Italy has recently approved a series of legislative measures aimed at favouring the issuing of entrance visas and permits of stay, very rapidly and making use of facilitated procedures, to foreigners who intend to make investments in Italy, and to those who possess substantial income abroad and wish to transfer their residence to Italy.

In particular, hereafter are set out the different options currently available to those foreign both private individuals and companies and and who intend to move to Italy from non-EU countries and intend to request a visa for investors.

Non-EU citizens and now (since September 2020) also non EU based companies (through their Director) are allowed to enter and stay in the country for periods exceeding three months, beyond the entry quotas established annually by the Italian State, if they intend to make investments and donations in Italy, in the following cases:

– an investment of at least 2,000,000 (two million) Euros in bonds issued by the Italian Government and which are preserved for at least two years;

– an investment of at least 500,000.00 (Five hundred thousand) Euros in equity instruments that are part of the capital of a company established and operating in Italy, preserved for at least two years, or at least 250.000 (Two hundred and fifty thousands) Euros in the case of innovative start-up companies registered under the special section of the register of companies. A company is considered "operating" if it is active and has already filed at least one balance sheet upon the date of the request for the visa permit. The recipient company of the investment can be both listed and unlisted in the stock exchange;

– a donation of a philanthropic nature of at least 1.000.000 (one million) euros in support of a project in the public interest, in the sectors of culture, education, immigration management, scientific research, and cultural heritage and landscape restoration.

To obtain a visa, non-EU investors must obtain a nulla osta (certificate of no impediment) issued by the Investors Committee for Italy (IV4I). The procedure is quick: it is concluded within 30 days of sending a complete application.

In order to enter Italy it is necessary to have clearance and an entrance visa, issued by the competent diplomatic or consular authorities, subsequent to the inspection of the following documents:

  1. copy of a valid travel document with an expiry date at least three months later than that of the required visa;
  2. documentation demonstrating that the applicant is the owner and effective beneficiary of the sums to be allocated to the investments, and that said sums are available and transferable to Italy;
  3. certificate confirming the lawful origin of the funds consisting of:
    a) a declaration made by the applicant clearly indicating the source from which the funds originated;
    b) certificate declaring the non-existence of definitive criminal convictions and of pending charges issued by the competent authorities of countries other than Italy, in which, in the 10 years preceding the sending of the application and following the applicants 18th birthday, the applicant has resided for a period greater than 12 consecutive months;
  4. declaration in which the applicant agrees to use the funds within three months of entering Italy to carry out the investment or donation, and to maintain the investment for at least two years. The declaration is accompanied by a description of its characteristics and recipients of the investment or donation.

The procedure is entirely on-line and the authorities are required to respond to it within 30 days of its submission.

The holder of the entrance visa is issued with a two-year permit of stay, which can be revoked also before it expires if the foreigner fails to carry out the investment or donation within three months following their arrival in Italy. If the commitment is respected, the relative permit of stay is renewable for a further three years.

Accompanying the foreign subject who is the holder of a visa for investors, entrance is granted to family members for the purposes of family reunification.