EU and Italy’s “golden visas”

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Golden Visas in the EU

According to a 2019 report prepared by the EU Commission these schemes exist to date in 20 MEMBER STATES.

Five types of investment options can be observed:

(i) capital investment; (ii) investment in immovable property; (iii) investment in Government bonds; (iv) donation or endowment of an activity contributing to the public good; and(v) one-time contributions to the State budget.

Italy’s Investor Visa

Italy’s INVESTOR VISA offers residency and NOT CITIZENSHIP.

To qualify for the Investor Visa the applicant can:

  • purchase at least € 2 million in government bonds; or
  • invest at least € 500,000 in equity instruments of a company based and operating in Italy or € 250,000 in case of a start-up company; or
  • donate at least € 1 million philanthropic funding supporting projects of public interest in the field of culture, education, immigration, scientific research, recovery of cultural assets and landscapes.

How to apply for an investor visa

The individual must register and apply on line through the Gov.t’s portal www.investorvisa.mise.gov.it

The application is in Italian or English. Any supporting documents which need to be submitted, if not available in Italian or English, must be translated with a certified translation.

What information applicants must submit?

1. A detailed Curriculum vitae,

2. Selection of the type of investment

3. Proof of ownership of the financial resources, in particular:

(i) a recent and detailed bank statement; (ii) a letter of the bank that must include a specific declaration that the bank has carried out all activities necessary under the FATF international standards on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism; (iii) a report of an independent third party expert in law or accounting, certifying the truthfulness of the information provided.

4. certificates of non-existence of criminal convictions and pending charges

Filing of the application

To finalize the application a specific final declaration of commitment (“Declaration”) is automatically generated by the platform.The document must be signed with an electronic signature. The electronic signature (“firma digitale”) can be obtained through one of the Gov.t’s accredited providers

Prestatori di servizi fiduciari attivi in Italia | Agenzia per l’Italia digitale (agid.gov.it)

Application is approved by the Ministry

If the evaluation of the Committee is positive, a certificate of no impediment (“nulla osta”) is sent to the visa applicant through the platform. It is then sent to the Italian Consulate which has been indicated by the investor in the application. The certificate may be used by the applicant to obtain the visa within six months of its issue date.

Applying for the Visa

The visa applicant will contact the Italian Consulate and will be given priority for filing the visa application. In case the applicant should find any difficulties to contact or have an answer from the Consulate, it is advisable to send email and cc also the Ministry’s Committee at investorvisa@mise.gov.it.

The Visa shall be stamped on the passport and applicant can travel to Italy.

Arrival in Italy and application for a residence permit

The visa holder must apply for a residence permit within eight working days of entering Italy. Investor Visa holders can take an appointment directly at the Questura (Police Office) ofthe place where they intend to stay.

After submitting the residence permit application, they will inform the Ministry through the dedicated platform about the date of entry into Italy and the date of the residence permit request.

IMPORTANT: the investment chosen in the application must be executed within t three months from the entry date.

Executing the investment

The foreign national demonstrates that s/he has executed the investment approved by the Committee by uploading in the platform (in case of purchase of Gov.t bonds):

(i) Bank documentation certifying the purchase (copy of securities dossier), with indication of the type, issue date and maturity date of the securities;

(ii) Certificate of deposit of the securities in a financial institution domiciled in Italy.

Maintaining and renewing the residence permit

The investor visa holder must maintain the investment for the entire duration of the residence permit, otherwise the permit will be revoked and it will not be possible to renew it. The beneficiary must retain his/her original investment.

Even when the permit has already been issued, the holder may not alter the destination of the investment under any circumstances, otherwise the permit will be revoked and cannot be renewed. The investor residence permit is valid for two years and can be renewed for further three year periods.

Last but not least ……

1) The application for the Italy Investor Visa Clearance (“Nulla Osta”) can be filed also using a company controlled by the applicant

2) Investor permit holders are exempted from the Integration Agreement obligations, i.e. language test

3) Investor permit holders are no longer required to spend a minimum amount of time in Italy

4) Italy offers a TAX RELIEF SCHEME for new residents who can benefit from a substitute tax on income generated abroad by paying a flat-rate tax of EUR 100,000 for each tax year.

Investor visa does not grant citizenship

Beware of any source or websites which publicize that you can obtain citizenship: this is not true!.

In Italy, citizenship by naturalization can be obtained only after 10 years of residence (i.e starting fro the date a person is registered with the City Hall) and it is also requested to submit tax retrns filed in Italy for the last 3 years.

Sources

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 or tax matter.

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