IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Italian government has released new information about its forthcoming investor visa program.

What does the change mean? Once the program is implemented, investor visas will be available to foreigners who meet qualifying criteria, including investing at least (1) € 2 million in Italian government bonds for at least two years, (2) € 1 million in an Italian company (or € 500,000 in a start-up company), or (3) € 1 million in philanthropic efforts to support education, culture, scientific research or similar public interest projects. Applications will be considered by a committee with representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry for Economic Development, as well as tax authorities and financial police. Investor visa holders will be able to apply for residence permits that will be valid for two years and renewable for an additional three years.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Investor visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign investors interested in moving to Italy.
  • Impact on processing time: Applicants for investor visas will be eligible for expedited processing.
  • Business impact: The visa program aims to boost direct investment in Italy.
  • Next steps: Authorities are in the process of building an online platform that eventually will be used to accept visa applications. A launch date has not yet been announced.

Background: The Italian government proposed the creation of a new investor visa category last year, and a recent directive has provided additional information about how the program will operate. Investor visas will be handled through a three-step process that involves (1) initial online clearance, (2) submitting an application at the appropriate Italian consulate and (3) applying for a residence permit once in Italy. Applicants will be required to provide police clearance for every country in which they have lived over the previous 10 years. Once in Italy, they will have three months to provide evidence that they have made the required investment or donation. Residence permits will be valid for an initial term of two years, extendable for an additional three years at the committee’s discretion.

BAL Analysis: While the investor visas will provide an expedited path to residency and access to Europe for qualifying foreign nationals, authorities are not yet accepting applications.