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Starting January 2017, Italian immigration law makes visas available to immigrant investors seeking to enter Italy to engage in capital investments that benefit the Italian economy. Particular attention is given to funding leading to job creation and to investments connected with start-up companies, advanced training, scientific research and patronage activities.

 

In addition, in an effort to attract foreign investments, tax and financial reliefs for foreigners transferring their tax residency in Italy are provided for.

 

To qualify as an immigrant investor, a foreign national must invest the following minimum capital euro amounts:

 

  • At least 2 million in Italian government bonds - funds to be kept for a period of at least 2 years; or

 

  • At least 1 million in equity instruments of company based and operating in Italy or 500.000 in case of a start-up company; or

 

  • At least 1 million philanthropic funding supporting projects of public interest in the field of culture, education, immigration, scientific research, recovery of cultural assets and landscapes.

 

Other eligibility conditions:

 

  • Provide documentary evidence of being the beneficial owner of the above amounts, which must be in any case readily available and transferable to Italy;

 

  • Submit a written declaration whereby the applicant undertakes the commitment to use the funds above for the relevant purpose within 3 months from entry into Italy;

 

  • In addition to the above, provide documentary evidence of the availability of funds above the minimum threshold set for the healthcare contribution (8.500,00 euro).

 

In July 2017, the Italian government has announced the publication of the Investor's Visa implementing decree (Inter-ministerial decree July 21 2017).

 

The decree lays down the preliminary guidelines and provides information on the procedure and documents required.

 

In particular, it provides clarification on the type of investments and donations that may ensure the eligibility conditions for the Investor's visa, determines the authorities in charge of processing the applications and describes the procedure for filing the visa and residence permit application as well as the conditions for the permit renewal.

 

Below is a summary of the main points of the decree:

 

  • The authority in charge of evaluating the applicant’s eligibility conditions is a special Committee made of various authorities among which representatives of Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of External Affairs and of Tax Authorities and Financial Police;

 

  • The applications will be managed through an online platform yet to be created;

 

  • Among the documents required, the applicant needs to submit a police clearance for each country where he/she has lived in the previous 10 years;

 

  • The application will follow 3 basic steps: online clearance (nulla osta) application; visa application at the Consulate in the foreign country; residence permit application in Italy;

 

  • Within 3 months from the date of entry, the applicant must provide documented evidence of the investment or donation. Failing to do so will result in denial of residence permit;

 

  • In case of disinvestment before the terms or if the holder is untraceable, the residence permit can be revoked at any time;

 

  • After 2 years, the residence permit can be renewed for additional 3 years, further to the approval from the committee.

 

Despite the publication of the implementing decree, the Investor’s Visa is not operative yet.

Applications will be possible only after the online platform is published and the relevant operations manual is ready.

The investors visa holder shall receive a 2 years valid investors residence permit (permesso di soggiorno “per investitori”), renewable for further 3 years (as per the current law provisions after 5 years of legal stay and provided the eligibility requirements are met, a foreign national can apply for permanent residency i.e. EC residence permit for long term residents, valid indefinitely).

The issuance of the permit is subject to the verification that the investment has effectively been completed within 3 months of entry in the country.

The permit can be revoked even before its expiration date, if it is ascertained that the investment has been withdrawn before the 2 years’ term.

The renewal of the permit after the first 2 years of validity is subject to the verification that the funds where duly invested within 3 months of entry and the that the investment is still ongoing at the time of renewal.
Family members of investors visa/permit holders are eligible for a residence permit for family reasons.

Specific penalties are foreseen with regards to the proof of the lawful source of funds (art. 648-bis, 648-ter; 648-ter.1 of Penal Code and Art. 12 quinquies L. D. 365/1992 – provisions on money laundering, investment of money of illegal provenance, self- money laundering, smuggling etc.)

 

For information mm@mazzeschi.it 

 

 

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