Residency registration in Italy: mandatory for those who obtain an Elective Residence Visa

May 27, 2022

Italy has an address registration system called “registrazione anagrafica”. This is the registration of each individual living in Italy with the registry office of the city council having jurisdiction over the address where the person lives. Each Italian national is registered in the register of resident population while Italian nationals living abroad are registered in a separate registry, named AIRE. As a general rule, foreign nationals living in Italy stably on a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) are also required to register as residents.


What about holders of Elective residence visa permit?

This is a quite controversial matter and many people holding an elective residence permit think that registration with the city council is not required. However, it is to be noted that the “elective residence” visa is a visa intended for moving to Italy permanently, therefore choosing Italy as the country where establishing permanent residency. As part of the application package, one must submit a “letter explaining the reasons for your intention to move to Italy”; the consulate will take into account the applicant intention to move permanently.

It is clearly explained in the Italian consulates websites that the visa is reserved to: “applicants with high self-sustaining incomes and financial assets who have a real necessity to stably residing in Italy” and that “ this is not an extended tourist visa. This is a visa for people who legitimately wish to live in Italy and do not need to work while overseas.” Also, “The elective residency visa is specifically for persons – especially those who are retired and/or of Italian origin – who wish to reside permanently in Italy and who can demonstrate a stable and ample pension income and high financial resources. The elective residency visa is NOT for extended tourism. It is not an end-run around the limited validity of Schengen tourist visas or the visa-waiver program, nor is it for letting you join family members or friends who have accepted temporary jobs in Italy. An individual applies for the elective residency visa with the intention of establishing a permanent home in Italy”

Another important point is the requirement of an accommodation where the applicant choses to live while in Italy. It is necessary to submit a proper lease agreement or property deed (duly registered with the revenue office as required by the Italian law). Interestingly, some consulates states that “ownership of a yacht or other type of boats does not fulfil the requirement of lodging” In fact, proper residency registration is not allowed on a boat and in general living on a boat implies not having a “permanent address”

The ministry of foreign affairs website also reports that (https://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/obblighimotivisoggiorno/it/D/5_0_D) non-eu nationals holding a valid residence permit are required to apply for residency registration at the town hall where they intend to reside (legislative decree 286/98 art. 6 c 7 and DPR 394/99 art. 15).

In conclusion, we believe that elective residence permit holders should register with the city council as this is a requirement for those wishing to stably residing in Italy (by way of example, to get an Italian driving license and buy a car with an Italian plate you must be resident and in possession of the Italian ID card, a document that is issued only to local residents.


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