In May and September 2020, certain changes were introduced to the Italian Investor Visa Program, which allows foreign investors and high net worth individuals (and their families) to reside in Italy for two years, and subsequently extend their stay. The program, initially launched in 2017, had been less popular than the Portuguese, Spanish and Greek Golden Visa programs. The new changes are expected to make it more competent and attractive to prospective business immigrants.
Being the fourth largest economy of the Eurozone, and the eighth largest economy in the world, Italy is a major global trade and business hub – which lends it excellent potential as an investment destination. This, combined with its high standard of living, political stability, vibrant culture, mild weather and scenic beauty makes it an ideal immigration hotspot.
50% Reduction of Investment Requirement
To aid post-pandemic economic recovery and attract investment, the government has made the Italian residency by investment program more accessible by reducing the investment requirement. The minimum investment amount has been reduced by 50% across varied investment options. Applicants may now choose to:
- Make an equity investment of at least €500,000 (approx. ₹3 crores) in a company established and operating within Italy, compared to the previous requirement of €1,000,000 (approx. ₹8.6 crores) OR
- Make an equity investment of at least €250,000 (approx. ₹1 crores) in an innovative start-up established in Italy, compared to the previous requirement of €500,000 OR
- Invest €2,000,000 in Italian government bonds OR
- Make a philanthropic donation of €1,000,000 or more in an appropriate field.
Tax Breaks Introduced
Foreign investors can avail several beneficial tax concessions, making it more profitable for investors and entrepreneurs to conduct business activities in Italy.
Permanent Residence Pathway
Once the Italy Investor Visa is granted, the investor can enter Italy and apply for a two-year residence permit within the next three months, provided the investment requirement has been fulfilled. The permit holder can live and work in Italy as an autonomous or subordinate worker. If the investment has been completely executed and has not been withdrawn, the investor and their family members can renew the permit for an additional three-year period.
After completing total five years in Italy, they can either once again renew the permit for three more years, or apply for a permanent or indefinite residence permit – and live in Italy indefinitely, without being subject to any investment criteria or periodic permit renewal.
Invest Through Current Company
The applicant can make the required investment through a corporate entity established in a country outside Italy, provided the entity is controlled and represented by the applicant (as a Company Director, for instance).
No Linguistic or Social Commitments
The investor is no longer obligated to sign an integration agreement. This means that they do not have to make any civic, social or linguistic commitments for the validity period of their residence permit.
No Residence Requirement
The investor does not have to reside in Italy for any minimum number of days per year, in order to maintain their immigration status. This is ideal for those who travel constantly or cannot make Italy their permanent base.
With these new changes, the applicant pool for the Italian Investor Visa is expected to expand and diversify as the pathway gains popularity. To understand the detailed requirements, application procedure, and advantages of this visa option, seek the sound advice of our seasoned team of business immigration experts – available at your service online or in-person at our pan-India offices.