Italy: Elective Residency Visa

Damien O'Farrell
3 min readOct 18, 2022

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The Elective Residency Visa is aimed at non-EU citizens who have a substantial amount of money, savings, and/or investments in their country of origin that will permit them to live in Italy without working.

The applicant will need to show assets from a portfolio (the consulate may request original financial statements from banks, investment or brokerage firms, social security, etc., and these should all indicate current balances). Also, note that balances cannot be derived from current employment or any other work activities. The deciding factor is showing wealth. There is no strict guideline, and each application is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Some consulates want you to show at least one million dollars in accounts, and some want to see a steady flow of monthly income not derived from work that can range between €31,000 and €200,000 minimum annually. Please note that each consulate treats each application differently, so what one consulate may require as income, another may not.

The holder of an Elective Residency Visa is not allowed to work in Italy, which is why the consulate wants to make sure that the applicant has balances that provide revenues so that he or she can support himself or herself without working in Italy. This type of visa allows entry into Italy for an open-ended stay to individuals who intend to take up long-term residency in Italy but who can support themselves independently, without having to rely on any employment in Italy, whether it is as an employee or as a self-employed professional. Online work, even if carried out in another jurisdiction, is also not permitted, though some light business activities such as answering emails is allowed.

All applications for this type of visa generally require the following documents, which need to be double-checked each time with the relevant consulate in the applicant’s country of residency or origin:

  • A passport or official travel document valid for at least 3 months beyond the validity date of the visa requested. The passport must have a blank page available for the visa to be affixed.
  • A visa application form must be signed by the applicant in the presence of a consular officer.
  • One recent passport photograph (2 x 2 inches in size, full face, front view, color)
  • Proof of permanent residence in the country of origin or residency
  • Proof of financial support: original financial statements from banks, investment and / or brokerage firms, Social Security, etc., indicating current balances. Please note that said balances cannot be derived from current employment or other work activities, i.e., you cannot finance your residency in Italy through work. In addition, please note that said account balances must be more than substantial and must provide for continuous growth.
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy includes a rental agreement, proof of ownership (a title deed), and sometimes a government certificate of housing suitability.
  • International medical insurance is valid in Italy.
  • A police clearance or certificate of criminal records issued by the central authority of each state and / or country of which the applicant has been a resident since the age of fourteen.

In some cases, a Permit of Stay for an Elective Residency Visa can now be converted to a work one; however, this is case-specific and would need to be looked at in greater detail.

If you require any case-specific assistance, please feel free to contact me www.damienofarrell.com

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Damien O'Farrell

Global Mobility Specialist and Expat Coach with thirty plus years’ experience in providing high-touch immigration, destination, & coaching services in Italy.