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What is the Italy Elective Residency Visa?

The Italian elective residency visa is a type of Italian long-stay visa.

It is the type of Italian visa for foreigners – retired persons, persons with high self-sustaining incomes and financial assets – 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.

This means that if you apply for an Italian Elective Residency Visa, you are not allowed to work.  In fact, as a typical prerequisite for this kind of visa, you must prove you can support yourself in other ways (such as through pensions, annuities, property income, income from joint stock or shareholding in a company, etc.).


When you submit an application for an Italy Elective Residency Visa, you must have a set of documents proving you are eligible to receive it. The requirements for an Italy Elective Residence Visa are:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself without working. You need to bring documented evidence of sufficient financial resources.

For a single person the minimum financial requirement is EUR 31.000 (or equivalent home currency amount). For a married couple it is EUR 38.000. The amount is increased by 20% for every dependant child that comes with you.

Please note that: If property is purchased in Italy, the “minimal financial requirement” in accordance with Italian legislation – approximately €31,000 per annum – is applicable.

  • Proof of lodging Before you move to Italy, you will need to find a suitable place to live. You can prove you have adequate lodging in Italy either through a lease/rental agreement of proof of purchasing.
  • Proof of health insurance – You must purchase international health insurance before you apply for your visa. This has to cover € 30,000 a year and all medical expenses in every EU member state.
  • Valid passport It has to be valid for a minimum of three months after the visa expires and have two blank visa pages.
  • Italy Long-Stay Visa Application Form Before going to the Italian Consulate, obtain the visa application form. Beware that each Consular office might have its own unique application form. Please refer to the Italian Consulate for your specific location and use the form provided. Be sure to complete the form with your full name as it appears on your passport. Complete the Italian Visa application form, but do not sign it as you must sign it before an Italian Consular Visa Officer.
  • Passport-size pictures – They must have 35mm x 45mm dimensions, a white background, and your face must take up 70-80% of the picture.
  • Civil status documents – The requirements for applying as a married couple or an individual are different. In particular, the qualifying thresholds per person are proportionally lower when applying as a couple than when applying as separate individuals. Therefore, in order to apply as a married couple and/or for a dependent the Italian Consulate requires valid evidence of your family relationship. Non-Italian marriage certificates or birth certificates that are not issued from the country where the Consulate is located need to be translated into Italian and validated (e.g., legalized, or with apostille certificate) before you submit them. Check with the local Consulate for their specific policy.
  • Visa Application Fee: EUR 116 per person, cash or Money Order, payable to the Consulate of Italy, with applicant’s name and address on the money order. It is also possible to pay in local currency. Italian Consulates around the world periodically update their websites with the equivalent converted amount in local currency as per the applicable currency exchange rate.
  • Police clearances from your home country.


The Elective Visa Residency will be valid for 6 months, for short stays up to 90 days (valid throughout the Schengen area). Within 8 days upon arrival in Italy, you must register with the local Police Department (Questura) to obtain the Elective Residence Permit , which is the only legal document that legitimizes your stay in the country.

Your Elective Residence permit will be issued for one year, after which you have the opportunity to renew it by the Police Authorities with territorial jurisdiction on condition that all the original requirements continue to be met over time.

Pay attention: The residence permit cannot be renewed or extended if the foreign national has interrupted their stay in Italy for a continuous period of over six months, unless the interruption was due to military service obligations or other serious and substantiated reasons.

Once you have lived in Italy with a temporary residence permit for at least five years, you become eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.

After living in Italy with a permanent residence permit for at least ten years, you can apply for Italian citizenship.

If you are contemplating a move to Italy, our lawyers in the Immigration Team are uniquely placed to approach all your immigration-related questions with efficiency and great commitment. Whether you are interested in obtaining or have been refused such a visa, TIL can assist with the application process or during the appeal stage.

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