How to Obtain Permanent Residence in Italy

Updated on Tuesday 31st March 2020

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Immigrating to Italy implies applying for a permanent residence before acquiring Italian citizenship. If you are interested in immigration to Italy and want to apply for one of the visas available for foreigners, our lawyers can guide you.

Below, our local lawyers who specialize in immigration matters in Italy offer a guide on how to obtain a permanent residence permit. We can also assist those who want to come to Italy as entrepreneurs or those who want to obtain Italian passports.
 

Types of residence permits in Italy


There are two types of residence permits which can be obtained in Italy: the temporary residence permit and the permanent residence permit. It must be noted that in order to obtain permanent residency in Italy, a temporary residence visa must first be obtained.

The temporary residency visa must be obtained by non-EU citizens when first arriving in Italy. EU citizens must only register with the police department in the city they live in without being required to apply for a temporary residence permit. However, both categories of individuals must live for a minimum period of 5 years before applying for permanent residence in Italy.

The residence permit can also be acquired by:
 
  • the spouse of the applicant;
  • the parents of the applicant;
  • the minor children of the applicant;
  • children above the age of 18 if these can support themselves.

In other words, the applicant is entitled to bring family members when relocating to Italy. However, the applicant must prove they have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents, as well as submit proof of their relationship with the dependents.
 

The main ways of obtaining permanent residency in Italy


There are several conditions imposed on both EU and non-EU citizens interested in obtaining permanent residency in Italy. Apart from living for 5 years in this country, these must also prove they earn sufficient money to support themselves and that they speak Italian fluently and know the national customs.  They must also have clean criminal records.

There are several ways in which the Italian permanent residency can be obtained:
 
  1.  based on a work permit which entitles the applicant to live and work in Italy prior to applying for permanent residency;
  2.  based on a residence permit for entrepreneurs which allows foreign citizens to start their own businesses here;
  3.  based on an investment in a specific domain of interest acknowledged by the Italian government;
  4.  based on self-employment visa which allows the foreigner to act as a sole trader in Italy.

Our Italian immigration lawyers can explain the requirements related to obtaining permanent residency by self-employment, as an entrepreneur or base on investment.

 

Italian permanent residence for EU citizens


It is very easy for EU citizens to apply for a permanent residence permit in Italy, as they only need their valid IDs or passports when entering the country. In their case, a simple declaration of presence with the police station of the city they live in is sufficient. This declaration must be filed within 8 days from entering Italy.

EU citizens have the right to apply for permanent residence permits after living for more than 3 months in Italy. It should also be noted that it may take up to 3 months for obtaining the Italian permanent residence.

You can also read about the benefits of permanent residence in Italy in the scheme below:
 


Applying for a permanent residence permit for non-EU citizens in Italy


Non-EU citizens must follow specific procedures when applying for permanent residence in Italy. Those who want to immigrate to Italy must enquire with the Italian embassy or consulate in their countries and ask information on the documents needed.

Non-EU citizens must first apply for a temporary residence permit which is issued for a period of 5 years, followed by the application for the Italian permanent residence permit. In other words, a non-EU citizen must live in Italy for 5 years prior to applying for permanent residence.

Our law firm can advise non-EU citizens on the requirements related to Italy immigration.
 

Documents required for an Italian permanent residence permit


The following documents must be filed by non-EU citizens applying for a permanent residence permit in Italy:
 
  • proof that the foreign citizen has lived in Italy for 5 years (the temporary residence permit);
  • the registration certificate issued by the local police force upon entering Italy;
  • proof of having a legal address in Italy (a rental contract or a recent utility bill);
  • proof of means of self-sustenance (bank statements, tax returns, payslips issued by the employer);
  • the criminal record and the application form issued by the Italian authorities.
 

Restrictions for certain applicants for permanent residency in Italy


There are also categories of persons who cannot apply for permanent residence permits in Italy. These are usually students who come to Italy based on student visas which permit a limited duration of stay. In the same category enter those who come for scientific purposes or for vocational training to Italy. Also, asylum seekers who in the process of obtaining recognition as refugees cannot apply for permanent residence until their status is clarified.

Those who enter Italy for humanitarian reasons seeking temporary protection cannot apply for permanent residency in Italy.

Those who have valid temporary residence permits and have not met the 5-year living requirement are also restricted for applying for permanent residency until the last requisite is fulfilled.
 

The benefits of obtaining permanent residency in Italy


Obtaining the status of a permanent resident of Italy can bring many benefits for a foreign citizen. Among these, we mention the possibility of entering and existing Italy without being required to apply for other visas. Also, the foreign citizen can travel freely to other EU countries and can even work in such countries without being required to apply for a work permit. One is also entitled to state benefits, such as maternity or disability benefits.

The last and perhaps the most important advantage is the possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship. In the case of EU citizens, the minimum period of stay is 4 years, while for non-EU citizens the minimum period of stay is 10 years based on the permanent resident status.
 

Assistance in obtaining permanent residency in Italy


Provided that you meet the requirements imposed by the law, you can rely on our immigration lawyers in Italy for assistance in preparing the documentation for applying for a permanent residence permit. We can help during the entire application procedure, no matter if you have worked or if you are an entrepreneur interested in obtaining an Italian permanent residence permit.

Our lawyers will also explain the rights and obligations attached to becoming a permanent resident with the purpose of further applying for Italian citizenship.


Residence permits in Italy for corporate situations

Foreign investors who want to open a company in Italy can obtain a residence permit in specific situations. Foreigners may set up an Italian limited liability company following the legal procedures. At the same time, they may register a branch office or a representative office of a foreign company.

In these particular situations, the legal framework stipulate that a representative of the foreign company may apply for an intra-company transfer residence permit.

Investors may also obtain a startup residence permit, which was established under the local legislation for the registration of startup companies that provide innovative products or services. In this case, the minimum investment is established at EUR 50,000.

Persons who want to enter the Italian workforce can apply for a European Blue Card, issued for employees with a high level of skills in a designated field of activity. The applicant should provide evidence on an university graduation certificate.

Renewal of the Italian residence permit

Depending on the type of residence permit, foreign citizens are required to renew their permits on a regular basis. Foreign citizens living in Italy are required to apply for renewal as it follows:

  • 90 days before expiry, if the residence permit has a two-year validity period,
  • 60 days before expiry, if the residence permit has a one-year validity period,
  • 30 days before expiry in other cases.

The validity period of temporary residence permits depend on the purpose of the Italian visa. Foreign citizens working in Italy based on a temporary work permit are required to apply for renewal depending on the sector they work in. The Italian employment permit may have a six to nine months validity period, while student visas may have a one-year validity period.


For full information on how to obtain a permanent residence permit or immigration to Italy, please contact us. All our Italian immigration services are personalized so that you have the best chances of relocating here.