Retiring in Italy Everything you Need to Know Before You Move

Italy is a remarkable country with a rich history, scenic landscapes and warm weather, making it the perfect choice as a retirement destination. When considering a move to Italy, it is important to understand what to expect, whether you need legal advice, and the requirements you need to meet before taking the step to permanently relocate.

In this guide, we will explain the full requirements you need to meet before moving to Italy, as well as how British citizens can retire there after Brexit, and the steps you need to take if you intend to become a dual citizen. We will also discuss the visa options, including the Golden Visa, and the pros and cons of choosing Italy as your new domicile.

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Find out more about the requirements you need to meet

If you wish to move to Italy as a retiree, there are a few elements you need to consider

If you are already dual citizen, it will be easier to retire in Italy

Brexit has impacted how British citizens can move around the EU

Consider the different visas you can apply for when considering moving to Italy

Find out more about the Golden Visa, or investment visa

Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages before retiring in Italy

What are the Requirements when Retiring in Italy?

Before retiring in Italy, you need to meet certain requirements. You must prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself without working; the general rule is an annual income of €31,000 per year for a single person, and €38,000 for a couple. You must also have medical insurance, a place to live, and an elective residency visa.

You must apply for an elective residency visa and a permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno) within eight days of arrival in Italy. To find out more about the various requirements before retiring in Italy.

Can I Retire in Italy as a Foreign or British National?

Anyone can retire in Italy providing they meet the general requirements. The process of retiring in Italy differs if you are not an EU citizen, but it is not impossible. As mentioned, you can apply for an elective residency visa and you can buy or rent property in Italy, both of which an Italian lawyer (Avvocato) can assist with.

To receive healthcare, you must fill out an S1 form once you get there, and you can put your spouse or any children under 26 on the form as well. You can also still claim your work and state pensions once you move to Italy. Italy has a scheme whereby foreign nationals may pay a 7% tax on any foreign income, including pensions if they relocate to the Southern areas of Italy such as Sicilia and Puglia. This is part of an incentive to get more non-Italian residents to move to southern Italy. However, if you have previously lived in Italy, you cannot take advantage of this scheme.

You can find out more about retiring in Italy as a foreign national in our previous guide. For advice specific to British nationals, you can find out more here.

Dual Citizenship Retirement

It may be easier to retire and live in Italy if you have dual citizenship; you can work and study in other European Union (EU) countries, have access to EU medical care and vote in Italian elections. However, you must meet the same requirements as everyone else when retiring in Italy, such as sufficient income and a visa.

To apply for dual citizenship, you must have lived in Italy for ten years or more. You can apply on the grounds of descent, but your ancestor must not have denounced their Italian citizenship. You must be able to prove your lineage to the Italian consulate. Your spouse can apply for dual citizenship after three years of marriage. If you live together in Italy, your spouse can apply after two years, which drops to one year if you have a child together.

To find out more about retiring in Italy and dual citizenship, and how an Italian lawyer can help you, please read our previous guide here.

Two passports on Italian flag background.

Retiring in Italy After Brexit

It is still possible for UK nationals to retire in Italy after Brexit, but the processes have changed slightly. The most suitable visa to apply for is the Italian Elective Residency Visa. There are many benefits to retiring to Italy, even after Brexit, including a cheaper cost of living, better healthcare and a suitably warm climate.

The amount of time it takes to acquire an elective residency visa depends on providing all the appropriate documents. You must assemble your documents, such as your passport, proof of income and bank statements, before applying. It usually takes between one and three months for the consulate to process your application, and you can obtain your residency permit once you get to Italy. An Italian Avvocato can help you during this process.

To find out more about retiring in Italy after Brexit, please read our previous guide here.

What are my Visa Options?

When retiring to Italy, the two visa options that you can choose from are the elective residency visa and the Italian Golden Visa. The latter is an investment programme, and can be applied for by retirees who wish to invest in Italy. You are not permitted to carry out any paid work to qualify for these visas. For any long-stay visa, you must apply through the Italian consulate or embassy.

You can apply for these visas no matter whether you are already in Italy or not. The maximum time it takes to be granted an elective residency visa is three months, but it is often a far shorter time unless there are problems during the application process. To find out more about your visa options, you can read our previous guide here.

United Kingdom visa in passport

What is a Golden Visa?

The Italian Golden Visa is an investment visa that can be applied for by retirees who make a the qualifying investment into Italy, and is a potential route into citizenship. The type of investments you need to make include:

  • Capital investment into existing Italian companies

  • Investment in bonds or government securities

  • Philanthropic donations

  • Real estate investment

  • Startup investments

In order to qualify for a golden visa, you must be able to prove your investment and that any funds are derived from legal sources, as well as have health insurance, a clean criminal record, and meet the minimum stay requirements.

To find out how to apply for a golden visa, please see our previous guide here.

What are the Pros and Cons of Retiring in Italy?

There are various benefits to retiring in Italy, including the exceptional healthcare system, rich culture, warm weather and less strict entry requirements. There are, however, some things to consider when choosing Italy as your retirement destination, including the need for adequate funds and the fact that it can be harder to enter for UK nationals after Brexit. You can find out more in our previous guide.

Retiring to Italy can be made easier by consulting Giambrone and Partners’ Italian Avvocatos, who can compile all necessary documents and communicate with the Italian consulate on your behalf. To find out more, or to book a consultation, get in touch today.