start up visa program

Who is eligible to apply for a Start-Up visa and residence permit?

The Start-Up visa is specifically conceived for foreign nationals interested in incorporating a new and highly innovative company in Italy and, at the same time, establishing their residency therein.

What is a Start-Up Company?

It is a company registered in the special section of the Italian Companies Registry.
The requirements to register as an innovative start-up company are the following:

  • the Company is either an S.r.l. (a Limited Liability Company), an S.s.r.l. (a Simplified Limited Liability Company), or an S.p.a. (A Company Limited by Shares);
  • the Company’s core business is the “development, production and commercialization of innovative goods or services of high technological value”. It is noteworthy that also innovative means or systems of production are accepted to meet this requirement;
  • the Company has been established for not earlier than 60 months;
  • the Company has its main registered office in Italy or it has a subsidiary or branch therein;
  • the Company has no turnover or has a turnover that does not exceed 5 million euros;
  • the Company has not distributed dividends;
  •  the Company does not result from the merge, division or transfer of business from an existing company;
  • the Company meets at least one of the following additional criteria:
      • it devotes at least 15% of its expenditure to research and development (R&D) activity,
      • it has at least 1/3 of its team is constituted by PhD students or graduates, or of personnel who have been working in research for at least 3 years; alternatively, at least 2/3 should hold a master’s degree,
      • it is the owner, filer or licensee of a patent, industrial property right, or original software registered at the ‘Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori’ (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers – SIAE).

Main Procedural Steps

  1. Application for the ‘Nulla Osta’ (Security Clearance) to the Italian Start-Up Committee;
  2. Application for a National Visa at the Italian Consulate of the applicant’s place of residency;
  3. Entry in Italy and application for the residence permit at the competent Police headquarter within 8 days.

Validity of the residence permit

The first residence permit has a validity of 1 year, renewable.
The residence permit is renewable under the same substantive conditions for the issuance of the first one, as long as the foreign national is never absent from the Italian territory for longer than 6 continuous months.
The applicant can renew the residence permit on their own or be assisted by us.
After 5 years of continuous registered legal residency in Italy, the applicant would be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Time Frame

The expected time frame to obtain the Start-Up visa, also known as the Entrepreneur visa, is approximately 2 months from the application. Once the applicant obtains the visa, they can travel to Italy, apply for the residence permit and reside there legally.

Get in Touch

Do not hesitate to write to us if you wish to have additional information on the requirements for this type of Visa and counselling on your specific case.