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No specific minimum investment amounts are necessary to obtain an investor visa in Italy.  Instead, Italian law provides that self-employed persons, including entrepreneurs, may be granted a temporary residence permit if the funds that are required for the proposed enterprise are made available.[1]  The duration of such a permit may not exceed two years,[2] and the permit may be renewed.[3] The operative statutory provision for granting such a visa is article 26(2), sentence 1 of the Consolidated Immigration Act,[4] which may be translated as follows:

In any event, the foreigner who in Italy wishes to exercise an industrial, professional, artisanal, or commercial activity or form a stock corporation or a partnership or accept a corporate office must demonstrate that he has adequate resources for the activity he intends to undertake in Italy.

According to information provided by the Ministry of the Interior, one of the requirements for a residence permit to engage in self-employed entrepreneurial activity is a certificate of the local Chamber of Commerce, attesting that the funds required for the proposed activity are made available.[5]  No amounts are specified, thus apparently leaving it up to the judgment of the local Chamber of Commerce as to an appropriate amount for the intended activity.

These principles for granting visas to entrepreneurs and other self-employed persons only apply to citizens of countries outside of the European Union.  Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to reside and work in Italy, and certified long-term residents of other European Union Member States are accepted into Italy on the basis of that certification.[6] 

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Prepared by Dante Figueroa
Senior Legal Information Analyst
August 2013

[1] Decreto legislativo 25 luglio 1998, n. 286, Testo unico delle disposizioni concernenti la disciplina dell’ immigrazione e norme sulla condizione dello straniero [L.D. 286] [Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 5, 1998, Consolidated Text of the Provisions Concerning the Field of Immigration and Rules on the Conditions of Foreigners] art. 26, available at

[2] Id. art. 5(3-quarter).

[3] Id. art. 5(4).

[4] L.D. 286 art. 26(2) sentence 1.

[6] L.D. 286 art. 5(1).