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Immigration Law in Italy – Visas and Permits

An individual?
Italy is a “dream country” for many. If you contemplate moving to Italy, our law firm is uniquely prepared to approach all your immigration-related questions with efficiency and great commitment.

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Our Italian and foreign-qualified lawyers have also built significant experience in assisting Italian and foreign-based businesses by addressing their human resources needs.

Due to a multi-level regulatory system (Italian, European and International) that is applicable to persons not holding an Italian passport, visa and immigration-related issues are rather complex. However, your nationality is not the only factor that comes into play when determining the type of visa/permit that best matches your needs. Each case is unique with specific conditions and documentation requirements.

To begin your journey to Italy, we must determine the best possible solution. We base our immigration legal advice on your personal and professional status, as well as on your medium and long-term goals for life and career, or even retirement, in Italy.

Italian immigration law provides several potential visa options, however, not all them apply to a given applicant. The most commonly used visas/permits are the following:

  • Elective Residency Visa
  • Student VISA (for a stay longer than 3 months)
  • Asylum Visa
  • Exclusive Custody Permit
  • Family Reunification Visa
  • Self-employment Work Permit
  • Employee Work Permit
  • Religious Visa
  • Visa for Scientific Research and
  • Visa for Stateless Persons

Our working languages in the area of Immigration Law are: Italian, English, German, Russian, Spanish and Greek.

Buzz topic: Elective Residency in Italy

This type of visa allows persons that generate income generated in their country of residence to relocate to Italy. This is usually the case with persons that have decided to retire.

Under Italian Law (Decreto Legislativo n° 286/1998) a non-European citizen (i.e., the visa applicant) is requested to provide evidence that he/she relies on an income that allows him to reside in Italy without working (the amount of this income is determined by the Italian Consulate located in the State where the applicant originally comes from). This varies greatly from State to State.

These funds must not be generated through employment. Pension is a good example of the type of funds that would make an individual eligible for an elective residency visa. Other types of income include income generated through lease agreements and dividends (unless the applicant is employed by the company or holds the office of CEO/Manager Director).

The steps that we must take in order to obtain an Elective Residency visa in Italy are the following:

  1. File a form to the Italian Consulate of the State of origin and all necessary accompanying documentation such as a copy of the applicant’s passport, a document providing evidence that the applicant generates the income required to live in Italy and a document providing proof that the applicant has secured accommodation in Italy (i.e., a real-estate purchase contract or a lease).
  2. If the submitted documents comply with requirements set by the applicable regulations, the Italian Consulate will provide the applicant with an “entry visa” that allows him to enter Italy and apply for the Elective Residency visa.
  3. The application for the Elective Residency Visa must be filed within 90 days from the issuance of the entry visa. This application is submitted to a Police Department called “Questura” (the competent Questura is located at the Italian city where the applicant has decided to take up the Elective Residency).

The contents of this page should not be taken as an authoritative statement of Italian law and practice. Neither the author nor the publisher are responsible for the results of actions taken on the basis of information contained in this summary, nor for any errors or omissions. This text is not intended to render legal, accounting or tax advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice concerning specific matters before making any decision.

19 thoughts on “Immigration Law in Italy – Visas and Permits”

  1. Ben says:

    I’m non eu citizen, I have the Italian visa since 4 years , I’m married to a German woman in Denmark can I get my Italian citizenship? Or what do I need to do?

  2. Prakash says:

    Iam a Indian
    I will come to Italy next month in visit viza
    After coming to Italy is it possible for me to have work permit’or residence viza? What is the documents I need to have?

  3. Brandon Silberfarb says:

    I am a student at the University of Maryland and I am scheduled to travel to Florence Italy to live and study for the semester.. I am scheduled to travel to Italy on January 3, 2017 and return to the USA on April 9, 2017. I have tried to make an appointment at the Italian Consulate in order to apply for a visa yet there are no appointments available. Are you able to help me obtain a student visa?

  4. Joshua says:

    Dear Sir,
    I will like to know your relevant immigration laws that allows a refused application for an appeal, necessary laws and quotations to address an appeal letter to Italian embassy.

  5. Abbas Eslami says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am Abbas Eslami From Tehran, Iran.
    I wanted to ask about Italian Elective Residence Visa for persons with high self-sustaining incomes and financial assets; the resident without permit of work.
    Can you help me for that?

    Abbas Eslami

  6. Kristin Vinciguerra says:

    I have been in contact with the Italian consulate in Philadelphia and they are giving me a hard time. My family and I would like to stay in Italy for more than 90 days. We will be at my mother’s home and will have steady income so we will NOT need to work in Italy. They tell me that I don;t qualify for elective residence, but I don’t understand why. Can you help? Thank you, Kristin

    1. michele-admin says:

      Dear Kristin,
      we would need to know on what grounds they refused your application.
      We would be happy to give you our preliminary opinion about your case if you please to provide us with more details via email.


    Dear Sirs,
    My partner and I are Australian citizens working on a UK flagged Yacht that will be based in Italy for the next 18 months. We live full time on the yacht. We have been advised that we need to apply for a long stay National Visa. Is this correct and if so are you able to help us to obtain this visa?
    Thank you in advance.

  8. omar says:

    hi dear I am from kurdistan iraq I want visit to italy for vacation how I can get visa
    thanks for answer my question

  9. waseem says:

    Dear Sir
    I would like to ask that I have subsidiary protection residence permit in Italy. I got this permit in appeal. I claimed my asylum on 20th January 2012. The question is when is time started for my carta di soggiorno?

  10. Saad Moahmed Alhassan says:

    my tourist visa got refused by The italain consul in Jeddah , can you help on making appeal for TAR or contacting embassy on my behalf .

    1. olu says:

      my tourist visa got refused by The italain consul in nigeria ,i actually want to visit rome. can you please help on making appeal for TAR

  11. Alida Bowden says:

    I’m a 66 years of age divorced American lady. I’m retired and would like to relocate to Italy. I have a friend in Milan who is a few years older than me, and he has kindly offered to let me live in one of his condo apartments free of charge. I receive a rather modest fixed amount of money from my Social Security Retirement Benefits every month. I live on a tight budget, but I am able to manage. I took a trip to Italy in 2011 and I loved it there and didn’t want to leave, but unfortunately I had to return to the USA much to my dismay. While I was in Italy I stayed with friends. In the past I have taken a few elementary and lower intermediate level courses in Italian on the Internet and at local community colleges. My reading and oral comprehension of Italian is not bad, but I still have a difficult time with conversational Italian. Anyway, I have been dreaming of living in Italy for the past many years, and I think I would like to make Italy my home for the remainder of my life. What are the necessary steps that I must take in order to make this dream a reality? Do I need a sponsor? I would appreciate any advice you could give me. La ringrazio anticipatamente.

  12. Christine says:

    I have been living in Italy since 2012 with a ‘carte d’identità’ since April 2013
    I have a British Passport and my question is, where do I stand now with Britain voting to exit the EU and my ability to continue residing in Italy ?
    Thank You

    1. michele-admin says:

      Ciao Christine,
      At the moment no one knows what kind of Agreements/Treaties will be closed between England and EU; in any case nothing is going to change in the coming two years.

  13. Shakeel says:

    Hello sir / madam I’m living in ireland my asylum is been refused and I’m waiting my court hearing but it is taking so long I’m here since 2014 but still struggling for status, I’m not allowed to work even, one of my friend is in Italy he told me that it’s easy to get status in Italy, I shall be very thankful to you please if you guide me what to do. Thanks in advance.

  14. OTHMAN MAHMOOD says:

    Dear Sirs/Madams:
    I would like to inform you that I am one of the your candidate of Italian scholarship at University of Calabria . I am from Iraqi kudistan I want to ask you a question about getting visa I am married and I have a child , can I apply to get visa for them . if ,so
    How can I apply ?
    I need information .
    Best wishes ,
    Othman H.Mahmood
    Demousterator at college of education
    Physics Department

  15. ebrima wally says:

    hello i am very intresting in d italyian visa please i need a help or how am going get d visa

  16. Mohammed Al-Obaidi says:

    Dear Sir

    1- My name is Mohammed Al-obaidi , an Iraqi nationality born 17\5\1963 I hold Iraqi passport No:A10640378 . I work in the general trading and constructions
    I have a residence in tow countries (Jordan and Morocco )
    A member in the Federation of Arab businessmen based in Amman – Jordan
    A member in the Iraqi businessmen Association based in Amman – Jordan
    2- I applied with my wife Mrs. Sahar Al-mahdawi to the Italian embassy in Amman for a tourist schengen visa , and I received ten days later that my wife application was accepted but mine was refused and the reason gave my was that a schengen members state considered me a (threat to public safety ) and I was informed that I can appeal the decision through an Italian lawyer within 60 days .
    I wish to make the following comments:
    1- I traveled to Europe \ UK and Canada many times before and I never faced a similar situation .
    2- On 13th October 2015 while entering Germany \ Frankfurt and following a request by the immigration officer for approve of my documents travel , he stamped my passport to enter to Frankfurt but he then made a racist comment which lead to an exchange between me and him . then he asked me to go to the immigration office and hold my passport and all the documents , and he told me laterally ( I accuse you of getting the visa unlawfully through the French embassy )
    He said that I had to choose between:
    a- refuse starting criminal investigation and deporting me back to Amman and put me in the black list
    b- accept his accusation and go through a minor investigation, and allowed to back to Amman and apply again for a visa , I accept this choice and I explain in my statement everything but he still insisted I most travel to France not to Germany and then he deport me to Amman not to Marrakech which was my initial point of traveling.
    After arriving in Amman I discovered he had stamped my visa as ( Annulliert ) realized that the officer was adamant to hurt me and cause a big problem during any future shcengen visa application .
    Dear Sir
    I hope you can assist me with my appeal of the unfair decision.
    Kindly advise me with if you were welling to represent me and advise me the cost.
    I will send you all the documents in case I got your e-mail.

    Best Regards

    Mohammed Al-Obaidi

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