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Elective Residence Visa Italy
  • dimartinolaw
  • May 13, 2024

Elective Residence Visa Italy: Best Way to Live in Italy Without Working

If you plan to live a peaceful and beautiful life in Italy but do not want work obligations, then an Italian Elective Residence Visa is for you. The Italian Elective Residence Visa is a specific category of visa the Italian government provides to those who want to live in Italy for personal reasons such as retirement or leisure and do not intend to engage in any type of work. 

In this blog, you will learn about an Italian elective residence visa, its basic requirements, its benefits, and tips to help you succeed. 

What Is the Italian Elective Residence Visa? 

elective residence visa italy

Italian Elective Residence Visa, often called the “retirement visa,” is a comprehensive visa that allows non-EU natives to reside in Italy without working. It is for people who wish to retire, invest in their hobbies, or go to Italy just to enjoy the Italian lifestyle. This visa is well-suited for people with enough income to support themselves without getting involved in employment or business in Italy.

To meet the Italian Elective Residence Visa criteria, applicants must show a steady income, which may be from pensions, investments, or any source of passive income, that is enough to maintain a lifestyle in Italy without having to work. The requested amount of money could depend on different variables, including the candidate’s age, the size of his/her family, and the preferred city in Italy. Usually, the income requirement for living in Italy is $35,000 per year. 

Apart from financial clauses, the candidate must meet other requirements, such as a suitable place to live in Italy and health insurance coverage. The candidate must also submit a thorough visa application consisting of proof of income and supporting documents.

Now, let us look at the necessary documents required for an Italian elective residence visa in detail. 

What Are the Documents Required for an Italian Elective Residence Visa? 

residence visa

The applicant commonly requires a comprehensive set of documents for the Italian Elective Residence Visa. They should be at a level that shows the candidate is worthy of the visa. The required documents include:


  1. Visa Application Form: Fill in the application with the correct details honestly and accurately.
  2. Valid Passport: For your travel to Italy, your passport must be valid for at least three months after your projected return date from Italy.
  3. Passport Photos: Include recent photos to give your  application visual support.
  4. Proof of Financial Means: Provide proof of financial stability such as bank statements, pension statements, income earned from investments, or other sources.
  5. Proof of Accommodation: The proof will confirm where you will stay, whether it is a rental apartment or an ownership of a home in Italy.
  6. Medical Insurance: Ensure you have health insurance coverage valid in Italian territory for medical emergencies and any treatment required during your stay.
  7. Flight Itinerary: You must submit a copy of your flight itinerary/travel arrangements.
  8. Cover Letter: Write a cover letter elaborating on your desire to be in Italy and any other supporting details you need to give to make your choice of being in Italy understandable.
  9. Police Clearance Certificate: Provide a police clearance report from your home country, stating you have no criminal offense record.
  10. Other Supporting Documents: You may need to supplement your application with documents such as marriage contracts and birth certificates.

What Is the Duration of an Italian Elective Residence Visa? 

residence visa italy

The period of an Italian Elective Residence Visa can differ depending on your situation and how the Consulates operate. Usually, the validity of the visa before it expires is one year. This visa allows you to enter Italy. 

After entering Italy, you need to proceed to the essential elements by going straight to the Immigration office to apply for the residence permit within the eight-day time frame set by law. Therefore, the temporary right to stay is initially valid for one year.

If your first year is satisfactory to the local authorities concerning your health insurance and sufficient financial means, your permit will be renewed for one more year. Renewed permits allow a stay of up to two years in accordance with the procedures of specific rules and regulations.

What Are the Benefits of the Italian Elective Residence Visa? 

With the Italian Elective Residence Visa, one can stay in Italy without taking up a job. Some of the key benefits include the following:

1. Residency in Italy

After getting an Italian Elective Residence Visa, you have the right to remain in Italy for one year and can extend this stay as well.

2. No Work Requirement

There are no working requirements to apply for an Italian elective residence visa. It is for those with sufficient income from sources like investment, pension, etc., and do not need to engage in any employment activity. 

3. Freedom to Explore Italy

With the Italian Elective Residence Visa, the individual can experience a new environment, learn about the culture, and cherish the country’s unique artistic and tasty delicacies.

4. Opportunity for Extended Stay

Elective Residence visa renewals are easily granted so that you can spend more time in Italy (more than one year). However, the visa will be renewed only if your circumstances comply with the established requirements.

5. Potential for Citizenship

After living in Italy for five years on an Italian Elective Residence Visa, you can apply for a stay card in Italy. Afterward, living in Italy for 10 years, you can apply for full-fledged citizenship. 

How to Get an Italian Elective Residence Visa? 

elective residence visa italy

An Italian Elective Residence Visa requires clarity of intention and several needed documents. Here’s how to apply for one: 

1. Check Eligibility

Before applying for an Italian elective residence visa, check the eligibility criteria, review the requirements, and ensure you fulfill all the requirements. 

2. Prepare Required Documents

Providing the needed paperwork such as:

  • Visa Application Form
  • Passport
  • Passport size Photos
  • Proof of Financial Means
  • Income from investments and Other Sources
  • Proof of Accommodation
  • Property Ownership
  • Medical Insurance
  • Police Clearance Certificate

3. Schedule an Appointment

Book an appointment with your Italian Consulate or Embassy in your country of origin and visit it to submit your visa application.

4. Submit Your Application

Submit your application with all the attached documents. Ensure the information in the application form is correct and avoid last-minute changes. 

5. Pay the Visa Fee

Check the application fees from the Italian Embassy’s official website and make the payment. 

6. Interview 

Schedule the interview with the Consulate’s official and be present at the appointment date. Communicate everything clearly and honestly. Be clear about your reason for visiting or residing in Italy. 

7. Wait for Processing

The visitor center will assess your papers and undertake any relevant scrutiny. The time to process may vary, so wait for your application to process successfully.

Do You Need a Health Insurance Coverage for an Italian Elective Residence Visa?

Yes, you need health insurance coverage for an Italian Elective Residence Visa. Health insurance is one of the basic requirements for residing in Italy and is one of the most important for a successful application. 

The insurance policy should meet the following criteria:

  1. Adequate Coverage: The policy must cover programs that include different illnesses and emergency cases.
  2. Validity in Italy: The insurance should ideally be adequate in Italy for the entire duration of your stay.
  3. Minimum Coverage Amount: Consulates often demand minimum insurance coverage of approximately 30,000 Euros to ensure that you have adequate financial coverage for medical emergencies during your stay abroad.
  4. Pre-existing Conditions: It is better to receive a policy that covers any past medical problems.

Get Your Italian Elective Residence Visa at the Earliest With the Help of Naturalization and Immigration Lawyer 

Immigration Lawyer

Going for an Italian Elective Residence Visa allows one to appreciate the charms of Italy. This visa opens up a possible path of retirement or getting into living abroad for retirees or even those with enough income and resources to explore the country’s culture, history, and stunning natural scenery. Nevertheless, the application phase might not be easy and sometimes causes minor difficulties that prevent you from moving ahead. 

However, the Italian Elective Residence Visa format poses a severe headache, but getting a passionate lawyer’s help greatly simplifies everything. A lawyer can assist you in your application through their knowledge of the law, preventing it from conflicting with Italian immigration laws and regulations. 

Also, a lawyer can help you to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a visa holder and stay aware of new regulation proclamations. They can help you with the approval process and overcome many barriers to success. To find such efficient and knowledgeable professionals, contact Di Martino Law Group, a U.S.-based law firm that provides the best naturalization and immigration attorneys. 


1. Is there any age restriction for an Italian Elective Residence Visa?

No, there is no age restriction for an Italian Elective Residence Visa. 

2. What is the limitation of an Italian Elective Residence Visa?

An Italian Elective Residence Visa is limited to one year’s validity, after which you must renew it every two years. 

3. Does the Italian Elective Residence Visa provide permanent residency? 

Yes, you can apply for a stay permit after living on an Italian Elective Residence Visa for five years and for permanent residency after living in Italy for 10 years. 

4. What types of income are commonly accepted for an Italian Elective Residence Visa? 

Incomes such as investments, pensions, savings, rental properties, etc, are commonly accepted for an Italian Elective Residence Visa. 


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