Italy: the visa for investors

Newly interesting opportunities for foreign direct investment should be expected in Italy. Indeed, the 2017 Draft Budget Law introduces a new “visa for investors” which, with respect to the requirements for entering and staying in Italy, will entitle foreign investors to a favourable treatment, only provided that they will carry out a durable investment in Italy or a donation involving benefits for the State.

A new article 26 bis, which regulates the requirements and the procedure for the new visa for investors to be granted, will be inserted in the Consolidated Law on Immigration (Testo Unico sull’immigrazione). The most significant innovation of the new visa is that it will allow to entry and stay in Italy, for periods above three months, irrespective of the limited number set by the Law for the quota of foreigners to be admitted in Italy. In fact, whereas a decree adopted every year sets in general the recalled quota, the investors who will benefit of the new visa, provided that they fulfil its requirements, will not be subject to aforementioned restriction.

In order to be entitled to the visa for investors, one should on the alternative:

  1. undertake an investment of at least 2 million euros in State bonds, provided that they will be hold for at least two years;
  2. invest at least 1 million euros in equity instruments of corporations established and operating in Italy, to be hold for at least two years;
  3. make a philanthropic donation of at least 1 million euros, to support a project of public interest in the fields of culture, education, management of immigration, scientific research, recovery of cultural goods and landscape heritage.

Furthermore, investors should:

  • Demonstrate to effectively hold or be beneficiary of the aforementioned amounts, and that moneys are available and transferable to Italy;
  • Commit themselves, through a written declaration, to invest the money or to make the donation within three months since their entrance in Italy;
  • Demonstrate to have economic resources, in addiction to the aforementioned amounts, sufficient to sustain themselves during the period of staying in Italy.

As for the supporting documents, it is required a passport with an expiration date of at least three months later than the one of the required visa, as well as the documentation proving the availability of funds, the possibility to transfer them in Italy, the description of its characteristics and the identity of the beneficiary of the investment or of the philanthropic donation.

The visa will be paired with a two-years residence permit, labelled as “for investors”, which may be revoked before its expiration date in case the investor does not undertake, within three months since its entrance in Italy, the investment or the donation to which the investor committed himself.

It should, furthermore, be observed that the residence permit may be renewed for a period of three years, should the competent administrative authority approve the documentation proving the full utilisation of the moneys invested within the three-months term, and provided that the amount has been invested in in the aforementioned equity instruments.

Lastly, it should be mentioned that the owner of the visa for investors can be accompanied by his familiars, who will be entitled to a visa for family reasons, provided that they qualify as such in accordance with art. 29 of the consolidated Law on immigration.

Overall, it is clear that the new visa for investors will make the procedure simpler and faster to entry and lawfully stay in Italy for the purpose of foreign investment, and this precious opportunity should not be missed. D’Andrea & Partners Law Firm will keep you updated on the final approval of the law, as well as on the other benefits for foreign investments in Italy.

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