Over the past two decades, Indians have relocated to Italy for a better quality of life, higher education, and entrepreneurial and career development opportunities, among other reasons.
There were 1,60,000 Italian residency permits issued to Indians in 2019 – the fifth highest of any country in the world. In 2020 Italy hosted the second-largest population of Indians in Europe, with over 2,00,000 Indians including students residing in the country.
“Historically, a number of Indians came to Italy to work in agricultural production, but in more recent years we have seen a new generation of Indian entrepreneurs seeking to move to Italy with 20% of the Indian population now engaged in the commercial sector. More than 30% of Indian immigrants to Italy now live in the area around Italy’s financial capital Milan and the Indian population earns an average of 15% more than other non-EU migrants in the country,” said Pietro Pennisi, an Italian immigration attorney at Davies & Associates.
Despite the interest, there are many questions surrounding immigration pathways that are most beneficial for Indians and other foreign aspirants. Simply moving to Italy or buying a property does not give foreign nationals an immigration status. However, there are a variety of options that can be availed.
The most popular among these is the ‘Investor Visa Program’ which is often deemed as the Golden Visa program.
About the Program: The Investor Visa for Italy is a two-year, renewable visa for foreign nationals intending to make a large investment or donation in Italy.
The Investor Visa for Italy Program attracts high net worth Individuals from across the globe who wish to have a piece of the Italian life in exchange for a significant investment in the economy. The investor’s spouse, dependent children and parents are also eligible to request for a visa at no additional cost.
The investor visa is valid for two years and can get renewed every three years subsequently. After an investor has maintained five years of regular residency in-country, they are eligible to apply for long-term EU residency. Investors must rent or purchase a residential property after the approval of their visa, which can take between 90 to 120 days from the application date. At present, no real estate investment option is available.
“A lot of Indians get hooked on the idea of the so-called ‘One Euro Home’ project, but then broaden out their goals once they discover the wide range of tax incentives and residency option on offer in Italy.
As well as the investor visa, there is an option for Indians to establish their residence in Italy if they can prove they have €32,000/year (US$36,200/per year) in funds earned outside Italy to support themselves.
The Italian government is currently offering a 110% tradable tax credits on certain home renovation work and has low taxes for new residents for the first five to ten years. After five years of Italian residency, Indians can apply for a European Union Long Residence Permit giving them working rights across the entire bloc,” Matteo Tisato, Senior Immigration Analyst at Davies & Associates said.