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September 26, 2022

All You Need to Know Before Moving to Italy

With over 400 pasta shapes, and the origin of all-time favourite pizza, gelato, and espresso coffee - moving to Italy feels like the best part of a movie scene. Every city is a treasure trove and each region is unique: on one side - the mountains, on the other - the sea filled with rich architectural framing at every corner.

Although when coming to Italy for leisure It seems that in this country everything is created easily, moving to Italy is a great challenge. Filled with feelings and emotions, we forget all the bureaucracy and policies. When moving to Italy, you must consider all the pros and cons of the country. In this article, we cover some major aspects to help you understand how to move to Italy and what to expect once you are there.

Icebreaker: All roads lead to Rome

Italy is located in southern Europe, on the Apennine Peninsula. The total area of the country is 301,500 sq. km. It borders Switzerland and Austria in the north, Slovenia in the east, and France in the northwest. Italy has many islands, the most famous of which are Sicily, Sardinia, Ischia, Capri, and Elba.

The population is about 60 million people, of which 94% are Italians. There are representatives of local ethnic groups, as well as Germans, French, Albanians, etc. Italy is a parliamentary republic with a presidential form of government. The country is divided into 20 regions, 112 provinces, and more than 8000 communes.

The state language is Italian. The staff speaks English, French, and German in tourist regions and in the hospitality industry. The official currency is Euro.

How to Immigrate to Italy

Individuals moving to Italy from a European Union country have modest requirements to meet compared to the non - EU citizens that must obtain a visa corresponding to the reason for entry and supplementary permits (if necessary). When wondering how to move to Italy as a non-EU citizen, consider the next popular immigration method:

Family Reunion
Business Owners


Studying in Italy is a dream of many. Applying for an Italian student visa is one of the fastest ways to move to Italy. Once you get an acceptance letter, gather all the documents, and pass the interview you will receive a long-term student visa which will allow you to apply for a work visa upon graduation.


Although in recent years Italy has maintained a high unemployment rate of 8.5% (in comparison to other European countries), the country offers unique job opportunities, making work visas most popular among foreigners looking to move to Italy.

Before applying for a work visa to Italy a foreign worker must find an open position and sign an employment contract with an Italian employer. The employer applies for a work permit (Nulla Osta al Lavoro) for the foreigner at the Single Immigration Center (Sportello Unico in l'Immigrazione) of the local Prefecture. After that, you must apply for a work visa no later than 6 months following the favourable decision.

Family Reunion

A family reunion visa is the fastest way to gain an Italian permanent residency and Italian citizenship afterward. The 'visto per ricongiungimento familiare' visa allows foreigners to join their family members legally residing in Italy. In order to move to Italy to join a family member, the inviting party must comply with the necessary financial criteria and authorization.

Business Owners

Foreigners who wish to do business in Italy or work as self-employed must apply for a long-term Italian visa and then for a residence permit. There are multiple subcategories of Permesso di Soggiorno per Lavoro Autonomo category. Each has its own requirements and list of documents for obtaining a visa and residence permit.


The Investor Visa provides an opportunity to obtain residence status, for citizens from non-EU countries, through investing in the Italian economy. This program is also called 'Italian Golden Visa' or 'Italian Residence Permit for Investment'.Investor Visa to Italy offers several investment options:

  1. In Innovative Start-ups from €250.000
  2. Shares in Italian companies from €500.000
  3. Charitable donations for public projects from €1 million
  4. Public bonds from €2 million


Apart from being one of the best tourist destinations, Italy is a famous retirement spot. If you consider retiring in Italy, apply for the Elective Residence visa. One of the main requirements is to prove sufficient financial funds of a minimum of €31,000 per year. Individuals residing in Italy on Elective Residence visas are forbidden to work in Italy.

First Steps upon arrival in Italy

Avoid wasting time and get all the necessary paperwork done within the first month of moving to Italy.

  1. Apply for the Permesso di Soggiorno (Permit of stay).

    Required for everyone staying in Italy for more than 3 months

  2. Register at the nearest Police Station.
  3. Apply for a Tax Identification Number.

    Non-European citizens can obtain the Italian Tax Code at Sportelli Unici per l’immigrazione (issue the TIN for foreigners moving for employment or family reunion purposes) or Questure (assign the TIN to foreigners who require issuance or renewal of a residence permit).

  4. Get Driving License & Auto Insurance.

Healthcare in Italy

The level of medical care in Italy is considered one of the highest in the world, in the WTO rating, it is consistently among the best in the world. The country spends 9.2% of its GDP on health care annually. Service is divided into public and private.

Public medical care is free of charge. Healthcare in Italy is financed by general taxation, and only part of the contributions are deducted from wages. In order to get access to medical care, you must be enrolled in SSN (Sistema Sanitario Nazionale) - the national healthcare system. Medical care is available to all EU citizens, as well as citizens of third countries with an Italian residence permit.

In order to obtain public health insurance, you must go to the ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale) at the place of registration.

Earning and Spending in Italy

Income in Italy
Taxation System
Cost of Living

The average salary in bigger Italian cities in 2020 was approximately €21,000 per year. Some of the governmental highest-paying jobs are Head of Administration, deputies, Diplomats, and Judges. Teachers, on average, earn about €1,700 per month before taxes.

The main tax paid by individuals is income tax (IRPEF). The national income tax is paid at progressive rates:

  • Income up to €15,000 - 23%
  • Income from €15,001 to €28,000 - 27%
  • Income from €28,001 to €55,000 - 38%
  • Income from €55,001 EUR - 43%

Rent is the biggest expense in Italy, all the other living necessities are on the more affordable side. A single person living in Milan can expect to spend on average €800 - €915 per month without rent, a family of 4 would spend about €2,900 - €3,300 per month without rent. In other Italian cities, the cost of living will fall drastically to 400 - 700 per month for an individual and 1,900 - 2,500 per month for a family of 4 without rent.

Renting vs. Housing in Italy

The mesmerising architecture of Italy will leave even the most demanding requests satisfied. Accommodations in Italy range from modest to the most luxurious and exquisite within a couple of kilometres.

The cost of renting and housing in Italy is justifiable, however, rather expensive in comparison with the average salary rates.


Finding accommodation to rent in Italy is easy when done in advance. The average rent in Italy varies from city to city, the further south you go, the cheaper it gets. The rent in Italy is the biggest expense you will have after paying taxes.

The most expensive cities to rent in Italy are Milan and Rome where the average rent price varies from €600 to €1,200 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment. Feel free to cut these numbers in half when considering living in smaller cities.

Contracts, renting in Italy, are normally signed for a much longer period of time of 2 to 4 years. The contratto transitorio that lasts up to 18 months might be the optimal choice if you already know where you want to stay. For ex-pats coming for the first time, it might be best to rent a room with another foreigner to identify which location fits best.


About 70% of the population in Italy own properties that are passed on through generations. After moving to Italy, do not get surprised that one family can live only a few houses away from each other, especially in smaller cities. The family bond is an integral part of Italian life.

Expect to pay on average €6,500 per square meter in Milan and about €1,800 - €4,100 in smaller Italian cities.

When purchasing a house in Italy, you get not just a building but the history that the walls carry. Buying a house in Italy as a foreign is not complicated considering you have enough funding and patience. The non-EU citizens could need to hold a valid resident permit in order to buy accommodation in Italy, however, some exceptions apply.

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