An Ultimate Guide to Golden Visa Italy 2021
This article is for those who want to obtain residency in Italy by participating in the Italian residency-by-investment program. The Italian government recently improved its “Golden Visa Italy” program to attract more investors and high-net-worth individuals.
Not everybody is aware that Italy has a Golden Visa program, and Italy is actively promoting the Investor Visa and its Startup Entrepreneur Visa.
The Investor Visa the easiest and most flexible way for non-EU residents to obtain citizenship in Italy.
What is the Golden Visa Italy Program?
The Golden Visa is a type of visa that allows non-EU nationals who want to invest in Italy and gain the right to remain in Italy on an initial two-year visa.
The residency-by-investment program provides a fast and easy way to obtain residency in Italy and thus enjoy the same rights as European residents. What differentiates the Investor Visa from other resident permit categories is the lack of physical presence requirement. This means you don’t need to spend most of the year in Italy, unlike all the other Italian resident permits. Actually, you only need to visit Italy once during the lifetime of your permit.
As you can see, this is a fantastic opportunity for businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, and others to gain fast access to Italy and Europe.
Benefits of Golden Visa Italy Program
Free national healthcare application: Golden Visa holders in Italy may register for the Italian National Healthcare service. It entitles you to a primary care physician, access to all specialist testing and visits, hospital admission, and other benefits.
Optional tax benefits: Applicants with high global incomes can qualify for the flax tax lump sum regime, which allows them to pay only a fixed amount of 100,000 EUR in taxes regardless of their income or assets.
You can work, start a company, or form a corporation. You have the same privileges as citizens of Italy or the European Union.
Free access for family members: You are welcome to bring your family members with you, and they will have the same unrestricted privileges as you.
After five years of legal stay in Italy, holders of an Investor Visa in Italy may apply for a resident permit for long-term residency. They must have registered as residents and filed tax returns to be eligible. See also the Elective Residence Visa Italy program for more information on obtaining Italian residency.
Italian citizenship: A person should be able to apply for Italian citizenship after 10 years of legal residency in Italy. Those with Italian ancestry can apply in fewer years than that.
Update to Italian Golden Visa Benefits
Except for a few revisions to the Investor Visa Policy guidelines, the government has made no major changes to the program, which was established in 2018. Indeed, Italy sought to draw new investors in a time of economic uncertainty because the Italian market was a particularly attractive prospect.
The first update resulted in a 50% reduction in the minimum sum needed to qualify for an Investor Visa.
Another change is the removal of minimum stay requirements in the country. Before, like the other Italian resident visas, a permit holder had to be present most of the year in Italy to maintain the permit’s validity. Now, the investor only needs to visit Italy once during the permit’s validity period for it to remain valid.
Table Of Contents
What are the Investment Requirements to Obtain an Italian Golden Visa?
To qualify for the Italian Investor Visa, an investor must invest in at least one of the following options:
- €2 million in Italian government bonds
- €500,000 in a limited Italian company
- €250,000 in an innovative Italian start-up
- €1 million in a philanthropic initiative
The investment must be held for at least two years. To renew your permit, you will need to maintain the investment. The renewal can be for another three years, after which you can apply for permanent residency in Italy. Once you are a permanent resident, you can let go of your investment.
Making the Investment in Italy
Within three months of entering Italy, the foreign national must demonstrate that he or she has completed the investment or donation accepted by the committee by submitting appropriate supporting documentation via the website. If the investment consists of the purchase of government bonds or shares, the funds must be deposited in an Italian financial institution. The investor must show compliance with this requirement by displaying the applicable certificate of deposit for the securities/shares.
If there is a shift in the circumstances that allowed the Nulla Osta and the visa to demonstrate the making of the investment, the committee will revoke the visa or the residency permit if it has already been released.
Changes to such preconditions would only be permitted under extraordinary cases, as determined by the committee on an individual basis. The foreign citizen would be required to provide sufficient justification and supporting documentation for the modified circumstances. The committee would then examine these new pieces of evidence and make a decision on their admissibility.
The supporting documents must be written in Italian or English and submitted in PDF format to the website. An approved translation must be requested if it is not available in Italian or English. The report is sent to the committee after a structured review by the Secretariat, which verifies that the investment or donation was made in accordance with the relevant procedures.
Documents Required to Prove the Execution of Investment
Investment in Government Bonds:
- Bank documents certify the purchase (copy of securities dossier) to indicate the securities’ form, issue date and maturity date
- A certificate of deposit of securities in an Italian financial institution
Investment in a Company Incorporated and Operating in Italy
It also includes innovative start-ups.
- Copy of a bank statement of account for the previous three months (or longer if necessary), clearly demonstrating the execution of the company investment
- An authorized representative of the entity (bank, investment fund, etc.) from whose account the transaction was made signs a letter of validation of the account statement
- Certificate of deposit of shares at an Italian bank or financial institution in the case of a share purchase
- Only in the case of unlisted companies: a letter from the legal representative of the recipient company confirming receipt of the investment and a copy of the receiving company’s Italian atto di cessione (“act of transfer”) submitted
- Only in the case of publicly traded companies, a copy of the international citizen’s securities dossier
- A copy of the public donation deed
- A copy of a bank statement of account for the previous three months (or longer if necessary) that clearly confirms the donation’s execution
- An authorized representative of the entity (bank, investment fund, etc.) from whose account the transaction was made issues a letter of validation of the account statement
- The legal representative of the recipient organization signs a letter acknowledging acceptance of the donation
Step-by-Step Process for the Italian Golden Visa
Evaluation of the Investor Visa Committee – Comitato Investor Visa
The Golden Visa Committee (also known as the Comitato Investor Visa For Italy) will review your investment strategy in the first process. This is the most complicated part of the process, which is why hiring professionals who specialize in Investor Visa and Golden Visa procedures, such as ourselves, is strongly recommended. They will assess, among other things, the origins of the funds you want to spend, the places you wish to visit and the instruments you wish to use. The decision-making process takes about 30 days, but it can be paused during the application process if the committee requests additional documents.
If you’re successful, you’ll move on to Phase 2.
The Italy Golden Visa Program Application Through the Italian Consulate
If you’ve received your clearance, you’ll be able to apply for the visa on your own.
Your Golden Visa for Italy will be a high-priority visa, which ensures that it will be approved ahead of all others in accordance with strict Italian government regulations.
Your visa will be approved ahead of time.
Conditions for Maintaining the Permit
The holder of an Investor Visa must keep the investment for the duration of the resident permit; otherwise, the permit will be revoked and will not be renewed. The initial investment must be held by the beneficiary. Even after the permit has been issued, the holder cannot change the investment’s destination under any conditions or else the permit will be revoked and not renewed. If the foreign national plans to replace an existing investment or donation with a new one, he or she must apply for an Investor Visa again.
If the committee’s Secretariat or other authority discovers that the investment or donation has been withdrawn, the committee will formally order the responsible questura to revoke the resident permit through its representative from the Ministry of the Interior.
Process to Renew the Resident Permit
The Investor Visa permit is valid for two years and can be extended for up to three additional years. The renewal of a resident permit is subject to preliminary approval by the committee, which must ensure that the investment/donation has been retained for the duration of the permit’s validity period. If the committee’s assessment is favorable, a certificate of no impediment to the renewal of the resident permit is issued (“nulla osta al rinnovo“).
The investor resideny permit is subject to the terms and conditions of the ordinary regulations for the extension of long-term permits. It should be kept in mind that the visa holder is not permitted to leave Italy for more than half of the duration of the resident permit’s validity period.
According to Italian law, the application for a renewal of the resident permit must be sent to the questura in charge at least 60 days before the permit’s expiration date. As a result, a foreign national who wishes to renew his or her investor permit must apply to the committee well in advance for a certificate of no impediment. The request is made through the investorvisa.mise.gov.it website. To ensure that deadlines are met, a warning letter will be sent to the foreign citizen informing him or her of the impending expiration of their resident permit.
The Details are as Follows:
- Paperwork characteristics and submission process for proving the investment/donation has been maintained.
- The outcome of the committee’s review, which may be acceptance or denial of the renewal request.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the investment options?
You can invest in any company on the controlled stock market, according to Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance. The company must have a legal presence in Italy.
Does the company need to be legally present in Italy?
The company must be legally present in Italy, according to Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance.
So, particularly with holding groups, pay attention to this requirement.
What are the qualified investments?
Both capital increases and the purchasing of already issued shares are considered qualifying investments, according to Golden Visa for Italy Policy Guidance on limited companies.
Often approved are philanthropic grants, government bonds and investments in an innovative Italian start-ups.
Do you need a lawyer during the application process?
This is not included in the Golden Visa Italy Policy Guidance, but hiring a lawyer for your Investor Visa for Italy application is strongly recommended. Why is this the case? To apply for an Investor Visa, all documents must comply with EU and international regulations, such as FAFT. Only a trained advisor, such as ourselves, will provide you with the most comprehensive and qualified assistance.
Can I purchase shares of more than one limited company for Golden Visa Italy?
The Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance does not state this. In the case of limited companies, the investment must be directed to only one company per application. As a result, combining different forms of investments is not permitted (e.g., directing part of the amount to a donation and part to an investment in shares).
How is family reunification regulated in this program?
Family reunification is permitted and governed by general laws on the subject, in particular by Art. 29 of Legislative Decree no. 286 of July 25, 1998 (Consolidated Act on Immigration – TUI), which is not defined on the Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance.
Art. 29 of the TUI lists the types of family members for whom reunification is permitted:
- Married couples who are not legally divorced and are over the age of 18
- Unmarried minor children, including those of the spouse or those born outside of wedlock, whether the other parent has given his or her consent
- Dependent children over the age of 18 who are unable to care for their basic needs due to health problems, meaning complete impairment for objective reasons
- Dependent parents, whether they have no other children in their country of birth or parents over 65, if their other children are unable to support them due to severe and well-documented health problems
Can you work in Italy with this Golden Visa?
The Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance does not state this. Yes, there are no legal limitations on a job status with an Italian Investor Visa. This applies to family members as well, as they are included in all Investor Visa benefits.
Can I change the composition of the investment portfolio during the two-year validity period of the Investor Visa?
This is not included in the Policy Guidance for the Golden Visa for Italy. No, during the validity period of the resident permit, the investment portfolio cannot be modified. Otherwise, the permit may be suspended if the investor does not keep the initial investment for the term of the permit.
What is the processing time of Golden Visa Italy?
The Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance does not state this: The processing time for the Investor Visa for Italy is dependent on a variety of factors. In 30 days, the visa committee will assess your investment strategy. Since the Investor Visa For Italy is a high-priority visa, the consular process is also very fast. The consulate determines the timing.
How can I apply for this program?
This is stated in the Policy Guidance for Investor Visas in Italy. The Investor Visa for Italy is divided into two stages. The first is where you can build your investment strategy and gather all of your investment documents. The second section, which concerns the application at the Italian consulate after the Investor Visa committee has approved your Investor Visa For Italy documents, can be found here.
When I have to make the investment?
The Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance states that the investment will be completed within three months of the Investor Visa For Italy approval.
Can a company apply for this program?
This is stated in the Policy Guidance for Investor Visas in Italy. No, the investment must be managed by a single physical person.
What is the electronic signature that is required for Golden Visa Italy?
The electronic signature is a unique signature that you must obtain in Italy and release by approved companies authorized by the government, as stated in the Investor Visa for Italy Policy Guidance.