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Moving to Italy from US- What You Need to Know for the Move

Wednesday, November 2, 2022
A smiling woman sitting by a fountain in Italy posing for a picture

The land of football, pasta, and hand gestures is a calling for millions of Americans to make Italy their forever home. With a warm climate, worldly architecture and so much more than the eyes can meet, and the ears can hear. How do you move from the US to Italy? Well…

Apply for Permits in Italy

A woman wearing a hat, with one hand in her pocket, standing in front of cafes on busy street in Italy

If you have Italian citizenship, then living in the country for over three months is not an issue at all as long as your passport is valid. However, for those that lack these papers, it is best to apply for an Italian resident permit. This is an official document that allows you to live in Italy for more than the usual three months afforded to you without needing a visa.

Staying in Italy for more than three months (90 days) will require a permit. And, there are two types of Italian permits that you can apply for. The first is a temporary type of permit known as the Permesso di Soggiorno. This one is a renewable residence permit which also has a varying duration of being valid. With this permit and having lived in Italy for 10 consecutive years in a row, you can apply for Italian citizenship which is the main goal for many people moving to any country in the first place.

The second type of permit is the Carta di Soggiorno which is a permanent permit that can give you an indefinite period of time to live in Italy. But, you would have to have lived in Italy for five consecutive years without interruption with a Permesso di Soggiorno permit (the temporary one). This one seems to be more beneficial since it can grant rights that are similar to being an Italian citizen. Therefore, you can work and even live in other EU countries without a work permit or visa with this permanent permit. Also, you can receive other state benefits.

Plus, you only have to wait five years to apply for Italian citizenship. Regardless of which permit you want to apply for, you can only apply when you are in Italy and not after eight days of being in the country. The best idea would be to organize your temporary permit in case the process takes a bit longer than it is meant to.

Italian Visas

Street photography of a woman wearing reading glasses and standing in front of a wall with graffiti in Milan, Italy

On the other end, there are visas for an extended period of time to live in Italy. An Italian visa is necessary if you want to apply for a resident permit. There are five Italian visa types you can aim to apply for. Such as:

  • EU Blue Card
  • Golden Visa/ Elective Visa
  • Self-Employed Visa
  • Work Visa
  • Student Visa

Let’s start from the bottom up with… 

Student Visas

Education is an important aspect of life, but sometimes it can be much more about where you study than what. Italy not only is a fine location to do your courses in, but it also has good universities for you to get your education. First things first, you would have to start applying for your visa application as soon as you get your acceptance letter.

You will need to show proof that you have health insurance, a place to live in while you are studying in Italy, and that you can afford the fees as well as be able to support your living conditions. Then you will be invited to an interview with the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the United States to see if you meet further requirements. And, the duration of the visa is one year. However, you can try to renew it if need be.

Work Visas

 A couple preparing an italian meal in their new kitchen as they moved successfully to Italy

Another visa that you can apply for in Italy is a work visa. Similar to the student visa you would have to apply for a job before you can start the process of getting a visa. Obviously, you would want a job at an Italian-based company. The visa usually lasts as long as the work contract but not over two years. However, the visa can be renewed for up to five years.

One important thing to note is that the business that hires you has to start the process of acquiring a work permit. This is known as a Nulla Osta which is a certificate that proves you are allowed to, legally, to work in Italy. It is also used for marriage. This document must be requested by your employer at an Italian Immigration Desk before the visa application can even start.

Furthermore, the visa is also subject to Decreto Flussi. This means that there is a limit to the number of work visas Italy can grant annually. Therefore, if the country has reached its limit, you would have to try again the following year. However, the amount of work visas has increased to about 80 000 in 2022. When you have your Nulla Osta then you can go forward with the work visa application process at your closest consulate in the US. When your work visa arrives, you can easily move to Italy.

Move to Italy Smoothly

Self-Employment Visa

A man working from home on his computer, designing images and website

If you are a freelancer then you may be wondering if there is an Italian visa for you. Well, there is. Self-employment is not only for people who want to open a business in Italy but also for freelancers. Two types of visa fit this category which is based on the business you wish to do while living in Italy.  

The first is the Italy Startup Visa. And, this is the one for those who wish to start a business in Italy. Or it can also be for those who want to take up an executive role in an already established business in an Italian-based company. The second type of self-employment visa is the Freelancer visa. As the name suggests this is for people that have freelance gigs. Regardless of the type of visa, they can last for two years. Furthermore, you can renew it until you achieve permanent residence status. Keep in mind the Decreto Flussi since this also affects the number of freelancers, business owners, and executives that can move into the country.

Another point to point out is that you would have to obtain a Nulla Osta. Therefore, as a freelancer, you would want to apply for a gig first so that the company can start the process of getting you a Nulla Osta. You can speak to or even hire an immigration consultancy agent to give you a lot more information. Plus, they can also get you security clearance. When that is all cleared you can start the self-employment visa process.

Golden Visa

A couple in the kitchen looking over documents they need for their move to Italy

The Golden Visas are for those who have a lot of cash to invest in the economy and community of Italy. If you can invest 250 000 euros in an Italian-based startup, or 500 000 euros in a limited company that is already in Italy then you can apply for this visa. Other requirements can be to invest 2 000 000 euros in government bonds in Italy or to make a philanthropic donation of 1 000 000 euros. The Golden Visa is valid for two years. However, you would have to show proof of the legal origins of your money within your CV. Furthermore, you would have to fill out all the necessary forms as well as register on the Italian Investor Visa Portal. If you get accepted, then the Committee Secretariat will give you a Nulla Osta.

When you move to Italy then you will have three months to show proof of your donation or investment. Plus, you would need to keep the investments up for as long as you have the visa. However, if you have lived in the country for five years with the Golden Visa then you can apply for permanent residency. This will no longer require you to keep up your investments.

EU Blue Card Visa

This type of visa is similar to the work visa in that the visa lasts as long as your contract. If it is a permanent contract, then the EC Blue Card Visa can last for two years. The Blue Card is for highly skilled workers with a bachelor’s degree of three years backing them. As well as a 12-month contract from an Italian-based company. Therefore, you would need a Nulla Osta from the business to start the visa process. Furthermore, the Blue Card is not restricted by the Decreto Flussi. But, you would have to make a minimum gross income of 24 790 euros.

Italian Citizenship

 A married couple of women having a kiss on their wedding in Italy

As mentioned if you have citizenship then visas are not something to be worried about. This also applies if you can claim Italian nationality by being of descent. And, you can still keep your American citizenship since Italy allows dual citizenship. If you are married to an Italian, then you can apply for Italian citizenship. But, you would have to have been married for three or more years. Or if you have been married for 18 months, but have children together, then you also meet the requirements for the application.

How to Move to Italy with Shyft

 A couple cooking a meal together in their new italian vintage apartment in Milan

Now that you know your Italian visa or citizenship options, let’s get right into how to get your move to Italy on. Use Shyft. Shyft is the world's first tech-driven moving platform where a group of people organize your relocation to Italy for you. To learn more check out our site: Shyft Moving. It is also here where you can get in touch with us by filling out the short form.

And, the moving magic begins. A Move Coach will give you a video call at the time that you say. Their process is to onboard you through the process of working with Shyft. They will answer your questions, and they will also create your inventory list during this first meeting. This is all done through the free, downloadable, mobile app, Shyft Next. Plus, the inventory list is created virtual so that no one needs to step into your current home to see what you want to move.

A person chilling while lying in a hammock inside their home with their dog looking at them

When the call is over, this list is sent to you within half an hour. The list is 95% accurate, and you can make it 100% by removing, adding and even making notes on items. When you are done, you send the updated inventory list to your Move Coach.

It is this list and your moving details that will be presented to Shyft’s secure move board. Here is where experienced, legal moving companies gather to bid on projects which can include yours. The movers have experience in international moves, and they can also aid you when it comes to dealing with customs.

When the bidding war is done, we will collect three or more moving quotes. Each quote is from a different company, and these quotes will be sent your way. As well as information about the company. All the quotes are fixed, even if your inventory list changes after you choose which mover to work with. That is right, you choose the moving company that is best for you.

Contact Shyft today to start the moving process to get you to the land of opportunities and pasta.

A man eating pasta at italian modern restaurant while smiling at his mobile