Explore Italian residence options, from historic villas to modern apartments. Discover tips, trends, and insights for your dream home in Italy.

Italian First Home Benefits for Expatriates

Law No. 103 of 10.08.2023, coupled with amendments to DL No. 69/2023, has ushered in significant changes to Italian first-home benefits for expatriates. This pivotal legislation not only addresses an infringement procedure initiated by the European Commission against Italy but also introduces key enhancements to the first home benefits regime.

The Innovation Introduced by DL No. 69/2023

DL No. 69/2023 addresses a critical issue flagged by the European Commission concerning first home benefits for expatriates. This decree, aptly named “Salva infrazioni” (Save Infractions), rectifies discrepancies in the application of reduced property taxes for expatriates. Now, expatriates who have resided or worked in Italy for at least five years and are transferred abroad for work reasons can enjoy reduced property tax rates when purchasing a property in Italy.

Understanding Italian First Home Benefits

Italian first-home benefits encompass a range of advantages aimed at facilitating property acquisition for expatriates. These benefits include reduced tax rates, fixed tax amounts, and VAT reductions, making property ownership in Italy more accessible and affordable.

Reduced Tax Rates: Expatriates can benefit from lower registration tax rates, alleviating the financial burden of property acquisition. Under the first home benefits scheme, taxes payable when buying property in Italy include:

For purchases from private individuals or VAT-exempt companies:

– Proportional registration tax at a rate of 2% (instead of 9%)

– Fixed mortgage tax of 50 euros

– Fixed cadastral tax of 50 euros

For purchases from companies subject to VAT:

– Reduced VAT at 4%

– Registration tax of 200 euros

– Mortgage tax of 200 euros

– Land registry tax of 200 euros

These reduced tax rates and fixed tax amounts provide transparency and predictability in property transaction costs, enhancing the appeal of property ownership in Italy for expatriates.

Eligibility Criteria for Italian First Home Benefits

To qualify for Italian first home benefits, expatriates must meet stringent eligibility criteria. These criteria include sole ownership of the property, compliance with municipal constraints, meeting residency prerequisites, and adhering to specific property categorization requirements. Moreover, only properties falling under designated cadastral categories, such as A/2, A/3, A/4, A/5, A/7, and A/11, are eligible for the benefit.

Evolution of Legislation for Italian First Home Benefits

Previous legislation provided exceptions for expatriates, particularly those relocating abroad for work. However, DL No. 69/2023 introduces a refined framework, emphasizing stricter residency and property location criteria. These changes ensure that benefits are directed towards individuals with substantial ties to Italy.

Rectification Procedures and Self-Certification

In cases where applicants fail to declare their residency status abroad at the time of purchase, rectification procedures exist. Italian citizens residing abroad can rectify their status through self-certification, as clarified by the Revenue Agency. This ensures compliance with residency prerequisites and maintains continuity in benefit entitlement.

Changes Introduced by DL No. 69/2023

DL No. 69/2023 introduces a new discipline regarding first home benefits for expatriates. This decree stipulates that individuals who transfer abroad for work reasons must have resided or carried out an activity in Italy for at least five years prior. Additionally, the property must be located in the municipality of birth or where they previously resided or conducted business.

Finally …

Understanding these legislative changes is crucial for expatriates considering property investments in Italy. With over five decades of experience, De Tullio Law Firm has been consistently delivering expert legal advice to international clients. Moreover, while we offer comprehensive legal services across all domains of Italian law, our particular emphasis is on real estate, residency, family law, and inheritance matters.

We take immense pride in providing personalized legal services to our clients. Additionally, we have a strong reputation for delivering pragmatic and efficient solutions. If you are exploring investment opportunities in Italian real estate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are right beside you, guiding you every step of the way.


You may also be seeking information about how to obtain an Elective Residence Visa for Italy or you might like to peruse our series of informational videos.


Canadian Investors: Italian Real Estate 2024

Against the backdrop of Canada’s prolongation of its ban on foreign involvement in its real estate market, this blog post serves as an update on previous discussions, offering insights into recent developments. We aim to provide Canadian investors with an understanding of shifts in Canadian property law and explore potential investment opportunities in Italian real estate.

Canada’s recent decision to extend the Foreign Property Purchase Restriction Act (FPPRA) for an additional two years has reignited debates. Questions arise regarding the ban’s effectiveness in alleviating housing shortages and its impact on housing affordability for Canadians.

Furthermore, this decision has sparked conversations about investment prospects. Economists and real estate agents contend that foreign ownership has not been the primary driver of demand in Canada. Official data indicates a drop in foreign ownership of homes in Canada, to just 1% from 2 to 3% in 2021, according to Statistics Canada.

Foreign buyers have been implicated in driving up property prices in countries like Australia, the UK, and New Zealand. However, only Canada has taken as firm a stance in banning foreign ownership.

For Canadian investors eyeing real estate opportunities abroad, including Italy, the landscape presents questions. For example, can Canadian investors still pursue real estate investments amidst these regulatory changes?

The Impact of Italian Property Investment Laws on Canadian Investors

Because of Canada’s FPPRA, Canadian investors exploring the Italian real estate market face reciprocal arrangements in Italy.

However, an amendment to the FPPRA in 2023 offers an exemption, unlocking investment opportunities for Canadian investors exploring the Italian real estate market.

The FPPRA Amendment

An amendment introduced on March 27th, 2023, to Canada’s FPPRA, marked a significant shift in reciprocal property investment regulations.

This pivotal amendment exempts certain properties from purchase restrictions in Canada. In particular, those located outside Census Agglomerations or Census Metropolitan areas.

Unlocking Potential for Canadian Investors in Italian Real Estate

Canadian investors exploring Italian real estateWith the aforementioned exemption under the FPPRA, Canadian investors exploring Italian real estate can now seize promising prospects.

Italian properties located in areas with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants have now become accessible to Canadian buyers. To find out more about these areas click here. 
This legal change creates opportunities for Canadian investors exploring Italian real estate markets.

While the FPPRA exemption presents opportunities, due diligence remains paramount for Canadian investors venturing into Italian real estate. Verifying property eligibility through legal professionals will ensure compliance with regulations and mitigate risks.

Finally …

As Canada navigates its real estate policies, Canadian investors exploring Italian real estate have an opportunity to broaden their investment portfolios. With legal exemptions facilitating access to properties in Italy, prudent due diligence and legal guidance are essential for a successful investment venture.

At De Tullio Law Firm, we take immense pride in providing top-tier legal services to our clients. Additionally, we have a strong reputation for delivering pragmatic and efficient solutions. If you are looking to buy Italian real estate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are right beside you, guiding you every step of the way.


You may also be seeking information about how to obtain an Elective Residence Visa for Italy or you might like to peruse our series of informational videos.


Click here to read the news release from Department of Finance Canada


Italian Golden Visa: Unlocking Opportunities

Dreaming of a life in Italy? The Italian Investor Visa, also known as the Golden Visa is an interesting solution for non-EU citizens who choose to invest in strategic assets that benefit Italian economy and society.

In this blog post we explore eligibility, investment options, and the application process. To discuss your situation and eligibility, get in touch for a free consultation.

What is the Italian Golden Visa?

The 2017 Budget Law introduced the Italian Golden Visa. It allows foreign investors residency in Italy for 2-5 years as well as travel within Schengen countries. This initiative bolsters Italy’s economy and visa system, offering a gateway to long-term investments.

Requirements for the Golden Visa in Italy

To apply, non-EU citizens must:

– Be 18+ or a legal entity’s representative.
– Meet investment thresholds.
– Provide an Anti-Money Laundering Declaration.
– Demonstrate financial stability.

Eligibility of Family Members

Family members can obtain visas and residence permits, fostering family reunification or cohesion.

Types of Golden Visa Investments

Options include government securities, company shares, or philanthropic donations, each with specific investment criteria.

Italian law outlines the eligible investment options for the investor visa application as follows:

Securities issued by the Italian government: Requires a minimum investment of €2,000,000.00, which must be held for at least 2 years.
Stocks or shares of an existing capital company operating in Italy: Involves a minimum investment of €500,000.00, to be held for at least 2 years. However, if investing in an existing innovative Italian startup, the amount is reduced to €250,000.00.
Philanthropic donation to an Italian non-profit organization: Supporting public interest projects in sectors such as culture, research, migration management, or restoration of natural/artistic resources requires a donation of at least €1,000,000.00.

– The applicant must demonstrate ownership and be the beneficial owner of at least €2,000,000.00 (in the case of securities) or €1,000,000.00 (for shares/stocks or philanthropic donations), which must be available and transferable to Italy.
– A written declaration committing to using the funds for eligible investments or donations within three months of entry into Italy is required.
– Sufficient resources, beyond the investment funds, must be demonstrated to cover the applicant’s living expenses during their stay in Italy, exceeding the minimum level for exemption from healthcare expenditure as per the law.

Anti-Money Laundering Declaration

Only single investments are permitted, with funds verified for legitimate origins.

Transferring Funds and Nationality Considerations

Transferring funds to Italian banks may ease the application process. Nationality doesn’t directly affect eligibility, but origins of funds may trigger scrutiny.

Additional Considerations and Investment Types

Ensure compliance with Italian law when choosing investments, whether in companies or bonds.

How to Obtain the Golden Visa in Italy

The Investor Visa falls outside the annual entry quotas set by the Italian Government, allowing applications at any time without quota restrictions.

The initial step involves applying for a Nulla Osta, available through the Ministry of Economic Development’s online portal. The application requires submission of:

– Personal details
– Passport copy
– Applicant’s CV
– Investment type indication
– Evidence of investment ownership
– Clean criminal record confirmation
– Investment description and recipient consent attestation

Following a preliminary review by the Committee’s Secretariat, the application undergoes evaluation, with the Committee typically issuing the Nulla Osta within thirty days.

Subsequently, applicants have six months to visit an Italian diplomatic mission in their home country to finalize the investor visa application. Entry into Italy is permissible within two years of visa issuance.

The investor visa grants a two-year validity period in Italy. Upon arrival, applicants must apply for a residence permit for investors at the Questura within eight days. This permit remains valid for two years from the date of entry into Italy.

Issuance and Maintenance of Residence Permit

Investors must fulfill investment commitments and maintain original investments for permit validity. Renewals and citizenship opportunities follow.

Incentives for Investments in Italy

Tax incentives and work permit options enhance the allure of Italian residency for investors and their families.

Special Italian Tax Regimes

Impatriates Regime

Designed for employees and self-employed individuals relocating their tax residency to Italy for work. Income from dependent work or self-employment in Italy is taxed at 30% for 5 years, or 10% in Southern Italy. The regime can extend for 5 more years under specific conditions, with 50% of income taxable during this period.

New Tax Regime for Resident Pensioners

Non-resident pensioners in Italy receiving foreign pensions can opt for a 7% flat tax on foreign source income if they meet certain criteria and reside in qualifying municipalities.

Special Tax Regime for High Net Worth Individuals

Available to those not tax residents in Italy for 9 out of 10 years preceding their transfer. Exempts them from applying a substitute tax to foreign income.

Italian Tax Incentives for Foreign Professors and Researchers

Offers a 90% reduction in taxable income for researchers and professors, with durations of 8, 11, or 13 years, contingent upon residency in Italy.

Finally …

To navigate the complexities of the Italian Golden Visa, expert legal counsel is essential. With over five decades of experience, De Tullio Law Firm is your trusted partner, offering personalized advice to international investors. Specializing in real estate, residency, family law, and inheritance matters, we ensure pragmatic solutions tailored to your needs. If you’re considering investment in Italian real estate, contact us today. We’re dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process with confidence and clarity.

Italian Tax Residency Changes 2024

Italy’s fiscal landscape recently underwent significant change with the enactment of Article 1 of Legislative Decree No. 209 on December 27, 2023, titled “Implementation of the tax reform on international taxation.” This pivotal decree ushered in Italian tax residency changes, particularly impacting existing favourable tax regimes. In this guide, we explore these changes.

Italian Tax Residency Changes Revise Residency Criteria

Effective January 1, 2024, the amended Article 2, paragraph 2, of Presidential Decree No. 917 of December 22, 1986, introduces new criteria for determining fiscal residency in Italy. Individuals are now considered fiscally resident if, for the majority of the tax period (over 183 days, fractional days included), they domicile in Italy, hold residency in Italy as per Article 43 of the Civil Code, or are physically present in Italy. This marks a significant departure from the previous criteria.

Furthermore, if individuals register at a local municipality for the majority of the tax period, authorities presume residency unless proven otherwise. It’s crucial to note that this registration is a relative legal presumption, providing an opportunity for “presumed” residents to present contrary evidence demonstrating their actual residence abroad or non-fiscal residency in Italy.

Italian Tax Residency Changes Impact Domicile Interpretation

Notably, the interpretation of domicile has undergone a paradigm shift. The exclusion of the civil code in interpreting domicile now places exclusive importance on the “place where personal and family relations primarily develop.” This legislative change establishes a clear hierarchy among the linking criteria, emphasising personal and family relationships over economic and work-related interests.

However, the reference to the civil law definition of residency under Article 43 of the Civil Code remains unchanged, creating an interesting interplay between the two criteria.

Italian Tax Residency Changes Link Criteria to Physical Presence

Starting January 1, 2024, authorities have introduced a new criterion linking physical presence within national borders for the majority of the tax period. This criterion, however, does not align with the expectations set by the Delegated Law for the tax system reform (Law No. 111 of August 9, 2023), as it does not introduce the provision for tax year fractionation, commonly known as the “split year.”

Impact on Tax Regimes

The practical implications of these legislative changes on tax regimes are paramount. Let’s delve into two significant regimes affected by these changes: the new-resident regime under Article 24-bis of Presidential Decree No. 917 of December 22, 1986, and the expatriate worker regime regulated by Legislative Decree No. 147 of September 14, 2015, modified by Article 5 of Legislative Decree No. 209 of December 27, 2023.

New-Resident Regime Changes

Article 5 of Legislative Decree No. 209 of December 27, 2023, introduces sweeping modifications to the “new-resident regime.” This regime, in its current formulation, extends tax benefits to income from dependent work, similar income, and income from self-employment produced in Italy by workers transferring their fiscal residency.

Notably, these incomes, up to a limit of six hundred thousand euros per year, now contribute 50% tax. This represents a notable reduction from the previous regime. The new-resident regime is applicable from the tax year of acquiring fiscal residency and for the four subsequent tax periods.

The New-Resident Regime is Contingent on Conditions


Workers must commit to fiscally residing in Italy for at least four tax periods.

Workers cannot have been fiscally resident in Italy in the three tax periods prior to their transfer.

If a worker conducts work in Italy for the same employer they worked for abroad before the transfer or for an employer within the same corporate group, they must meet the minimum foreign residency requirement:

  • Six tax periods if the worker was not previously employed in Italy by the same employer or a subject belonging to the same group.
  • If the worker was employed in Italy for the same employer or a group-affiliated employer before transferring abroad, the minimum foreign residency requirement is seven tax periods. Additionally, the worker must carry out work activities in the Italian territory for the majority of the tax period.
  • Workers must possess qualifications or specialisation as defined by Legislative Decree No. 108 of June 28, 2012, and Legislative Decree No. 206 of November 9, 2007.

Additionally, the contribution on overall income is now reduced to 40% if the worker relocates to Italy with a minor. If a child is born during the regime period, application of this benefit starts from the ongoing tax year at the time of the child’s birth. To qualify, during the regime period, the minor child must remain resident in Italy.

These new provisions will apply to individuals transferring fiscal residency to Italy starting from the 2024 tax year

Individuals who transferred their registry residence by December 31, 2023, will continue to apply the previous provisions regarding the application of the new-resident regime.

For individuals transferring registry residence to Italy in 2024, the application of the regime can extend to an additional three years if they became residential property owners, by December 31, 2023, or within twelve months prior to transferring to Italy.

The property must however be the main residence in Italy. The percentage of non-contribution income, for the additional three years, is 50%.

Increase in IVIE Tax Rate

Law No. 213 of December 29, 2023 (Budget Law 2024) introduces an increase in tax rate due on real estate held abroad (IVIE). The rate rises from the current 0.76% to 1.06%. The determination of the taxable base remains unchanged from current legislative provisions. The determination relies on whether the property is in an EU/EEA member state or an extra EU/EEA state. The revenue agency calculates the taxable base on the cadastral value, acquisition cost, or market value.

Increase in IVAFE Rate for Financial Assets Held in Privileged Tax Jurisdictions

Law No. 213 of December 29, 2023 (Budget Law 2024) also raises the rate of the tax due on financial assets (IVAFE) held in states or territories with privileged tax regimes identified by the Ministry of Economy and Finance Decree of May 4, 1999, and subsequent amendments. The rate increases from the current 0.2% to 0.4%.

IVAFE continues to apply to the value of financial products, current accounts, and savings accounts held abroad. The calculation considers the percentage of ownership in the case of joint ownership and the number of days of possession.The value of the financial asset as of December 31 of the tax year or the market value recorded at the end of the holding period in the case of intra-annual transfers represents the taxable base. In the case of current accounts, tax is payable at a fixed rate of 34.20 Euros, indexed based on the number of days of possession.

Note that Switzerland does not fall within the scope of the provision concerning the increase in the IVAFE rate. Starting from the 2024 tax year, Switzerland is no longer listed among the countries and territories in the May 4, 1999 decree. Therefore, financial assets held in Switzerland will remain subject to the 0.2% IVAFE rate.

Changes in Italian Tax Residency apply to the 2024 tax year

The changes in Italian tax residency criteria bring forth a dynamic landscape with profound implications for individuals and their tax obligations. The revised criteria not only redefine the notion of fiscal residency but also reshape the benefits and conditions associated with specific tax regimes. Navigating this new terrain requires a nuanced understanding of the amended regulations and their far-reaching consequences. As individuals and tax professionals adapt to these changes, staying informed and proactive becomes imperative in ensuring compliance and optimising financial outcomes in the evolving Italian tax framework.

Finally …

Understanding and adapting to the changes in Italian tax residency in 2024 may necessitate professional assistance. For those seeking support, the De Tullio Law Firm team, specialists in Italian and cross-border property, inheritance, and tax matters, is “right beside you”. For a free consultation on new regulations or compliance with Italian tax matters, contact us.

Italian Citizenship: An Essential Guide for Foreign Nationals

Italian citizenship offers a plethora of opportunities, including the right to live, work, and study in Italy and across the European Union. At De Tullio Law Firm, we understand the challenges and nuances of Italian law and are dedicated to guiding our clients through each step of this intricate process. This process may seem daunting due to complex legal requirements and procedures that require meticulous adherence.

Understanding Italian Citizenship Law

Several pathways exist for acquiring Italian citizenship: by descent (jure sanguinis), through marriage (jure matrimonii), or after a period of legal residency in Italy. Each pathway entails specific requirements, documentation, and legal processes that individuals must navigate with precision and care.


  • By Descent: If you have Italian ancestors, you may be eligible for citizenship through jure sanguinis. This process involves proving your Italian lineage through a series of official documents and records.


  • Through Marriage: Spouses of Italian citizens can apply for citizenship through jure matrimonii, provided they meet certain residency requirements and have been married for a specified period.


  • By Residency: Non-EU nationals who have legally resided in Italy for a considerable period may also be eligible to apply for citizenship, depending on their specific circumstances.


Why Download Our Comprehensive Guide?

Our “2024 – Italian Citizenship Guide” is an invaluable resource. We have designed it to demystify the process of acquiring Italian citizenship. This guide covers:

– Detailed explanations of the different pathways to citizenship.

– A step-by-step overview of the application process.

– Required documentation and how to obtain it.

– Common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

– Legal nuances and recent changes in the law.

By downloading our guide, you will gain access to expert insights and practical advice. This is an essential tool for anyone considering making Italy their permanent home or looking to claim their Italian heritage.


Italian citizenship opens doors to a rich cultural heritage and a high standard of living. While the process may seem complex, with the right guidance and resources, achieving citizenship is within reach. When you choose De Tullio Law Firm, we are right beside you every step of the way.

Italian Residency Case Study: Restoring Permanent Residency

Mr and Mrs A are UK nationals who acquired a property in Italy back in 2010. Following the Italian property purchase, they registered their Italian residency at the comune’s registry office. 

Fast forward to 2023, and the couple initiated the permesso di soggiorno application process. This was part of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement arrangements designed to protect citizens’ rights as part of Brexit. Yet, discrepancies surfaced in their Italian residency paperwork.

Faced with this situation, and being unable to continue with their permesso di soggiorno application, they therefore sought legal advice from De Tullio Law Firm.

Unveiling the loss of Italian Residency

The De Tullio legal team examined the situation. We discovered that Mr and Mrs A were no longer registered as Italian residents at their local municipal registry office.

While interacting with the registry office, our legal team discovered that the office had made two unsuccessful attempts in 2021 to deliver paperwork to Mr. and Mrs. A’s registered residence. However, they were not in Italy on either occasion. The comune therefore challenged their physical presence in Italy. Subsequently, the registry office chose to revoke their Italian residency status. Despite the office’s assertion of having informed them, Mr. and Mrs. A remained completely unaware of this development.

The Legal Labyrinth of Residency in Italy

In accordance with Italian law n. 223/1989 and registry office regulations, a person can lose Italian residency status due to ‘irreperibilità’ (unavailability). In other words, a comune’s registry office can revoke Italian residency if people aren’t physically present at their registered residence during multiple verifications.

Nevertheless, the right to permanent residency acquired prior to Brexit in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement provides vital protection for Mr. and Mrs. A. According to Article 15, Paragraph 3 of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, “Once acquired, the right of permanent residence shall be lost only through absence from the host State for a period exceeding 5 consecutive years.” This legal safeguard therefore guaranteed Mr and Mrs A’s entitlement to maintain permanent residency status, as they hadn’t been absent from Italy for a period exceeding 5 years.

Upon analysis of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, it became evident that the registry office had unjustly revoked their Italian residency status. As UK citizens, they had protection. Once De Tullio lawyers confirmed this legal protection, the comune promptly reinstated residency status. This resolution ensures that the couple have retained their right to continue enjoying Italian residency.

A Cautionary Note for Non-Italian Nationals regarding Italian Residency

This case underscores the importance of comprehending regulations governing Italian residency for UK citizens post Brexit. At De Tullio Law Firm, we are always happy to assist with the complexities of Italian residency law. If you are a non-Italian national residing in Italy we strongly recommend vigilance regarding your residency status. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for expert guidance and legal support. Your peace of mind remains our utmost priority.

Italian Citizenship by Descent – Jus Sanguinis

Introduction to Jus Sanguinis and Italian Citizenship

Jus sanguinis is a Latin term that means “right of blood.” In the context of Italian nationality law, jus sanguinis refers to the principle that individuals can acquire Italian citizenship by descent from an Italian ancestor. Italy is one of several countries that follow the principle of jus sanguinis, which means that if you have Italian ancestry, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship.

Requirements for Italian Citizenship by Descent

To be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, you need to meet certain requirements. First, you need to have an Italian ancestor who was alive and an Italian citizen at the time of your birth. This can be your parent, grandparent, or even a great-grandparent.

Second, you need to be able to prove your Italian ancestry through birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other official documents. This can sometimes be a challenging process, especially if your ancestor was born a long time ago, but there are resources available to help you with this.

Changes in Italian Citizenship by Descent Law

The Italian law on citizenship through jus sanguinis has undergone a few changes over the years, so it is important to determine which law applies to your case. The law that is currently in effect is the one that entered into force on August 15, 1992.

Restrictions and Requirements for Italian Citizenship by Descent

For example, if you are seeking citizenship through a great-grandparent, you must demonstrate that none of the ancestors in the chain of transmission ever renounced their Italian citizenship. Additionally, the transmission of Italian citizenship cannot have been interrupted by the acquisition of foreign citizenship prior to the birth of the person seeking citizenship.

It is important to note that if your ancestor became a citizen of another country before your parent/grandparent’s birth, you may not be eligible for Italian citizenship. This can complicate the process of obtaining Italian citizenship through jus sanguinis, but it is still possible in some cases.

Another important requirement is that the person seeking citizenship through jus sanguinis must not have renounced their right to Italian citizenship. This can happen if an ancestor naturalized in another country and renounced their Italian citizenship, or if a person obtained citizenship in another country and renounced their Italian citizenship in the process.

The Application Process for Italian Citizenship by Descent

If you are eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, you will need to go through a formal application process. This can be done at an Italian embassy or consulate, or through the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you are living outside of Italy.

Dual Citizenship and Its Advantages

One important thing to note is that Italy recognizes dual citizenship, which means that if you are already a citizen of another country, you can still become an Italian citizen without giving up your existing citizenship. This can be a major advantage for people who want to maintain ties to both countries.

Backlog of Applications

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among people of Italian descent in obtaining Italian citizenship. This has led to a backlog of applications, and the process can sometimes take several years. However, if you are eligible, it is definitely worth considering, as it can open up many new opportunities for you and your family.

Renouncing Italian citizenship

Renunciation of citizenship is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly, as it can have significant consequences, including the loss of certain rights and privileges. In general, Italian citizens who renounce their citizenship are no longer considered Italian citizens. As such, they lose all the rights and privileges of Italian citizenship.

In order to renounce Italian citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old and have another citizenship or be eligible to obtain one. You must also have resided in another country for at least 12 months, or for a longer period if required by the country in which you reside.

The process for renouncing Italian citizenship varies depending on your situation. If you are living in Italy, you must submit your request to the local civil registry office. If you are living outside of Italy, you can submit your request to the Italian embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

It is important to note that renouncing Italian citizenship can have significant consequences, particularly if you have family ties or property in Italy. For example, if you renounce your Italian citizenship, you may lose the right to own property in Italy or inherit property from Italian relatives. You may also lose access to Italian healthcare and other social services. Additionally, individuals who renounce their Italian citizenship may be subject to certain financial obligations, such as the payment of outstanding taxes to the Italian government.

Finally …

Jus sanguinis offers Italian descendants a relatively simple way to gain Italian citizenship. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term consequences of becoming a citizen.

Partnering with a specialist lawyer can assist individuals in navigating the complicated legal and administrative procedures associated with jus sanguinis. With over 55 years of experience in supporting foreign nationals to obtain Italian citizenship, De Tullio Law Firm is here to help. Please contact us if you require assistance or wish to discuss your situation.

You may also like to read about applying for an elective residence visa. We also have a series of info videos that you may like to watch.


Elective Residence Visa for Italy

An Elective Residence Visa allows non-EU citizens to reside in Italy

You should submit your application for an Elective Residence Visa (ERV) to the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country. For example, U.S. citizens can apply to the Italian consulates in New York, Miami, San Francisco. Canadians should apply to the Italian consulates in Toronto or Montreal.

The main requirement for obtaining an ERV is that the applicants must be able to support themselves autonomously in Italy. This must through an income unrelated to employment. Your income must be sufficient to exclude recourse to the Italian welfare system.

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Applicants for an Italian ERV must be able to provide documented guarantees

According to Italian law, ERV applicants should meet two essential elements. Firstly, they must have somewhere to live in Italy. This can either be a property they own, or a secured tenancy with a contract.

Secondly, applicants must have an income stream. This should be approximately Euro 31,000 per annum. This income must continue in to the future – for the period of stay in Italy.

Verifying that an ERV applicant has somewhere to live is fairly straightforward. However, the assessment regarding adequate finances implies a so-called discretionary evaluation by the consulate.

By law, this assessment cannot be  arbitrary. In other words, the applicant must be able to see a logical explanation behind the decision-making process.

The law sets out various principles which the consulate should take into consideration when deciding whether or not to grant an ERV.

In particular, the available financial resources should be “ample”, “autonomous” and “stable”, thus the applicant should be able to sustain himself/herself without working in Italy.

The above means that financial resources should be fully accessible to the applicant. And, that funds should not be subject to unexpected, sudden fluctuations. The consulate must be able to make a reasonable assumption that an applicant’s financial resources will also exist into the future.

The applicant’s financial resources should originate from pensions, life annuities, ownership of real estate, ownership of stable economic-commercial activities or other sources of income. Income cannot however be from employment.

In the absence of any logical, valid and concrete reasons, so long as an applicant for an ERV meets the above requirements, the consulate cannot refuse to grant an ERV.

Finally …

Do you think your ERV application was wrongly rejected or do you need help with an ERV application?

The evaluation of the elements for an ERV application by the consulate is discretionary. However, as previously mentioned, it cannot be arbitrary.

Should you need further information concerning an elective residence visa or preparing your application or, if you wish to appeal the denial of an ERV, please contact us.


You may also like to read about what to do if your elective residence visa application is refused. We also have a series of info videos that you may like to watch.

Italian Elective Residence Visa (ERV) Refused – Case Studies

Applying for an Italian elective residence visa

There are two main requirements when applying for an Italian elective residence visa (ERV). Firstly, the availability of a dwelling, which an applicant has elected as their residence in Italy. This can either be an applicant’s own Italian property or a rental property with a tenancy agreement.

Secondly, by law, an applicant must have a financial flow corresponding to approximately Euro 31,000 per annum. The law further requires that finances be ample and autonomous financial resources. These finances should continue into the future – for the duration of the applicant’s residence in Italy.

An Italian consulate in the applicant’s home country is responsible for evaluating the above criteria. While the consulate’s decision is discretionary, the evaluation cannot be arbitrary.

In other words, a consulate cannot refuse to grant an ERV in the absence of valid reasons to do so. Furthermore, an applicant must be able to understand the logic behind the decision-making process of the relevant authority.

An applicant can challenge a consulate’s refusal to grant an ERV in court.

Case studies: appeals to overturn refusals of an Italian elective residence visa

Every year, a number of ERV applicants receive ERV refusals. Here, we examine two such cases and discuss Judgment no. 1396 of 5th December 2018.

The ERV applicants in both of these cases lodged appeals for the refusal of an ERV against the Italian Consulate General in New York. The cases took place at the Administrative Court of Lazio.

Case 1: applicants successfully challenge consulate’s refusal of an Italian elective residence visa

In the first case, no. 6421, the applicants had applied for an ERV with the intention of permanently establishing their residence in Turin.

The consulate refused the application on the grounds that the applicants did not meet the income requirement set by Italian law for an ERV.

In this case, the applicants had an annual rental income corresponding to USD80,000.00 deriving from a property in Brooklyn. They also had additional annual income corresponding to USD60,000.00. The applicants received this income on a monthly basis from an insurance company. Their financial resources clearly exceeded the amount set by Italian law.

When they refused to grant an ERV, the consulate generically referred to the value of assets being subject to market fluctuations. They neither specifically analysed the sources of income nor did they explain their reasoning for refusing an ERV. The consulate simply said that the declared incomes appeared to be steady and continuous over time but they considered them insufficient to counterbalance the possible fluctuations of their value.

For this reason and in light of the documentation provided by the applicants, the Administrative Court ordered the consulate to review its decision.

Case 2: The court confirmed the consulate’s decision to deny an ERV

In the second case, no. 1396, the consulate also refused an ERV. In her application to the Italian consulate in New York, the applicant had declared starting a professional activity as a consultant in 1999. She maintained that she therefore had sufficient savings to fund her lifestyle without needing to work.

After having her application for an ERV rejected three times, the applicant decided to challenge the decision. She based her case on a lack of due diligence and arbitrary decision-making.

The Italian consulate in New York made the following statement regarding their ERV refusal:

“The information you provided on the automatic withdrawal from your investment account shows that the amount paid into your checking account, generates a yearly income of USD 36,000 (approx. Euro 32,000). This barely meets the minimum required amount of Euro 31,000 per annum, as set forth by Italian law, for the issuance of an ERV, especially considering that these funds are subject to fluctuations in Euro/USD exchange rates.

Also, your financial assets – although substantial – are mostly invested in stock funds and investments that, by definition, fluctuate significantly with the financial markets and demonstrate a high level of volatility. Therefore, your funds do not correspond to the documented and detailed guarantee of substantial and stable private income, which must be of a regular nature and reasonably certain in the future, as the law requires”.

Three main elements formed the basis of the consulate’s refusal of an ERV in this case.

In the first instance, there was an absence of adequate and documented guarantees. That is to say, there was no evidence concerning availability of large, autonomous, stable and regular financial resources. In addition, there was no reason to assume that the applicant’s financial resources would exist into the future.

Secondly, the applicant’s declared income, corresponding to USD36,000 (approximately Euro32,000) barely met the legal annual requirement in Italy (Euro31,000).

Thirdly, as the applicant’s financial resources were mostly invested in stocks, they were subject to foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

The Administrative Court in Lazio refused the applicant’s appeal. The court judged that the consulate’s refusal to issue an ERV did not appear to be unreasonable.

According to Italian case law, a bank account, unless extremely significant, does not constitute evidence of ample financial resources with future continuity

The court in this case, therefore, upheld the consulate’s refusal of an ERV. The applicant’s assets, although significant, did not generate sufficient income to warrant the issuance of an ERV. The court also concurred with the consulate regarding the volatility of stock markets and foreign exchange risks.

Finally …

An applicant for an Italian elective residence visa can always contest a consulate’s refusal of an Italian elective residence visa. If you believe a consulate has misinterpreted or misunderstood your application, we would recommend that you seek legal support in contesting the consulate’s decision.

The Italian Elective Residency Visa (ERV) – Case StudyShould you need further information concerning an elective residency visa, please feel free to contact De Tullio Law Firm at the following email address info@detulliolawfirm.com.

You may also be interested in Elective residence Visa Italy: general information

Elective Residence visa Italy

What is a national visa for elective residence?

Elective residence in Italy requires a national visa. This grants access to Italy for overseas nationals wishing to reside in Italy. Applicants must be able to support themselves financially, without carrying out any type of work.

Article 13 of Attachment A of the inter-ministerial Decree MAE n°850 defines the types of Italian entry visas and requirements to obtain them.

What paperwork is necessary to obtain an elective residence visa?

Foreigners wishing to obtain an elective residence visa will have to provide documentary proof that they own or rent a property in Italy. This will be where you  will be living. In addition, proof of adequate financial resources is necessary.

Successful applicants for an elective residence visa should have annual funds of at least €31,000. This equates to approximately triple the required per diem amount, on an annual basis, as estimated in Chart A. This chart is an attachment to the Ministry of Internal Affairs directive of March 1st 2000.

Annual income may derive from savings, pensions, annuities, real estate, businesses or from other sources. However, it cannot be from employment.

Who is entitled to an elective residence visa in addition to the applicant?

A cohabiting spouse or registered partner, minors and adult dependent children will receive the same visa, so long as financial means are adequate to support them. This means your total amount of annual income should include an extra 20%, if the visa is for a spouse whereas an additional 5% is necessary for each dependent child.

What level of annual finances do you need to gain elective residence in Italy?

The “minimum financial requirement” in accordance with Italian legislation is approximately €31,000 per annum. However, it is likely that authorities will assess the situation on a case by case basis.

How long is an elective residence visa valid and, can it be renewed?

An elective residence visa is valid for 1 year. Thereafter, the visa is renewable at provincial police headquarters on the condition that the previously mentioned original requirements remain unchanged.

You must apply for an elective residence visa at an Italian Consulate in your home country and convert it into a residence permit within 8 days of your arrival in Italy – as is the case for all other types of extended stay national visas.

It is not possible to renew or reinstate a residence permit if you interrupt your stay in Italy for a span longer than six months, unless you can prove that the interruption was for significant motives such as military duties.

Is any type of employment permitted with an elective residence visa?

No. This type of visa does not permit any employment activity in Italy. You must therefore be able to support yourself on an income that derives from other sources.

Is there any other type of visa for a long-term stay in Italy?

After 5 years of residence in Italy, you can request a permanent EU residence permit. This means that a holder will be able to benefit from the same terms as those of EU citizens.

Finally …

We have over 55 years of helping overseas nationals obtain Italian residence. If you need help or would like to discuss your situation, please get in touch with us.

You may also find our guide to buying property in Italy useful.