Investors’ VISA and residence permit
The Italian government has recently introduced a specific discipline within immigration law, the so-called “Investors’ Visa”. The new Investors’ visa allows the entry and residence in Italy, outside of the entry quotas established annually by the government, to foreigners who wish to:
- invest at least € 2 million in securities issued by the Italian government, to be held for at least 2 years;
- invest at least € 500,000 in equity instruments of a company incorporated and operating in Italy, to be held for at least 2 years;
- invest at least € 250,000 into an existing Italian innovative start-up company;
- make a philanthropic donation of at least € 1 million to support a public interest project, in the fields of culture, education, immigration management, scientific research, recovery of cultural and landscape assets.
The Minister for Economic Development, in cooperation with the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, adopted on July 21st 2017, a decree implementing the provisions of article 26-bis of TUI. The implementing provisions clarify that the issuance of the visa and the relevant residence permit are subject to verification of an actual investment or donation, provided that it is kept for at least two years. The issuance and the validity of the Investor Visa are also subject to verification of the lawful source of the investment.
The implementing decree grants the power to issue the Investor Visa to an ad hoc Interministerial Committee. The decisions of this Committee will be approved by a majority of the members, except those concerning the release of the certificate of no impediment (nulla osta) to entry in Italy which will be approved in the absence of opposing votes.
The foreign applicant shall submit to the Committee:
- copy of a passport valid at least 3 months beyond the visa validity;
- documentation proving the beneficial ownership of the sums used for the investments and that these sums are available and can be readily transferred in Italy;
- a certification proving the lawful source of the funds, which consists in (a) a self-declaration of the applicant and (b) a copy of the applicant’s criminal records that show the lack of criminal convictions and pending charges in the ten years prior to the application;
- a declaration by which the applicant commits to make, within three months from entrance in Italy, the investment and to keep it for at least two years. The declaration must also include a description of the recipient and the characteristics of the investment.
The Committee will render a decision within 30 days of the submission of the application.
In case of a favorable decision, the Interministerial Committee will send the clearance to the relevant consulate that will issue the Investor Visa.
The Investor Visa holder shall receive a 2 year valid investor residence permit, renewable for a further 3 years, subject to verification of the maintenance of the investment in Italy. Indeed, the issuance of the permit is subject to the verification that the investment has effectively been completed within 3 months of entry into the country. The permit can be revoked before its expiration date, if it is ascertained that the investment has been withdrawn before the 2-year term (or 3-year term in case of renewal).
Permanent residence permit
As per the current law provisions, after 5 years of legal stay in Italy, the holder of an Investor Visa can request a permanent residence permit (i.e. EC residence permit for long term residents).
The permanent residence permit has no expiry date, must not be renewed but only updated, assigns the foreigner the right to enter Italy without a visa, and is not related to any investment or donation made in the past. The permanent residence permit may be requested by foreigners who:
- are legally residing in Italy for at least 5 years;
- are holders of a valid temporary residence permit;
- have an annual income from legitimate sources equal, at least, to the amount established yearly by governmental authorities (€824,91 for 2017);
- pass an Italian language test.
Contact us for more information about Investors’ VISA options.