Italy has plans to introduce golden visa (investment residency) to wealthy high net worth foreign investors, who want to move and live in Italy.
The 2017 Budget Law introduces a new investment visa called ‘special investment visa’ for foreign investors who commit to invest atleast
- € 1,000,000 in Italian company shares invested for 2 years
- € 2,000,000 in Italian Government bonds investors for 2 years
- € 1,000,000 as charitable gift or in public interest projects such as science, research, culture, environmental projects.
The new provisions, already contained in the draft 2017 Budget Law, were discussed and approved by the Italian Parliament on 7 December 2016 and made effective as of 1 January 2017. However, these measures will only be fully applicable after the implementing decrees have been issued detailing their application. These are currently expected to be issued by the end of March 2017 but it could well take longer before the new measures are fully implemented. [ Source: Henley & Partners]
The investment visa will allow the foreign citizen to obtain fast track italian residence permit for two years, with the possibility to extend it for additional three year periods. Family and children also qualify for italian residency. Investors also have to demonstrate they will continue to have additional income of an amount higher than the minimum amount for an exemption from healthcare contributions (approximately EUR 8,500 per year).
There is no requirement for investors to live permanently in Italy. Once the residence permit (Carta di soggiorno) is issued, investors can move freely in schengen states.
Italy already offers startup visa to attract and retain innovative entrepreneurs from all over the world. Please see: http://italiastartupvisa.mise.gov.it/
Italian golden visa scheme do not have provisions to invest in real estate sector. The investment amount for italian golden visa is still too expensive for many investors.
Portugal and Spain are already offering golden visas to international investors for just € 500,000 euros investment in real estate (buying a home/property), UK is already offering tier1 investor visa for £2,000,000 pounds.
Italian citizenship is only possible after 10 years of living despite investing 1 million euros and must pass italian language test.
It is not entirely clear whether italian investor visa scheme will be attractive to investors. Malta is already offer EU citizenship in 12 months for as much the same investment amount of around € 1,000,000. Cyprus on the other hand, gives EU citizenship in just 6 months for € 2,000,000 euros against buying a home or Government bonds under citizenship-by-investment scheme. Why wait for 10 years to get italian citizenship despite investing 1 million euros?
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