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Immigration in Italy

Immigration in Italy

Updated on Wednesday 24th May 2017

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There are various ways to immigrate to Italy. The Italian authorities consider residency visa applications for individuals who have reached the retirement age, for other foreigners, for those who can submit proof of self-sustainability, for families and for those seeking employment in the country. Special consideration is given to foreign investors opening companies in Italy. No matter the category, each individual must complete long-term visa applications and apply for stay permits, on which our team of Italian lawyers can provide in-depth advice and legal assistance. 

Types of visas when immigrating to Italy

There are several types of visas available for those moving to Italy. For the foreigners who are planning a short stay, a three-month permit is required and this document may be renewed for another three months, but any period surpassing six months requires application for a long-stay permit (permesso di soggiorno) in Italy. Other types of visas for immigrating to Italy are:
the residency visa;
the student visa;
the work visa;
the family visa.
Student visas are among the easiest to obtain if an individual has been accepted by an Italian university and the student submits evidence of financial independence. Students must also submit a letter of acceptance from an university and the proof of health insurance.
Residency visas are for those that do not want to work in Italy. These individuals are also required to submit proofs of financial independence and of owning real estate in Italy or a rental contract and a criminal record. Italian residence permits can also be obtained by businessmen who want to open a company in Italy
Natural persons and legal entities who are residents of one of the European Union’s (EU) jurisdictions benefit from simpler regulations in this sense, under the free market policy that is applicable here. However, foreing natural persons and business entities residing outside the EU will need to obtain the required immigration documents following different regulations, applicable to citizens residing outside the EU area. 
For example, residents from areas such as Iran, Russia, Middle East and certain Asian countries experience a more difficult immigration procedure related to the issuance of entry visas and residence permits
Our team of attorneys in Italy can offer legal advice to all categories of citizens, including the ones mentined above, for obtaining immigration documents following the most suitable legal procedure. 
The family visa applies to immediate family members only, meaning spouse and children of an individual working in Italy.
Italian work permits are available for performing artists, for employees of Italian companies and for sole traders.

Obtaining citizenship in Italy

There are three ways to obtain an Italian citizenship:
by descent;
• by marriage;
• by naturalization.
According to the Civil Code, a child who has an Italian father or mother is considered an Italian citizen. Marriage to an Italian citizen is another way of obtaining citizenship. However, there are certain requirements for foreigners marrying Italians before obtaining citizenship.
Naturalization of foreign individuals is available for those who have legally resided in Italy for ten or more years.
Our Italian law firm can help you with the application for all types of visas. You can also contact us if you want to set up a company in Italy.


  • Elaine Ferraris 2015-03-08

    Italian Passport Enquiry: Hello - please advise: My Italian great grandfather naturalized before my grandfather's birth in South Africa. Is there any case law or application that can be made for our rights to Italian Passports as the lineage of children born before the naturalization do have rights. The naturalization was in 1899 and my understanding was that he had no real choice to do this given the Boer War on at the time - he had to swear allegiance to the Crown or face a concentration camp. Many thanks Elaine Ferraris

  • Bertha 2017-05-22

    I have been living in Italy for 11 years and I consider that I should also apply for citizenship here. I would like to know how long the procedure will last. Thank you!

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