Italian immigration is a dream for countless Americans as it gives them access to the opportunities this incredible country offers. An Italian passport lets you travel visa-free in the EU, while you also get the best education and healthcare facilities in this part of the world. There are options galore for professionals and entrepreneurs as the country has a favorable environment for career and business growth. Even as everything sounds so good, getting citizenship is easier said than done.
You are in a good place if you have ancestral roots in Italy, are married to an Italian, or have lived in the country for a decade. But what if you don’t qualify for either of these conventional routes? You need not lose hope because you can still move ahead with your immigration journey by investing in the country. Italy has a Golden Visa program that lets you access citizenship by investment. Although getting citizenship with the route takes time, you can immigrate, live, and work in Italy right after investing. Let us explain in detail.
What is an Investor visa?
The investor visa is a renewable visa option for potential immigrants willing to make a massive investment in Italy. Apart from business investments, it also applies to people making philanthropic donations and putting money in government bonds. The visa period is two years, but you can renew it subsequently if you hold the investment in the country. You can go through https://mbersanilaw.com/investor-visa-italy-investor-visa-for-italy/ to understand how the options take you from being an investor to a citizen of Italy. An additional benefit comes in the form of a special tax regime for investor visa holders, making it an attractive option for high-net-worth Americans.
What makes you eligible?
Now that you understand that the investment route can be ideal for you if you don’t qualify for any other route, you must know the eligibility requirements. As a non-EU citizen, you will have to make a single investment in either of the following:
- A company incorporated and operating in the country
- An innovative Italian startup
- Government Bonds issued by the Italian Republic
- A philanthropic donation supporting public interest in the areas of education, education, culture, or immigration management
The amounts vary for these options, but the entire funding needs to be in a single entity. You will have to invest a minimum of EUR 250,000 in an innovative startup, while the amount goes up to EUR 500,000 for Italian companies. The investment requirement is EUR 1 million and 2 million for donations and government bonds respectively. Additionally, you must be more than 18 years of age and be in a good state of health. A clean criminal record is mandatory.
What are the steps of the process?
If you have the kind of funds that make you eligible for the option, you can go ahead with the process. Fortunately, the Italian Golden Visa process is a fast and easy process, and you can expect to wrap it up within months. It includes three steps, and we will explain them in detail.
Start with a null osta
Before proceeding with the visa application, you will have to obtain a nulla osta, a certificate of no impediment from the Investor Visa Committee. Since the process is online, you need not do much except submitting scanned copies of documents and filling some forms on an official website. You will require documents such as a copy of your passport, a CV, proof of financial resources, a description of the investment or donation you plan to make, and proof of consent from the receiving organization. You will also have to provide an electronically signed Declaration of Commitment, which states the amount to be invested. The committee assesses these documents and asks for more if needed. You will get your nulla osta within 30 days if they are satisfied with the paperwork.
Investor visa application
A nulla osta takes you a step closer to an investor visa, and you can apply with a six-month validity period. You must gather a list of documents and apply at your nearest Italian Consulate. These include your passport, proof of current residence, proof of accommodation in Italy, and proof of income from the previous financial year to validate that you can support your family in Italy. You will also require a copy of the nulla osta, along with the original hard copies of documents provided with the nulla osta application. Ensure that these documents are in Italian or English. If they aren’t, get certified translations before submitting them. Once the Consulate reviews the documents, they will grant an investor visa valid for two years.
After you get a valid visa, you can land in Italy within two years and finalize other formalities of immigration. You will have to apply for your Investor Visa Residence Permit at the local Questura (Police Headquarters). The permit is also valid for two years after you enter Italy. At this stage, you will have to invest the committed amount within three months. If you do not fulfill the commitment, your visa will be revoked. If you want to renew the permit after two years, you can apply before it expires, provided you are willing to maintain investment. The next renewals have three-year validity, and you can apply for citizenship by naturalization when you complete ten years in the country.
How professional assistance sets you up for success?
Although the investor visa process sounds fast and simple, it is complicated at the core. Obtaining a visa may be easy but taking it to citizenship is the real challenge. You require an in-depth understanding of the visa laws, and there are still chances of going wrong. It makes sense to collaborate with a citizenship expert to show you the way. They can help you throughout, from evaluating the investment options to getting a nulla osta, finalizing the visa process, and closing the local formalities. They also guide you for subsequent renewal and citizenship by naturalization.
The investor visa takes you a step closer to your immigration goals, but you need to follow the process diligently. At the same time, you should have sufficient resources to invest and maintain in the country until you reach the naturalization stage.
Emma works as a digital market expert with Outreach Monks, but writing is his first love. He writes on a variety of topics and publishes them across niche-leading blogs and sites.