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June 3, 2024
5 min

Italy Residency and Golden Visa for Americans

Kenley Henderson

Italy Golden Visa for US citizens offers a unique opportunity to gain access to one of Europe’s most culturally rich and economically stable countries. By investing in the Italian economy from €250,000, wealthy Americans can secure residency and an attractive lifestyle filled with countless business opportunities. After 10 years of residing, American families can obtain Italian passports.

We will delve into the intricacies of Italy Golden Visa program, discussing various investment options available under the program and comparing it with other European Golden Visa programs. You’ll learn about family benefits associated with Italian residencies, such as tax incentives, as well as detailed information on how to apply for an Investor Residence Permit.

Italy Residency and Golden Visa for Americans

Italy Residency and Golden Visa for Americans

What is an Italy Golden Visa Program?

Italy Golden Visa program attracts wealthy foreign investors with a fast and easy application process, offering permanent residency through investments in innovative Italian startups or Italian government bonds.

Investment options available under the program:

  1. Startups. It is the lowest investment threshold for the Italy Golden Visa. Foreigners must invest at least €250,000 to buy shares in innovative Italian startups.

  2. Business Investment. A different choice is to buy shares in a limited company for at least €500,000.

  3. Investment in a philanthropic organisation. You can get the Italy Golden Visa by donating at least €1 million to a public interest initiative in the following areas: culture, education, immigration control, scientific studies, or cultural and natural heritage protection.

  4. Government bonds. Invest €2 million in Italian government bonds with a minimum maturity period of two years.

Acquiring residency through Italy’s Golden Visa program allows your spouse, children and parents to become Italian residents without additional costs.

Eligible family members:

  • spouse: your partner can obtain Italian residency alongside you;

  • children: children under 18 or financially dependent adult children up to 26 are eligible for residency;

  • parents: your parents, who rely on you for financial support, can join you in Italy if they meet specific requirements.

The Italian Golden Visa program offers competitive advantages over similar programs like the Portugal and Cyprus golden visas, with lower minimum investment amounts and more diverse investment opportunities. Italy also does not impose physical presence requirements on its residents.

Investing in Italy grants residency and allows conducting business freely, generating rental income, or retiring comfortably under advantageous tax conditions.

Why Choose Italy Golden Visa Program?

Italy Golden Visa program is the perfect choice for affluent US citizens seeking a better quality of life and access to the European market.

Americans consider Italy among the best immigration destinations due to several reasons:

  • natural beauty & cultural heritage: Italy’s picturesque landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture make it an ideal destination to explore and enjoy.

  • attractive investment incentives: with reduced minimum investment requirements and favourable tax conditions, obtaining Italian residency has never been more accessible.

  • ease of travel within Europe: holding an Italian residence permit grants visa-free access to Switzerland and other Schengen Area countries, making business or leisure travel hassle-free.

  • lifestyle advantages: experience world-famous cuisine, high-quality healthcare services, and excellent educational opportunities for your children at international schools.

  • 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.

Italy residency and golden visa guide

Italy is an attractive place to relocate because of its stunning urban environments, picturesque landscapes, and warm residents. The nation leads the list of UNESCO World History Sites and is well known for its rich cultural history, including its art, music, and architecture

Tax Benefits Associated with Italian Residency

Italian residency through the Golden Visa program offers tax benefits for investors and their family members, including access to a special flat-rate taxation system called the "non-dom regime" and numerous deductions for investing in innovative startups or cultural heritage projects in Italy.

The Americans become tax residents after spending at least 183 days per year in Italy. To apply for a special tax regime, they must pay an annual tax of €100,000 and an additional €25,000 for each family member.

The US citizens become exempt from taxes on profit outside Italy. They must only pay gift and inheritance taxes on Italian assets. The validation period of the special tax regime is 15 years.

Best Areas in Italy To Immigrate From US

Rome is the capital of Italy and the largest city in the country. It is a lovely and comfortable place to live since it offers all the essentials for a fulfilling life:

  • a developed infrastructure;

  • transportation accessibility;

  • stunning architecture, a vibrant nightlife;

  • a pleasant climate with up to 320 sunny days per year;

  • proximity to the sea and the Alps within a few hours.

Rome places much emphasis on the cult of food. The goods are consistently high-quality and fresh, particularly the wine, meat, and cheese.

Milan is a thriving metropolis known for its business, banking, and fashion. This vibrant place is a popular choice for Americans looking for a fast-paced city lifestyle and job prospects.

With its abundance of upscale boutiques, designer stores, and year-round fashion events, Milan is one of the world’s fashion capitals. The city is an essential centre for business and finance, with a strong economy and a wide range of employment options in sectors like finance, technology, and design.

Sardinia is a gorgeous island in the Mediterranean Sea that provides a rare combination of breathtaking natural beauty, a rich cultural legacy, and a leisurely pace of life. US expats and digital nomads looking for a tranquil and relaxed lifestyle frequently choose this location.

Sardinia is renowned for its immaculate beaches, clean waters, and magnificent landscapes, making it a haven for those who enjoy the outdoors and the beach. The island has a dynamic local culture expressed in its music, cuisine, and traditions and a rich cultural heritage.

Tuscany is well known for its scenic scenery, undulating hills, and quaint villages. If you are an expat searching for a high standard of living and a strong feeling of community, this lovely area is a fantastic option.

Americans may quickly assimilate into the local culture and meet new people in Tuscany because the locals are renowned for being hospitable and pleasant. The area is also home to a large and thriving expat community.

Italy residency and golden visa guide for US citizens

Tuscany is renowned for its gentle hills covered in vineyards and olive groves. Some of Italy’s most well-known cities, like Florence, Siena, and Pisa, which are known for their art, architecture, and rich cultural legacy, are also located in this region

Required Documents to Gain Italy Residency

To get Italy residency the US citizens prepare documents, such as the following:

  1. Passport.

  2. The written Declaration of Commitment of investing in the Italian economy.

  3. Documents confirming the availability to invest, reside in Italy and cover health expenses.

  4. The marriage certificate.

  5. The written proof of family status.

  6. Certificate of no criminal record.

  7. Health insurance policy.

  8. A Nulla Osta certificate.

  9. A certificate of professional experience.

  10. The contract of the purchase or lease of residential property in Italy.

How to Apply for Italy Golden Visa Program


7+ days

Submitting a request for a Nulla Osta

Nulla Osta is a certificate which confirms the absence of obstacles to obtaining a Golden Visa. The American investor can apply for a visa within six months of Nulla Osta approval. The investor must do the following:

  1. Visit the official Italian government website for investor visas.

  2. Create an account using your email and password.

  3. Select the investment option that suits your needs.

  4. Upload all required documentation, including personal identification and proof of investment funds.

  5. Submit your application and wait for approval.


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 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.

Pathway to Italian Citizenship

Suppose you are looking to reside and eventually acquire citizenship in Italy. In that case, the Italian Golden Visa program is a popular option for Americans who want to invest in government bonds, company stocks or donate to specific causes and startups.

Requirements for Italian Citizenship through Investment:

  • hold a valid residence permit for at least ten years;

  • demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Italian language (B1 level);

  • pass an integration test on Italy’s history, culture, and institutions.

The acquisition of Italian citizenship may take six months to two years, depending on the application volume and complexity. Maintaining your residency status during this period is essential by renewing your investor visa if necessary.

Other Golden Visa programs in Europe for Americans

The Italian Golden Visa program offers numerous benefits but does not offer real estate investments as part of its primary offerings.

In Western Europe, Spain and Portugal are two of the most affordable countries regarding expenses. Cyprus and Malta offer investment routes leading to permanent residency. Greece Golden Visa has the smallest minimum investment amount to participate in the program through real estate purchases.

Consider other investment programs which allow investors to rent or buy residential or commercial properties.

European Residency 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


🇨🇾 Cyprus permanent residency


🇪🇸 Spain residence permit



Italy Golden Visa program offers affordable investment requirements, tax benefits, and a pathway to citizenship. The cheapest option is investing in an innovative startup — €250,000+.

Investment options include government bonds, donations, and business and innovative startups, with eligibility criteria for family members.

Applying is easy, and Italy’s unique lifestyle and business opportunities make it an attractive destination.

Take advantage of this chance to expand your horizons and secure long-term benefits.

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

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