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MGI Vannucci & Associati of Lucca, Italy, shares an update on the Italian Elective Residence Visa for non-EU citizens

10th March 2022

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The Italian Elective Residence Visa grants permanent residence to non-EU citizens who are able to support themselves autonomously, without having to rely on employment while in Italy. If you have clients considering a relocation to Italy, MGI Vannucci & Associati, can provide all MGI Worldwide CPAAI accounting network members with essential information on who is eligible, the application process, and the advantages. The following article published by the firm, sets out the main guidelines.

Italy is globally recognised 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 Italy a very desirable destination for foreigners from all over the world.

Do you have clients who are non-working non-EU foreigners with adequate financial resources? The Elective residence visa may allow them 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 Inter-ministerial 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 spouse, minor 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.

Requirements

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 estate, stable 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 organisation 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. Click to read a further article by MGI Vannucci & Associati giving an in-depth analysis of this and other tax benefits for foreigners.

How MGI Vannucci & Associati can help

Thanks to the experience of MGI Vannucci & Associati in the sector, and the collaboration with specialised law firms, the firm is prepared to support MGI Worldwide CPAAI member firms and their clients in the process of obtaining the elective residence visa by:

  • Assisting in the collection and submission of the necessary documents for obtaining the visa as well as communicating, on your clients' behalf, with the relevant offices.
  • Supporting 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 your clients with all the issues and requirements.

About MGI Vannucci & Associati

MGI Vannucci & Associati is a dynamic professional accounting and tax advisory firm that supports its clients in their business decisions and their personal and professional growth. The firm has been active for more than thirty years and has offices in Lucca and Florence, in Tuscany.

For more information contact Pierpaolo Vannucci (vannucci@vannuccieassociati.it) or visit the firm's profile page or website.

MGI Worldwide with CPAAI, is a top 20 ranked global accounting network and association with almost 9,000 professionals, accountants and tax experts in some 400 locations in over 100 countries around the world.

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