Here is a guide about moving to Italy and an overview of the immigration process for those who choose for a new life in Italy, be it for retirement, work or study.
Moving to Italy – Residence Permits
EU nationals in possession of a valid travel identity document may stay in Italy for up to three months without any residence documentation.
All EU nationals staying in Italy for more than three months must register at the local immigration office with their ID, proof you are able to finance yourself or that you are enrolled in an educational establishment, and have adequate health insurance cover. A stay visa will then be issued
Some non-EU nationals (e.g. USA, Canada, and Australia) may also stay in Italy for up to 90 days without a visa. Note that Italy is signed up to the Schengen Agreement.
Other non-EU nationals must be in possession of the correct visa before travelling to Italy, a visa which must be applied for in their home country at the local Italian Consulate. The visa application is usually processed within two to twelve days and once issued the visa is renewable. After five years holders of Italy’s visas may apply for a permanent residence visa.
Moving to Italy – Work Visas
To work in Italy EU nationals do not require a work visa. All non-EU nationals however must obtain a work visa before working in Italy.
An initial work permit can only be applied for from outside of Italy, and you must have a job offer secured to be able to apply for a work visa. Once you have been offered a job your potential employer can apply for a work permit on your behalf. Note that the work permit process is a regional process so specifics may differ between locations.
In every case, an Italian employer must be able to show that it has been unsuccessful in filling the position with an Italian or EU citizen. Before a work permit is issued applicants are subject to investigation to ensure they have no criminal record and have the necessary skills to meet the job vacancy.
A work permit is also required for those completing a paid internship in Italy.
The Italian consulate or embassy in your home country can provide you with details of the documentation you will need for your individual employment situation and all documents must be officially translated into Italian and certified by a recognised authority.
Moving to Italy – Student Visas
If you are living in Italy for the purpose of study you must be in possession of a student visa which is issued at no cost. This applies to all non-EU citizens whether you plan to study in Italy on a short term or long term basis.
You may be eligible for Italian citizenship after at least ten years of living in the country so long as you have the financial means to support yourself and have no criminal record.
Spouses of Italian citizens are eligible to apply for Italian citizenship after two years of living in Italy.