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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I would like to retire to Italy from the U.S., but the bureaucracy around the elective residency visa seems overwhelming. We have done lots of research but are boggled by the requirement that we have to rent or buy (don't want to buy) a place in Italy before we apply for the visa. It also sounds like Italian property owners are reluctant to agree to a long-term rental contract. It's our understanding that this would put us in the same legal category as a permanent Italian resident, which limits their control of the property. We're also not rich so we don't want to pay rent for months while our visa is under consideration. Can anyone tell us how you dealt with these issues? Thank you!

Sherry
 

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Any Luck?

Oh goodness...that's a good piece of info......We are looking to do the move in early 2011. Any news you could send my way would be appreciated. Where do you plan to move in Italy?
 

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We just received our residency visas -- provided unbelievable amounts of documentation, plus demonstrated that we already own a house, and more than 48,000 eu in guaranteed income per year (!), which is the minimum to emigrate to Italy as retired Americans. Hope this helps!
 

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We just received our residency visas -- provided unbelievable amounts of documentation, plus demonstrated that we already own a house, and more than 48,000 eu in guaranteed income per year (!), which is the minimum to emigrate to Italy as retired Americans. Hope this helps!
Good to know...did you have to apply for the residency visa in Italy or the states?
Also, did it require a Shengen Visa as well?
Where did you buy your home? And how were the prices?
Thank you so much!! Best of luck to you.
 

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Good to know...did you have to apply for the residency visa in Italy or the states?
Also, did it require a Shengen Visa as well?
Where did you buy your home? And how were the prices?
Thank you so much!! Best of luck to you.
Did your gauranteed income include liquid cash, and credit availability, or just your retirement income?
 

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We had to document EVERYTHING, deeds, leases, brokerage accounts, guaranteed pension, Social Security statements, the whole ball of wax!! Credit lines and credit availability (home equity lines or credit card limits DID NOT COUNT). We bought property in the South, very reasonably, one to live in, the other to rent (near beaches). The visa required for residenza elettiva IS the Schengen visa, good for 365 days with multiple entries(during which one must establish the residency), it must be obtained here in the States BEFORE relocating on a long-term basis to Italy. Quite the process!
 

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We had to document EVERYTHING, deeds, leases, brokerage accounts, guaranteed pension, Social Security statements, the whole ball of wax!! Credit lines and credit availability (home equity lines or credit card limits DID NOT COUNT). We bought property in the South, very reasonably, one to live in, the other to rent (near beaches). The visa required for residenza elettiva IS the Schengen visa, good for 365 days with multiple entries(during which one must establish the residency), it must be obtained here in the States BEFORE relocating on a long-term basis to Italy. Quite the process!
Thank you for the speedy reply....so the total needed in US dollars is approximately $68,000 a year for two people...is that correct? Sound like daunting paperwork...but aren't you happy you did it and living the life you want?
 

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A question I have would be, did you have to maintain a residence in the states in order to process the elective residency visa for Italy? We will be selling our U.S. home to make our move there and don't really want to have a permanent residence here any longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rentals?

Has anyone retired to Italy from t he U.S. and rented a house for a year or two rather than buying one? If so, can you recommend any online sources for rentals that are longer than by the week or minth and not too expensive? Thank you!

Sherry
 

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retiring to italy

Oh goodness...that's a good piece of info......We are looking to do the move in early 2011. Any news you could send my way would be appreciated. Where do you plan to move in Italy?
We are thinking about central Italy, maybe Le Marche, Abruzzo or Umbria--also in 2011. But we need to figure out this problem of having to buy or rent BEFORE we can apply for a visa. We don't want to buy and don't want to sign a rental agreement in Italy before we know whether our visa applications will be approved! HELP! Where are you thinking of moving? Sherry
 

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We are thinking about central Italy, maybe Le Marche, Abruzzo or Umbria--also in 2011. But we need to figure out this problem of having to buy or rent BEFORE we can apply for a visa. We don't want to buy and don't want to sign a rental agreement in Italy before we know whether our visa applications will be approved! HELP! Where are you thinking of moving? Sherry
Hello Sherry-

We are thinking Bologna, or Florence. We have many friends in Florence and it really feels like home to us. However, Bologna (which we love), being a bit further North would allow us to travel to other countries a little easier rather than traveling the entire country, or else we would be looking more southern to Sorrento.

I know the rental issue is a problem. We are actually thinking that if the Visa doesn't come through, we would still have a rental there (at least a stay for 3 months) and just travel back and forth for a while (1 year) until we find out what the details would be. Then we would be able to decide whether of not to purchase.
Either way...we are going.
 

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We are thinking about central Italy, maybe Le Marche, Abruzzo or Umbria--also in 2011. But we need to figure out this problem of having to buy or rent BEFORE we can apply for a visa. We don't want to buy and don't want to sign a rental agreement in Italy before we know whether our visa applications will be approved! HELP! Where are you thinking of moving? Sherry
Hi,
I have been in email contact with all 10 consulates, still waiting for reply from 5. From all the research I have done so far I can say that you will have to have a lease or proof of ownership before you apply. Two of the consulates have said that owning a house was mandatory, but I don't know if they are just trying to discourage people from trying. My main question to the consulate is how much income do you need to show, none of them really want to answer this. Mostly they say you need to bring 6 months of financial statements. You can make an appointment for an interview with your regional consulate, maybe they can give more info in person, this is what I plan on doing in the future. When I get all my responses from the consulates, I will post the results on this forum.
Bill
also see the post titled "Packing it in to go to Italy"
 

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My husband and I would like to retire to Italy from the U.S., but the bureaucracy around the elective residency visa seems overwhelming. We have done lots of research but are boggled by the requirement that we have to rent or buy (don't want to buy) a place in Italy before we apply for the visa. It also sounds like Italian property owners are reluctant to agree to a long-term rental contract. It's our understanding that this would put us in the same legal category as a permanent Italian resident, which limits their control of the property. We're also not rich so we don't want to pay rent for months while our visa is under consideration. Can anyone tell us how you dealt with these issues? Thank you!

Sherry
Hi, Sherry, how are you doing with the visa thing? Well, get a load of this! We have already bought a home there and now I am hearing about income requirements for the elective residency. It seems that there are many different ways these consulates handle income requirements. We are not rich, either, and when I did all the research on buying a home, I never read about how one can be refused a visa. I live in New York. Wouldn't you think the consulates should all be on the same page? I actually lose sleep at night about this. Can you respond back, please, maybe we can privately im.
MaryAnn
 

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Hi,
I have been in email contact with all 10 consulates, still waiting for reply from 5. From all the research I have done so far I can say that you will have to have a lease or proof of ownership before you apply. Two of the consulates have said that owning a house was mandatory, but I don't know if they are just trying to discourage people from trying. My main question to the consulate is how much income do you need to show, none of them really want to answer this. Mostly they say you need to bring 6 months of financial statements. You can make an appointment for an interview with your regional consulate, maybe they can give more info in person, this is what I plan on doing in the future. When I get all my responses from the consulates, I will post the results on this forum.
Bill
also see the post titled "Packing it in to go to Italy"
Hi, there; I have bought a home in Italy, but am trying to get concrete answers on the Family Reasons visa. Would you know anything about that? My husband is born in France. The consulate is making it sound like he has to have already had his residency and Italian Identity card before I can be given a visa. Do you know if the income they state, they called it monthly income, not from job, if it has to be soley pension and annuities, or can it be from bank savings?
Thanks.
MaryAnn
 

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Oh goodness...that's a good piece of info......We are looking to do the move in early 2011. Any news you could send my way would be appreciated. Where do you plan to move in Italy?
Hi, how are you doing with your move? We are hoping to move to Italy before winter. We bought a home, but I had no idea that there were income requirements! Am getting worried and it is always on my mind. Can you share what you have learned? I did not get the idea from my consulate that you needed to own a home. I was told, though, that you needed 4000 euros a month, per person , and they seemed to stress pension and annuities. I am not sure if they are considering savings. Love to hear from you.
MaryAnn
 

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Hi Maryann,
One thing to remember is that the income figures (and much of the other "requirements") for certain kinds of visas are only guidelines. Every country I'm familiar with has the policy of evaluating each case on its own merits - but only the French consulates (as far as I've seen) come right out and state on the websites that just because you have all the things they mention doesn't mean you're assured a visa when you apply. FWIW, just ask anyone who has applied for a visa to live in the US.

The idea of permitting the non-EU spouse of an EU citizen to reside in Italy (or anywhere else in Europe) is a mandate from the EU, and actually it usually means that it's easier to get your residence as the spouse of an EU national than if you were married to someone from the country you're looking to live in. Still, it's very common that the host country will want to see proof that your husband has already established residence in Italy before they'll grant you a residence permit.

The other critical factor is that of proof of EU nationality for your husband. You say he was born in France, but does he have a currently valid carte d'identité? (A French passport does not prove French nationality - stupid distinction, but it's the way things work.) There is currently a "fuss" here in France about some prefectures refusing to renew identity cards for some citizens born in France to foreigner parents. It might be a good time for him to make sure his French identity card is up to date and has a few more years to run on it.

Technically, once he is established in Italy and can prove adequate resources to support you, you can enter Italy on a Schengen visa (i.e. 90 day tourist visa - just a stamp in your passport) and then you register as a resident as the spouse of an EU national. But yes, he does have to establish residence first - and that includes proof of income.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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We just received our residency visas -- provided unbelievable amounts of documentation, plus demonstrated that we already own a house, and more than 48,000 eu in guaranteed income per year (!), which is the minimum to emigrate to Italy as retired Americans. Hope this helps!
Hello, Jim, we bought a home in Italy. My husband is born in France, has a French passport, but I am getting very frustrated with not getting concrete answers from consulates as to the requirements of the Family visa.
As far as income, is the 48000 euros per person or per couple? May I ask what state that consulate was in that informed you of that? I ask because I have heard so many different figures.
Thank you.
MaryAnn
 

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I'm Italian , and i can swear that the worst place you can retire is Italy ...
I know many people love tuscani but Trust in me ... give it away.
Me and my Gf moved to greece due to the incredibly high prices of the cost of live and the fact that the burocracy ,mygf is from serbia , was driving us crazy...I really love the italian sight , the Italian food and the weather in summer ...but in winter it's crazy cold , so cold that you won't go out or move a step ...
Trust in me...don't waste your time ... I personally suggest to you Zakinthos Island Where I live now in Greece , not so complicated , not so expansive and really safe...and also ...actually we are in Tshirts and relaxing ... my family is freezing in Italy .
If i can help you in anyway by translating something don't worry if I can halp you in changing your mind ,and trust in me it's not a mistake ...I'll help you .
Up to you .send me as many Private message as you like ...don't worry at all
by now My best wishes
 

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Hi, there; I have bought a home in Italy, but am trying to get concrete answers on the Family Reasons visa. Would you know anything about that? My husband is born in France. The consulate is making it sound like he has to have already had his residency and Italian Identity card before I can be given a visa. Do you know if the income they state, they called it monthly income, not from job, if it has to be soley pension and annuities, or can it be from bank savings?
Thanks.
MaryAnn
Hi MaryAnn,

The income doesn't have to be from pensions or annuities. This is what I received from one of the consulates
"One of the most important requirement is a costant and consistent financial
contribution (not from job) "
another said "6 months worth of bank statement, brokerage accounts, investments, mutual funds, pensions, monthly revenues from lease etc "
As to the amount, there is no set amount you will find out what they want from you when you go to apply. I would suggest making an appointment with the consulate to discuss all this before you apply for a visa.
I would say that the chances of getting a visa are going to be different for everyone, I am not going to try yet until I can speak italian a lot better and I have done more long stay visits.
My plan at first will be to share my time between the US and Italy, 90 days here than 90 days there and so on. I know this is not the answers you wanted to hear but it is better to be completely prepared for the consulate's answer and have a back up plan.

Buona fortuna
Bill

PS check out the discussion "Packing it in to go to Italy" there is more info on this subject there.
 
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