Residence permit
May 23, 2024
Reading Time: 10 min

How digital nomads can obtain residence permits and move to Italy

The Digital Nomad Visa allows remote workers and freelancers to obtain residency in Italy for 1 year.

To apply for the visa and move to the land of endless gelato, foreigners demonstrate a monthly income of €2,700 and confirm the right to work remotely.

After five years of living in Italy, digital nomads can obtain permanent residency, and another five years later, they can apply for citizenship by naturalisation.

Igor Buglo
Igor Buglo

Explains how digital nomads can move to Italy

Italy Digital Nomad visa for moving to Italy and working remotely

How digital nomads can obtain residence permits and move to Italy

What is a Digital Nomad Visa in Italy?

The Italy Digital Nomad Visa is a new type of national D visa that allows you to move to Italy and obtain a residence permit for a year.

The Italian Government amended the Immigration Law and added a section about the Digital Nomad Visa back in 2022. However, the visa became available only in April 2024.

Who is eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa in Italy?

Entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, freelancers, and remote employees of foreign companies can obtain Digital Nomad Visas.

The requirements they need to meet are:

  • be a non-EU citizen;

  • be 18 or older;

  • have no criminal records;

  • have been working remotely for more than 6 months;

  • rent or purchase a residential property in Italy;

  • earn more than €2,700 per month;

  • have savings of at least €30,000.

Close family members of the main applicant can also obtain residency in Italy. A spouse, minor children, and financially dependent parents obtain family reunion visas and submit documents simultaneously with the application for the Digital Nomad Visa.

Documents for a Digital Nomad Visa

The complete list of documents depends on the specific case. The basic package includes:

  • a copy of a valid passport;

  • a marriage certificate and birth certificates of children, if family members are included in the application;

  • bank statements showing a minimum balance of €30,000;

  • an employment contract or contracts with clients;

  • confirmation of remote work from the employer;

  • a certificate of no criminal record;

  • a lease agreement or a property ownership certificate for residential property in Italy;

  • medical insurance.

If family members apply with the main applicant, the savings requirements increase by €3,500—4,000 per person.

Individual cost calculation for a Italy Digital Nomad Visa

Individual cost calculation for a Italy Digital Nomad Visa

How to get the Digital Nomad Visa and residency in Italy: a step-by-step process

Obtaining Italy residence for nomads takes about 4—5 months. Initially, the applicant submits documents for the Digital Nomad Visa to the consulate and then enters Italy to obtain residency.

If the foreigner already has a visa, for example, a tourist visa, they can immediately come to Italy and apply for residency. In this case, the process takes 1—2 months less.

1

1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

Before signing an agreement with an applicant, Immigrant Invest conducts a preliminary Due Diligence to identify possible risks of a visa refusal and reduce them to 1%.

A certified Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer checks the applicant against international legal and business databases. The process is entirely confidential.

2

30+ days

Collection of documents and renting or purchase of a property

Based on each applicant’s situation, Immigrant Invest lawyers compile an individual list of documents and help applicants complete government forms.

While preparing documents, the applicant rents or purchases a residential property in Italy. There are no minimum cost requirements.

However, the size of the property should correspond to the family composition. If the applicant is moving with a spouse and two children, the apartment must have at least two bedrooms.

3

Up to 90 days

Submission of the visa application

If the applicant already has an Italian visa, they can come to Italy and apply for residency.

In another case, a national D visa application is submitted to the Italian consulate in the country of citizenship or current residency. With this visa, the digital nomad enters Italy.

4

8 days

Submission of the application for a residence permit

While having a tourist or national visa, the foreigner arrives in Italy and submits residency documents. They have 8 days to do so. It is also necessary to provide biometric data at the police station at the place of registration.

Rights and obligations of digital nomads in Italy

Digital nomads have the same rights as other Italian residents. For example, they can:

  • live in the country as long as their residency permits are valid;

  • get medical treatment in local clinics;

  • study in Italian schools and universities;

  • open bank accounts in Italian banks;

  • travel to other countries in the Schengen Area without a visa.

Tax obligations. Foreigners who obtain residency after the Digital Nomad Visa pay the same taxes as tax residents of the country. The income tax rate is calculated on a progressive scale of 24 to 43% and depends on the taxpayer’s income.

Validity of residency permits for digital nomads and conditions for renewal

Digital nomads get their first residency permit cards for one year. The document can be renewed if the applicant still meets minimum income and savings requirements.

To renew the residency permit, the digital nomad should prove they have tax residency or continuously live in the country for a minimum of 183 days per year.

The second residency permit card is issued for two years. It can be renewed an unlimited number of times.

How to obtain permanent residency and citizenship in Italy after the Digital Nomad Visa

Applying for permanent residency is permitted after 5 years of living in Italy with a residency permit. It is important not to leave the country for more than six consecutive months or ten months in total during this period.

Applicants for permanent residency must demonstrate:

  • sufficient income to support themselves and their families;

  • knowledge of the Italian language at level A2;

  • a registered address in Italy — either through a rental agreement or purchase of the residential property.

Italian citizenship is granted by naturalisation after 10 years of living in the country with residency. Applicants do not need to renounce other passports because Italy recognises dual citizenship.

The Italian passport is one of the strongest in terms of freedom of movement it provides. The document allows visa-free travel to 172 countries, as well as the right to live and work in any European Union state.

Other ways for digital nomads to move to Italy

Foreigners obtain a national D visa based on different grounds. However, some visas don’t grant the right to work in the country. For instance, the Residenza Elettiva, a visa for foreigners with passive income, is granted on the condition that they will not work in Italy.

The Lavoro Autonomo is a visa for self-employment in Italy. It is obtained by freelancers, startups, and entrepreneurs. The visa allows staying in the country for more than 90 consecutive days, opening a business, and working remotely.

Before applying for the visa, applicants obtain a Nulla Osta and work permit from the Italian Chamber of Commerce. Applications can be submitted in person by arriving in Italy with a Schengen visa or through a representative with power of attorney.

Visa applications are submitted at the Italian consulate in the applicant’s country of citizenship or residency. After approval, the foreigner arrives in Italy and submits a residency permit application within 8 days. The residency card is issued for 2 years and can be renewed.

The downside of the Self-employment visa is that it is only issued within quotas, ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 cards per year. At the beginning of every year, the Italian government publishes a decree regarding the acceptance of documents from foreign workers. This decree remains in effect for several months.

At other times, obtaining this type of visa is impossible.

The Special Cases Visa, or Lavoro Casi Particolari Previsti, is issued outside the quotas. It can be obtained by company executives and employees, teachers and university professors, researchers, translators, journalists, athletes, or artists.

The applicant signs an employment contract with an Italian company and requests a Nulla Osta. Then, they arrive in Italy and submit documents for a residency permit for work purposes within 8 days.

The first residency card is usually issued for one year with the possibility of renewal.

Rome, Italy. How to get a visa to work in Italy

About 70,000 immigrants come to Italy every year, and 18,5% of them receive a residence permit to work in the country

The Golden Visa, introduced in 2017, is available to wealthy individuals who invest €250,000 or more in the Italian economy.

Investors also receive a Nulla Osta and submit documents for a visa. It is valid for one year; during this time, they need to come to Italy and submit a residency permit application within 8 days.

Foreigners with this visa can move to Italy and work there, but it is their right, not obligation. They do not need special permissions to work.

To obtain the Golden Visa, applicants choose one of the following options:

  • purchase shares in an innovative startup for €250,000+;

  • acquire shares in a local limited liability company for €500,000+;

  • make a charitable donation of €1,000,000+ to socially significant projects;

  • purchase government bonds for €2,000,000+.

The residency permit is issued for 2 years and can be renewed for another 3 years.

The Golden Visas are issued to foreigners over 18 with legal income and no criminal records. Applicants must attach medical insurance and a lease or purchase agreement for residential property in Italy to the visa application.

Investors can add their family members: a spouse and minor children. Children over 18 and parents can be included in the application if the investor financially supports them.

Individual cost calculation of the Italy Golden Visa

Individual cost calculation of the Italy Golden Visa

5 reasons why digital nomads choose Italy

1. Opportunity to move to the European Union. Italy has a developed economy and a high standard of living. It attracts expats with its warm climate, local culture, cuisine, and historical landmarks. For example, the country is home to 55 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Entrepreneurs and investors appreciate Italy’s central location in Europe, which allows it to maintain fast trade turnover and wide business connections with other European countries. In terms of GDP volume, Italy ranks 3rd in the European Union.

2. Prospects of obtaining Italian citizenship. If a digital nomad decides to stay in Italy, obtains residency, and lives there for at least 10 years, they can apply for citizenship.

3. Visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. A residency permit in Italy allows visa-free entry into other Schengen Agreement countries. The allowed stay there is up to 90 days within 180 days.

4. Opportunity to register a business. Any foreigner can open a company in Italy. The registration takes up to two weeks, and expenses are around €500. Sole proprietorship status is registered for free.

It is also easy to establish a startup in Italy, with the possibility of obtaining a special visa and tax incentives for business.

5. Access to education and healthcare. Digital nomads can enrol their children in state kindergartens and schools that are on par with Italian citizens. Enrolling a child in a private educational institution where classes are taught in English or another language is also possible.

Healthcare in Italy is a mix of public and private systems. Insurance covers most medical treatments. Italy ranks in the top 6 countries in the world for life expectancy and has a very low infant mortality rate.

How to apply for Italy residence as a digital nomad

The University of Milan is one of the best universities in Italy. It offers 24 double degrees and 32 bachelor and master programs in English

Cons of the Italian Digital Nomad Visa

The visa only came into effect in April 2024, which means that all the process details still need to be announced. The first applicants for this new type of visa and residency permit may require additional documents from the consulate or the Italian Immigration Service.

Mandatory relocation to Italy. To renew their residency permit, digital nomads must live in the country for at least 183 days a year. It won’t be possible to use the residency permit as a safe haven and just come to Italy for two or three months a year in the summer.

High taxes. Digital nomads will most likely not have tax privileges and will have to pay the same income tax as other Italian residents. The minimum rate is 24%.

Best cities in Italy for digital nomads

Rome is Italy’s capital and the largest city, known for its rich culture and many historical sites. It is located in Central Italy and offers good transport connections to all parts of the country and other European states. It might be an ideal choice for digital nomads who want to travel around Europe.

The city has high living standards and developed infrastructure. It boasts many co-working spaces and cafes with Internet connection as well as leisure activities. There is also a big community of expats, including digital nomads, and many networking events.

Since Rome is famous among tourists, English is common, which is convenient for foreigners who don’t speak Italian.

There are smaller towns around Rome where the cost of living is lower. Some of them are Ostia, Ciampino, Fiumicino, Frascati, and Tivoli. Trains connecting the capital and its suburbs run from early morning to late at night, making it easy to get to the capital in less than one hour.

On average, a single person needs around €1,700 per month for a moderate level of living; a one-bedroom apartment costs €600—1,000.

Milan is the second-largest city in Italy, located in the northern part of the country. It is known as a fashion, cultural, and financial hub. It also offers a blend of modern amenities and historical and cultural richness.

The Internet in Milan is one of the fastest in Italy, with a download speed of around 90 Mbps. In comparison, the average speed of the Internet in the world is 92 Mbps. The country also has the largest number of co-working spaces.

Milan has a large expat community that allows digital nomads from all over the world to connect with many foreigners. Networking events are held in Italian and English each month.

The cost of living in Milan is relatively high. On average, a single person needs around €2,000—2,500 per month. Renting a one-bedroom apartment costs €1,000—1,500.

Florence is the capital of Tuscany, a region known for picturesque landscapes with vineyards and olive groves. It is also the birthplace of the Renaissance, and thus, there are many galleries and museums.

Florence is located in the centre of Tuscany, making exploring the region and enjoying its gems easy.

This city is an excellent destination for digital nomads who want to dive into culture and have a relaxed lifestyle. The fact that Florence is one of the safest cities in Italy also contributes to a peaceful atmosphere.

Living in Florence is rather expensive but more affordable than in Milan. On average, a single person needs around €2,000 per month; the renting cost is €700—1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Palermo is located on the island of Sicily on the board of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It suits digital nomads who like to sunbathe, swim or engage in water activities.

One of Palermo’s main advantages is its climate. It is pleasant, with long and warm summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is 18°C, and there are more than 300 sunny days.

Palermo is relatively affordable compared with Rome, Milan, and Florence. For a moderate lifestyle, one needs around €1,300 per month, and renting costs €400—600.

Turin is located in northern Italy, a two-hour drive from Milan, and surrounded by the Alps. In winter, ski resorts function around Turin, allowing Italians and foreigners to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. According to Numbeo, it is the best Italian city in terms of quality of life.

Turin is also known as an innovation hub with institutions like the Politecnico di Torino and major tech companies working there. This creates opportunities for networking and collaboration, especially for IT specialists.

The city is more affordable than Rome, Milan, and Florence. The average cost of living there is around €1,500 per month, and renting a one-bedroom apartment would cost €500—700.

Digital Nomad Visa in Italy

Bardonecchia, Pila, Vialattea Ski Area, and Prato Nevoso are popular ski resorts located around Turin

Key points about the Digital Nomad Visa in Italy

  1. The Italy Digital Nomad Visa is a national D-category visa. It allows obtaining residency in the country for one year.

  2. The Digital Nomad Visa is designed for digital nomads — foreigners who work remotely, such as freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote employees of foreign companies.

  3. To apply for the visa, an applicant proves having an income of over €2,700 and confirms the ability to work remotely.

  4. Digital nomads pay taxes in Italy. The income tax rate is calculated based on annual earnings.

  5. To renew their residency permit, digital nomads need to confirm that they continue meeting all income and remote work requirements and prove that they have become tax residents of the country.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain Italy Digital Nomad Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Italy Digital Nomad Visa?

Frequently asked questions

  • Does Italy offer a Digital Nomad Visa?

    Yes, in April 2024, the Italian government launched the Digital Nomad Visa for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers.

  • How can freelancers move to Italy?

    Freelancers, self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, and remote employees can move to Italy with the Digital Nomad Visa. This national visa allows one to obtain residency.

    To qualify for the Digital Nomad Visa in Italy, one must earn more than €2,700 per month and have savings of over €30,000.

    Additionally, freelancers can obtain a Self-Employment visa. In Italy, it’s called Lavoro Autonomo, and it is a visa for self-employment. However, this visa is only issued within quotas ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 per year.

  • How to get an Italy residence for digital nomads, and how long does the process take?

    The national D visa is obtained at the Italian consulate in the country of citizenship or residency. The consulate reviews visa documents within three months, but in practice, approval often comes within 10—20 days.

    Then, the foreigner arrives in Italy and submits documents for a residence permit within 8 days.

    The entire process of obtaining residency takes 4—5 months, including property selection and document preparation.

  • How much does a D visa cost in Italy?

    The consular fee for the Italian national D visa is €116.

  • What is Permesso di soggiorno in Italy?

    Permesso di soggiorno is a permit for temporary residence in Italy. It can be obtained under various grounds, such as work, study, or family reunification. A residence permit is obtained by all foreigners planning to live in Italy for more than 90 days.

  • What taxes do digital nomads pay in Italy?

    Digital nomads become tax residents and pay the same taxes as country citizens. The income tax is calculated at a rate of 24—43%, depending on the taxpayer’s income.

  • Which other countries issue Digital Nomad Visas?

    Currently, Digital Nomad Visas are available in many European countries, such as:

    In the Caribbean, visas for digital nomads are issued in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands.

  • How long can you stay in Italy without a visa?

    The length of stay allowed in Italy varies depending on the foreigner’s country of citizenship. For example, citizens of EU countries can stay in Italy visa-free for up to 90 days within 180 days.

    Citizens of third countries can enter Italy without a visa if their states have signed a visa-free agreement with Italy.