An alternative solution to reside in Italy: the Elective Residence visa

An alternative solution to reside in Italy: the Elective Residence visa

Are you a non-working non-EU citizen with adequate financial resources? The Elective residence visa may allow you to reside in Italy without working, benefitting from interesting tax advantages.

Italy is globally recognized as one of the most fascinating places to live. The Mediterranean climate, the culinary art, the beautiful landscapes and, last but not least, the recent favourable tax provisions introduced by the Government, make our country a very desirable destination for foreigners from all over the world.

Are you a non-working non-EU foreigner with adequate financial resources? The Elective residence visa may allow you to reside in Italy without working, benefitting from interesting tax advantages.

EU and non-EU citizens

While citizens of EU countries may live freely in Italy, provided that they apply at the register office of the municipality where they intend to reside and have the economic resources necessary for their independent support, non-EU citizens need a visa for elective residence to stay in our country without simultaneously carrying out a work activity.

The issuance of the visa

The visa for elective residence, provided for by the Interministerial Decree 850 of 11 May 2011, allows non-EU foreigners who intend to settle in our country and are able to support themselves independently, without working, to enter Italy.

The procedure requires the foreigner to attend a meeting at the Italian Consulate of the country of residence providing, in addition to identification documents, documentation demonstrating ample autonomous, stable and regular economic resources, of which the continuity over time can be reasonably assumed, coming from sources other than employment, and the availability of a home to be elected as a residence in Italy.

The cohabitating spouseminor children and dependent children of age may also be entitled to the same visa, on condition that the aforementioned financial resources are also deemed adequate for the latter.

Residence in Italy: requirements for a visa elective residence

The applicant for a visa for elective residence must demonstrate annual earnings in excess of € 31,000 per year from sources other than employment. This type of visa may also be issued in favour of the visa holder’s cohabiting spouse, minor children, dependent children of full age who are cohabiting and dependent, and parents who are cohabiting and dependent, provided that the aforementioned financial capacity is adequate.

Therefore, in the event that the applicant intends to move to Italy with the family unit, the amount of monthly income must be increased by 20% for the spouse and at least 5% for each child, whether minor or adult dependent.

The economic resources referred to above must come from the ownership of substantial revenues (pensions, annuities), real estatestable economic and commercial activities, or other sources besides employment. The applicant must also demonstrate the availability of a property to be used as his/her own home.

The Procedure

The procedure for issuing a visa for elective residence begins with an online booking for an appointment in person at the Italian consulate/embassy of the applicant’s place of residence.

At the meeting at the embassy/consulate, the applicant must provide documentation proving the availability of financial resources (e.g. bank statements, documentation attesting to the ownership of companies or real estate, pensions, annuities from which they derive) and housing in Italy (proof of ownership, rental contracts, preliminary purchase agreements). Since the assessment of the sufficiency of economic resources is discretionary, we recommend the utmost organization in gathering and submitting all the required documentation.

Residence permit

Once in Italy, the foreigner must, within eight days, go to the competent police headquarters to apply for a residence permit.

This document generally has a duration of one year, renewable on expiry. After five years, the foreigner may finally apply for a long-term residence permit, which is valid indefinitely.

The residence permit for elective residence can also be issued as a conversion of a residence permit to a foreign citizen who already holds a residence permit for subordinate work, self-employment or family reasons when the applicant ceases his or her work and receives an old-age pension, civil invalidity pension, or social pension.

Tax benefits for foreigners moving to Italy

Foreigners who move to Italy can benefit from preferential taxation. In this link to one of our articles you can find an in-depth analysis of this and other tax benefits for foreigners.

Elective Residence visa: what we can do for you

Our Studio, MGI Vannucci & Associati, thanks to experience developed in this sector and our collaboration with legal studios specialized in such matters, is ready to support you in carrying out the procedure for obtaining the elective residence visa:

  • Assisting you in the collection and submission of the necessary documents for obtaining the visa as well as communicating, on your behalf, with the relevant offices.
  • Supporting you in the process of visa issuance by the competent Italian Representation.
  • Assisting you in the process of applying for a residence permit and in all the paperwork after obtaining the visa.
  • Providing tax and financial advice with a team of experienced professionals who can assist you with all the issues and requirements related to moving to our country. 

Related articles


What to expect at your citizenship appointment

As your journey to claiming citizenship by descent reaches the final stages, the day will come to submit the application and you may wonder what will actually happen at the ...


The fullness of summer: Editor’s letter

This issue is your comprehensive guide to summer in Florence: rooftops, riversides, alfresco cinema, pools, events and much more.