Retire in Italy: The Italian Elective Residency Visa

One way to move to Italy is to take advantage of the Italian Elective Residency Visa. This is an ideal option if you are planning to retire in Italy, or if you have been living comfortably, relaxed, and letting your business operate independently. The key requirement for this visa is having a passive income. Let’s see what you will need to take advantage of this visa.

Requirements for the Italian Elective Residency Visa

Before I list you all the documents you might need, it’s important to clarify who is eligible for this visa. While many call it a retirement visa, the truth is it is for anyone with substantial passive income.

Here’s what you need to apply for the Italian elective residency visa:

  • A valid passport will remain valid for at least another three months. You’ll also need two passport-sized photos for the visa.
  • A national visa application form. You can get this from your nearest consulate. Fill it out, but do not sign it until you’re in front of the consulate.
  • A notarized letter that specifies the reason for your stay in Italy, the length of your stay, your place of residence in Italy, and the names of people accompanying you, such as your spouse and children.
  • A signed long-term rental contract, or proof of ownership of a house in Italy
  • Proof of substantial finances and passive income. A single applicant must have a monthly income of a minimum €2,596.60 (This has to be passive, it cannot be from a remote job, but rather owning a business that you don’t actually manage, or rental, etc). This increases by 20% for a couple and an extra 5% for every child. It is also important to note that the Consulate may ask you to prove more than this.
  • Health Insurance
  • Proof of no Criminal Background
  • Handling Fee
  • If you’re bringing along your spouse or children, you’ll need their marriage certificates and birth certificates.


When it comes to your accommodation in Italy, unfortunately, multiple bookings for houses/hotels and third-party offers of hospitality are not accepted. If you feel confident about where you will move, you might want to buy before obtaining your visa. To oversee this process as a foreigner, I highly recommend getting in touch with a property finder or real estate consultant (if you’d like to get started, send me a message and I will connect you with licensed consultants here in Italy!)

Instead, you might want to feel out a few locations in Italy. In this case, it can be hard to rent from abroad, but you might want to start by contacting private owners in local Facebook groups. A word of caution: DO NOT send any money before you have seen a location in person, or have had a trusted individual see it. If you are serious about applying for the elective residency visa but want to rent – it might be smart to connect with a relocation company or licensed real estate consultant.


When it comes to gathering documentation to prove your finances for the Italian elective residency visa, you will need letters from all of your banks stating your currently available funds, account type, account balance, and monthly earnings. The rules are somewhat vague, but it’s best to have a few years worth of living expenses, as well as tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will also need to provide proof of generating revenues.

In addition to bank statements, you will need documents from other sources that provide you with financial income, such as social security, other types of pension, property ownership and rental agreements, business ownership, and revenue documentation related to these sources.

The Process of Getting the Elective Residency Visa

As you can see above there are a few hoops you need to jump through to get this visa. It is not one of the easiest processes, and I do recommend consulting with a relocation company or lawyer to help you ensure everything goes smoothly.

But before anything: you should check all your finances to see if you qualify. Make sure that you have plenty of savings, that monthly you are receiving plenty, and that those streams of income do not risk being shut off or inaccessible if you move. Can you afford to make the jump? Ok great then on to the next step: a house.

Ideally, I think it is everyone’s dream to buy a house and retire in Italy, this sure can be hard from abroad. You may have to take a few trips first and connect with local property finders to help you find the right location.

Once you have got these two things sorted, you can start making an appointment at your consulate (as there will be a long waiting list). Then start gathering the rest of your documents.

Rules of Living in Italy under an Elective Residency Visa

As soon as you move to Italy, you need to apply for the Permesso di Soggiorno within 8 days. Grab your permesso kit at the post office and follow the instructions in there. You will probably have to renew this every two years.

Once you have your permesso and your residency sorted out you can apply for national healthcare. You will have to pay for healthcare yearly, it should equate to 7.5% of your annual income.

Under this permesso it is also important to mention you won’t be able to officially study or work. And as you will be officially a resident in Italy, you will pay your primary taxes to Italy.

Where to get started?

Once you’ve done a little research on your own, this is one visa I recommend asking for help on and finding professionals who can assist you on the way – be that property finders, accountants, or immigration lawyers. If you are wondering who to look for and what you’ll need, get in touch and I will do my best to connect you to who you need.

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

And if you are looking for more help on your journey of making Italy home or looking for local insight to plan the best trip, get in touch, let me help you experience authentic Italy.