Americans in Italy For Members

How much money do Americans need to become residents in Italy in 2024?

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How much money do Americans need to become residents in Italy in 2024?
How much money will you need to start a new life in Italy as a US citizen? Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

If you're a US citizen who's looking to move to Italy on a retirement or digital nomad visa, here’s how much money you need to be allowed to live in the country.


From Edith Wharton to Gore Vidal, a number of famous Americans down the decades have fallen in love with the Italian lifestyle and made Italy their second home.

Though Italian immigration policies are stricter than they once were, US citizens can still obtain residency in Italy, even if you don't have family ties or a job offer.

As of 2024, Italy has more than one visa available to self-employed or remote workers from outside the EU, and others for retired people and investors.

What you will need for each of these is a minimum annual income sufficient to reassure the Italian authorities that you can support yourself financially without the assistance of the Italian state.

Here's what those thresholds are in 2024.

Elective residency visa

Often known as Italy's retirement visa, the elective residency visa, or ERV, is for people who don't need to work (you're not allowed to work on this visa), and can support themselves on a passive income.

The government's official minimum threshold is €31,000 per person or €38,000 per married couple plus five percent per dependent minor.

However, as Italian immigration experts have told us in the past, individual consulates have the power to raise this limit much higher than this.

READ ALSO: Five expert tips for getting your Italian elective residency visa approved

Giuditta Petreni at Mazzeschi Legal Counsels says that in her experience it's "typical" for consulates to require three to four times the official threshold.


Digital nomad visa

As of April 2024, Italy finally has a digital nomad visa along the lines of those offered by countries like Spain and Portugal.

The decree doesn't provide a number, but says that an applicant's annual income must be no less than three times the minimum amount that would exempt them from paying for healthcare.

According to multiple immigration experts, that amounts to just under €28,000

Nick Metta from Studio Legale Metta notes that the decree doesn't specify that this income has to be from work, meaning that in theory it could come "from any source, for example, rental income, corporate dividends, etc."

READ ALSO: Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy's digital nomad visa

As with the ERV, he cautions that "each Italian Consulate might apply its own interpretation about qualifying sources of income and might require a higher amount as well."


Investor visa

As you might expect from the name, an investor visa requires the largest outlay of any of these permits.

The scheme allows Americans and other non-EU citizens the right to live in Italy if they meet the key requirements, namely a minimum investment of €250,000 to €2 million in certain start ups, companies, charities or government bonds.

Unlike other Italian visas, the investor visa doesn't require the holder to make Italy their primary place of residence.

You also don't need to spend the money at the outset; according to Giancarlo Ostetto from the Italian office of Lexidy Law Boutique, “the Italian investor visa is considered a safe option as you pay the investment three months after you get your visa rather than beforehand."

Self-employment visa

According to the Italian consulate in London, Italy's self-employment visa requires an annual income "higher than the minimum level provided by the law for exemption from participation in medical and health public assistance" - that is, €8,500.


You might be wondering why anyone would choose to apply for the new digital nomad visa over the self-employment visa given how much lower the income threshold is for the latter.

The answer is that unlike the digital nomad visa, Italy's self-employment visa is subject to annual quotas that hover around 500 per year.

This, combined with the fact that consulates tend to be very hesitant to approve the visa without proof of a stable and substantial income, makes the self-employment visa notoriously difficult to obtain in practice.


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