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Want to Move to Italy from the US? Here’s How in 8 Steps

Does the current state of the US have you looking for new places to live? Italy is popular among US expats due to its gorgeous weather, food, culture, and relatively low cost of living. So, if you want to move to Italy from the US, how can you do it and get a better life?

Moving continents is a huge deal and there are some steps that you’re going to need to take before you pack up your life and board the plane to Europe.

So, how can you move to Italy from the US? Let’s dive in and find out.

If You Want to Move to Italy from the US, Start Here

If you’re researching and googling “I want to move to Italy from the US”, you’re in the beginning phase of figuring out whether this would be the right move for you.

If you feel like you’re already ready, here’s the full guide for how to move to Italy as an American and here’s where to live as an expat in Italy.

I highly recommend that you really think about more than just the actionable things about moving to Italy (visas, housing, etc.) which is why this part of the research phase is so important.

1. What Are Your Must-Haves?

Okay, so first things first, you’re clearly leaving the US for some particular reasons. Maybe you want to start a family and the lack of maternity and childcare support, together with the rise of school shootings is stressing you out.

Maybe you want more women’s rights. Maybe you just want a better work/life balance. I could go on and on. Whatever your particular reasons are, make a list and make sure you can get them in the area of Italy that you want to move to.

Then think about what you like about your life now that you want to carry over to your new life in Italy. Do you want to be able to walk everywhere rather than drive? Maybe you want to be near nature so you can hike on the weekends?

Maybe you have a life near the coast now that you want to keep. Make a list of your must-have criteria and use that to guide your house and location hunt in Italy.

2. Check Your Finances

Next up is the not-so-fun part. You need to sit down and work out your finances. If you have cars or houses to sell in the US, how much are you going to get for them? Is it worth renting out your place as a source of passive income?

What are the average prices of the places you’re looking at in Italy? What does your job pay in Italy and can you live on that? 

It’s a lot of maths and it might drive you crazy, but it’s realistic and necessary. You’re likely going to have to have evidence of your income and savings for the visa process anyway to prove that you’re not going to be a burden to the state. 

I‘ve lived abroad for many years and love helping others find work abroad and figure out their “Move Abroad Plan.” Check out my class below to get you started ASAP!

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3. See What Work Options are Open to You

Speaking of visas, check your eligibility for an Italian visa. It’s tricky for US citizens, so it’s more than likely that you’ll be applying for a work visa, sponsored by an Italian company.

If you work for a multinational company with a presence in Italy, it’s definitely worth seeing if you can transfer to another office, keeping your current remuneration package. This way you can be paid at a US rate while having the lower outgoings that come with the Italian cost of living. 

If this isn’t an option, you need to find a job with sponsorship before you travel to Italy. The job market out there isn’t great, so the likelihood of you finding a job on a 90-day Schengen Visa trip is pretty slim. 

Digital Nomad visa in Italy.

Finally, in April of 2024, Italy launched its digital nomad visa. This is one that many of us have been waiting for over the past few years. 

Designed for non-EU citizens, the Italy digital nomad visa actually has relatively low-income allowances compared to other European nations. 

The requirements so far are:

  • An annual income of at least €28,000
  • Proof that you’ve worked as a digital nomad or remote worker for at least the last six months
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of accommodation for the duration of your stay
  • No criminal convictions in the last five years

As with most digital nomad visas, the Italian digital nomad visa is set to last one year and costs €116 to apply. 

It seems like the most important requirement in terms of financial investment is health insurance. You can sign up with the Italian National Health Service for an annual payment of €2,000, or you can find your own (often more expensive) private plan instead. 

The healthcare fees, together with the visa fee, rental deposits, first month’s rent, and flights are obviously a large initial outlay, but with the lower income requirement and lower cost of living in Italy, this should be recouped pretty easily, especially if you’re on a US remote working wage. 

Once you’ve got your working situation nailed down, go back through your finances and check the amount that you have to spend on rent and essentials. 

4. Location, location, location

Now, this might be limited by your working situation, but if you have some flexibility, go back to your must-haves list and decide where you want to live. Rome, Milan, and Venice are notoriously expensive, and as a rule of thumb, the South of Italy is cheaper than the North. 

Lucca, Italy

Do you want to live in the heart of a city or do you prefer a quiet life? Maybe you need to be within walking distance of a good school. Maybe you want to be near a train station or airport for travel and commuting purposes.

Maybe you want to live in the mountains for outdoor pursuits. Combine your wishlist with the reality of your working situation and finances and find that happy medium. 

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5. Start Learning the Language

I cannot stress this enough. Learn the language. It’ll help you assimilate into the culture easier, and make the bureaucracy and red tape easier to overcome, and if you’re setting down roots, not learning the language is not an option.

Not everyone in Italy speaks English. Many speak French or German, but it’s not a given that they’ll speak English. Put the effort in and start learning Italian before you leave the US.

6. Sell your property

Once you’ve got your visa and work opportunity set up, it’s time to put your property on the market, rent it out, or put in your notice. These things can take time, so you don’t want to leave it too late.

I’d suggest hiring a company to manage the process on your behalf so you’re not waiting around to sell before you fly out.

If you need the capital from the sale to set up your new life, it’s understandable, but book the flights, rent somewhere for a couple of weeks to get a feel for your new hometown, and go from there. 

7. Book the Flights

The exciting bit – book those flights! Remember to add all the necessary extra baggage and don’t bother with that return ticket. Of course, if you can be flexible, avoid the Summer months and holidays to keep the flight prices low.

8. Take the Leap!

Okay, you’re ready, it’s time to take the leap and move from the US to Italy! You’ve done everything you can, and all that’s left is to pack up and board the plane. It’s going to be an adventure and it might just be the best thing you’ve ever done!

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