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Italian Elective Residence Visa
  • dimartinolaw
  • July 9, 2024

How to Get an Italian Elective Residence Visa: Mastering the Process

Do you ever dream of waking up to stunning Italian views? Italy actually offers a lot of things – charming villages, delicious food, a good public healthcare system, and much more. The best part is that it all comes at a reasonable cost. No wonder it’s a favorite retirement spot. The Elective Residence Visa is your key to unlocking this dream.

This visa lets retirees with enough savings live comfortably in Italy without needing a job. This guide simplifies the process of getting an Italian elective residence visa. We’ll explain who qualifies and what documents you need for a smooth application.

What is the Italian Elective Residence Visa?

Italian Elective Residence Visa

The Italian elective residence visa, also known as the retirement visa, allows financially independent foreign citizens to live in Italy for an extended period of time. Unlike a work visa, it doesn’t require employment. Instead, applicants must demonstrate they have sufficient funds to live through retirement. This could be retirement income, investments, or other passive income.

This visa primarily caters to retirees and individuals with substantial personal wealth who want to choose Italy as their permanent residence. They must be financially independent, which means that they cannot rely on working in Italy, not as an employee or even remotely. Therefore, people opting for this visa need to prove that they have an adequate amount of wealth through passive income sources that can support their stay in Italy. 

Essential Documents You Require for Obtaining the Italian Elective Residence Visa

Italian Elective Residence Visa

Securing the Italian elective residence visa requires compiling a number of forms and documents. The most important thing that you need to show is your eligibility for a comfortable life in Italy. This makes sure that you don’t rely on local employment. Here’s a list of requirements you would need to fulfill: 

1. Financial Self-Sufficiency

Being financially independent is a core requirement. You need to demonstrate a stable income stream that allows you to pay for your living expenses in Italy. The minimum annual income to demonstrate is €31.000 which is approximately $35,000

Kindly note that this threshold increases for each dependent family member accompanying you (spouse, children, etc.) by at least 20%. The purpose is to ensure you won’t become a burden on the Italian social security system. Acceptable sources of income include pensions, annuities, property rentals, company dividends, etc. 

2. Italian Accommodation

Before applying, make sure to secure accommodation in Italy. This demonstrates that you have a plan and won’t be homeless upon arrival. Two acceptable ways to prove this are:

  • Lease Agreement: A signed agreement with a landlord for renting an apartment or house in Italy.
  • Documented Property Purchase: Proof of ownership for a property you’ve purchased in Italy.

3. Valid Health Coverage

Italian authorities require you to have health insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000 per annum. This is to ensure compliance with the EU health insurance criteria. Valid medical insurance also makes sure that you can access necessary medical care without having to rely on the Italian public healthcare system.

4. Valid Passport

For the Italian elective residency visa, your passport needs to be viable for at least three months. This needs to be beyond the intended expiration date of the visa. 

5. Completed Long-Stay Visa Application Form

Make sure you complete the ‘long-stay visa application form’. Provide accurate and up-to-date information about yourself on the form. Don’t forget to add the date and signature.

6. Police Clearance Documentation

The Italian Consulate or Embassy might request police clearance certificates from your home country to make sure that you have no criminal record. 

How to Secure Your Italian Elective Residence Visa?

Obtaining the Italian elective residence visa involves following a specific process at the local Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. This can be complicated, but once you thoroughly understand the whole process, you’ll be able to keep up with all the requirements you need to fulfill at each stage. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:

1. Schedule an Appointment

The first step to getting an Italian elective residence visa is to contact the Italian Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction in your country. Schedule an appointment to submit your visa application.

2. Alternative Submission Locations

If your country doesn’t have an Italian Embassy or Consulate, you may be able to submit your application at:

  • An Embassy/Consulate of another Schengen country that handles visa applications on Italy’s behalf (if applicable).
  • A designated visa application center (VAC) that is authorized by Italy (if available).

3. Complete the Application Form

Download the official Italian long-stay visa application form. Go through it once to understand the different documents you might need to submit. Once you’ve understood what’s asked of you, fill out your form with accurate and current information. Remember to date and sign the completed form.

4. Assemble Required Documents

Gather all the necessary documents that are outlined in the previous section (financial self-sufficiency, Italian accommodation, valid health coverage, etc.). You need to make sure that they are complete and valid. Translate necessary documents if needed.

5. Attend Your Appointment

Once you’ve secured an appointment at the Consulate, be on time for your scheduled appointment. Bring all your documents and be prepared to answer any questions from the officials.

6. Visa Fee Payment

There will be an associated visa application fee, for which you must pay the required amount using the designated method (cash, credit card, etc.).

7. Visa Processing

Once submitted, your application will be processed by the Italian authorities. However, please note that the processing timeframe can vary. 

8. Visa Approval (Next Steps)

If your visa application is successful, you’ll receive a notification and the visa itself. The next crucial step is to travel to Italy and apply for an Italian residence permit. This should be done within eight days of arrival. This permit allows you to reside in Italy for an extended period. 

9. Denial of the Elective Residence Visa 

If your Visa is denied you can ask the Consulate for a review of your case or you can file an appeal with the Regional Administrative Tribunal in Rome and legal assistance for these circumstances is highly advised.

Make Your Dream Come True with Di Martino Law Group

Turning your retirement dreams into reality requires careful planning. This visa is your ticket to living in Italy, especially as a retiree. However, it can involve significant paperwork, which is why you need an immigration attorney. 

Di Martino Law Group can be your trusted partner in achieving your Italian elective residence visa. We’ll handle the legal complexities and ensure that you have a stress-free transition to your new Italian adventure. We offer personalized support throughout the entire process. Contact us for a consultation today. 


1. How much income do I need to qualify for the Italian elective residence visa? 

The minimum annual income is around €35,000. This shows you can support yourself without relying on Italian employment.

2. Can I use Airbnb as proof of residency? 

No. You’ll need a long-term lease agreement. It could also be a documented property ownership. 

3. What type of health insurance is required? 

You’ll need valid international health insurance. It should have a minimum coverage of €30,000 annually. 

4. What happens after my visa is approved? 

Upon arrival in Italy, you need to apply for an Italian residence permit within eight days. This permit allows you to live there long-term under the elective residency visa program.


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