IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? The Italian government has introduced eased visa procedures for high-net-worth individuals and foreign entrepreneurs planning on moving to Italy to take advantage of the country’s flat tax on foreign income or to launch a startup company.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, eligible high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs will have direct access to visa offices without having to book appointments. Visa offices have been instructed to prioritize applications from qualifying high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs. Once in Italy, they will have their residence permit applications prioritized.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Foreign high-net-worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs coming to Italy to take advantage of the country’s flat tax on foreign income or to launch a startup company.
  • Business impact: The proposals aim to boost direct investment and startup business activity in Italy.

Background: Last year, Italy introduced new tax incentives and proposed the creation of a new investor visa in order to lure more high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs to the country. Under a recent directive, qualifying individuals now have an expedited path to Italy and will receive priority processing for residence permits once they have arrived. The directive covers both high-net-worth individuals who are moving to Italy to take advantage of its tax cap of €100,000 on foreign income as well as those planning on moving to Italy to invest in or create a startup company. The startup must meet requirements set out by the Italian government in its Startup Visa program. Italian officials have also approved the idea of creating a new investor visa, but these visas are not available yet.

BAL Analysis: The measures provide an expedited path to residency and access to Europe for foreign high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.