Case: Thomas is an American high-tech entrepreneur, he has developed an innovative software, and he is interested in expanding his business in the European market. Thomas has identified Italy as the main country to start his EU-project and wishes to incorporate a new start-up to move and work in Italy.
Question: what are the options for Thomas to obtain a work visa and a residence permit for Italy to carry out his project?
Solution: Considering that Thomas is a high-tech enthusiast, with solid economic resources, brilliant ideas and a brand-new innovative software that he has developed, he might find the Italian Start-up Visa and residence permit particularly interesting and appealing.
The Italian Start-up Visa program, in fact, aims at encouraging third-country entrepreneurs like Thomas to launch innovative start-ups in Italy and obtaining a specific visa and residence permit for autonomous work.
Any third-country national, like Thomas, who is willing to set up and launch an innovative start-up in the Italian territory – and who can carry out an initial investment of at least Euro 50,000.00 – could be eligible for an Italian Start-up Visa, as long as the start-up company to be incorporated falls under the definition of “innovative start-up” set forth by Italian law.
When we talk about “innovative start-up” under Italian law, we make reference to a company, incorporated and operating in Italy, which exclusive or prevailing core business is the development, the production and/or the trade of innovative goods or services with a high technological value and which complies with the requirements set forth in Law 221/2012.
In Thomas’ case, high-technology software development is a business that may be classified as “innovative” in accordance to the provisions mentioned above, and therefore if he can demonstrate to have the sufficient economic resources to support his start-up, he has pretty good chances of obtaining an Italian Start-up Visa.
To strengthen his project and visa application, Thomas may also evaluate to participate in an incubation program promoted by an Italian start-up incubator, which would support him through the application process.
To find out if he can obtain an Italian Start-up visa, Thomas needs to make an online application for the obtainment of a “Certificate of No Impediment to a start-up self-employment visa” (Nulla Osta ISV): within 30 days from the application, the authorities will provide him with feedback.
If his Nulla Osta ISV application goes well, Thomas will be able to get his Italian start-up visa, enter Italy, obtain his residence permit and go ahead with the incorporation of his innovative start-up company.
His Italian Start-up Visa residence permit will have an initial duration of 1 year and, provided that he has incorporated his innovative start-up company making the 50,000 Euros investment and the company keeps operating, he will be able to renew it for further periods of 1 year each, which will allow him to keep doing business in the Italian market.