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.
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.