You are dreaming about retirement in a beautiful country, enjoying the rest of your life. Relaxing before a view while the love of your life is with you is what you deserve. Where could you experience such an amazing life? Italy couldn’t be among your options. The country is perfect for everything. You could reach your dream and retire through an Italy Elective Residence visa.

This article will explain who is eligible for an Italy Elective Residence visa, requirements, the application process, validity, FAQs, and more.

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Italy Elective Residence Visa

Who needs an Italy Elective Residence visa?

The non-EU nationals who want to retire in Italy need an Italy Elective Residence visa. They must apply for the visa.

The fact is true even if they are among the visa waiver program. Some countries like the US, Japan, etc. don’t need an Italy visa for short-stays. They can visit the country for up to 90 days with their passport.

But for staying longer than 90 days, every non-EU resident needs a visa. It is true with the Italy Elective Residence visa.

Who is eligible for an Italy Elective Residence visa?

The government has set eligibility principles over the Italy Elective Residence visa. You have to comply with them so that you can apply for it:

Enough Funds

You must hold sufficient funds to cover your expenses in Italy. Remember that you have no authorization to work under an Italy Elective Residence visa. So consider everything when applying for it.

You must have at least 31,000 euros if you apply alone. When your spouse is with you, you need 38,000 euros per year. The amount will increase by 20% (20.000 EUR) if your children accompany you.

Consistency of income

As you have no permission to work in Italy, you must have a stable annual income. The source of your income could be one of the below options:

  • Pension
  • Savings
  • Investments

Proof of accommodation

Submit the evidence or proof of the place you will stay in Italy. You can:

  • Buy property
  • Rent a place (Rental agreement)
  • Stay with a friend or family

Health insurance

You can not rely on the public fund for medical coverage. So you must buy health insurance for your stay in Italy. It must pay your expenses for one year.

Proof of clean record

Providing a clean record from the Police in your home country is mandatory. You may not move to Italy with a criminal record.

Age limit

There is no age limit over Italy Elective Residence visa. Yet, you must be at least 18 years old.

What are the requirements for an Italy Elective Residence visa?

The requirements for an Italy Elective Residence visa are as follows:

Application form

Get the application form from the Italian embassy’s website in your home country—Remember to download a long-stay form. The information you provide must be the same as your documents.


Two photos are required. They must be:

  • Colored
  • Passport-sized
  • Taken in the latest three months to the date of application.

Remember that the officials won’t accept photos in printed or copy format.


Your passport may not be older than ten years. It must still be valid at the time of application. Also, it must hold validity for three months over the date you will enter Italy.

Proof to have enough funds

Submit evidence that you have enough funds to stay in Italy. Remember, you have to provide a piece of documentation.

  • Bank statements, but not older than three months.
  • Savings
  • Payslip

You are not limited to the above list. Officials will accept any piece of document that proves your financial capability.

Proof of accommodation

Where will you stay in Italy? Provide proof of the place you will stay:

  • Rental agreement
  • Purchasing contract
  • If staying with a friend or family, provide details about your host.

Health insurance

The insurance you buy must be valid in Italy and the entire Schengen Area. It must provide coverage for all of your medical expenses for 30.000 EUR. It must be valid for at least one year.

Proof of identity

They include:

Birth certificate of children.

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Death certificate of spouse (if applicable)

Cover letter

Write a personal letter and explain why you want to move to Italy. Include all the necessary information about yourself, and people will accompany you.

Attention: the Italian embassy might require further documents from you. Remember to have all the original documents translated into Italian.

Italy Elective Residence visa application process

The application process for an Italy Elective Residence visa is as follows:

1. Do you need a visa?

Are you from the EU, EEA, or Schengen Area? So you don’t need to apply for an Italy Elective Residence visa. The visa is only for non-EU nationals. Bear this essential point in mind.

2. Are you eligible?

Read the section above to know whether you are eligible for an Italy Elective Residence visa. There are the most strict rules over Italy Elective Residence visa. It is because you are supposed to retire and not to work. So the government is harsh with the financial requirement.

In case you can’t meet the eligibility principles, your application will get rejected. Applicants can see the rejected candidates during the visa appointment due to ineligibility.

3. Application form

The application form for an Italy Elective Residence visa is the first document to complete. You can download the form from the Italian embassy. But remember to get a long-stay application form. The short-stay is not appropriate.

Complete the application form with all the required information. What you will put in the form must be compatible with your documents.

Applicants might make a mistake with their names. The spelling of the name on the form must be like your passport.

DO NOT sign the application form when you completed it at home. You have to sign it at the Italian embassy before the Visa officer.

4. Schedule visa appointment

Find the nearest Italian embassy or consulate in your home country. Set a meeting with them. Try not to memorize the exact date and time of the appointment. It’s because you have to get there a few minutes early. You might face little delays while entering the embassy.

5. Requirements

The section above explained all the required supporting documents for an Italy Elective Residence visa. You must submit all of them to the Italian embassy. You could start this step before the previous ones. As it could take a long time to prepare every piece of document.

6. Attend visa meeting

Get to the Italian embassy on the determined date. Try not to miss it. Getting a new date could be disappointing. Bring all the required supporting documents.

Submit everything to the officials. Then, pay the fee for visa processing. The officials might ask you about your background and how you got your funds. They might also ask about your trip to Italy. So try to find some information about the Italian city you are moving to.

7. Processing

It takes some time until the embassy processes your visa. The processing time depends on different factors. As you may not work in Italy, the officials will evaluate whether you can support yourself or not. The financial capability is crucial for the Italian government.

When your visa is ready, the embassy will post it to you. Depending on the embassy, you might have to pick it up yourself. Now you can move to Italy.

8. Registering with the Police

When you get to Italy, you have to register with the Police. You must do it within the first eight days of your arrival. The timing is essential for registering with the Police.

9. Residence Permit

The final step is to apply for Italy Residence Permit. You have to apply for the Residence permit when you are there.

You need to complete the procedure with the Italian Police:

  • Pay a visit to the nearest Post Office. Receive the full list of requirements for an Italy residence Permit along with the application form.
  • Gather all the requirements as instructed in the list and complete the form.
  • Submit the requirements to the Post office. They will grant you a receipt. Keep it safe. The post office also gives you an appointment date with the Police.
  • Get to the Police and bring the original form of your requirements. They will check your documents and ask you a few questions.
  • It takes some time until the officials process your residence Permit. When they issue it, they will inform you.

How long is the Italy Elective Residence visa valid for?

The initial validity of an Italy Elective Residence visa is one year. However, you may extend it several times. But you must fulfill the beginning eligibility principles.

When you live in Italy for five years, you will become eligible to apply for an EU permanent residence permit. You will benefit from the same rights as EU citizens.

After living in Italy for ten years, you will become eligible for Italian Citizenship.

Does Italy’s Elective Residence visa lead to Citizenship?

The answer depends. First, you must be able to extend the Italy Elective Residence visa. To do so, you must keep the initial requirements for staying in Italy. After living for five years, you may apply for an EU long term Residence Permit. When you live in Italy for ten years, you can apply for Italian Citizenship.

The processing time for an Italy Elective Residence visa?

You should expect a long processing time for an Italy Elective Residence visa. It takes a long time for the officials to process every piece of document. They assure the applicant can meet with the eligibility principles. It is particularly true with financial requirements. Your application process could take up to six months.

Can you apply for an Italy Elective Residence visa from inside the country?

No. You may not apply for an Italy Elective Residence visa from inside the country. It is mandatory to apply from the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country. The officials require you to submit the requirements to them yourself.

Let’s sum up…

You are looking for a warm, nice, and quest place to retire. Italy could be your first and foremost option. You can have the perfect life you have ever dreamed about. You could retire in Italy through an Italy Elective Residence visa.

The text explained who is eligible for an Italy Elective Residence visa, requirements, the application process, FAQs, and more.


I don’t need an Italy short stay visa. Do I have to get the elective residence?

Yes, you have to get it if you are among the visa waived countries. 

Is there a fund requirement?

Yes, you need to have at least 31.000 EUR if you are on your own. 

Will I be able to work?

No, you may not and must have a stable source of income. 

Does the GOVT provide insurance coverage?

No, you have to buy your own insurance.

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