Elective Residency Visa
An Italian elective residency Visa is a good alternative for those that do not qualify for Dual Italian Citizenship by ancestry. It is generally granted for a period up to 3 years, and it can generally be renewed.
To obtain an elective residency Visa, an applicant must show that he or she has income deriving from a pension, a trust, or real estate. In addition, a Visa applicant must show that he or she has already made arrangements to buy or lease the home to be elected as future residence.
The elective residency Visa application must be filed with the Italian Consulate having jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence. The Italian consular office has discretion in determining whether the applicant has sufficient economic means to support himself and his family. There is no minimum amount for the pension, trust, or rental payments received; in cases where this amount is relatively low, an elective residency Visa application can nonetheless be granted if the applicant can also show the existence of other economic means, such as income deriving from a foreign business. Visa denials can be appealed to an Italian administrative Court.
An elective residency Visa holder is entitled to enroll in the National Health Service for health insurance coverage for the duration of the residency Visa. This privilege is also extended to the spouse and children. In fact, the spouse and minor children of an elective residency Visa holder can also obtain the same residency permit if the primary applicant can show the financial ability to support them as well. Of course, minor children will also be allowed to attend public schools.
Because it is mostly designed for retirees and wealthy individuals, this Visa does not allow its holder and dependents to work under any circumstance. However, individuals of Italian heritage that have lawfully resided in Italy for at least 3 years may be able to apply for Italian citizenship through an expedited naturalization path.