Italy Elective Residence Visa | Requirements and Eligibility Criteria for Italy Retirement Residence Permit

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Italy Elective Residence Visa: There is a lesser-known type of Italy visa amongst all the available ones, for foreign nationals who have the financial means and wish to live in Italy without working.

Italy Elective Residence Visa | Requirements and Eligibility Criteria for Italy Retirement Residence Permit

Such type is the Italy elective residence visa (residenza electtiva), and is used mostly by foreigners who wish to retire in Italy, having the financial means to do so. This is why most people refer to it as an Italy retirement visa.

In Italy, you get to enjoy a mild climate, great food, and high quality of life. This is why many foreign nationals choose to retire in Italy. And the decision is not only made possible, but also very easy, with the Italy Elective Residence Visa.

This article is simply a guide on how foreign nationals (especially non-EU countries) can retire to Italy permanently without working.

What is the Italy Elective Residence Visa?

It is a type of long-stay visa you must have to apply for if you wish to permanently relocate to Italy, and have enough funds to back yourself up with. These funds can only come from your savings, investments, or pensions, and not from any active work while you are in Italy.

That is to say, you cannot take up any form of work in Italy if you apply for the Italy Elective Residence Visa.

After you have obtained your Italy Elective Residence Visa, you can then enter Italy and promptly apply for the Italian Residence Permit. It is this permit that allows you stay more than 30 days in Italy.

Who is Eligible for this visa to Retire in Italy?

If you wish to stay in Italy for more than 90 days without having to work, and you are not from an EU (European Union) country, or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Lichtenstein, then you have to apply for the Italy Elective Residence Visa.

This means that the Elective Residence visa (and any other long-stay visa) is mandatory for all non-EU nationals who are exempt from holding a Schengen visa to Italy.

Requirements for the Visa

For you to apply for the Italy Elective Residence Visa, you should have a set of documents proving your eligibility for the visa. Here are some of the major requirements:

  • Proof of enough available finances to support yourself without working: If you are applying alone, you must have a minimum of €31,000 per year, and €38,000 if you are applying as a married couple. For every dependent that comes with you, the amount is increased by 20%. Being that you are not allowed to work in Italy when you make use of this type of visa, you will have to prove that you can support yourself and any dependent going with you in other ways, such as through annuities, property income, pensions, and other legal means.
  • Proof of Accommodation: You will need to find a suitable place to live before you move to Italy. You can prove that you have adequate accommodation in Italy either by a lease/rental agreement or proof of purchasing.
  • Health Insurance Proof: Before you even apply for your visa, you must purchase an international health insurance. It has to cover €30,000 per year, all medical expenses in every EU member country or state.
  • Valid International Passport: you must have valid passport that is valid for a minimum of three months after the visa expires, and also have two blank visa pages.
  • Italy application form for long-stay visa: This should be duly dated, completed, and signed.
  • Passport size photographs: Your face must take up to 70-80% of the photograph on a white background, and must be 35mm x 45mm in dimensions.
  • Documents of civil status: Your birth or marriage certificates, as applicable.
  • Clearances from your home country’s police department.

How to apply for the Italy Elective Residence Visa

 You have to apply for it at the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country, just like the other types of Italian visas. The processes involved in the application are as follows:

  1. At the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country which is responsible for your jurisdiction, book an appointment.
    1. You can submit the application at the embassy/consulate of any other Schengen country that Italy has outsourced visa submissions to, or a visa application center, if your country does not have an Italy embassy or consulate.
  2. Download the Italy long-stay visa application form, the complete and sign it.
  3. Show up on time, holding all the required documents, on the date of your appointment.
  4. Pay the Italy visa fee and wait for your visa to be processed.
  5. If your visa gets an approval, you can then travel to Italy and apply for an Italian residence permit.

Getting an Italian Residence Permit

You must apply for an Italian Residence Permit (permesso di soggiorno) within eight days of travelling to Italy. The application process for this is as follows:

  1. From the local post office where you will live, get the residence permit application tool kit.
  2. Complete and submit the application tool kit (along with photocopies of all required documents) back at the post office. You will be given a receipt and an appointment for the next phase of the application.
  3. Go to your local police headquarters (Questura) and submit original copies of all the required documents. They will ask you some questions and also take your fingerprints.
  4. While you wait for processing, the Questura will notify you when your residence permit is ready for pick up.
  5. Go and get your residence permit for your stay in Italy.

You become eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit once you have lived in Italy for up to five years with the temporary residence permit. The duration for the residence permit is one to two years, after which you have the opportunity to renew it. You can go ahead to apply for Italian citizenship after living up to ten years in Italy with the permanent residence permit.

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