How to live and work in Italy as a foreign business owner with the Italia Startup Visa
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How to live and work in Italy as a foreign business owner with the Italia Startup Visa

The Italia Startup Visa is an Italian government tool designed to attract innovative business owners and highly qualified workers to our country.


It introduces a bilingual, digital, centralized and accelerated procedure to facilitate granting of entrance visas for talented business owners who want to base their innovative business in Italy. Read how:



Innovative startups are growing in Italy



At the end of 2020, according to a report by InfoCamere, there were 12,068 innovative startups in Italy, an increase of 572 units compared to the preceding trimester (+ 5% during the trimester).


The growing success of this type of business has been enhanced by recent Italian economic policies aimed at supporting the creation and development of innovative business in our country, such as Smart & Start, Equity Crowdfunding, and investment detraction. These have made Italy a desirable and safe place in which to create an innovative startup.


If you are from a non-EU country and wish to create your own innovative startup, the Italia Startup Visa is an opportunity that you should not miss.



What is the Italia Startup Visa?


Italia Startup Visa is a visa for autonomous work, one year in duration, renewable, for non-EU citizens who intend to set up an innovative startup on Italian soil.


This was introduced by the Italian government with the so-called Decreto Flussi (Flow Decree) of 2013, and was renewed in the same form for all the subsequent annual Flow Decrees issued by the President of the Council of Ministers.


Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash


Compared to the usual procedure for obtaining the autonomous work visa, the Startup Visa request is simplified, accelerated and totally digitalized, with rapid concession of the Nulla Osta (declaration of no impediment).



There are three steps to obtain the visa:


1. submitting the application

2. accelerated evaluation of the request and release of the Nulla Osta

3. granting of the visa and entry into Italy



1) Submitting the application


The application to the Italia Startup Visa program should be sent by email to the address indicated by the MISE. To be complete and pass the formal controls of the Segretariat, the application should consist in three required parts:


• The application form, which besides showing the personal data and curriculum of the person making the request, should furnish detailed information about the innovative startup project that the applicant intends to set up.

• Certification of availability of financial resources of at least 50,000 euros, along with a letter attesting that the sum will be used for the establishment and functioning of the innovative startup.

• Copy of valid passport, so that the police headquarters of the place where the applicant intends to live can carry out a preliminary examination.


In the case of an applicant who has received assistance by a Certified Incubator, on the other hand, it is enough to present documentation attesting the availability of financial resources and signed testimony by the legal representative of the Incubator certifying their availability to assist the non-EU citizen in setting up the innovative startup.



2) Accelerated evaluation of the request and release of the nulla osta


Once the Italia Visa Startup Committee expresses itself in favor of the innovative business project that has been presented, the Nulla Osta is released within 30 days of the date when the request was presented.


The Nulla Osta can be used for granting the visa for autonomous work, within 3 months of the date of its emission.



3) Granting of the visa and entrance into Italy


To pick up the visa, the applicant must appear personally at the competent Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence, presenting, besides the Nulla Osta and the originals of all documentation already sent to the Committee, all the further administrative documents required.


Once the diplomatic/consular office has received the request and the documentation, after carrying out the controls under its authority, it grants the visa for autonomous startup workers, with annual duration, impacting the quotas established by the Flow Decree for the year of reference.


Once the non-EU citizen has received the visa, he/she has 6 months to move to Italy, and within 8 days of their entrance, to request a one-year permit to stay from his/her local police headquarters, presenting the necessary administrative documentation.



Duration of the visa for a maximum of 5 years



The permit to stay for autonomous startup worker has an annual duration.


Up to 60 days before its expiration, the permit can be renewed for 2 years, and is again renewable, at expiration, for a maximum of 2 more years.


After 5 years the non-EU citizen can apply for a long stay permit, valid for an unlimited time period.


For the renewal procedure, the applicant must present the innovative startup visura (certification) and demonstrate earnings superior to the minimum required by law.



What we can do


Our Studio MGI Vannucci & Associati, thanks to its experience developed in this field and collaboration with legal offices specialized in such matters, is ready to help you file the application for the Italia Startup Visa:


• Helping you in the presentation of your business model and business plan, with particular attention to research and development activities. We are specialized in innovative startups and vaunt participation with a certified incubator.

• Sending on your behalf all the documentation needed to obtain a Nulla Osta for the visa.

• Helping you in all the successive procedures for obtaining the visa.

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