within 90 days from the release of the entrance VISA.

The application for acquiring the Elective Residency VISA must be filed at a Police Department called “Questura” (the competent Questura is located at the area where the applicant lives). If the applicant complies with all the requirements, is assisted by a good Italian lawyer and the Italian Consulate of his Country is not as slow as the public offices in Italy usually are, then he will be able to obtain his Elective Residency VISA in a few months.

A cura di

Ab. Michele Ambrogio

Via Pier Capponi



Un commento su “LIVING IN ITALY, WHAT VISA?”

  1. I would like to apply for elective residency for Italy.
    I am a citizn of both US and Australia currently living in NYC.
    My questions pertains to the fact that I am aware I am not allowed to work in Italy on this visa, but am i allowed to rent out the property that I own in Italy?
    Or is it possible to run a bed and breakfast ?
    Thankyu in advance.
    Lida Rosewall


Lascia un commento