Turkish Law Blog

The Elective Residence Visa for Italy

Özgün Altop Özgün Altop/ Studio Legale Pollavini & Altop
12 March, 2019

The elective residence visa allows to enter to Italy, for the purposes of stay, to the foreigner who intends to settle in Italy and is able to maintain himself independently, without having to rely on employment.

For this purpose, the foreigner will have to provide:

  • adequate and documented guarantees regarding the availability of a dwelling to be elected as a residence, 
  • extensive autonomous, stable and regular economic resources, which can reasonably be expected to continue in the future.

The "extensiveness" (conspicuity) of economic resources is not sufficient, but they must also be "autonomous", i.e. in the full availability of the person concerned, and "stable", i.e. not subject to unexpected and sudden fluctuations, so that their continuity in the future can be reasonably assumed (Sentence n. 6421 of 11.06.2018 of The Regional Administrative Court for Lazio). These resources, which must in any case not be less than 31.000,00 euro/year, must come from ownership:

  • of substantial annuities (pensions, annuities), 
  • from the possession of real estate, 
  • the ownership of stable economic and commercial activities
  • from sources other than employment. 

The balance of the current account "in general" is not taken into account because "it does not constitute an annuity” (Sentence n. 1397 of 05.02.2018 of The Regional Administrative Court for Lazio).

A similar visa may also be issued to the cohabiting spouse, minor children and dependent children of full age who are cohabiting, provided that the above financial capacities are deemed adequate for the latter. In particular, if a visa is also required for the spouse, the amount of monthly income must be increased by at least 20%. The surcharge will be at least 5% for each child for whom a visa is requested. 

Some embassies do not recognize these percentage increases for family members but, for each applicant apply the requirement of 31,000 Euros: an applicant with a wife and a child should therefore prove a total income 31,000x3=93,000 Euros.

The Embassy, in case you buy a property for residential use in Italy, will proceed to apply the "minimum economic requirement" established by Italian law (31,000 euros / year). 

The duration of the visa for Elective Residence issued by the Embassy will be 1 year and will be renewable in Italy at the competent local police headquarters provided that the original requirements continue to be maintained over time. Within 8 days of arrival in Italy, it will be necessary, like for all types of long-term visas, to submit an application for residence permit. With this type of visa  and residence permit it will not be possible to work in Italy. The residence permit cannot be renewed or extended when it turns out that the foreigner has interrupted the stay in Italy for a continuous period of more than six months, unless this interruption is due to the need to fulfill military obligations or other serious and proven reasons. 

After 5 years, you can apply for a long-term residence card, valid for 5 years. After 10 years you can apply for Italian citizenship.

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