Decree Law no. 34 of 19 May 2020, the so-called “Relaunch Decree”, provided for the strengthening of measures in favour of innovative start-ups.
The intention of the legislator is to encourage the growth of start-ups in order to bridge the gap between Italy and other EU countries.
The reference provision is Article 38 of the decree itself, titled “Strengthening the the ecosystem of innovative start-ups”. In particular, paragraph 10 lays out the halving of the minimum thresholds for btaining a Italian Visa through investments into capital companies and innovative start-ups.
Law no. 232 11 December 2016 (“Budget Law 2017”) has introduced (under art. 1, paragraph 148) a new type of visa dedicated to non-EU citizens who intend to make investments into the Italian economy. In particular, Article 26-bis, titled “Entry and stay for investors”, which provides that non-EU citizens who make an investment in one of the following types can apply for a visa.
The first implementation phase of the Investor Visa programme showed that the measure was met with limited interest. Therefore, the provision referred to in paragraph 10 of the “Relaunch Decree” aims at encouraging the use of the program by halving the minimum investment thresholds to obtain the so-called “Investor Visa”:
- from 1 million to 500 thousand euros for investments into Italian Capital companies
- from 500 thousand to 250 thousand euros for investments into Innovative Start-Ups.
The reduction of the financial threshold would make Italy more competitive in the European context. The report “Citizenship and Residence Schemes for Investors in the European Union” published by the European Commission at the end of 2018 showed that Italy was in the range of countries with the highest financial thresholds for the obtaining of an Investor Visa, whereas countries such as France and Spain required significantly lower financial resources.