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June 3, 2024
5 min

Pros and Cons of Italy Golden Visa

Brittany Collins

Italy is one of the popular destinations among immigrants — 70,000 of them come to the country every year. Italy’s Golden Visa program offers numerous benefits and some disadvantages for wealthy individuals seeking to secure their future in the EU.

This guide will delve into the specifics of Italy’s Golden Visa program, including its pros and cons, eligibility criteria, investment options, application process and any recent changes that may affect it.

We will explore investment options under this program and shed light on eligibility criteria and documentation requirements for a successful application.

Pros and Cons of Italy Golden Visa

Pros and Cons of Italy Golden Visa

Italian Residency-by-Investment Program Flexibility

The Italian residency-by-investment program is a simple and accommodating path for non-EU nationals to acquire residency in Italy with various investment choices accessible.

The Italian government has divided the application procedure into two stages, starting with a Nulla Osta from the Italian Ministry of Interior, which serves as preliminary authorization for your investor visa application at your local Italian embassy or consulate.

Investment asset variety:

  1. Government bonds: Invest in Italian government bonds with a minimum value of €2 million held for five years.

  2. Limited companies. Purchase shares worth at least €500,000 in an existing Italian limited company or establish one yourself.

  3. Innovative startups. Contribute €250,000 towards financing an innovative startup registered within Italy’s special section dedicated to these businesses.

  4. Philanthropic initiatives. Donate at least €1 million towards public interest projects such as culture, education, immigration management or scientific research.

The Italian residency-by-investment program offers flexibility and choice to suit various investor preferences and goals.

Since its launch in 2017, Italy has made significant changes to the program, including streamlining application processes for faster approval times, making it even more attractive for foreign investors looking to enter Italy through this investor visa route.

8 Key Benefits of the Italian Golden Visa Program

1. Travel privileges, including visa-free entry into the Schengen Area. Enjoy visa-free travel throughout the Schengen states and up to 90 days per six months.

2. Right to live, work and study in Italy. Italian residents can enter the country anytime and spend as much time as needed in Italy with the right to work there.

Foreigners with Italian residence permits can enrol in Italian higher education institutions on the same conditions as EU citizens.

3. Special tax regime. Instead of regular taxation on all income obtained outside Italy, foreigners can pay a fixed annual sum of €100,000. The investor can include their family in this tax plan by paying an additional €25,000 for each dependent.

This special tax regime is valid for 15 years, given that the annual fixed payment is made yearly.

4. Opportunity to obtain residence permits for family members. The Golden Visa program allows the investor to get Italian residency for their spouse, dependent children and parents.

5. Opportunity to obtain permanent residence and citizenship. After living in Italy for five years, the investment visa holder can apply for permanent residence and benefit from additional rights. These include the right to access Italian social security services and work or study in EU countries without another permit.

After living in the country for another five or ten years, the Italy Golden Visa program participant can apply for citizenship.

6. Business activities within Europe. Conduct business in Italy without restrictions or additional permits.

7. Cuisine. Italian food is renowned worldwide for its delicious flavours, fresh ingredients, and diverse regional specialities.

8. Historical sites and natural wonders. Italy is home to some of the most famous landmarks in history, such as the Colosseum in Rome or Florence’s Duomo Cathedral.

With breathtaking sceneries like Lake Como nestled amidst towering Alps peaks or sun-kissed Amalfi Coast cliffside towns overlooking azure waters below — it’s no wonder that so many people dream about calling this beautiful country home.

Italy Golden Visa Benefits

Once citizenship is obtained, one gets an Italian passport and can enjoy the full rights of the country’s citizens, for example, the right to visa-free travel to more than 190 countries

Get Your Italy Golden Visa Today

Apply for the Italy Golden Visa program and secure a Nulla Osta before applying for an Investor Visa Residence Permit.

Start by completing online forms and attaching documents such as proof of investment funds, private medical insurance coverage, and clear criminal records from your home country.

Once approved, visit your local police station or Italian embassy abroad to apply for the current residence permit and provide additional documentation, such as proof of accommodation within Italy upon arrival.

Remember, investing in government bonds or innovative startups is required to participate in the Italy Golden Visas program, so research each option thoroughly before making any commitments.

Disadvantage of Italian Residency-by-Investment Program

While the Italian Golden Visa program offers numerous benefits, some drawbacks exist.

Lack of real estate investment options. The Italian Golden Visa program does not offer real estate investments as part of its primary offerings.

Consider the Malta, Portugal, Spain and Greece Golden Visa programs, which allow investors to rent or buy residential or commercial properties.

European Golden Visa Programs with Real Estate Investment Options

Investment program

Real estate investment options

🇲🇹 Malta residence permit


When renting real estate in the south of Malta or on the Gozo island

🇲🇹 Malta Permanent Residence Programme


When renting real estate in the south of Malta or on the Gozo island

🇬🇷 Greece residence permit


🇵🇹 Portugal residence permit


🇪🇸 Spain residence permit


Preparing for Your Stay in Italy

Buy medical insurance. Before applying for the Italian Golden Visa program, ensure private medical insurance coverage for yourself and your family members.

Get a police clearance certificate. Prospective investors must have clear criminal records to maintain eligibility for the Italian investor visa.

You may need a police clearance certificate from your home country or any other country where you’ve resided.

Buy or lease property in Italy. Successful applicants should also secure proof of accommodation within Italy upon arrival.

It can be done by renting or purchasing property through legitimate channels like real estate agencies and ensuring compliance with EU regulations when entering property transactions.

Application process for obtaining the Italy Golden Visa


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.


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.


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.


Up to 120 days

Obtaining an investor visa

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


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.


Up to 3 months


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.


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 Italy Golden Visa program is an excellent option for wealthy individuals seeking to invest in Europe, offering access to healthcare, education, business opportunities, and tax incentives. It has disadvantages, such as a lack of real estate investment options.

Before applying for an Italian Golden Visa, it’s crucial to understand the process of obtaining Nulla Osta and a residence permit, complying with EU and international regulations, securing private medical insurance, and providing proof of accommodation.

complete guide9 Golden Visa programs explained in detail

Find out which countries offer the most popular Golden Visas, what the investment options are, the procedures, timeframes, and benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the Benefits of the Italian Golden Visa Program?

    Get tax incentives, access to high-quality healthcare and education systems, business opportunities within Europe, and visa-free entry to other Schengen countries.

  • How Much Money Required for Residency in Italy?

    Invest at least €250,000 in an Italian startup or €500,000 in a limited company or €2 million in government bonds, or donate €1 million to an Italian educational or cultural project.

  • Can I work in Italy with a Golden Visa?

    Yes. Golden Visa holders can work legally within Italy and engage in business activities.

  • What are the Disadvantages of the Italian Golden Visa?

    Real estate investment options are not available. There are also securities dossier files requirements, proof-of-funds necessities, and adherence to EU and international laws.

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