‘Italia Startup Visa’ Programme: Access to Italy becomes easier for Foreign Investors in Italian ‘Innovative’ Startups

Requirements of the ‘Italia Startup Visa’ Programme

Within the framework of the ‘Italia Startup Visa’ programme, created in 2014, a new method of accessing Italy has been introduced for those foreign entrepreneurs interested in launching an ‘innovative’ startup in Italy or investing in an existing startup for at least three years. In the latter case, the foreign investor has to take on a managerial position within the startup.

By ‘Innovative’ startup we mean a company with a pioneering business model from a technological perspective.

Procedure for Requesting the ‘Nulla Osta’/Visa

In order to obtain the nulla osta/visa for startups, the applicant has to commit to starting a company that meets the requirements established by law and therefore submit the following paperwork to a specific commission created by the Ministry of Economic Development:

  1. A detailed project outlining the planned activities of the startup, including the professional expertise of the applicant; in the case of an existing startup, the applicant must explain the nature of their professional contribution to the company;
  2. Documentation proving availability of financial resources for a minimum of €50,000 for a new startup or €100,000 for investments in an existing startup. These resources can come from the applicant’s own funds, third-party financing, or a combination of both.

Granting of the ‘Italia Startup Visa’

The nulla osta for the ‘Italia Startup Visa’ is granted or denied by MISE within 30 days from the submission of all the complete paperwork. Once obtained, the nulla osta is communicated to the relevant Italian Consulate for visa issuance. Upon receiving the entry visa, the applicant can enter Italy and has to start their application a self-employment residence permit as self employed-worked  within 8 days of entry .

Residence Permit for Investors of ‘Innovative’ Startups

The residence permit for investors is valid for two years from the date of entry into Italy and is renewable if the investment is maintained. However, it is revoked if the investment is not made for the entire specified amount. After five years, an indefinite-term permit for long-term residents can be requested.

Potential applications of the ‘Italia Startup Visa’ refer to the specific areas listed below:

  • Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology, a distributed and encrypted ledger, is the new “Internet of transactions,” capable of creating immutable and shared records. This technology offers opportunities for innovation in sectors such as cryptocurrencies, copyright management, traceability of goods, financial services, and many others.

  • Smart Contracts: Automated and Secure Contracts

Smart contracts, software executed on the Blockchain, enable secure and automatic exchange of goods and services without the involvement of third parties. Designed to securely exchange money, property, stocks, or anything else of value recognized by society, transparently and automatically, without conflicts and without the need for intermediaries, these software programs contain the agreement and automatically enforce it, without the risk of default.

  • Tokenomics: Creation and Circulation of Tokens

Tokenomics (Token + Economics) is an economic system, parallel to the traditional one, which involves the creation and circulation of tokens through smart contracts on Blockchain technology. Every type of asset and service, including professional activities, can be “tokenized”. An innovative startup may involve the ideation and creation of tokens and their management.

  • Big Data: Data Analysis for Innovation

Big data refers to a paradigm shift in the interpretation of economic and social reality through the analysis of huge amounts of data. They represent the key productive factor in a data-driven economy. The analysis of big data has given birth to new services and improved existing ones, making the offer of all products and services more responsive to the needs of consumers and citizens.

  • Coding and Artificial Intelligence

Coding allows to write programs that are the structure of the applications we use daily, meanwhile artificial Intelligence is one of the most promising technologies of our time; AI allows hardware and software systems to perform as if directly generated by human intelligence. A startup that develops algorithms and artificial intelligence is certainly innovative: both are essential for data processing and interpretation, to help with research, planning, and problem-solving in every human field.

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

STEM, from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The 4 sciences integrate into a new paradigm based on real and authentic applications for new high-tech jobs.

  • 5G Technology

The 5G system is a disruptive transformation in landline and mobile network connection. It provides a much better performance and will help promoting digitalization in Italy, the competence level of industries and radically change all communication systems and ways of living. A startup that offers new digital services accessible through access to 5G technology is therefore definitely recognised as innovative.

Start Down: Innovation also in Traditional Sectors

Traditional companies can benefit from the innovation offered by startups through the consistent adoption of modern tools and technologies. In conclusion, the ‘Italia Startup Visa’ program offers a unique opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs to contribute to the innovation and development of the Italian economy thanks to their investment in innovative startups.

Please refer to the Official Guidelines compiled by MISE or use our contact form to request further information on the subject from the specialized staff at Soluzioni Pratiche Srl.

The Staff of Soluzioni Pratiche Srl