Italy Retirement Visa

Often referred to as the Italian Retirement Visa; the Elective Residency Visa (residenza elettiva), is mostly used by foreign nationals (Non- EU) who wish to retire in Italy – and have the financial means to support themselves without carrying out any working activity.

Italy Retirement Visa

The Italy residency retire visa is the type of visa generally used by foreigners who are retired and can collect income from a retirement or pension plan. To obtain an elective residency visa, you must apply in person to the specific Italian consulate that covers your jurisdiction before leaving home.

To be eligible for this visa, you must provide, along with a few official forms, proof of financial means such as original financial statements from banks, investment/brokerage firms, Social Security, etc., indicating current balances. Such balances cannot be derived from current employment or other work activities.

 In other words, you cannot finance your residence in Italy through work. You will also need to provide a rental agreement or deed for property in Italy, and proof of valid medical insurance.

However, Italy is one of the most attractive destinations within the EU for foreign retirees who wish to spend their golden years abroad.

Italy is often referred to as the Bel Paese, a neoclassical appellative meaning “beautiful country” due to its amazing landscapes, mild weather, cultural heritage, and some of the world’s most celebrated food and wines, among other reasons. Italy’s Mediterranean climate and lifestyle have always attracted many foreigners, and even more so in recent years.

However, the possibility of relocating to Italy is not only limited to those who wish to retire to Italy, in fact, but the Italian government has also designed several visas for people who wish to work or study in Italy. In this article, we will examine a scheme whereby foreigners who would like to retire to Italy can do so by applying for an Elective Residence Visa.

What is Retirement?

Retirement can be defined as the act of withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours or workload.

Many people choose to retire when they are elderly or incapable of doing their job due to health reasons. People may also retire when eligible for private or public pension benefits. However, some are forced to retire when bodily conditions no longer allow the person to work (by illness or accident) or due to legislation concerning their positions.


In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Previously, low life expectancy, lack of social security, and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement benefits in 1889.

What is a Visa?

A visa can be a conditional authorization granted by a polity to a foreigner that allows them to enter, remain within, or leave their territory.

Visas typically include limits on the duration of the foreigner's stay, areas within the country they may enter, the dates they may enter, the number of permitted visits, or if the individual can work in the country in question.

Visas are associated with the request for permission to enter a territory and thus are, in most countries, distinct from actual formal permission for an alien to enter and remain in the country. In each instance, a visa is subject to entry permission by an immigration official at the time of actual entry and can be revoked at any time.

Visa evidence most commonly takes the form of a sticker endorsed in the applicant's passport or other travel document but may also exist electronically. Some countries no longer issue physical visa evidence, recording details only in immigration databases.

What is a Retirement visa:

Retirement visas are not always compulsory, and there are many countries throughout the world where retirees can reside without any formal citizenship. Countries are increasingly trying to attract retirees by offering unique programs that make retirement easier.

However, retirees are usually required to show proof of their retirement income. They may also be asked to deposit a pre-determined amount of money in a local bank account. In most countries, retirees are not permitted to participate in any paid activity or run any type of business.

However, a retirement visa is a residence permit that allows you to spend your retirement years in a foreign country. To qualify for this type of visa, you must be at retirement age and have enough money to support yourself.

When you commence an application for retirement visas, you must have all of the necessary documentation in place. You do not want to risk failing the application process and finding that you are required to repeat the whole experience at your own cost.

Retirement visas generally last for one year and can be acquired from the local immigration office. You will need to speak to a local embassy or immigration official who will be able to give you far more specific information on applying for a retirement visa.

Every country has laws about retirement visas, and it is worth researching visa requirements in full. See our international relocation guides for comprehensive information about the type of visa available to you in your chosen destination.

The Eligibility Criteria for a Retirement visa in Italy:

To be eligible to apply for the visas that allow retirement in Italy, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 55 years of age or older (applicable for primary applicants).
  • You must not have dependents (children or other family members).
  • You must be of good character.
  • You must be in good health condition.

The Requirements for Retirement visa:

The general rule is that as an applicant for this visa, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your retirement visa application form.
  • Your valid passport.
  • Passport-sized identity pictures.
  • Copy of national ID.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Divorce certificate (if applicable).
  • Proof of financial funds to support your stay.
  • Proof of life insurance.
  • Proof of health insurance.
  • Evidence of accommodation.

The passive income required by law for an individual must be at least €2,596.60 (at an exchange rate of $1.30 the amount is equal to $3,375.58). Please note that if you apply with your spouse, each of you will need to pay a visa application fee. You will also need a certified copy of your birth and marriage certificates (if applicable).

The visa can also be issued to minor children and dependent children over 18 living with their parents provided that you can demonstrate adequate financial assets to support them. Due to it being one of the most strictly regulated visas, by law, consular officers are required to process applications thoroughly. This usually takes up to 3 months approximately.

The Elective Residence Visa is valid for 365 days. It is worth mentioning that this visa is for non-EU residents as EU citizens benefit from freedom of movement within the EU’s member states and can relocate to Italy and live in the country without any time limitations or restrictions.

On the other hand, if you hold an Elective Residence Visa, once you arrive in Italy, you will need to go to the Questura (“local police headquarters”) within 8 days from your arrival and apply for a residency permit (permesso di soggiorno).

Every year the Questura will verify that you meet the requirements, and it will re-issue the residency permit; after 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency in Italy; if you wish to apply for Italian citizenship by residency, you will be able to do so after 10 years of legal residency in Italy.

How to Apply for a Retirement Visa:

Here’s how to apply for a retirement visa:

  1. Locate a visa application center.
  2. Gather your documents.
  3. Submit your application.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is eligible for a retirement visa?

For a retiree to be eligible for a 5-year renewable retirement visa, he must fulfill one of the following criteria: invest in a property worth AED 2 million. have financial savings of no less than AED 1 million. have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month.

What is the cost of a retirement visa in Italy?

The initial non-refundable fee of the retirement visa application costs USD 25 per applicant and dependent. If the application is approved by the GDRFA or DLD, a total amount of AED 3,714.75 (approx. US$1,011) per applicant and dependent must be paid.

Is it reasonable to retire in Italy?

Italy enjoys a year-round sunny climate and benefits from a low crime rate, which makes it an ideal place to retire. The city also has an abundance of recreational activities and offers a convenient and comfortable lifestyle for residents.

Can family members be included in a retirement visa?

This can include a cohabiting spouse and minors, and adult dependent children will receive the same visa, provided that the income above is deemed adequate to support them.

How do I get a retirement visa for Italy?

The requirements for an Italy Elective Residence Visa are:

  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself without working.
  • Proof of lodging.
  • Proof of health insurance.
  • Valid passport.
  • Italy Long-Stay Visa Application Form.
  • Passport-size pictures.
  • Civil status documents.

Can a foreigner retire in Italy?

Yes, everyone can retire in Italy. Non-EU citizens must apply for an Elective Residency Visa, also known as Italy Retirement Visa. EU citizens can freely relocate to Italy. From 2022, the retirement age in Italy is set at 67 for both genders.

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Bottom Lines

The Italy Retirement Visa is an article that explains the details of the "retirement visa."

The article further outlined the eligibility for this visa, the requirement for the visa, the meaning of the visa, the meaning of retirement, the definition of a retirement visa, how to apply for the visa, and some frequently asked questions from applicants.

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