Visas are issued by the Italian Embassy or Consular Sections of a foreign national’s country of residence. Permits to stay are issued in Italy by the Questura (Police Headquarters) having jurisdiction in the province where a foreign national is staying. Foreign nationals are required to apply for residence permits within 8 working days (i.e. excluding Sundays and holidays) of arrival.
Citizens of some foreign countries can visit Italy and stay for 3 months without a VISA. In some cases, citizens can stay for a longer period under a permit of stay or “permesso di soggiorno”. In most cases, foreign citizens must return to their country of origin and request a specific VISA at the corresponding Consulate. Therefore, we recommend to ask for a VISA at the Italian Consulate or Embassy of your country of origin in case you want to stay in Italy for a period longer than 3 months.
• VISA/Permit for family reunification: valid for a year from the date of issue; it is issued to the sponsoring migrant’s family members following approval of a reunification application.
• VISA/Permit for employment purposes (indefinite, fixed-time or seasonal contracts): this can only be issued after obtaining work authorization from the Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione – SUI (Immigration Desk) at the Prefettura (central government’s territorial office). In order to enter into an employment relationship with a non-EU national residing abroad, employers, whether Italians or foreigners legally residing in Italy, are required to apply for permission to hire an individual migrant worker at the Immigration Desk in the province where the job will be carried out.
• VISA/Permit for self-employment purposes: may be applied for to conduct a non-occasional, self-employed work activity in the industrial, professional, handicraft or commercial sectors; to set up a company or partnership; to access corporate managerial positions. In order to obtain such a visa, foreign nationals must fulfil the same professional and moral requirements demanded for Italian citizens by the law with regard to the same type of activity.
• VISA/Permit for highly qualified workers: such is the case of journalists, highly specialized staff who work for a corporation domiciled in Italy, artists, dancers and musicians, etc (art. 27 Decreto Legislativo 25 luglio 1998, n. 286).
• Elective Residency Permit: the Elective Residence Visa/Permit is for those who have chosen Italy as the country of permanent residence and who are able to support themselves autonomously, without having to rely on employment while in Italy, 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 and to obtain the VISA/permit you must demonstrate that you own a property or that you have signed a lease.
Expats taxes in Italy 2021
FAQ: Italian taxation for Expats
Taxation in Italy
Tax benefits for those who transfer the fiscal residence to Italy
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Italy)
Chamber of Commerce
Public administration for businesses
National Agency for Investment and Business Development
Directory of companies in Italy
Previously, Legal help for Expats published this post on how to acquire Italian citizenship. If you’ve read it and realized that CITIZENSHIP AS A RESULT OF ITALIAN PARENTS/ANCESTORS (“ius sanguinis”) is your case, then here are the complete instruction on how to proceed:
The procedure to apply for jure sanguinis citizenship can be carried out at the Italian Consulate in a foreign country where the applicant resides, or in Italy.
(Art. 1, Law No. 91/1992)
If the citizenship application process is filed in Italy, you might need to move to Italy for the duration of the procedure (in order to be available in case public administration requires it; you can process it or delegate the process)
Immediately after your arrival in Italy, you must declare your presence in the country (“dichiarazione di presenza”) at the Municipality where the procedure will be carried out indicating your residence address. Then you must appear in person before the “Prefettura” with appointment to get your paperwork checked.
Duration of citizenship recognition under administrative law is not predictable at all, since 2018 the Italian Government has established that Public Administration has 4 years to decide on said requests.
To apply for jure sanguinis citizenship the applicant must show that he/she has an Italian ascendant and that the citizenship chain has not been interrupted or lost.
You must gather all the required documentation: birth, marriage and death certificates of all ascendants in the same line of kinship up to the applicant applying for citizenship; certificate stating “the absence of loss of Italian citizenship” by the Italian ascendant (e.g.: a letter from a State Public Department such as an Electoral Office or the National Naturalization Record stating that the ascendant never acquired citizenship in any other Country to which he/she emigrated, i.e. and did not lose or renounce Italian citizenship.
The Electoral Office shall certify, that the person never appeared on voting list). Otherwise, if the Italian ascendant has lost or renounce citizenship their Italian citizenship, the applicant must present certificates showing that citizenship was lost after the descendant’s birth, who has acquired the right to citizenship and continues with the citizenship chain.
Example of the right chain of transmission:
- marriage of ascendant A with B
- birth of ascendant C (son of A + B)
- death of ascendant A
- marriage of ascendant C with D
- birth of ascendant E (son of C + D)
- death of ascendant C
- marriage of ascendant E with F
- etc. ... following the chain up to the applicant for citizenship (you)
Each descendant must have been born before the death of his or her direct ascendant.
It does not matter if at any point in his/her life that ascendant A (only Italian citizen of the chain) has lost citizenship, what does matter is that his/her child (C) was born before they lost their citizenship of A.
All certificates issued by foreign Authorities must be legalized and translated by a sworn translator. Legalization is an administrative procedure by which validity is granted to a foreign official document, verifying the authenticity of the signature and the capacity of the signing authority (e.g.: in the case of the UK, USA, Spain or Argentina a document is legalized by apostille). This means that certificates must be legalized only in case they are issued by Official Organizations.
The Apostille does not have an expiration date, and valid as long as the document is still valid. Birth, marriage or death certificates issued in Argentina and in Italy that are legalized, authorized and apostilled have no expiration date; certificates issued in Spain are valid for three months. Therefore, we suggest that you check with the registry of your own country, or even better, in the city or town where the citizenship process is carried out to avoid expired documentation. Which can delay your process.
Old certificates often present many errors (typos, names do not match, birth dates are not correct, etc.). As a result, doubts could arise about the identity of the person in question. In such cases you can request the corresponding Official Department to rectify the document or to issue a certificate stating that the identity of one person indicated in two different documents is the same.
In the case of jure sanguinis citizenship by female ascendant, when one of the ascendants is a woman and her descendant was born before 1948, a trial must be initiated before the court with jurisdiction in Rome in order to carry out the necessary procedures.
In common language this is known as the “1948” case.
In 1948 the Italian Constitution established the principle of equal rights between men and women. As there are still legal gaps in some areas of the Italian legal system (including citizenship), a judge’s ruling is necessary for the Court to recognize citizenship.
The duration of the trial can last from 1 to 3 years.
In order to avoid any dispute that may delay and/or block a trial, when the applicant can’t sign the power of attorney in person before the lawyer in Italy, we recommend the issuance of a public deed. However, power to act can be granted by private instrument certified by a notary public. In this second case, as established by the Italian Supreme Court of Appeals (rulings nº 22559 of November 4, 2015; nº 12309 of May 25, 2007; n. Of May 5, 2006, etc.), the following is essential:
1) the power of attorney must be signed in the presence of a notary public;
2) the Notary public must have verified the identity of the parties;
3) points 1) and 2) must arise from the declaration of the notary public attached to the deed.
Minors must be represented by the child’s parent or legal guardian. You should check with the notary public in your country which formalities must be fulfilled in such a case.
– When in the same family line there are several descendants interested in obtaining citizenship, one single process (parental trial) can be initiated. Legal representation shall be collective and simultaneous and, as a result, costs shall be reduced.
– The procedure can be followed using the smartphone app “Giustizia Civile”. The app allows checking all the ever-changing circumstances of the trial – except for the name of the parties and the lawyer due to privacy reasons.
– According to Italian law, a child under 18 years old who has already acquired citizenship automatically acquires citizenship if he/she lives permanently with the parent who has already acquired citizenship, even outside Italy (art. 14 law n. 91 / 1992). Proof of cohabitation must be presented together with the necessary documentation (for example, residence certificates).
If you are a not an Italian speaker and you are about to sign an Italian contract we offer this advice.
You should get the contract translated into your own language or into a language you can fully understand. Prevention is better than cure.
We strongly recommend you to contact your lawyer BEFORE signing any contract and BEFORE making any payment. This is the only way to fully understand the consequences of the contractual relationship you are about to enter and to protect your interests through the inclusion of other conditional clauses.
Regarding rental contracts, for example, it is strongly recommended to register the lease (NB the registration is necessary only for rentals up to 30 days). Under the Italian Law system a non-registered contract is invalid, it doesn’t exist.
Registration of the lease is not only an obligation established by law, it is also a guarantee for those who rent an apartment. In case of non registration, the tenant can’t establish the residency in the apartment, the landlord cannot sue the tenant who refuses to pay the monthly price and the tenant can sue the landlord to get the amount back (but this is not an easy procedure). There are also serious fiscal consequences for the landlord and tenant in case of non-registration. It’s also recommended to make payments by bank transfer and not in cash.
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Visas are issued by the Italian Embassy or Consular Sections of a foreign national’s country of residence. Permits to stay are issued in Italy by the Questura (Police Headquarters) having jurisdiction in the province where a foreign national is staying. Foreign nationals are required to apply for residence permits within 8 working days (i.e. excluding […]
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This article contains useful information for British citizens in Italy in the case of a no-deal Brexit)
EU legislation states that EU citizens have the right to reside on the territory of another EU country for up to three months without any conditions other than the requirement to hold a valid identity card or passport.
Once the UK decided to leave the EU, it has been established that English citizens who have been resident in Italy for less than three months can apply for legal residence (attestazione di residenza) by 31 st October and in case of a no-deal Brexit they will have the right to permanently stay in Italy as it was before the Brexit.
To apply for the residency by the Municipality of Rome you must fulfil the standard application form that you can find on the municipality website.
Basic requirements are as follow:
1) Evidence or affidavit the applicant have financial resources (about 5.500 euros per person – amounts vary year after year);
2) Health Insurance (minimum duration one year);
3) Copy of a valid Passport;
4) Accommodation: if you own the place where you live in Italy, you must attach a copy of the property title; otherwise, you must give evidence of a registered lease agreement or any other accommodation arrangement (for example, letter of hospitality by the landlord, a relative or a friend);
5) Marriage certificate (only if you are applying with your spouse, both being EU citizens);
6) Birth certificate (if you apply with your children)
7) Certificate of civil status evidencing you are single
Bare in mind that, if the Municipality won’t allow you to apply before 31 st October, it’s better if you keep any evidence that shows that you were in the country on 31 st October and intending to stay (not just a tourist visit): evidence of your request (email, “raccomandata con ricevuta di ritorno”, protocol number of the request, etc.), evidence of your arrival (flight tickets, passport stamp, etc.), evidence of your rental contract or property purchase or even hotel stay, Italian bank account showing payments in and out (for eg. utility bills if appropriate).
The 2003 European Directive on the status of non EU nationals states that a long-term residence permit should be awarded after a person has lived legally in an EU State for an uninterrupted period of five years.
This however depends upon the applicant having a stable and regular source of income, health insurance and (when required by the EU State), having complied with integration measures (he must also not constitute a threat to public security or public policy). If the applicant complies with these conditions, he can receive an EU long-term residence permit, renewable, without expiration and the status of EU long-term resident. The owner of a long-term residence permit receives the same treatment and rights as nationals in many areas: for example, access to employment and self-employment activity; social protection and assistance, move to another State of the Schengen area, etc.