Italy attracts thousands of tourists every year. Many of them fall in love with this country and decide to move to Italy considering this is one of the easiest European countries to immigrate to. Individuals interested in immigrating to Italy must apply for one of the visas available under the National Immigration Law. The same law provides for two categories of individual immigrants: EU and non-EU immigrants.
If you want to move to Italy, there are several types of visas you can apply for. Below, our lawyers explain the requirements imposed on foreign citizens interested in immigrating to Italy.
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Types of visas for foreign individuals who want to move to Italy
In order to immigrate to Italy, one must first know if he or she enters the EU or non-EU category of immigrants. For EU citizens the procedure is simpler as they are only required to register with the police station in the city they will live within 8 days from entering the country. They will be issued a residence permit, also known as permesso di soggiorno. Also, in terms of documents needed, they will need to present their identification document or passport.
When it comes to non-EU individuals, there are several types of visas they can choose from when they want to move to Italy. These are:
- the temporary residence permit which allows a foreigner to live in Italy for a few years;
- the employment permit which is available for those coming to Italy based on a labor relation;
- the entrepreneurial permit which enables a non-EU individual to set up a small business;
- a student visa which is granted for a limited period of time to those who study in Italy.
The other visas issued to non-EU individuals are the asylum and stateless person visas and the family reunification visa which are not very common in Italy.
A special category of visas issued to foreign citizens is the golden visa which allows for applying for a residence permit based on investment. This type of visa is usually granted to non-EU citizens interested in making substantial investments in Italy with the purpose of obtaining citizenship.
Our immigration lawyers in Italy can offer detailed information about all the types of visas that can be obtained by individuals seeking to immigrate here.
You can read about the ways to move to Italy as an individual in the scheme below:
Obtaining temporary residence visas for individuals in Italy
The easiest way of immigrating to Italy as a foreign individual is by obtaining a temporary residence permit. This is usually issued to those who want to live but also work in Italy. This is why this type of permit is issued together with an employment contract.
Obtaining a temporary residence visa implies filing a set of documents with the immigration authorities in Italy. Among these, we mention:
- the visa application forms, based on the type of permit requested by the applicant;
- the passport which must have at least 3 months of validity at the time of the application;
- two passport-sized photographs which must not be older than 3 months;
- other specific documents depending on the reason for coming to Italy.
Among the specific documents, we mention the employment contract, if the applicant relocates here for work purposes, the enrollment papers in the case of students, the business license if an individual immigrates to Italy with the purpose of starting a business or working as a self-employed individual. In the case of retired people who want to move to Italy, the pension statement will be required.
Foreign citizens immigrating to Italy with the purpose of investing for obtaining citizenship, proof the investment must be submitted.
You can rely on our immigration specialists for assistance in preparing the documentation related to moving to Italy as an individual.
How to apply for permanent residence as an individual in Italy
Both EU and non-EU citizens have the right to apply for permanent residence permits in Italy, however, the procedure is simpler in the case of EU citizens. Even so, individuals from non-EU countries who want to reside in Italy permanently, have more options to relocate here, one of the most important one being represented by the residence permit for entrepreneurs.
Individuals immigrating to Italy from both EU and non-EU states must first prove they have a sufficient level of Italian language and submit proof that they can support themselves without appealing to public funds.
The following routes can be taken by individuals seeking to move to Italy permanently:
- through a work permit which entitles the applicant to live and work in Italy for a pre-determined period prior to applying for permanent residency;
- through the residence permit for entrepreneur scheme which allows a foreign citizen to start his/her own businesses here;
- through the Golden Visa Scheme which implies an investment in a specific domain of interest acknowledged by the Italian government;
- through a self-employment visa which allows the foreign citizen to work as a sole trader in Italy;
- through the student visa which is an option for foreign students who can convert such a visa into a work permit.
It is also possible for foreign citizens married to Italians to obtain permanent residency through spouse visas or Italian citizenship.
Our Italian immigration lawyers can offer detailed information on the options of obtaining permanent residency as an individual from an EU or non-EU country.
Procedures for obtaining permanent residence as an individual in Italy
EU citizens applying for permanent residence permits in Italy will find it quite easy to file a few documents which will enable them to relocate here. The main requirement for Italy immigration as an individual from an EU-state is to live here for a minimum period of 3 months.
In the case of non-EU citizens, the procedure is a lengthier because it requires a visit with the Italian Embassy or Consulate in their home countries and waiting for a response. It is important to note that Italy’s immigration policies provide for quick procedures of accepting non-EU citizens who want to move to this country.
Another important aspect to consider when you want to move to Italy as an individual from a non-EU country is that a temporary residence permit will be issued first. Also, the foreign citizen must live in Italy for 5 years consecutively in order to be issued a permanent residence card.
No matter the nationality of the citizen applying for a residence permit, he or she must register with the National Police through the local offices in the city the applicant lives.
The documents to be filed when applying for a permanent residence permit are:
- the temporary residence permit which will serve as proof of living in the country for the required period of time;
- the registration certificate (a document issued by the Italian authorities upon entering the country);
- the proof of having a legal address in Italy (a rental contract or a recent utility bill);
- the proof of having sufficient means of self-sustenance (bank statements, tax returns, paychecks issued by the employer) and the criminal record.
With the help of our expat services, foreign citizens can rely on us for assistance in preparing all the documents required for immigrating to Italy.
Validity of residence visas for individuals relocating to Italy
One of the main ways of choosing how to move to Italy as an individual is the validity of the residence permit to be obtained. From this point of view, it is useful to note that:
- a temporary residence visa for seasonal employees has a 6-months validity;
- a temporary work permit for skilled migrants has a 9-months validity;
- a student visa has a longer validity period, the standard being 1 year;
- family reunification and self-employment visas are valid for 2 years.
When renewing such visas, it is important to note that period to file the documents for renewing them ranges between 30 and 90 days.
We invite you to watch our video on how to move to Italy as an individual:
Obtaining citizenship in Italy
Moving to Italy as an individual usually has the main purpose of obtaining an Italian passport. Italy is one of the most important economies of the European Union and moving here also implies obtaining EU residency.
Foreign citizens can obtain Italian passports after 10 years of living in Italy legally. However, this timeframe can be reduced based on several grounds. For example, Italian citizenship by descent can be obtained in 3 years. Refugees and stateless persons can obtain citizenship in 5 years, while EU citizens can obtain Italian citizenship in 4 years.
Other considerations when moving to Italy as an individual
It should be noted that foreign citizens moving to Italy will be imposed with specific conditions and requirements based on their nationality and reason for immigration. This is why foreign individuals are recommended to conduct a thorough search when it comes to preparing the documents required to immigrate to Italy. They can also talk to our lawyers in Italy and ask about their particular case.
Non-EU individuals who want to move to Italy will be first issued temporary residence permits they can convert into permanent residence permits after 5 years of living here. They can also obtain Italian citizenship after 10 years of living in this country.
If you are a foreign citizen and need more information about how to move to Italy as an individual, do not hesitate to contact us for detailed information. We will also guide you in preparing the documents required for immigration to Italy, should you need it.
We invite you to contact our team if you want to apply for citizenship in Italy. If you are interested in citizenship by descent, our team can help you obtain the necessary paperwork required by the authorities.
In general, you must make the evidence of having a parent who, at the moment of your birth, was an Italian citizen (this is known as jure sanguinis citizenship).
Our team can help you to move to Italy, regardless of the purpose of your arrival. You can address to us if you want to learn more on the laws that you have to comply with while living here.
Please mind that if you are a citizen of the EU, you do not have to apply for a visa, but you will need a residence permit if you plan to live here on a long-term basis. Visa requirements are imposed for non-EU nationals.
Non-EU nationals can also contact us if they want to start the application for the Golden Visa in Italy. This is a visa program that grants a foreigner with the right of becoming a permanent resident through investments.
The advantage of this program is that the investor can obtain residency for himself/herself, as well as his/her family members, such as spouses, children, parents.