A Detailed Guide for Potential Expats

Introduction to Italy

Italy is one of the most popular destinations for expatriates, offering a temperate climate, rich cultural heritage, and an impressive culinary tradition. With its position as the third-largest economy in the European Union (EU), Italy welcomes a considerable number of expats every year. As per the statistics of 2021, nearly 274,100 first-time visa and permit applications were filed, highlighting the country’s strong appeal.

Immigration in Italy

Italy’s immigration policies are distinguishable by a two-tier system particularly aimed at EU vs. non-EU nationals. The EU/EFTA citizens enjoy considerably relaxed immigration requirements, whereas non-EU folks often need to go through a more stringent visa and permit application process to enter and live in Italy.

Who Needs a Visa?

Non-EU/EFTA nationals generally require a visa to enter Italy, whereas EU/EFTA nationals can enter and stay visa-free. Specific nationalities outside this may enter visa-free for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes.

Types of Visas in Italy

Italy offers an array of visas categorized broadly into short-stay (Type C) and long-stay (Type D) visas, catering to different needs from tourism to work, and from study to family reunification.

Short-Stay Visas (Schengen Visas)

Designed for stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period, these visas cater to tourists, business visitors, and those participating in short-term educational programs among others.

Application Process for Short-Stay Visas

Applications must be submitted to Italian diplomatic or consular authorities before traveling. Include documents like passport, photos, proof of financial means, reason for visit, and health insurance.

Cost of Short-Stay Visas

Typical Schengen visa fees are €80 for adults and €40 for children aged 6-12. Certain concessions apply to nationals of countries like Russia, where the fee is reduced to €35.

Long-Stay Visas (National Visas)

Intended for durations exceeding 90 days, these visas include types such as work visas, study visas, family reunification visas, and elective residence visas.

Elective Residence Visa

This visa is for individuals who wish to live in Italy and have substantial self-sustaining income without needing employment. The minimum requirement as of 2023 is above €30,000 annually.

Work Visas

Italy offers a variety of work visas depending on the nature of employment, including self-employment, salaried employment, seasonal work and more.

Application Fees for Long-Stay Visas

The typical visa fee for long-stay visas is €116, with some variations based on the specific visa type.

Residence and Citizenship

Non-EU nationals planning to stay longer than 90 days require a residence permit, which must be applied for within eight days of arrival in Italy. The EU Blue Card, permanent residency, and Italian citizenship offer longer-term and permanent options for eligible individuals.

EU Blue Card

For highly skilled non-EU nationals, offering a two-year validity period extendable and allowing family reunification.

Permanent Residence and Citizenship

After legally residing in Italy for five years, one may apply for permanent residence, and subsequently, for citizenship through naturalization after ten years or less in special cases.

Visas for Digital Nomads

Italy is planning to introduce a digital nomad visa for remote workers, allowing them to reside in Italy while working for overseas companies.

Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Italy adheres to the 1951 Geneva Convention, with specific processes in place for those seeking asylum or subsidiary protection.

Useful Resources

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