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27 03 2017 Investing in Italy: special residence permit for foreign investors

The 2017 Italian Budget Law introduced a new two-years special residence permit (which can be renewed for further 3 years, upon certain conditions), with the possibility for the beneficiary’s family members to obtain the relevant family reunification; the modifications introduced at the end of 2016 are currently into effect.

The Consolidated Law on Immigration, the Italian law regulating the entrance into Italy of foreign citizens, has been modified by adding a new article which provides for a new type of special permit “for investors”. The new two-year residence permit does not follow the usual annual limits for the immigration flow controlled by the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Therefore, this permit will be independently and immediately released to foreign citizens who intend to carry out in Italy:

A. A minimum investment of 2,000,000 EUR (≈ 14,694,000 RMB) in bonds backed by the Italian Government (investing for at least 2 years); or

B. A minimum investment of 1,000,000 EUR (≈ 7,347,000 RMB) in stocks of a corporation established and operating in Italy (for at least 2 years as well); or

C. A minimum investment of 50,000 EUR (≈ RMB 367,350) in stocks of innovative start-ups registered in the special section of the Companies’ Registry. For further information on the “Start-up Visa” and innovative start-ups, the recent legal reports by Picozzi & Morigi Law Firm are available on our website; or

D. A minimum philanthropic donation of 1,000,000 EUR to support a public interest project in the fields of culture, education, immigration management, scientific research, restoration of cultural heritage and landscape assets.

In order to start the procedure, the law, other than requiring the fulfillment of at least one of the conditions listed from A to D, requires as well:

1. to prove to be the effective owners and beneficiaries of the minimum amounts (e.g., 1 million Euro for clauses B and D). The law specifies that the said amounts “must be in all cases available and transferable in Italy”.

2. to provide a declaration in writing in which the applicant commits himself to use the funds listed in clauses A-D to carry out an investment/donation within three months from the entry into Italy.

The verification and procedure activities are regulated through distinct decrees. The declaration in writing shall be submitted with the funds’ legitimate proof of origin and copy of a passport valid for at least three months following the visa application date.

The authorities shall revoke the permit in case the funds are not invested or donated within the deadline specified at clause 2. The authorities shall also extend the permit for the following three years upon the applicant’s request in case the amount has been entirely employed during the provided three months and it results as invested when applying for extension.

Finally, anyone who during the procedure submits or transmit false acts and documents or provides untrue data and information shall be punishable by imprisonment of 1 year and 6 months to 6 years, according to the same law provision.