Retiring in Italy: What Are My Visa Options?

When moving to a different country, you will almost always need a visa in order to stay there long-term. Some countries even require foreign visas to obtain a visa for short stays and holidays. As a British national, you do not need a visa when staying in Italy short-term, such as on holiday, but you will need one if you are planning to live and/or retire there. There are various Italian visas to consider if you wish to eventually become an Italian citizen, and different requirements you need to meet depending on the visa type.

Here, you will discover the visas that are available when retiring in Italy, how to apply for an Italian retirement visa, and the various requirements. We will also discuss how long it can take to be granted a visa, and how Giambrone and Partners can assist.

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More about the different Italian visas available to you

How you can obtain an Italian retirement visa and become an Italian citizen

The steps you must complete before your application can be successful

Find out more about obtaining a visa whilst in Italy

The time span you can expect before your visa is granted

How we can assist

The Visas are available when Retiring in Italy

If you are planning to retire in Italy, you will need an Italian retirement visa, also known as an elective residency visa (Residenza Elettiva). This visa is perfect for anyone who wishes to live in Italy, gain Italian citizenship, and has the funds to support themselves. These funds could be in the form of savings, investment income or a work/state pension

An Italian Golden Visa is also an option for anyone wishing to retire in Italy. The Golden Visa programme is an investment visa and can be applied for by retirees if they wish to invest in Italy. It is also known as an Italian investor visa and allows retirees to eventually gain Italian citizenship.

In order to qualify for the elective residency visa, you are not permitted to carry out any paid work whilst living in Italy.

For individuals who are not planning to retire the other popular Italian visas include:

  • Italian work visa
  • Italian family visa
  • Italian study visa
  • Italian self-employed visa
  • Italian working holiday visa

Each visa has certain requirements. You can find out more by speaking to an experienced Italian solicitor.

How Do I Apply for a Visa to Retire in Italy?

For any Italian long-stay visa, you must apply through the Italian consulate or embassy. You can also apply via a visa application centre that Italy has outsourced visa applications to.

You must first book an appointment with the Italian consulate or application centre, and complete the retirement visa application form. Prior to your appointment, you must gather all of the necessary documents to bring to your appointment, with your completed application form. You must then pay the processing fee, which is non-refundable even if you are not granted a retirement visa.

Our English-speaking Italian immigration lawyers can help guide you through this process to ensure that there are no omissions in your documentation and all crucial information is included.

A group of retired people celebrating in Italy

What are the Requirements for Italian Retirement Visas?

There are several requirements that those wishing to retire in Italy must meet. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have sufficient proof of their ability to support themselves financially whilst living in Italy. This could be in the form of pensions, rental income and stocks and shares. For single people must have a least €31,000 in passive income, which increases to €38,000 for married couples and an extra 20% for each dependant close family member. If applying from the Italian Consulate in London you will need to show €31,000 per applicant even if you are married in passive income. 

Anyone moving to Italy with an elective residency visa will also need proof of accommodation for permanent residence, health insurance and a valid passport. An applicant must also have a clean criminal record. As previously mentioned, applicants must have completed the Italian long-stay visa application form, paid the visa application fee, and have civil marital status documents if they are married.

You can find out more about retiring in Italy as a non-Italian national in our previous guide here.

Can You Apply for an Elective Residence Visa from Italy?

You can apply for an elective residency visa no matter where you are. If you are already in Italy on a short-stay visa, you can still apply for a long-stay visa within the country. If you are based in the UK, it is recommended that you seek legal advice from English-speaking Italian solicitors to help the process run smoothly.

Mountain biking in italy

How Long Does It Take to be Granted an Italian Retirement Visa?

The maximum term it should take to be granted an elective residence visa by law is 90 days (three months). However, it doesn’t usually take this long unless there are issues with the application process. If you consult one of Giambrone & Partners’ Italian immigration lawyers to help you gather everything you need for your meeting with the Italian consulate, the process may take less than three months.

Consult one of our English-speaking Italian lawyers to start your Italian visa application process today.

How Giambrone and Partners Can Help

We have vast experience helping UK nationals retire in Italy. We can help with the translation into Italian of all the important documents and set up your meeting with the Italian consulate, providing valuable advice and gathering the necessary documents.

To find out more, please get in contact with our Italian solicitors today.

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