Moving to Italy For Members

Moving to Italy: Retiring in Italy and the elective residency visa

Elaine Allaby
Elaine Allaby - [email protected]
Moving to Italy: Retiring in Italy and the elective residency visa
Retiring in Italy is a dream for many - but you'll need to jump through some hoops first. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP.

Moving to Italy, a country infamous for its red tape, can seem like a daunting task. Our new newsletter is here to answer your questions - this time we're looking at elective residency visa applications and a retirement checklist.


Here at The Local we're an international team living in Italy - which means we've either grown up navigating Italian bureaucracy or been through the simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking process of moving countries.

Our new newsletter is aimed at people who are in the process of moving, have recently moved and are still grappling with the paperwork or perhaps are just thinking about it - and we'll share a regular selection of practical tips. Our team is also available to answer questions from subscribers to The Local.

What do you need to retire in Italy?

If you're approaching retirement or just dreaming of those golden years ahead, you may be wondering what's involved on a practical level in making the move to Italy.

Beyond finding the right town or city and a home to live in, there are also considerations around visas, taxes, residency permits and healthcare.

If you're an EU citizen, you don't need to worry about the former, though you'll still need to register as a resident at your local Anagrafe (Registry Office) and prove you have the economic means to support yourself and any dependents.

For non-EU citizens, you'll need to be prepared to pour plenty of time, patience, and money into visa applications. When that's done, all new arrivals also need to consider tax obligations and look into healthcare options.

We looked at the major bureaucratic hoops you'll have to jump through when retiring as a foreigner in Italy.

How can you get an elective residency visa?

The elective residency visa (ERV) is a popular route to relocating to Italy, and is often recommended as the best option for retirees and anyone else who can access a regular income without working.

But many find the application process unexpectedly difficult to navigate, as the requirements can vary from one consulate to the next and the final decision often comes down to one individual official's assessment of you.


Some applicants start off unaware that simply having large reserves of wealth isn't enough, while others underestimate the importance of drafting a strong supporting letter explaining your motivation for coming to Italy.

After speaking to multiple experts, we put together a detailed guide to applying for an elective residency visa, as well as five top tips for would-be ERV applicants


The Local's Reader Questions section covers questions our members have asked us and is a treasure trove of useful info on all kinds of practical matters. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, head here to leave us your questions.


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