The investor visa has been recently extended to foreigners who invest in Italy through corporate vehicles of which they are legal representatives. This is the main novelty of article 40 quater of the Simplification Decree (Law Decree 76/2020), which has brough some changes to the Investor Visa regulation, laid out in Article 26 bis of the Legislative Decree 286/1998″.
The investor visa allows entry and stay for unlimited periods of time to non-EU citizens who intend to undertake one of the following type of investments:
a) an investment of at least 2 million Euros in Italian Government bonds maintained for a minimum of 2 years;
b) an investment of at least 500 thousand Euros in companies established and operating in Italy to be maintained for at least 2 years, or at least 250 thousand Euros in the case of innovative start-ups (the thresholds before were, respectively, equal to one million Euros and 500 thousand Euros and have been recently revised by the Relaunch Decree);
c) a philanthropic donation of at least one million euros to support a project of public interest.
Investors must prove that they have at least the minimum amount required and that it is freely transferable to Italy. A written declaration must be submitted in which they undertake to use the funds to make the investment or donation within 3 months from the date of entry in Italy. The procedure for obtaining a visa should be examined by the competent Investor Visa Committee within 30 days.
The main novelty recently introduced is the extension of this visa opportunity also to foreigners acting “on behalf of the legal entity they legally represent”. It follows that investments or donations can also be made through corporate bonds or foundations. Upon the assessment of all legal requirements, the “Investor Visa” committee transmits the authorization to the competent Consulate, which ultimately issues the Investor Visa.
The visa holder is issued a two-years residency permit, renewable for further periods of 3 years as long as the investment is maintained.
Finally, the new amendments provides that the investor visa holder is exempted from signing the so-called ‘integration agreement’ (with the consequent obligation to reach A2 level of Italian within 2 years) and from the obligation of continous residency in Italy: the investor visa holder can renew his residence permit in Italy regardless of the frequency of his/her presence on the national territory.