Andrà Tutto Bene. Italy and the Corona Virus


Andrà Tutto Bene. It means – Everything is going to be ok. This has become the unofficial response from ordinary Italians to this nationwide and worldwide crisis. These homemade banners have been appearing everywhere.

As of today, we have officially been on nationwide lockdown for a week. These steps have been taken for several reasons. We know that we cannot simply stop the virus, but the hope is that it can be slowed dramatically. Up in the north, in the region of Lombardy in particular, the hospitals were getting close to collapse. The Corona Virus attacks the lungs, and in people with respiratory problems, or other immune system weaknesses, it does not just send them to the hospital, it sends them to the ICU, and the ICU cases rapidly progress to where a respirator is needed. There have been a few heartbreaking stories where doctors were faced with situations where they had more patients than respirators and there were none to be had from anywhere else. It turned into what they described as battlefield triage where they were forced to decide who would get access to the machines. (Side note, this story may have been the source for some disgusting tabloid garbage I have seen going about social media about Italy denying care to people over 65. This is a Catholic nation for heavens sake!!) So the lockdown is a last chance attempt to slow the spread to a manageable rate, and also to try and stop it from racing down to the south of Italy where the percentage of older people is much much higher than in the north and the hospitals are not as well equipped.

How are the Italians reacting to this? Frankly, I am incredibly proud of the country I am now calling home. Overwhelmingly people have taken this calmly. It is kind of spooking seeing the streets so empty though. There has been no panic buying like in the United States. The stores are fully stocked.

I took this photo in the local supermarket, the toilet paper isle. They only let a certain number of people into the store at one time. We line up outside and the security guy sends us in groups of two or three. I waited about ten minutes to get in. The store had maybe about a third of the normal amount of people usually in it.

Come to Abruzzo! We have toilet paper.

This is the produce section. Hard to see, but maybe a dozen people total were in this section. Knowing that there are no shortages in the stores goes a long way to reassure people that they don’t need to panic or horde. Plus there seems to be more of a ‘us’, mentality in Europe than there is in America where so many of the posts seem focused on people taking a how does this affect ‘me’ mentality.

The Italians have faced this crisis with resilience and defiance. A week ago there was a nationwide movement to all go to our balconies and play music or sing. All over Italy people came to their balconies to say and sing in unison. “Yes, we are still here!” 

The rest of the world seems to be about three weeks behind Italy for some reason, Perhaps it is the amount of tourism. The measure of a people is not how they behave in the best of times, but how they deal with the worst of times. 

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Getting Started

Italian Elective Residency Visa

Requirements and Process of the Italian Elective Residency Visa Where To Apply for an Italian Elective Residency Visa: You must apply at the Italian Consulate which covers your home (residency). Google can tell you where your consulate is.  Italian Elective Resident Visa Application Form: Before going to the Italian Consulate, obtain the visa application form. Beware that each Consular office might have its own unique application form. For a point of reference, find here the form for the Italian Consulate in New York. Please refer to the Italian Consulate for your specific location and use their provided form. Be sure to complete the form with your full name as it appears on your passport. Complete the Italian Visa application form, but do not sign it as you must sign it before an Italian Consular Visa Officer (more information below). However., some Italian consulates might accept filing via mail (usually USPS only) after you sign the application in front of a U.S. notary public.Italian Consulate Appointment: Set up an appointment with the Italian Consulate ahead of time. Often the Italian Consulate’s schedule is busy and they might book appointments for Italian Elective Residency visa 2 to 4 months in the future. Usually no appointment is required if your Italian Consulate is accepting filing by mail. Photos: File two recent passport-size photographs on white background, full face and front view. Scanned or photocopied photos will NOT be accepted. Passport: Along with the application form also file a valid passport with expiration date at least three months after the end of requested visa period. Make sure the passport has at least one page that is completely blank (without stamps) to apply the visa sticker when issued. Financial Resources: File documented evidence of sufficient financial resources, such as recent bank account statements. For a single person the minimum financial requirement is EUR 31,000 (or equivalent home currency amount). For a married couple, or partners of a civil union, it is EUR 38,000. An additional 5% is necessary for each dependent child. However, each Italian Consulate might apply its own interpretation of the required financial thresholds and might require higher amounts. Check in advance the approach of your specific Italian Consulate and how to structure your application accordingly. Passive Income: The Italian Consulate wants to verify your documented ability to generate sufficient financial resources, other than employment income, which can be reasonably expected to continue over time. Some examples of passive income are: pensions, social security benefits, property rental income, corporate dividends, royalties, etc. The minimum annual passive income amount is EUR 31,000 for one person. For a married or civil union couple it is EUR 38,000. If your Existing Financial Resources (see item 6 above) are multiples of the minimum required amount, it does not per se satisfy the Passive Income requirement. However, as mentioned above, each Italian Consulate might apply its own interpretation of the required financial thresholds and might require higher amounts. Check in advance the approach of your specific Italian Consulate and options to structure your application to meet the locally applied requirements. Marriage Certificate and Birth Certificates: The requirements for applying as a married couple (or partners of a civil union) or an individual are different. As a married couple or partners of a civil union it would be easier to meet the requirements of sufficient Existing Financial Resources (item 6 above) and Passive Income (item 7 above). In particular, the qualifying thresholds per person are proportionally lower when applying as a couple than when applying as separate individuals. Therefore, in order to apply as a married couple and/or for a dependent the Italian Consulate requires valid evidence of your family relationship. Non-Italian marriage certificates or birth certificates that are not issued from the country where the Consulate is located need to be translated into Italian and validated (e.g., legalized, or with apostille certificate) before you submit them. Check with the local Consulate for their specific policy. It is important to note that, in spite of official regulations, some Italian Consulates require for the full individual financial threshold to be met by each spouse (EUR 31,000 per spouse or civil union partner). Housing: You must provide evidence that you have a place to stay in Italy. For example, you can provide a certified copy of your property purchase contract, property gift transfer, life interest entitlement (usufrutto) or lease agreement. Notice: An accepted purchase offer or preliminary purchase contract or compromesso are not sufficient to meet the housing requirement. Health Insurance: The Italian government provides a universal healthcare system that covers Italian residents, regardless of nationality. However, Italian Elective Resident Visa applicants must give evidence that they have their own qualifying health insurance Make sure that the health insurance plan meets the following minimum requirements:Event: medical expenses (e.g., prescriptions, doctor visits, hospitalization, ambulance transportation);Coverage: at least EUR 30,000 per person per year;Territory: applicable in all European Union member States;Duration: 1 year. Travel Ticket: Although it is not required to have your ticket for Italy at the time of the Italian Elective Residency Visa application, if you have it you can file it. If you have not finalized your travel arrangements at the time of filing the Italian Elective Residency Visa, you can simply indicate on the visa application your expected departure date. Visa Application Fee: Check Consulate website for current costs.  Money Order, payable to the Consulate of Italy, with applicant’s name and address on the money order. It is also possible to pay in local currency. Italian Consulates around the world periodically update their website s with the equivalent converted amount in local currency as per the applicable currency exchange rate. Check on the website of your competent Italian Consulate for the applicable fee in local currency right before submitting the Italian Elective Residency Visa application form. Multiple Visa Applicants: If you intend to file an application for your spouse and/or child/ren, make sure to complete an individual application for each person. Visa Issue Timing: If your paperwork is

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