Visa options and benefits for retiring in Italy

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Italy offers a good visa options and multiple benefits to non EU citizens who are retiring and are willing to move to Italy. The applicants will be required to show to have a sufficient income to support themselves without the need to work.

How can I obtain the Italian Retirement Visa?

To request the Italian Retirement Visa (officially known as Elective Residence Visa — Visto per residenza elettiva), applicants are required to submit:

· to have a suitable accommodation; and

· a minimum “passive” income of not less € 31,000/year.

What are the main benefits of the Italian Retirement Visa?

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- Permanent residency: if the applicant registers with the City Hall and can show to have an Italian income and have filed tax returns, he/she can apply for permanent residency after 5 years;

- 7% income tax: Pensioners residing abroad who move their residence to certain municipalities of the Centre and Southern Italy can benefit from the optional scheme for non-national pensioners, which provides for a substitute tax of 7% on all income generated abroad;

- Health coverage: applicants can obtain registration and coverage with the National Health Service by paying a minimal fee;

- Citizenship: after 10 years of residency applicant is entitled to apply for Italian citizenship (on condition that he/she has filed the tax returns for the last 3 years before the application)

How can I prove my economic resources?

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The applicant for the Italian Retirement Visa must submit documents proving substantial and steady economic resources, such as:

· Letters from banking institutions stating current available funds . The type of account, the account balance and monthly earnings. These funds must be more than substantial and must generate revenues.

· Documents from other sources that will provide you with additional financial revenues. Such as Social Security pension or other type of pension, property ownership and lease agreements, business ownership and related documentation;

· Some Consulates require the applicants to submit the last 2–3 years tax returns;

· The visa applicant must show solid bank account/s and a set monthly income.

What about the accommodation in Italy?

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You do not need to own or purchase a property to be eligible for the visa. A signed rental agreement will suffice but it must be for at least 1 year and duly filed with Registry Office (Ufficio del Registro).

Multiple bookings for houses/hotels, AirBnB contracts and third party offer of hospitality cannot be accepted for this type of visa.

Can I work in Italy with the Retirement Visa?

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The answer to this question is “NO”.

In the last few years it has become a popular query whether or it is possible to work from Italy “remotely”. On this regards, Italian consulates provided a more detailed guidelines by specifying that:

“the holder of the visa cannot work whether as dependent employees, as self-employed employees or employees working remotely online. You cannot finance your residence in Italy through any type of work.”

Are there any obstacles or difficulties when requesting the Italian Retirement Visa?

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1. The visa is for those who have chosen Italy as the country of permanent residence. It can be denied and it is difficult to obtain for those who show to have an activity in their country and want the visa only for the purpose of not being limited by the 90/180 day rule;

2. Italian Consulates give a preference to those who have a “passive” income (pensions, revenues derived from investments or properties) versus income deriving from work, like a salary;

3. Being able to prove the € 31,000/year minimum income set forth by the law cannot be enough. Consulates expect a “substantial” income and they have a wide discretion to assess whether the applicant’s income is adequate;

4. To own a property is not a requirement but can definitvely help;

5. To run the property as a B&B would be considered “work” and therefore would cause the visa to be denied;

6. it can help if the applicant show to have some past links with Italy, such as having attended Italian language courses.

What are the steps after you obtain the Italian Retirement Visa?

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1. within 8 days from entry, apply for the “Permesso di Soggiorno” at the Post Office;

2. after 1–3 months the Police will summon you and give an appointment for fingerprinting;

3. after 2–3 months the Police will inform you that your permit is ready to be collected

4. You must also register with the CityHall (Comune) where you live and apply for Italian residency

5. Residency in Italy brings some tax liabilities and you should contact a tax counsel to obtain necessary advice. The Italian tax agency provide information about possible tax benefits for those who move their residency in Italy. From 1 January 2019, pensioners residing abroad who move their residence to certain municipalities of the Centre and South Italy can benefit from the optional scheme for non-national pensioners(IT), which provides for a substitute tax of 7% on all income generated abroad. For more information see Individuals — Personal Income Tax — Irpef — Personal income tax rates and relief — Agenzia delle Entrate (

6. after you register with the Comune you can apply for registration with the National Health Service. For holders of an ERV registration this service is not free but they will be asked to pay a charge in proportion to their income.

Useful resources

How to assess if your accommodation is suitable?

Useful tips for renting a residential property

Useful tips for buying a property in Italy

Disclaimer: The information provided on this article (i) does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; (ii) are for general informational purposes only and may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information (iii) this website may contain links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader; (iv) readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.




Marco Mazzeschi, is an attorney at law admitted in Milan and Taipei, Adjunct Professor at the Chinese Culture University —

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Marco Mazzeschi

Marco Mazzeschi

Marco Mazzeschi, is an attorney at law admitted in Milan and Taipei, Adjunct Professor at the Chinese Culture University —

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