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Italy
April 1, 2024
5 min

How to Get Italy Citizenship After Golden Visa

Kenley Henderson

If you’re looking into acquiring Italian citizenship after obtaining a golden visa, this guide will supply all the details necessary to make a decision. The minimal investment amount starts from €250,000.

After 5 years of residency, the investor receives permanent residence and after 10 years — citizenship.

We will delve into the details of the Italy Golden Visa program and explore various investment options for permanent residence.

We’ll discuss the application process for your investor visa and explain how to include family members under this pathway.

How to Get Italy Citizenship After Golden Visa

How to Get Italy Citizenship After Golden Visa

Benefits of Italy Citizenship

With an Italian passport, you can visit 190 destinations visa-free and freely travel through the EU and the Schengen Area. As a citizen of the EU, you and your family will be protected by its regulations.

Life in Italy is comfortable and safe, with a low crime rate, excellent education and healthcare, robust career opportunities, and rich culture.

Italy allows dual citizenship, so you don’t have to give up your first passport if you don’t have to. The country offers several ways to obtain citizenship by investment, including business fields and donation.

Italy Golden Visa Program Overview

The Italy Golden Visa program offers non-EU citizens residency permits in exchange for investments, encouraging foreign direct investment into the country’s economy while providing investors with tax incentives and access to Italy’s beautiful landscapes and cuisine.

Key Benefits of the Italy Golden Visa Program

  • Tax incentives: benefit from a favourable tax regime designed for high-net-worth individuals.

  • Lifestyle perks: enjoy world-class food, wine, art, and culture that make Italy one of Europe’s most sought-after destinations.

  • Schengen Area access: a residence permit allows visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone.

  • Educational opportunities: access top-quality education institutions for yourself or your family members at reduced costs compared to other countries.

  • Backup plan: investors and their family members can enter the country at any time, even when the country borders are closed, and can spend as much time as wanted in Italy.

Compared to other European golden visa programs, Italy boasts a faster application process with an average processing time of 3—6 months from submission until approval. It is significantly shorter than similar schemes in Portugal or Spain.

Investment Options for Italy Golden Visa

Although it is not possible to get Italian citizenship through investment directly, the country does offer a route through the Golden Visa by Investment program.

Applicants choose from 4 investment options:

  • €250,000 — for investing in an innovative start-up;

  • €500,000 — for equity financing to an Italian limited company;

  • €1,000,000 — as a philanthropic donation;

  • €2,000,000 — for a purchase of government bonds.

The investor confirms the legality of receiving funds for the investment contribution and undergoes Due Diligence.

A residence permit under the Italy Golden Visa program is issued for two years. It can then be extended for another three years provided that the investment is maintained. Investors are not required to live in Italy if they do not want to obtain citizenship.

Investors receive citizenship by naturalisation under general conditions. After five years of permanent residence, the investor receives permanent residence and after ten years, citizenship.

Residence Permit and Family Inclusion

Get ready to live la dolce vita with the Italy Golden Visa program, which not only lets you reside in one of Europe’s most beautiful countries but also allows you to include your family members.

Start your application process by gathering your passport, proof of investment made under the Golden Visa program, health insurance coverage valid in Italy, and proof of accommodation, and then submit your application at a designated police station or immigration office within eight days of arriving in Italy.

Including family members:

  • eligible family members: spouses (married or common-law), dependent children under 18 years old (or older if financially dependent), parents over 65 years old who are financially dependent on the investor;

  • fees: adding family members to your residence permit application requires an additional fee of €25,000 per person;

  • application process: to include family members under this scheme, provide their personal information along with supporting documentation such as birth certificates or marriage licences, and proof of financial dependency if applicable.

By including family members in your Italy Golden Visa application, you can establish a new life together in Europe while enjoying the benefits of Italian residency.

Advantages of Being an EU Citizen Applying after Getting Golden Visa

  • Easier application process: EU citizens have a smoother and faster application process due to fewer bureaucratic hurdles.

  • Favourable tax regime: the Italian government offers special tax incentives for new residents coming from other countries, including reduced income taxes on foreign-sourced income and exemption from wealth taxes on assets held outside Italy.

  • Simplified residence permit procedure: EU citizens can enjoy a more straightforward registration process with local authorities once they have settled in their new home country.

  • Including family members: spouse, children under 18, financially dependent adult children and parents are allowed to participate in the Italy Golden Visa program.

How to get Italian citizenship

Italy has one of the strongest passports in the world, allowing visa-free access to 190 destinations. Since Italy is an EU member, its citizen can spend any amount of time in any other EU country, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland

Documents Needed for Application for Italian Passport

A citizenship application form is filled out through the official government bodies in Italy, and submitted along with the documents:

  1. Birth certificates, valid passports, and Italian residence permits of all applying family members. Should be submitted in both original form and in form of notarized and translated copies.

  2. Photographs in passport format of all applicants.

  3. No criminal record certificate issued by the country of origin and any third countries where the applicants have ever resided after turning 14.

  4. Italian language proficiency certificate proving the B1 CERF level or higher.

  5. Ministry of the Interior fee receipt in the amount of €250.

Processing times for Italian citizenship applications take between three months to three years, depending on the queue and each individual case. If all the application conditions are met, the government employees set a date for the original document transfer.

Application Process to Get Italy Golden Visa

1

7+ days

Submitting a request for a Nulla Osta — a certificate of no impediment

The application and all the documents are submitted electronically via the portal of the Investor Visa Committee.

2

30 days

Obtaining a Nulla Osta

The Investor Visa Committee reviews the application, and either approves or rejects it or requests additional documents.

The certificate is valid for six months from the issue date.

3

7+ days

Submitting an investor visa application

The application is submitted to an Italian Consulate or Embassy in the country of residence. The consular visa fee is €116 per applicant.

4

Up to 120 days

Obtaining an investor visa

The Consulate reviews the provided documents and decides on visa issuance.

5

7+ days

Travelling to Italy and submitting a residence permit application

Within 8 days after entering Italy, the investor has to personally visit the Questura, i.e. the Police office, and request an Investor Residence Permit.

The investor needs to submit the arrival date, the location of the Questura and the date of application in the Questura via the Investor Visa Committee portal.

Costs at this stage are about €100.

6

Up to 3 months

Investing

Within 3 months from the application date, the investor must fully transfer the funds and provide confirmation documents.

In case this condition is not met, the visa is cancelled.

7

30+ days

Getting a Residence Permit card

After all documents are provided, and the investment is made, the Migration Service of Italy reviews the application and issues a Residence Permit card.

The initial residence card is issued for two years, with the possibility of extending for another three years. The investor can apply for permanent residence after residing in Italy for five years. Five more years later, i.e. ten years in total, the investor gets the right to apply for citizenship.

Alternatives to Italian Citizenship

To obtain Italian citizenship, you need to live in the country for ten years. Some countries give investors the opportunity to obtain a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship faster.

With these statuses, you can live, study and work in the chosen country, enjoying the right of visa-free travel worldwide. Moreover, their conditions are often better than in Italy: for example, in Portugal, investors receive citizenship after five years of resident status.

Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment allows becoming naturalised after 1 or 3 years as a resident. Investors can include their spouses or registered partners, as well as principally dependent family members: unmarried children under 29, as well as parents and grandparents over 55. All applicants undergo a strict four-tier Eligibility Test.

Investment Program Comparison

Investment program

Costs

Term of obtaining citizenship after golden visa

🇮🇹 Italy residence permit

€250,000+

10 years

🇵🇹 Portugal residence permit

€250,000+

5 years

🇪🇸 Spain residence permit

€500,000+

10 years

🇬🇷 Greece residence permit

€250,000+

7 years

🇨🇾 Cyprus permanent residence permit

€300,000+

5 years

Conclusion

Want to become an Italian citizen after obtaining a golden visa? Consider investing €250,000 in local startups or €2 million in government bonds for permanent residence.

Include your family members in the application process and obtain a no impediment certificate and residence permit.

Non-EU applicants may face limitations, but the Italy Golden Visa program offers quicker application processes than other European programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Investing in Italy for Citizenship: How Much Do You Need?

    Obtaining Italian citizenship through investment requires a minimum investment of €250,000 in local startups, a €2 million in government bonds, or at least €500,000 in an approved philanthropic project, each with different requirements and processing times.

  • What is the Fastest Way to Become an Italian Citizen?

    The naturalisation process usually takes over 10 years. Citizenship by marriage can be obtained after two years of residence in Italy or after 3 years of residence outside the country. Foreigners can get an Italian passport after working for the Italian government for five years, even outside the country.

  • Can I Buy Italian Citizenship?

    No, investing in a country’s economy does not grant Italian citizenship.

  • Can You Work in Italy with a Golden Visa?

    Successful applicants will have the right to work in Italy without restrictions and additional document requests.

  • How Long Do You Need to Live in Italy to Gain Citizenship?

    Ordinary residents must legally and continuously reside in Italy for ten years before applying for naturalisation, while EU citizens can apply after four years, and spouses of Italians are eligible after three years of marriage and residence.

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