Wanting to get a slice of the Dolce Vita? Honestly, I can’t blame you. Italy is an amazing country and is home to a lot of very happy American expats, and getting more and more popular. So, if you dream of days filled with pizza, pasta, and endless limoncello, you’re probably asking yourself “can Americans move to Italy?” And, if so, how?
So, it’s worth mentioning upfront that Italy is not the easiest place to get visas if you’re an American.
There are certain, very specific, scenarios where you can get a visa to live in Italy permanently, but if you’re only looking to move to Italy for a couple of months, it’s a pretty pain-free process. With that out of the way, let’s go into some more detail…
Can an American Move to Italy on a Temporary Basis?
The answer is 100% yes, Americans can move to Italy on a temporary basis. As Italy is one of the countries that are in the Schengen region, Americans can stay here for up to three months.
After that point, you need to exit the Schengen region and go somewhere else for at least 90 days.
Not everywhere in Europe is in the Schengen region, so you can sometimes jump around visa-free until your 90 days are up. Once they are, you can re-enter Italy for another three months.
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Can an American Move to Italy Permanently?
If you’re wanting to move to Italy on a more permanent basis, this is where it gets a little more complex. There are a couple of different visa types that will allow you to live in Italy longer than three months on the Schengen visa.
The visas for Americans to move to Italy include, but are not limited to:
- Student visas
- Work visas
- Investor visas
- Start-up visas
- Digital nomad visas
- Retirement visas
Each one of these visas has its own specific requirements and lengths that you’re going to need to be mindful of while you’re there.
If you’re a temporary resident or looking to build up your necessary years for permanent residency, you’re going to need a Permesso di Soggiorno, or temporary residents permit. This ranges invalidity but tends to be up to three years before you need to reapply.
If you’ve lived in Italy for five uninterrupted years, you can apply for a permanent resident card or Carta di Soggiorno.
This means you can live and work in Italy and other EU countries without a visa and you become eligible for state benefits.
Moving to Italy on a permanent basis as an American is a tricky thing to do with multiple hoops to jump through, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it! You can check out the requirements for the different types of visas in my Moving to Italy guide, here.
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Can an American Buy Property in Italy?
If you’re going to be a permanent resident of Italy, you’re going to need somewhere to live, right? You definitely don’t want to rent forever, that’s for sure.
Luckily there is a mutual agreement between Italy and America where citizens can buy property in each other’s countries without being subject to extra taxes or fees. Essentially this quid pro quo means that even as an American citizen, you can buy a house in Italy like a local.
Can an American Obtain Italian Citizenship?
Want to ditch America for good and become a fully-fledged Italian? Citizenship is difficult to come by and is normally only an option through family connections.
If you’re of Italian descent, you can become an Italian citizen without having to renounce your American citizenship – you can have your international cake and eat it too!
The other option is by marrying an Italian citizen. If this applies to you, you either have to have been married for at least three years or have been married for at least 18 months if you have kids together.
Other than that, you’re going to really struggle to get Italian citizenship as an American. Luckily permanent resident permits have most of the benefits of being an Italian citizen without having to renounce your American citizenship.
So, if you want to move to Italy as an American, you absolutely can. If you want to live there on a temporary basis, it’s a breeze.
If you’re looking to stay a little bit more long-term, there are some tricky criteria that you’re going to need to hit, and a lot of paperwork is involved.
But when you’re sitting at home, filling out all your financial information for your long-term visa, remember that soon you’ll be in Italy, sipping wine, eating delicious cannolis, and enjoying the sunshine. Bellissimo, no?