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Villa with swimming pool and terrace with mountain view.

Beautiful renovated rural villa for sale, with garden and terrace with mountain view. Located in Casoli, Abruzzo region of Italy.

Beautiful villa composed by two separate units, swimming pool, panoramic terrace, garden, olive grove and parking area. 235.000 €. View Property.

Magnificent villa of 650 sqm for sale, elegant interiors. Abruzzo.

Villa for sale, completely designed by the architect Walter Franchini, in Abruzzo, Italy.

Elegant villa completely designed by the architect Walter Franchini. 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 living rooms. 360.000 €. View Property.

Renovated traditional Italian town house near the Adriatic Sea.

Charming renovated town house with stunning brick barrel ceilings, patio and sea view terrace, for sale in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

Character Italian house of 330 sqm with fantastic brick vaulted ceilings and amazing details, sea view terrace and patio. 320.000 €. View Property.

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How Americans can get Residency in Italy? FAQ

Posted by on in Useful information and resources

What kind of visa can you get as a US citizen looking to move to Italy, and how much money will you need?

Over the past few years, as more American citizens have purchased houses in Italy, the demand for more information on how to buy property here has increased. Many American clients write to us asking whether special documents are necessary to go through with the purchase of property in Italy and if they have to pay higher taxes compared to EU citizens.

In response we decided to write this article to answer to the most frequently asked questions American citizens may have.

FAQ about buying property in Italy as an American

Table of contents

  1. I am an american citizen: Can I purchase a house in italy?
  2. What are mutual agreements?
  3. Do americans pay higher taxes to purchase a house in Italy?
  4. I am an american citizen who would like to purchase a holiday home in Italy: Which documents do I need to have?
  5. I am an american citizen who wishes to become a resident in Italy: Which documents are required?
  6. How long does the elective visa last?
  7. How to register as a local resident?

I am an american citizen: Can I purchase a house in italy?

The answer is yes! American citizens can buy houses in Italy without needing to have any special documents and do not have to pay higher taxes compared to EU citizens. This is because Italy has mutual agreements which enable the buying and selling of real estates in Italy by foreign citizens.

What are mutual agreements?

Basically, the current regulations allow the purchasing of property by foreigners as follows:

  1. A foreigner without a regular residence permit: may purchase only if an international agreement gives its consent or if a mutual agreement exists between Italy and their country of origin which, in turn permits an Italian to buy a house there.

  2. A foreigner with a regular residence permit or their family member, in possession of a regular permit, who is living in Italy and has been stateless for at least three years: may buy property without having to present an existing agreement, if they possess a residence permit for self employed or employed work, to start up a business, for family, humanitarian and study reasons or with an extended EC residence permit (residence card).

  3. EU and EEA citizens (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), asylum seekers or political refugees resident here for more than three years: are not required to present any particular documents to proceed with a purchase.

Consult this link for information on the Foreign Ministry’s advice. Please be aware that mutual agreements can change at any time according to circumstances. Information will always be provided at the time of purchase.

Do americans pay higher taxes to purchase a house in Italy?

The answer is NO! The taxation of real estate in Italy is not based on the purchaser’s nationality so taxation will be just the same for an Italian, EU citizen, American citizen, citizens from other non EU countries included in the mutual agreements.

I am an american citizen who would like to purchase a holiday home in Italy: Which documents do I need to have?

To purchase a holiday home in Italy American citizens only need two documents: their passport and an Italian tax code (Codice fiscale, which is usually provided by the real estate agency who completes the purchase).

Purchasing a holiday home means that American citizens may spend 90 days in Italy with a visitor visa. After 90 days the visitor visa expires and American citizens will have to go back to their country or another non EU country in order to re-enter Italy after a few days.

I am an american citizen who wishes to become a resident in Italy: Which documents are required?

To become a resident and stay in Italy for more than 90 days as permitted by a visitor visa, an American citizen must apply for a visa at the Italian embassy in their country of residence.

Here is a list of the mandatory documents and requirements to apply for residency in Italy by means of an elective residence visa:

  • Minimum economic requirement:

    Foreigners interested in moving to Italy can apply for a visa for "elective residence" only if they are able to financially support themselves without working. This visa is issued if the applicant satisfies the minimum economic requirement established by Italian law, as specified in the Interministerial Decree MAE 850/2011.
    In this case, the minimum required income is 31,000 euros a year for the individual applicant. In the event that you plan to move with your entire family, the amount of monthly income must be increased by 20% for your spouse and by at least 5% for each child, whether the latter is a minor or an adult dependent. The required income must come from personal wealth and legitimate sources and not from unregistered work. The economic requirement can be satisfied if the applicant submits documents relating to income from pensions or annuities, from ownership of real estate or from ownership of stable economic / commercial activities.

  • Property possession evidence:

    In addition to income, the foreigner must make a statement about their intention to move to Italy, indicating exactly the full address of the house, number and any extension. They must also demonstrate that they have purchased a property for residential use in the Italian territory by presenting the notarial deed, or can demonstrate their willingness to acquire it by presenting the preliminary purchase contract (compromise drawn up by a lawyer or notary) as well as a copy of the documentation that proves the payment of the first payment or down payment. In the event that the visa is issued with the latter hypothesis, the formal issuance of the residence permit will be linked to the presentation of the definitive purchase deed, i.e. to the actual presentation of the notarial deed, which demonstrates the successful transfer of ownership.

  • International health insurance (valid in all Schengen countries):

    Finally, the foreigner must have an international health insurance (valid in all Schengen countries) with a minimum duration of 30 days and with a minimum coverage of € 30,000 for emergency hospitalization expenses and repatriation expenses.
    The duration of the visa is 1 year and, as in the other cases, within 8 days of arrival in Italy the foreigner must request the issuance of the respective residence permit to the Police Headquarters using the postal kit. All documentation presented at the time of visa application must be attached to the request.

One of the requirements for any visa will be proof of housing.

How long does the elective visa last?

The permit is renewable if the original conditions are maintained over time and only if the foreigner has not interrupted their stay in Italy for a continuous period exceeding six months, unless the interruption is due to the need to fulfill military obligations or from other serious and proven reasons. It is reiterated that this type of residence permit cannot be used for any type of work in Italy.

How to register as a local resident?

Americans or non-EU citizens, to obtain registration in the Registry of the resident population in Italy must go personally to the municipal registry and fill in a special form enclosing:

  • Valid passport or other valid identification document and entry visa when requested.

  • Valid original residence permit valid for the foreign citizen.

  • A document certifying the working activity carried out: subordinate (registered subordinate employment contract) or autonomous (registration at a Chamber of Commerce or VAT number), if stay and registration are required for work purposes.

  • A document certifying enrollment in educational or vocational training courses (enrollment at a recognized public or private institute), if stay and registration are required for study or training purposes.

  • A certificate of financial availability for oneself (and for one's family members).

  • A health insurance policy or other title suitable for covering all risks in the national territory. If the transfer also concerns the family, the non-EU citizen must also attach the following documentation.

  • Valid passport or other valid identification document and entry visa when requested.

  • Original and valid residence permit for all members of the family unit.

  • Authentic document that demonstrates the composition of the family, issued by the competent authorities of the State of origin (document attesting the relationship of family member).

For the registry entry: registry office of the municipality in which the usual residence is established.