Italy Digital Nomad Visa 2023 Launch: What We Know So Far

italy digital nomad visa

Ever wanted to live and work remotely in beautiful Italy?

Well, it’s about to get easier to do so.

In March 2022, the Italian government approved plans for the Italy Digital Nomad Visa.

We’re still waiting for its official launch, likely to happen sometime in early 2023. Keep an eye on this article for updates about the exact details of the process and requirements.

In the meantime, here’s what we know so far.

Italy digital nomad visa overview

For starters, this visa is aimed at ‘highly skilled workers’, not just anyone who works remotely.

It could involve anything from needing a university degree, to a certain number of years in your field, to being in a certain list of professions.

But, the Italian government is still sitting on its exact definition of ‘highly skilled’ – so we’ll have to wait and see.

Basic requirements

The exact requirements of the Italian digital nomad visa are yet to be announced. Based on similar visas (both in Italy and elsewhere in Europe) here’s what you can expect to find.

  • Be a non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss citizen
  • Be employed or self-employed by a company based outside Italy
  • Meet the minimum income requirements (still to be confirmed)
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Have proof of suitable accommodation in Italy
  • Hold comprehensive health insurance covering not only Italy but also the whole Schengen Zone

Who can apply?

So far, anyone who meets the above basic requirements.

It’s still unclear if the Italian government will restrict digital nomad visa applications to specific nationalities, or impose a quota on the number of applications in any one year.

Can the digital nomad visa lead to citizenship?

We don’t know yet.

Most digital nomad visas are valid from six months to 2 years.

If they’re renewable beyond that, then you should be able to maintain legal residence in the country long enough to apply for citizenship (in Italy you need 10 years of provable residence).

But some digital nomad visas aren’t renewable, which means they wouldn’t act as a valid pathway to eventual citizenship.

If you’re aiming for Italian citizenship, then you should consider the Italian Golden Visa instead.

In any case, Italy’s 10-year residence timeline for citizenship makes it a poor choice if this is your long-term goal. You’d be better off choosing a country like Portugal, where you can apply for citizenship after just 5 years of residence.

Alternatives to the Italy digital nomad visa

While we wait for further news about the digital nomad visa in Italy, let’s take a look at some alternatives.

The self-employment visa

This is currently the closest thing Italy has to a digital nomad visa.

The requirements are complicated and there’s an annual quota in place. But if you’re keen to move to Italy without waiting for the digital nomad visa, then the self-employment visa could be an option for you.

The Italian self-employment visa allows ‘highly skilled’ remote workers and freelancers to move to Italy and work remotely from there.

Using this visa, you can also take advantage of tax incentives, including a flat rate of 30% tax on your individual self-employment income. This may be reduced to 10% if you become resident in one of the southern regions.

The tax incentives are valid for a period of five years, but you can extend them for a further five years if you meet various conditions (e.g. buying property).

Self-employment visa requirements:

  • Be a non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss citizen
  • Be employed or self-employed by a company based outside Italy
  • Meet the minimum income requirements of at least €8,500
  • Show proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay (e.g. savings or investments)
  • Have a clean criminal record from your previous countries of long-term residence
  • Have a ‘certificate of no impediment’ stating that you can provide services in Italy
  • Have proof of suitable accommodation in Italy
  • Hold comprehensive health insurance covering not only Italy but also the whole Schengen Zone

The golden visa

Italy’s Golden Visa offers a five-year temporary residence permit in return for an investment starting from just €250,000 – one of Europe’s cheapest.

You can choose from investing in funds, buying shares in Italian companies, donating to an Italian charity or NGO, or investing in Italian government bonds.

It’s also possible to include your family members on your residence permit under the golden visa scheme.

After receiving the five-year temporary residence, you can apply for permanent residence after five years.

It’s also a pathway to EU citizenship, which you’d be eligible for after 10 years residence in total (five years temporary + five years permanent, then apply for Italian citizenship).

Golden visa requirements:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Be a third country national (i.e., not a citizen of an EU/EEA country, or Switzerland)
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Invest a minimum of €250,000 in Italy
  • Have full medical insurance covering yourself and any dependents
  • Pass a due diligence check, in line with international anti-money laundering regulations

Before you go…

Italy’s digital nomad visa is a welcome announcement in the wake of the pandemic.

If done properly, the scheme will certainly make life easier for remote workers who want to set up shop in one of Europe’s most historic and cultural nations.

But with the slow pace of Italian bureaucracy, it’s still uncertain when the new visa will officially come into existence.

We’re hoping it will happen in 2023.

In the meantime, we’ve suggested several other options if you want to move to Italy more quickly. These include the self-employment visa and the golden visa.

If you’re open to other countries, we recommend looking at Portugal’s digital nomad visa instead. Already launched, Portugal’s program allows remote workers to live and work flexibly in one of Europe’s top digital nomad hotspots.

From those who want short stays to those who want citizenship, Portugal’s digital nomad visa is an excellent choice.

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