The proposition of starting life afresh in another country is exciting, even more, if that country is a European gem. Yes, you guessed it right, we are talking about Italy! The country is an incredible one to live in, whether you want a slice of the European culture or wish to spend your retirement years in luxury. Italy also has the best education and healthcare systems, making it an excellent destination for young families. You can consider a move for lucrative work opportunities because there are plenty of them in this part of the world.
Another great thing about the destination is that you get diverse citizenship routes to explore. You can claim citizenship by descent, marriage, or naturalization, depending on your eligibility. If you qualify for none, you still have a fast and easy option to immigrate through the Golden Visa. Essentially, it lets you get in by investing in the country even if you do not have a heritage, marital relationship, or long-standing residency status. The process is simple and hassle-free as long as you have the requisite funds to invest. Let us explain it in detail.
Golden Visa- Your golden ticket to a new life!
Technically, the Golden Visa is a 2-year investor visa for non-EU citizens who make large investments in Italy. Choosing to retain the investment opens the opportunity for long-term residency, and eventually, citizenship of the country. The most appealing thing about this program is its speed and simplicity compared to traditional immigration routes. If you have the resources to invest, it could be your golden ticket to a new life.
Once you have residency in an EU member state, you automatically get the rights of other EU citizens. You can travel and move freely in the Schengen area, and your family members can do it without additional investment. The Golden Visa was originally started in 2018, but the new regulations for investment in 2020 made it a golden opportunity in the real sense. It is a small price to pay, considering the immense benefits you and your family can secure with the investment.
Why does the Golden Visa make the best choice?
The Golden Visa is meant for high net-worth individuals capable of making massive investments. So you can surely expect a range of benefits with this option. Let us explain why it makes a great choice:
Fast-track process- Right now, the Italian Golden Visa is the highest priority for the country’s government. It is the way to go if you are looking for a fast-track process that gets your application ahead of all others in your local Italian Consulate. Even better, your family members, including your spouse, children, and dependent parents, will also be on high priority. So you need not wait for years as with the other methods.
Risk-free option- If you are stressed about investing big money in Italy, the good news is that it is a risk-free option. You invest only after you get your visa, so there’s hardly a chance of anything going wrong. You only need to provide proof of funds and a declaration of the intention to invest to get started with the process. The investment has to come within three months of getting the Golden Visa. It couldn’t get safer than this!
Physical stay is optional- At times, you may want to secure your residency in Italy with a Golden Visa, but physical stay may not be possible. Thankfully, the country lets investors avail of the option even without residing in the country. The liberal stance is another reason for Italy being one of the choicest destinations for foreign investors.
Tax benefits- Another advantage of a Golden Visa is that you can seek the benefit of a flat tax system. Under this system, your tax bill is flat 100,000€ for all worldwide incomes. It means that you will need to pay only this much, whether your return amounts to € 1 Million or € 1 Billion.
How much to invest?
When it comes to the eligibility requirements for the Golden Visa, an individual over the age of 18 years can apply. But you need to have a clean criminal record and validate a good state of health, both with relevant documents. While these are the essential requirements, the aspect that really matters is the investment. You can click here for a full and detailed guide on the process and eligibility, but we can clear the basics. There are different options in investment amounts, depending on where you invest. These include:
- €2,000,000 in buying Italian government bonds
- €1,000,000 in a philanthropic donation
- €1,000,000 in an Italian limited company
- €500,000 in an innovative startup
The last two options have been cut down to half in 2020, making it even easier to secure the Golden Visa. The objective is to attract potential investors with a lower starting investment. It is a pretty viable option compared to many other EU Golden Visas. Additionally, you have the no-stay benefit that adds to the popularity of Italy as an immigration destination.
What are the documents required?
Like all other immigration options, the Golden Visa also has some documentary requirements. It is wise to have all the documents in place before going ahead with the application because you can save time and last-minute hassles. The best way to start is to have a checklist to ensure that you do not miss out on anything. You will need the following:
- A no impediment certificate (nulla osta) is the first document you will require before you start the procedure.
- A valid passport
- A bank statement validating information about the funds you plan to invest
- Proof of how you obtained these funds
- A health certificate
- Police record for a criminal check
- Requisite documents of family members
How does the process work?
The Golden Visa process is far simpler than any other immigration route. It is only a three-step journey, and you can expect it to finish in months instead of years. Here are the steps of the process:
Pre-approval by the Investor Visa for Italy Committee
The first step requires you to get approval from the Comitato Investor Visa for Italy. It is the inter-institutional body that validates the visa applications to ensure they meet the required criteria. Once they are satisfied, they will issue the nulla osta within thirty days of the application. But it comes only after you submit the entire list of documents mentioned before (except for the nulla osta). The best thing is that you can apply online and for free. Moreover, documents in Italian and English are acceptable, so there are no hassles related to translations.
Get the Golden Visa from the Italian Consulate
Once you have a pre-approval from the Investor Visa Committee, you are all set to get the investor visa from your local consulate. Just make sure you apply within six months of the issue of nulla osta because it is valid for this period. At this stage, you need to provide proof of accommodation (a hotel booking) in Italy and proof of funds to support yourself and your family (€8,500 per person per year).
Fly down and obtain your residence permit
The final step is to fly down to Italy with your Golden Visa and obtain your residence permit within eight days of landing. The local police station will provide a permit, which has two-year validity. After getting the permit, you will have to make the committed investment in the country within three months. The permit can be extended for another three years after the validity period is over. After five years, you get a permanent permit and become eligible for citizenship by naturalization after a ten-year stay in the country.
Why should you seek assistance from lawyers specialized In the Golden Visa?
Although the Golden Visa process sounds relatively short and straightforward, the documentation and steps can easily confuse you. Hiring an expert who specializes in the Golden Visa gives you confidence about both. From assessing the investment options to gathering the valid documents and guiding you through the process, they can take care of everything. Further, they can also guide you about the citizenship option if you have naturalization in mind. An expert has all the best advice and guidance at hand, while a local presence makes you comfortable if you cannot fly down during the initial stages of the process.
Italian Golden Visa is an attractive route to live and work in the country and explore the citizenship option in the long run. It brings the advantage for your entire family as they can move along and start a dream life here. The best thing is that you invest money only after getting the visa, making it a secure and trustworthy choice. The Italian government has gone the extra mile by reducing the investment amount in 2020. If you have the money to buy this golden ticket, you must do it without thinking twice.
Author Bio: Aimée Badeaux is an immigration and business expert who has been associated with the industry for over 10 years. Until recently, when she started working with Outreach Monks, she has been working with top-level immigration companies in Europe, and the Middle East. Her portfolio includes information brochures, marketing copies, and creating education materials for customers.