Step-by-Step Guide to Elective Residence Visa Italy

A step-by-step guide to obtaining an Elective Residence Visa in Italy, detailing eligibility requirements, necessary documents, and the application process.

Jul 10, 2024 - 18:13
Jul 10, 2024 - 18:15
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Are you planning to move to Italy? Italy is an excellent choice whether you want a dreamy, stressless retirement or a year-long extended stay. It is one of the world's most culturally rich and historically significant countries. 


Its picturesque landscapes, world-renowned cuisine, and vibrant art scene attract people from all over the globe. However, to realize your dream, you must secure an elective residence visa approved by the Italian consulate. 


In this quick read, we will explain everything about the laws surrounding this elective residence visa, Italy-specific visa laws, and the steps to apply for it.


What Does an Elective Residency Visa Mean?

It’s a one-year visa for all non-EU citizens wishing to settle in Italy. However, they should not be actively working or employed. It also allows holders to make long-term visits. An elective residency visa is best for people who get regular pension incomes or have tons of savings.


With an elective residency visa, you can: 


  • Travel between Schengen countries.

  • Leverage free public education for dependents if they are children. 

  • Get free registration with National Health Care of Italy.


Steps to Apply for the Elective Residence Visa

Any type of visa application process may seem daunting. But breaking it down into simple steps helps. So, let us walk you through the steps to apply for your elective residence visa at the Italian consulate. 

1. Determine Your Eligibility

The first thing to do is ensure you are pre-qualified for the visa. You need to have a stable and high ongoing income or significant savings. The visa in question is not for people seeking employment in Italy. It's for people with sufficient financial resources to sustain a life in the country without working.


You must have a steady income of €31,000/annum at minimum for individuals. For couples, the amount goes to €38,000. However, it may further increase if you are moving with dependents. Additionally, you need evidence of accommodation (e.g., a lease agreement or ownership of the immovable property).

2. Gather Required Documentation

Once you have checked your eligibility, arranging all necessary documents is most important. This typically involves the following: 


For single individuals: 


  • Completed application form.

  • Provide previous passports. Submit at least two blank pages (One original and one photocopy). You will get your passport accompanied by a visa if approved. 

  • Original and photocopy of valid UK residence permit and share code (eVisa).

  • The passport-size photograph of a full face, front view, and white background. The photos should not be older than six months.

  • Steady passive income proof like pensions, annuities, real estate, or other investments and businesses (no part-time jobs). This should also contain official bank letters, UK social security letters, financial consultant's reports, and tax returns for the past two years.

  • Italian deed of lease or property purchase.

  • Cover letter to announce your intention to move to Italy. 


For dependents (husband/spouse and children): 

  • Adequate economic support is necessary to sustain them.

  • Birth/Marriage certificate-original and one photocopy. Marriage certificates older than six months are not valid.

  • Translation of foreign certificates (Hague Apostille) in English or Italian signed by the diplomatic representative for a UK country and, if not available (the country does not have a Consulate).

  • Certificates from all Schengen countries are considered valid if they have been made multilingual or officially translated.


One-way travel booking- ticket (Both visa holder and dependents):

  • Print out operator tickets with name, date, and from/today for air/trains/buses.

  • Ferry or Eurotunnel tickets, vehicle registration documents, car insurance policy (all original+copy), driving license, and rental car documents for road trips.

  • Travel tickets proving that you have crossed from multiple Schengen countries.

  • Direct sold-ticket by 3rd party services (must be UK or Schengen Area).

3. Submit Your Visa Application

Now you have the documents and are ready to apply. Your home country's Italian consulate or embassy typically takes care of this. So, fill in all forms as accurately and completely as possible to prevent delays.

4. Attend the Visa Interview

After you submit your visa application, officials will process your application and invite you to an in-person interview. The consulate scrutinizes your paperwork and inquires whether it suggests that you are truly serious about residing in Italy. Be prepared to respond to inquiries about your assets, address, and reasons for moving.


You can hire individual lawyers or law firms to prepare your documents and mock interviews. For instance, Di Martino Law Group is known to have qualified visa lawyers with high success rates. Thus, you can pass the interview and paperwork with much ease, leveraging their services. 

5. Wait for Visa Approval

With the interview well in hand, you have to wait for approval. It may take weeks, so you need some patience here. During this period, the officials will review your application and any documentation you provided. So, ensure that all copies are neat and accurate. 


Things to Consider While Applying 

The application process is not enough to get an elective residence visa; Italy-based laws require more than that. But for you to start your newly found life in Italy, the following are some of the metrics that you must take into consideration:


1. Long-term Plan For a Comfortable Life 

Have a plan for how you and your dependents can sustain life while you move to Italy with your existing resources. You need to consider medical care that public healthcare services don’t cover, dealing with potential language barriers, and alignment with the local culture. Ensure you have proactive assistance to overcome these issues while maintaining a memorable life. For language, you can join available courses. 


2. Legal Preparation 

Ensure to be ready for the following legally-bounded factors: 


  • Taxes: Understand the tax implications of retiring in Italy. You may be subject to Italian taxes on your global income. So, ensure to get a clear picture of your tax obligations to avoid any surprises.

  • Registration with Local Authorities: Upon arrival, you must register with the local police (Questura) and obtain a residence permit. It'll help you stay in Italy legally and access local services.

  • Bank Account: Open an Italian bank account to conveniently manage your finances. This will make handling daily expenses, paying bills, and receiving local income easier.


3. Renewal and Residency Permit

As mentioned above, you will get an elective residence visa for one year. But you can extend it if needed. Eventually, once you get your visa, you must apply for a residency permit in Italy (Permessi di Soggiorno). So, be ready with the renewal requirements and maintain your residency permit to show.


Apply for a Residency Visa With Ease

Getting an elective residence visa Italy-based application approved is a complex process. However, it is achievable if you prepare carefully and adhere to the guidelines and laws. Ensure you have a steady and sufficient income, proper accommodation, and comprehensive health insurance


Gather all required original documents and consider consulting with immigration experts to navigate the stringent requirements of Italian Consulates. Following the steps outlined in this guide can increase your chances of successfully obtaining the visa and enjoying a fulfilling life in Italy.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need health insurance to apply for the Italian elective residence visa? 

Before applying, you must purchase an international health insurance policy for €30,000 a year to cover all medical costs.


2. Can you book a hotel room in Italy with the elective residence visa?

No, you can't make hotel reservations or use Airbnb or similar types of accommodation. Italian consulates do not allow such bookings. However, you will need to show a notarized lease agreement. Ensure your lease agreement complies with the country's laws. 


3. Do I need original documents to apply for the elective residence visa? 

Yes, you must bring all original documents to your interview at the Italian consulate. Exceptions are made only for simple documents like bank statements and tax returns.


4. Do I need assistance with an elective residence visa for Italy?

Yes, obtaining this visa is challenging, and Italian consulates have strict requirements. We highly recommend seeking assistance from immigration lawyers who are experts in Italian visas.

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