Italy does not have a specific Visa for investors, but US citizens can however obtain an entry visa under two different categories, depending upon on the type of activities they are willing to carry out. An individual willing to work as free-lance or establishing a company, can apply for an autonomous work visa, while someone who is interested only to live in the country without working can be entitled to an elective residence visa.
Autonomous work visas are subject to the availability of quotas. They can be can be issued for: (i) Activities which are subject to a license (such as doctors, lawyers, architects, etc.): the procedure is the most lengthy one, as the foreign worker needs to register first with the relevant professional body. (ii) Freelancers and anyone willing to carry out non licensed activities, (iii) Entrepreneurs and Officers of Italian companies –Authorizations for those appointed as officers (members of the Board) of Italian companies are issued the fastest and have the least requirements, but the Italian company must have been established for at least three years.
Local Hiring: A US citizen can be hired directly by an Italian company only if quotas are available. Quotas can be avoided (Blue Card permit) if the worker: (i) have at least a 3 year University diploma; (ii) he is offered a contract for at least one year and a minimum salary of at least €25,500/year.
Exception to the quota system are applicable also to Intra Company Assignments, i.e. when a highly specialized worker is seconded from a US company to an Italian company or branch which is part of the same Company Group and for Service Agreement Assignments, i.e. secondments made between two non-affiliated companies in compliance to a service or sale agreement.
The Elective Residence Visa is limited to individuals who have a prolific amount of money and savings in the country of origin and who intend to live in Italy without working. If the applicant has purchased a property in Italy has a higher chance of obtaining the visa but property ownership is not a condition for obtainment of the visa. A rented property can suffice. The applicant’s income cannot be derived from current employment or any other work activities. Applicants need to show a stable source of income deriving, for example, from owned real estate, saving accounts or a portfolio. The minimum threshold set forth by the law is €31,159/year. However, Consulates have full discretion to request a much higher income, and they usually do. Elective Residence Visas can be applied for without the need of obtaining any clearance or permits in Italy.
Author: Marco Mazzeschi – firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Mazzeschi, one of IALA’s newest members, has more than 25 years of experience in business and corporate immigration, and he is considered one of the leading immigrations lawyers in Italy. He is the founder of Mazzeschi Srl, a boutique firm with 15 + staff, specializing in corporate immigration and citizenship law with offices in Milan, Florence, and Rome.
Founded in 1977, the Los Angeles Italian-American Lawyers Association has been proudly serving the Los Angeles Italian-American community for thirty-seven years! Please keep us in mind for all your legal needs. We can be found online at www.iala.info, by e-mail at email@example.com, or by mail at PO Box 712057, Los Angeles, CA 90071.