Italy grants residence permit for financially independent individuals (Residenza Elettiva) for those who can prove a permanent, high passive income. Wealthy foreigners can obtain a special type of residence permit at their chosen place of residence. The holder of this type of residence permit will not be eligible to work or conduct business in the country, unlike the business immigration program.

Italy - Residenza Elettiva

Benefits of the program

Residence for financially independent individuals is an immigration program that has been operating in Italy since 1999. To obtain this residence permit, a foreigner must prove high income and rented or purchased housing in Italy. The program has a lot of advantages.

No Italian language required

You do not need to prove knowledge of the Italian language to apply for or extend a residence permit.

No investment

To obtain this residence permit, you do not need to invest in the country’s economy.

For the whole family

Residence permit in Italy is also received by family members: spouse, children, including adults, if they are not married and financially dependent on the applicant, as well as parents.

Permanent residence

A residence permit gives the right to permanent residence in Italy and the ability to travel without visas to the countries of the European Union. If a foreigner is absent from the country for more than 6 consecutive months, the extension of the residence permit based on Residenza Elettiva may be refused.

Opportunity to get a Citizenship

You can apply for Italian citizenship after 10 years of living in the country with a residence permit.

Tax residency

The holder of a residence permit becomes a tax resident of Italy if he lives in the country for more than 183 days a year. A resident has tax liabilities on a par with Italians, even if his income is earned abroad.

Italy has a special tax regime for wealthy foreigners. A single flat tax is levied on all income, regardless of their size, including those received abroad. The flat tax rate in Italy is € 100,000 per applicant and € 25,000 for each family member annually.

Conditions for obtaining a residence permit in Italy

Have a high passive income – at least 31,000 euros per year.

If the applicant’s spouse also receives a residence permit, then the minimum income is increased by 20%. For each child included in the application, another 5% is added.

The foreigner must prove to the Italian authorities that he has a high income that remains uninterrupted in the future and does not depend on his place of residence.

Possible sources of income

  • renting out real estate;
  • interest on deposits;
  • dividends from securities;
  • income from business activities;
  • pension.
  • Employed earnings are not counted.

Buy real estate or rent a house for long-term rent

The applicant for Residenza Elettiva must convince the Italian authorities of their financial solvency also when choosing a property. When buying or renting a home, there are no formal requirements for its cost. However, this must be a high-quality, not a cheap object. At the same time, property owners have an advantage over tenants. It is enough to provide an agreement of intent to purchase real estate and a certificate of payment of a deposit.

Foreigners with a residence permit can receive a benefit when buying a first home (Prima Casa), if this is the main place of residence, and reduce tax costs by 2-4 times.

Documents for Italian Residence

3 Stages of obtaining a residence permit

  1. Submit documents to the Visa Application Center or the Italian Consulate in your home country to obtain a long-term type D visa based on your chosen place of residence. Proof of real estate and passive income is required. All documents must be translated into Italian. The visa processing time is 90 days.
  2. Apply for a residence permit based on the chosen place of residence – Permesso di soggiorno per residenza elettiva – within 8 days after arriving in Italy on a visa D. 
    Documents confirming the presence of housing and passive income are submitted to the police department of Questura at the place of residence. You also need to go through the procedure for submitting biometric data.
  1. Get a residence permit card 20 days after applying.

Documents for a residence permit

  • International passport
  • Documents for real estate in Italy: an agreement of intent to purchase a property and a certificate of payment of a deposit, an agreement of sale or long-term lease
  • Documents confirming passive income for the last year: rent, royalties, dividends, income from bank deposits, income from securities, pension
  • Receipts for payment of state fees for the issuance of a D visa and residence permit
  • Motivation letter in English or Italian explaining the desire to live in Italy
  • Documents confirming relationship – certificates of marriage and birth of children
  • Medical insurance valid in Italy