Article 26 of the Consolidated Immigration Act

Set up your innovative company in Italy and enjoy our groundbreaking Startup Law!

Before reading the following conditions for obtaining the startup visa, we recommend that you read The Italian Startup Act Italy’s policy framework to support innovative startups – Executive summary to discover the advantages that Italian law grants to the entrepreneur who creates an innovative startup company.

Find out here about the attractive tax benefits for foreign nationals transferring their residence to Italy.

(Note: The following information is taken from the guidelines of the Ministry of Economic Development)


Launched in June 2014, Italia Startup Visa is aimed at non-EU entrepreneurs who want to establish an innovative startup in Italy. Through the ISV procedure, talents from all over the world can obtain a 1-year self-employment visa for Italy, freely renewable at expiration if the startup is up and running.
A startup self-employment entry visa can be requested by non-EU nationals who wish to establish an innovative startup in Italy as defined in Art. 25, par. 2, of decree-law no. 179/2012. The application can be supported, also financially, by certified startup incubators as per Art. 25, par. 5 of the same Decree. As already mentioned, the procedure to obtain a startup visa is a simplified, digitised and fast-track variant of the normal procedure followed for self-employment visas. It is possible to sum up the main steps as follows:
Step 1: application submission. Non-EU citizens must send the following documents to: an application form, a copy of his or her passport, and a formal statement whereby they declare a financial availability for no lower than 50,000 euros, which are to be invested in the creation and the day-byday running of the new innovative startup. The application documents can be filled out in Italian and in English. The Secretariat of the Italia Startup Visa programme, established at the Ministry of Economic Development, carries out a preliminary check of the documentation submitted.
Step 2: evaluation. As soon as the preliminary check has been successfully completed, the documentation is sent to the body responsible for the assessment, the Italia Startup Visa Technical Committee, comprising prominent representatives of the main organisations of the national innovation ecosystem. Within 30 days from submission, and after the acquisition of a provisional Certificate of No Impediment to entry, issued by the Questura (central police office) that has jurisdiction over the area where the applicant wants to set up their new company, the Committee must inform the applicant of the outcome of the assessment. If successful, the applicant will receive, by email, the scan of a Certificate of No Impediment to a startup self-employment visa (“ISV Certificate of No Impediment” or “Nulla Osta ISV”). Guidelines to the Italia Startup Visa Programme 20/03/2018 12
Step 3: visa issuing. Within three months from the date of issue of the Nulla Osta, the applicant must go to the relevant Italian consulate abroad. At that stage, after a supplementary check, they will be able to collect a startup self-employment visa, with a duration of one year
Step. 4: After the visa, the self-employment residence permit. After collecting their entry visa for startup self-employment, the non-EU citizen beneficiary of the Italia Startup Visa programme has 180 days to move to Italy and apply for a 1-year self-employment residence permit. The startup visa holder must formally apply for their permit within eight days of their arrival in Italy. According to art. 3 of the aforementioned Decree of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in agreement with the Minister of Interior, signed on 30 June 2017, applications for residence permits and related requests for clearance to family reunion and, in general, to entry in Italy of accompanying family members, shall be given priority and shall be dealt with as a matter of urgency by the competent offices. Priority residence permit applications take place at the Questura responsible for the area the applicant intends to be a resident. To speed up the procedure to issue the residence permit, the non-EU citizen is invited to inform the Secretariat of the Committee in advance of the date on which he or she will visit the local Questura, which will be then informed by the Secretariat itself. At that venue, the Questura collects the fingerprints of the applicant, and authorises, after the customary background checks, the issuing of a residence permit in card format, which will be handed to the applicant at a later time. It is also possible to apply according to the standard digitised procedure provided for self-employment residence permits: that is, by filing a special set of forms available at most local post offices (a “postal kit”). However, unlike those made at Questura, applications submitted by postal kit will not be dealt with as a matter of urgency. For other purposes related to the migration process, startup visa holders are subject to the same rules provided for self-employment visa (and residence permit) holders:
• the legislation applicable to family reunion is that ordinarily provided by the TUI (d.lgs no. 286/1998, art. 29). Guidelines to the Italia Startup Visa programme 20/03/2018 35;
• like all holders of a residence permit valid for more than one year, the beneficiary of the startup visa is required to sign an “integration agreement” with the concerned authorities (d.lgs no. 286/1998, art. 4-bis, implemented by DPR no. 179/2011);
• for startup visa holders current regulations apply for healthcare matters as well (d.lgs no. 286/1998, art. 35-36; DPR no. 394/1999, Capo VI “Disposizioni in materia sanitaria”).


In accordance with the general rules on self-employment visas, set out in d.lgs no. 286/1998 (“TUI”) and its implementing measures, an ISV Certificate of No Impediment may also be granted to non-EU citizens intending to play an executive role in a registered innovative startup that has already been in existence for at least three years, investing a sum of no less than 100,000 euros in it.

Eligibility requirements
Applications to join innovative startups already in existence must meet two types of conditions. First, they are subject to the standard requirements of general self-employment visa legislation, in particular of Inter-Ministerial no. 850/2011 (see list below, points 1-4), along with further parameters, which are meant to ensure the consistency of applications with the overall rationale of the Italia Startup Visa programme (points 5 to 7): that is, the attraction of innovative entrepreneurial talent from all over the world. To be considered, all applications to join innovative startups already in existence must meet the following conditions:
1. the company that the non-EU citizen wishes to join must be a limited company; in particular, it must be incorporated as an SRL (limited responsibility company) or SPA (a company limited by shares);
2. the company must have been operational for three years at least ;
3. the company must be an innovative startup registered in the special section of the Business Register and must meet the requirements laid down by Decree-Law no. 179/2012, art. 25, par. 2;
4. In the target company, the non-EU citizen must assume one of the following positions: a. Chairman; b. CEO; c. Member of the Board of Directors; d. Auditor.
The entrepreneur and the innovative startup undertake, before applying, to carry out all the necessary tasks to meet this condition.
5. The non-EU citizen proves they have financial availability of at least 100,000 euros (or equivalent in other currencies) arising from their own resources, which shall be invested in the innovative startup. Higher financial commitments are encouraged and regarded as a bonus for evaluation.
6. The non-EU citizen undertakes to have a self-employment relationship with the innovative startup. The entrepreneurial contribution that the applicant intends to provide to the company must be well-detailed in the application. This is achieved by presenting a specific document (Job Agreement) signed by both the entrepreneur and the legal representative of the enterprise.
7. The academic and professional curriculum of the candidate must be relevant to the core business of the innovative startup, and consistent with the tasks described in the Job Agreement.
The ISV Committee discourages applications from multiple non-EU citizens who are directed to the same innovative startup. In this case, it reserves the right to assess their suitability on a case-by-case basis. This condition is valid even when applications are presented at different times. As for the standard procedure, applications to join startups already in existence may be submitted by the applicant either directly or with the support of a certified startup incubator. In the latter case, the certified incubator must issue a document, signed by its legal representative or a delegate, in which it declares the extent of its involvement in the process.

Cost of the service:
1) Detailed information on requirements and procedures provided by email in English or Italian: no cost;
2) Detailed information on requirements and procedures provided via web calls in English or in another language chosen by the client: a quote will be provided;
3) Assistance with the visa and residence permit application: a quote will be provided.

If you wish to contact our service, please write in English or Italian to:
Please describe your requirements and enclose a short CV so we can fully understand whether you qualify for the entry visa and residence permit you wish to obtain.
Also indicate your telephone number and, if you do not receive a reply within two days, check your mail spam.