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Do you have clients considering a move to Southern Europe? See what the Italian government is offering to make Italy the country of choice for expatriates

21st June 2021

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MGI Vannucci & Associati has published a new article detailing the advantages of the 'Italia Startup Visa': an incentive offered by the Italian government to attract international investment and talent.

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

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

It introduces a bilingual, digital, centralised, and accelerated procedure to facilitate the 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

According to a report by InfoCamere, at the end of 2020 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 the 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 have clients from a non-EU country who wish to create their own innovative startup, the Italia Startup Visa represents an opportunity that you should not miss.

What is the Italia Startup Visa?

Italia Startup Visa is a permit 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 (Decree of Flow) of 2013, and was renewed in the same form for all the successive annual Flow Decrees issued by the President of the Council of Ministries.

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

The steps for obtaining the visa are as follows:

1) Submitting the application

The application to the Italia Startup Visa program should be sent via email to the address indicated by the MISE. To be complete and to pass the formal controls of the Secretariat, the application should consist of 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 competent 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 approves the innovative business project that has been presented, the Nulla Osta is released, within 30 days of the date the request was presented.

The Nulla Osta can then 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 their visa, they have 6 months to move to Italy, and within 8 days of their entrance, to request a one-year permit to stay from the competent Police headquarters, presenting the necessary administrative documentation.

Duration of the visa up to 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.

How can MGI Vannucci & Associati help MGI Worldwide accountancy network members across the world?

Thanks to its experience developed in this field and to collaboration with legal offices specialised in such matters, MGI Vannucci & Associati can provide the necessary support to file the application for the Italia Startup Visa:

  • Helping clients in the presentation of their business model and business plan, with particular attention to research and development activities. MGI Vannucci & Associati are in fact specialised in innovative startups and can boast participation with a certified incubator.
  • Sending on behalf of your client, all the documentation needed to obtain a Nulla Osta for the visa.
  • Helping your client in all the successive procedures for obtaining the visa.

For more information please visit MGI Vannucci & Associati's profile page or their website.

MGI Worldwide with CPAAI is a top 20 ranked global accounting network and association with almost 10,000 independent auditors, accountants and tax experts in some 460 locations in over 100 countries around the world.

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