How to get an Italian elective residency visa?


All foreign citizens who wish to enter and remain in Italy must show their passport or another equivalent document at the borders. In the case of a short-term stay-or less than 90 days-and you come from a country where the visa is mandatory, only in this case will it be necessary to apply for an entry visa. A valid passport will be sufficient for all other cases.

Dissimilar is the discourse related to long-term stays of over 90 days: in this case, it is mandatory to apply for a visa that will have to meet specific requirements depending on its motivation.

As everyone knows, there are many different kinds of visas for entering Italy. There are visas for adoption, business, medical care, diplomatic, accompanying family members, sports competition, an invitation, self-employment, employment, a mission, religious reasons, re-entry, elective residence, family reunification, study, airport transit, transit, transport, tourism, work holidays, and work exchange.

The embassy has a lot of freedom and can say no to the release for good by sending a written order that explains how to appeal.

Among the myriad of existing visas, special attention goes to the permit for elective residence issued in favor of the foreign citizen who intends to enter and settle in Italy and can maintain himself autonomously, that is, without exercising any work activity. The statute is the interministerial decree of 11 May 2011 ( "The visa for elective residence allows entry into Italy, for residency, to foreigners who want to settle in our country and can maintain themselves independently, without exercising any work activity. To this end, the foreigner will have to provide adequate and documented guarantees about the availability of a house to elected as residency and ample independent economic resources, stable and regular, which can reasonably continue in the future. These resources, however, shall not be less than three times the annual amount provided for in Table A annexed to the Directive of the Minister of the Interior of 1 March 2000: defining the means of subsistence for foreigners entering and residing in the territory of the State, they must come from the ownership of substantial annuities (pensions, annuities), the ownership of the real estate, the ownership of permanent economic-commercial activities or other sources other than employment. After providing that these financial capacities are deemed adequate also for the latter, it will be possible to issue a similar visa to the cohabiting spouse, minor children, and dependent and cohabiting adult children) and EU Regulation 977/2011 of the Commission of 3 October 2011.

It is important to note that the request cannot be made official while the foreigner is in Italy. The request must be sent directly to the consular office of the foreigner's place of residence.

Even before going to the consulate of reference, the applicant must download and fill out the relevant form, including the details as indicated on the passport must be entered. Please note that the applicant does not have to sign the document because this formality has to be done directly before the consular official.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the petitioner can send documentation by express courier as long as the documentation has the notary's signature.

As for the appointment, it must be arranged well in advance. The consulates processing different types of practices are always particularly crowded, and the possibility of seeing an appointment could slip up by several months.

As for the appointment, it must be arranged well in advance. The consulates processing different types of practices are always particularly crowded, and the possibility of seeing an appointment could slip up by several months. But the pandemic from COVID 19, also, in this case, seems to have simplified the procedure: it may not be necessary to fix an appointment if the consulate of reference declares to accept the request by post.

For the examination of the documentation, in addition to the two photos (with a white background that portray the subject in front view and of which photostatic copies are not allowed), a valid passport must be presented showing an expiration date at least three months later than that of the visa application. It will also be essential to ensure there is at least one blank page to which the visa can be attached.

A characteristic feature of the visa in question is the need to demonstrate sufficient funds (e.g., deposit in the application of a bank statement). The law establishes the "capital suffice" as 31,000 euros-or an equivalent amount according to the local currency-in the case of an individual applicant or 38,000 euros for a married couple. To this sum must be added, if necessary, an additional amount-equal to 20%-for each dependent child.

But there is more.

The Italian Consulate will also verify the documented ability of the person to generate passive income-different from those of a work nature-that can last in time (e.g., income from property leases, pensions, social benefits, company dividends, royalties). Although the economic resources are double in amount compared to those required by law (31,000 or 38,000), this will not be sufficient to meet passive income requirements.

Why would that be?

This visa, once issued, does not allow any work, and it follows that the stay in Italy of the foreigner will be allowed so long as it can maintain itself independently, without having to (and being able to) engage in any occupation. Suppose the petitioner enters the state's territory with the visa for elective residence. In that case, it must be taken into account-together with the generic requirements for entry into the National Territory, also demonstrating adequate autonomous economic resources, expecting reasonably to continue in the future.

Therefore, the ownership of immovable property cannot be considered a valid requirement for the residence permit. The requirements change depending on whether the application is made by a single person or by a married couple. It will be easier for a married couple to meet the level of economic resources and passive incomes needed for the issue if they submit a joint application, since the qualification thresholds for a single application are proportionally lower than for a joint application.

It is self-evident that in the case of a joint request, the Consulate of reference will require the appropriate certification (translated and causing the formalities required by the individual Consulates) to validate the existence of an effective parental relationship between applicants.

The applicant must have the documentation demonstrating a place to live during his stay in Italy (e.g., lease, usufruct, deed of sale).

The health issue is always delicate. The Italian government provides universal assistance to protect Italian residents regardless of their nationality. Nevertheless, applicants for an elective residence visa must ensure that the visa meets the minimum requirements: it can cover medical expenses (e.g., ambulance, medical prescriptions, medical examinations), has coverage of at least 30,000 euros per person per year, is applicable in all states of the European Union, and has a duration of at least one year. Otherwise, you will have to request a replacement.

And again. As is the case in the vast majority of cases and although not a mandatory requirement, the applicant who has already planned the trip to Italy will have the opportunity to attach the air ticket bearing the supposed departure date. But let's talk about the timing of release and validity.

If the request is complete, the release times may vary from a minimum of 60 to a maximum of 90 days; for the duration of the procedure, the Consulate will hand over the applicant's passport.

Does the visa for elective residence have an expiry date? The answer is yes.

On the visa will be indicated the expiry date and the starting date, together with the date of issue. If the applicant has deposited the flight ticket, the entry date may be the same or very close to that of the presumed departure.

If this is not the case, it will be fixed 365 days after the date of entry into force of the visa. Finally, suppose it is necessary to postpone the departure. In that case, it will always be possible to enter Italy as long as the visa hasn't run out, and it won't be necessary to go to the Consulate to do any paperwork.

Once the visa is issued and after the applicant's arrival in Italy, within eight days-or before the visa expiry-will have to apply for a residence permit for elective residence, usually issued for two years from the date of the issue of the visa.

Only at the end of the whole process can the foreigner officially elect his residence in Italy by going to the relevant municipality.

Abogado Sarah Silvestri
Immigration Attorney

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