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Startup Visa Italy

The Italian Startup Visa is addressed to non-EU citizens who are willing to constitute their original business.

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The Italian Startup Visa is addressed to non-EU citizens who are willing to constitute their original business.

What is a Startup

In 2014, the Ministry of Economic Development created the Italy Startup Visa (ISV). The innovative start-up company is intended as the joint stock company, established also in cooperative form, whose shares or shares representing the share capital are not listed on a regulated market or on a multilateral trading facility.

Requirements for the Italian Startup Visa

The requirements in order to set up a startup and in order to apply for a startup visa are the following:

  • the startup must be operative from no more than 4 years,
  • it must have its principal headquarters in Italy,
  • it must have less than 5 millions € of income,
  • having as exclusive or major business the innovation technology,
  • do not share profits,
  • it does not have to be constitued from merging or following a a branch of a firm,
  • it must satisfy at leats one of the following criterias:
    • at least 15% of its expenses are in Research & Development (R&D) activities,
    • the team is composed or at least for a third of PhD students or PhDs or by personnel who have carried out research activities for at least three years, or at least two thirds from holders of master’s degrees,
    • is the owner, custodian or licensee of a patent, of a right industrial or original software registered with SIAE.

Procedure to apply for the Startup Visa in Italy

The Ministry of Economic Development provides a detailed presentation on how to access the status of innovative startup and the advantages granted to this type of business (Innovative Startup).

  • It can take place entirely in English. Application forms, information materials and a “customer care” service, as well as the website of the program itself, are all offered in English. This is to facilitate the applicants who are not proficient in Italian;
  • The procedure is fully centralized. A single administration (the Ministry of Economic Development, specifically the Directorate General for Industrial Policy, Competitiveness and SMEs, where the Secretariat of the program is based), handles all communications with the other administrations involved (central police offices, consular representation abroad).  Moreover, it acts as a single contact point for the applicants;
  • It can be completed expeditiously. The Certificate of No Impediment to the granting of the visa is normally released within 30 days from application submission.

Once the nulla osta has been released, it is necessary to apply for the visa at the competent Embassy or Consulate. Within 8 days from your arrival in Italy it is necessary to present the residence permit request at the competent authorities.

The Italian Startup Hub

With the introduction of the Italia Startup Hub in 2014, the possibility to apply for an Italy Startup Visa has been extended to those who are already living in Italy on a resident permit for other reasons, and who can convert it in a startup one, without the need to leave the country.

In order to convert the residence permit that a person holds, it is necessary to obtain the certificate of no impediment (usually released within 20 days from the application) and then to apply for the conversion at the post office.

For more information on other types of Italian long-term visas, take a look at our guide on Long-Stay Visa in Italy

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Regulatory Framework

Italy, a smart choice for innovative startups


The Italian legislation in support of innovative startups


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Other types of Italian Visas

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