114The Italian Digital Nomad Visa. 

It seems one cannot open a news or travel site without seeing an article about the new Italian Digital Nomad Visa. Sadly, the articles are mostly clickbait and offer few if any details other than putting the worlds “available to highly qualified” in quotes. These articles are already attracting a fair amount of people thinking they have found a work around for the Elective Residency visa.

I did some looking as to exactly what is required. Clearly this program is in no way the Influencer/Blogger golden ticket to Italy. I provide a summation of the requirements. Of particular consequence is the section on Education, Work Experience and Work Contract. You must have a university degree in the field, you must have at least six months experience working in that field and you must have either a contract with a company, or, if freelancer, must show contracts and letters of engagement.

1. Who is eligible: highly-skilled people (see #3 below) who work through remote technology either as a freelancer or as an employee on the payroll of a business based either in Italy or outside of Italy.

2.Digital nomads and remote workers: the regulations, for the purposes of this visa, refer to freelancers as “digital nomads” whereas they refer to employees as “remote workers”. The requirements to apply for and get the visa are almost identical for the two categories, with a few exceptions, described below as applicable.

3.Skills and Education: applicants must prove they have a university or college degree (minimum 3 years) from an accredited institution, an accredited professional license, or accredited superior professional experience.

4.Work Experience: applicants must document at least six months of experience in the industry in which they intend to work remotely. More experience (up to five years) is required for applicants without a university degree.

5.Work contract: remote workers must provide evidence of an existing employment contract, or a binding employment offer, requiring the employee to possess skills consistent with a higher level of education as defined above. The regulation does not say anything about proof of contracts for digital nomads. However, it is possible the Italian Consulate will ask for engagement letters, retainers, or other evidence of contracts between the freelancer and his/her clients with respect to the required high skills work.

6.Criminal background affidavit: remote workers must file an affidavit with the Italian Consulate signed by their employer stating the latter has not been convicted of specific immigration crimes within the past five years. The regulation does not provide any information about a criminal background check with respect to the visa applicant himself/herself. Therefore, we do not expect Italian Consulates to ask for it. However, we have seen that some Italian Consulates require a criminal background check certificate for some types of visas although the respective regulations do not list it as a requirement. Therefore, it is possible some Consulates might ask for the applicant’s background check as well.

7.Annual Income: applicants must prove to have an annual income of EUR 28,000 or more. The law does not require the applicant to prove that such income is generated through his/her freelance or remote working employment. Therefore, it can be income from any source, for example, rental income, corporate dividends, royalties, etc. However, each Italian Consulate might apply its own interpretation about qualifying sources of income and might require a higher amount as well. Check in advance the approach of your specific Italian Consulate and options to structure your application to meet the locally applied interpretation.

8.Housing: applicants must provide evidence of a place to stay in Italy. For example, some Italian Consulates have indicated that they will accept even a 30+ day hotel reservation or letter of hospitality from a relative or a friend. But make sure to check with your specific Consulate. Some might ask for a 12-month lease agreement in your name. Bear in mind that an accepted purchase offer or preliminary purchase contract or compromesso are not sufficient to meet the housing requirement.

9.Health Insurance: The Italian government provides a universal healthcare system that covers Italian residents, regardless of nationality. However, Italian Digital Nomad Visa applicants must provide evidence that they have coverage of medical treatment and hospitalization for the duration of stay, in the form of medical insurance. A private medical insurance usually costs EUR 350-EUR 700 per year. The coverage of a private medical insurance is limited to its terms, hence its cost is lower than the amount required for the registration with the National Health Service, which provides unlimited medical coverage. However, voluntary sign up with the Italian National Health Service (EUR 2,000 per year) is not available for Digital Nomad visa applicant. Therefore, you can only apply for this type of visa if you have evidence of some other Italian medical coverage. If you wish to get a private medical insurance policy meeting the visa requirements, we will gladly assist you getting an eligible policy. Premiums depend on age and coverage. For example, you can find insurance policies with annual premiums as low as EUR 350 per person meeting the basic coverage required for the purposes of the visa. Private insurance upgrades are also available (prices range based on terms and conditions). For example, you can get private insurance for EUR 1,500 per family per year, in addition to the cost of basic coverage. Here are the minimum medical insurance coverage requirements for the Italian Digital Nomad Visa:
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.

10.Digital Nomad Visa Duration: The digital nomad and remote worker visa is valid for one year. However, once in Italy, you can renew your immigration permit. Below more information about the renewal process.

11.Where To Apply for an Italian Digital Nomad Visa: You must apply at the Italian Consulate which is competent for the geographical area where you have your home (residency). Check this link to see which Italian Consulate is responsible for your residency at the time of application. That also applies to those who have established residency (but not nationality) in another country (e.g. an American who has a Spanish visa, living in Spain can apply for the DNV in Spain). You cannot apply from Italy except in some limited cases, for example if you already have a qualifying Italian immigration permit (permesso di soggiorno).

12.Digital Nomad 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. Once the visa application form is complete, 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.

13.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 the Italian Digital Nomad Visa 2 to 4 months in the future. Usually, no appointment is required if your Italian Consulate is accepting filing by mail.

14.Photos: Two recent passport-size photographs on white background, full face and front view. Scanned or photocopied photos will NOT be accepted.

15.Passport: Along with the application form, also 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.

16.Travel Ticket: Although it is not required to have a flight ticket to Italy at the time you submit the Italian Digital Nomad Visa application, if you have it, you can file it. If you have not finalized your travel arrangements at the time of filing, you can simply indicate on the visa application your expected departure date.