Italian Elective residence

Main features

Investment: purchase/rent of a property

Length of the procedure: 6-8 months

Procedure subject to cap: no

Permanent residence permit: yes, after 5 years

Family reunion: yes

Italian healthcare: not free of charge

Residence permit: length 1-2 years, renewable

Italian language test: yes

Conditions of eligibility for the program

Purchase/lease of a property in Italy

Availability of significant financial means

The applicant is not allowed to work in Italy

Services provided by Aprigliano Law Firm

Full assistance until the issuance of the residence permit

Opening of a current bank account

Assistance with the transfer of funds to Italy

Translation and legalization of documents*

Assistance with house purchase/rent agreement

Concierge services*

* Provided by third-party professionals.


Italian Immigration Law provides for several kinds of residence permits, including the elective residence permit. Such permit is issued to non-EU foreign nationals providing evidence of significant and stable incomes resulting from activities other than employment (such as rent, pension, corporate dividends, bonds, etc.) and whose existence in the future can reasonably be expected.

The holder of an elective residence permit is required to provide evidence of foreign financial means of lawful origin allowing him/her to stay in Italy without the need for employment. Although not allowed to work in Italy, the holder of an elective residence permit can be partner in companies operating on the Italian territory, or owner of properties let to third parties. Essential condition of eligibility for the programme is purchasing an apartment in Italy (no minimum amount is provided unlike, for instance, the Spanish Golden Visa program) or signing a long-term rent.

For the purpose of encouraging foreign investments in Italy, some Italian Consulates (including the Italian consulate in China) provide for the following: in the event of purchase of properties in Italy, the availability of significant financial means requirement is met if the applicant can provide a minimum annual income of € 31.000,00, increased by 5% for each accompanying family member. In the event the property is leased instead of purchased, the minimum income requirement does not apply. Therefore, each Consulate defines the minimum financial means required (on average, a variable amount between €50.000,00 – €100.000,00 per year).

The holder of the elective residence permit does not have free access to Italian healthcare and is required to provide evidence of having taken out private health insurance to cover medical expenses in Italy. Otherwise, the foreign national can access the Italian healthcare system upon payment of a fee. The elective residence permit grants the applicant the right to request family reunion with his/her spouse and children (both minor and adult). Under special circumstances, family reunion with parents and is allowed as well. Upon granting of the elective residence permit, the foreign national must attend a free 10-hour civic education course (integration agreement) in Italy organized by the Ministry of the Interior. The foreign national can choose the language of the course.

The first elective residence permit is valid for 1-2 years and can be renewed for further 1-2 years. After 5 years of residence permit, the foreign national can convert his/her elective residence permit into a long-term EU residence permit (formerly known as residence card), i.e. a permanent residence permit. Non-EU nationals can apply for the Italian citizenship and passport 10 years after the issuance of the first residence permit by means of application for naturalization by residence.


The procedure begins with the visa request with the Italian Consulate of the foreign national’s country of origin (alternatively, the foreign national can apply with the Italian Consulate of his/her country of legal residence). Such request shall be submitted together with the documentation demonstrating that the applicant meets all requirements provided by Law. Within 180 days, the Italian Consulate issues a multiple-entry type-D visa for elective residence valid for 365 days. Prior to the expiration of the visa, the foreign national must come to Italy in order to request the residence permit. The residence permit request procedure consists of 3 steps:

  • Step 1 Not later than 8 days after entry in Italy, the non-EU national must request the elective residence permit by submitting his/her application with Poste Italiane (Italian Post Offices).
  • Step 2 Following the application for residence permit, the foreign national will be issued a receipt providing the date scheduled for the fingerprinting appointment with the Immigration Desk.
  • Step 3 The residence permit can be collected not later than 30/40 days after the fingerprinting appointment.

The non-EU national must be present in person for the 3 steps of the procedure. In the time period between the residence permit request and its collection, the foreign national is allowed to travel abroad.

Aprigliano is a leading Italian Immigration and Citizenship Law boutique offering a wide range of integrated services tailored to the needs of each Client. We do not believe that achieving the Client’s desired outcome is enough; what we aim for is exceeding our Client’s expectations by taking care of every single detail. We see our Clients as people, not numbers, with different cultural backgrounds, personalities and expectations. Our goal is to understand each person’s needs in order to provide a tailored service that will make the application process positive and stress-free. Contact us for more information

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    Length of the procedure: 2-4 months

    Highlight: minimum annual salary € 25.000,00

    Length of the procedure: 2-4 months

    Highligh: procedure subject to cap

    Length of the procedure: 2-10 months

    Highlight: reserved for spouse and minor children