We chat to Molly, an American English teacher abroad who is now living in Bologna, Italy after stints in Australia, Senegal and other parts of Italy.
Your guide to Italian citizenship, getting an Italian passport, visas and living in Italy.
Why live in Italy?
It’s hard to think of any reason not to move to the place where the famous words “la dolce vita” were first spoken. Living in Italy is indeed ‘a sweet life’ and many have found their way to a Mediterranean lifestyle where they enjoy beautiful weather, wonderful food and stunning landscapes, villages and cities.
On top of that, Italians are welcoming, as warm as the weather and enjoy life to the fullest. Two of the biggest Italian passions are eating and talking and these two often go really well together. No wonder Italy is a popular immigration destination and in different parts of the country, large expats communities can be found.
Finding a job to maintain an Italian lifestyle looks promising as recent numbers show there’s less unemployment these days and of course the country is still world’s 8thlargest economy and 3rd largest in the Eurozone.
Punctuality is not important in Italian work culture and work plans are not taken too strictly. Italians are casual with deadlines, but not with outfits. Don’t count on having a casual Friday at work as looking fashionable is considered a sign of wealth and a good social status so dressing formal is often desirable.
Visas and Permits for Italy
Italy is part of the EU so people with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in Italy.
Here is a list of other visas for non-EU citizens:
The Italian Startup Visa is for new startups or young companies whose business model is innovative. You need to invest at least €50.000 and need to be approved by a specific committee.
Italian residency visas through your family
If your partner/ spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Italy, you are probably eligible for residency. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
Working Holiday Visa
If you are a citizen of New Zealand, Australia, South Korea or Canada between the ages of 18-30 (or 18-35 for Canada), you may be eligible under the Working Holiday Maker programme.
To find out if you need a tourist visa to visit Italy, please use the VisaHQ tool below.
Italian Citizenship by Descent
- If your mother was a citizen of Italy when you were born on or after 1 January 1948, you are probably also a citizen of Italy.
- If your father was a citizen of Italy when you were born, you are probably also a citizen of Italy.
- If one of your grandparents is an Italian citizen and you were born after January 1st 1948, you are probably an Italian citizen too as long as none of your ancestors in this lineage has ever renounced their citizenship.
- If one of your great-grandparents is an Italian citizen and you were born after January 1st 1948, you are probably also an Italian citizen too as long as none of your ancestors in this lineage has ever renounced their citizenship.
Italian Citizenship by naturalisation
- If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after two years of marriage and residence in Italy. If you live abroad you can apply after being married for three years. The timeframes are reduced by half in the presence of children born or adopted by you and your spouse. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
- After having legally resided in Italy for ten years, a non-EU citizen may apply for Italian citizenship and an EU citizen may apply after four years.
Italy Residency by Investment
The Italian government introduced a Residency by Investment programme in January 2017. You can get residency for a period of two years by making one of the following investments. You can renew for a further 3 years as long as you maintain the investment.
- A minimum of EUR 2 million in Italian government bonds
- A minimum of EUR 2 million in Italian corporation bonds or shares (reduced to EUR 500,000 for investment in innovation start-ups)
- A minimum of EUR 1 million in ‘projects of public interest’ (culture, education, immigration management, research and development, arts and heritage)
Here is a link to the official government website
If you would like to speak to one of our immigration law partners about this visa, then please click here.
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