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Required income for retiring to Italy

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Ewoodoff
6/16/2014 17:06 EST

Hello,
Although my husband and I had hoped to retire to Italy in the future, I've just been made aware that in order to get the type of visa needed, we would have to have a combined income of $8,000 per month! This has effectively ended our dream. Does anyone know anything otherwise? What am I missing? Not many people have that kind of retirement income.

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Sergios
6/16/2014 21:13 EST

Can you tell us where you got that information? If you haven't, you may want to contact the Italian consulate or the state (Italian) police: http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10716-Residence_permit/

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Ewoodoff
6/17/2014 06:57 EST

This is the site: Europa.eu is the official website of the European Union. The site is run by the Communication department of the European Commission on behalf of the EU institutions.

I emailed a contact there and he sent me this (see #5):

Here are the requirements:
1. visa application form
2. two recent passport-style photos
3. Statement describing the intentions and purposes of your trip to Italy
4. passport or travel document valid for at least three months after visa expiry date
5.documented and detailed guarantee of substantial and steady economic resources deriving from private income (pensions or annuities), properties, stable economic and commercial activities or other sources (At least $4000 per month per person, to be reflected in the last 6 months financial statements)
6. proof availability of adequate lodgings in Italy
7. $ fee, cash or money order only
8. self addressed and stamped envelope for the return of your passport (if you wish your passport to be returned using a special service, you must provide all the necessary labels, envelopes and fees).

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Ewoodoff
6/17/2014 06:58 EST

And this is the person I emailed:
Consolato d'Italia negli Stati Uniti Miami Visa who replied with the info I posted.

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Sergios
6/17/2014 07:22 EST

The only information I could find on the Italian consulate website (NY) is this link below. It is a far cry from $4000/per person.
http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Ministero/Servizi/Stranieri/IngressoSoggiornoInItalia/Mezzi_finanziari/Tabella_mezzi_sussistenza.htm

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SarahBeauchamp
6/17/2014 08:22 EST

I disclosed my monthly income (how much I expected to spend) and generally bank account amounts to my consulate, and received email confirmation that this would do. I'd have trouble spending $4k unless I was in Milan! The country trumps the eu in this case, I believe.

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amanzini
6/23/2014 09:35 EST

I also was told by the Miami consulate that the required income Social Security and Pensions for retiring in Italy is $4,000 per person.

I don't know how many people have that kind of retirement income. This seems a means of preventing people from retiring in Italy

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Imodica
6/27/2014 13:39 EST

Yes, in fact I do have some information. My husband and I want to live in Italy too. We are hoping his current job might send him over which would be excellent. If not, we are looking at retirement. We just met with the Italian Consulate, Massimo in Phoenix last week. Our same question as I have heard each main consulate when applying for that particular visa will give you different dollar amounts. Massimo told us that it depends on "where" you want to retire. Retiring in Rome will cause you to prove higher monthly income to sustain yourself vs. moving to Calabria.

If you can get to your local consulate, he will be able to give you more information. We booked our appointment online and only had 20 minutes to discuss everything we wanted. It wasn't enough for my needs but he gave us great places to go and contact names for additional information.

Where are you looking to retire to? What area? We plan to go for a year and determine our final destination area then. We've seen many areas of Italy with two long trips but still up in the air.

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amanzini
6/27/2014 15:05 EST

Hi!

Crazy way of doing things. You would think that such income guidelines would be consistent.

We are planning to retire in Liguria somewhere near Genova. The weather is supposed to be relatively cool in the summer, plus the area is gorgeous and close to France and the rest of Europe.

We found a way around the income issue by hiring an Italian lawyer and applying for reacquisition of Italian citizenship. This is possible because I came to the US at age 17 as an Italian citizen.

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Sergios
6/27/2014 16:40 EST

I'm doing the same but without a lawyer.

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albertusmagnus
7/17/2014 09:44 EST

I checked with Italian consulate. There is a formula. Husband and wife must have a proven income of two times the highest level of Italian Social Security.
He advised us that our combined American social security of 3500 per month would be more than sufficient. We can rent two bedrooms w/2 baths for about 1500.00 monthly in Rome, much cheaper in rural Lazio province. That would us 2000 to live on, which we can do very well. Don't need a car in Rome, and seniors travel rather in expensively. We're going ASAP.

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Sergios
7/17/2014 11:44 EST

My house in the USA is going on the market in a half hour. Social security payments start in a week and teacher pension, my wife's, start next month. Almost time for the visa application.

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amanzini
7/17/2014 12:39 EST

Hi!

From which Consulate did you get this information?

Here in Miami they still hold out for $4,000 per person.

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Imodica
7/17/2014 15:21 EST

My husband and I went to the Phoenix, AZ office. Again, he was very clear that where you plan to live when you first go over is where you have to prove income.

We will be going to the district consulate for AZ in LA shortly to bring original documents for my husbands duel citizenship. We will be checking again then.

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albertusmagnus
7/19/2014 14:56 EST

There is a formula that he looked up. I found same formula on line. We also have an excellent 401k which we wouldn't have to disclose. He did sat that if we opened an bank account with $15000.00 balance in an Italian bank, that isn't necessaryb, but would make the process flow quickly through. Your individual social security info sheet is all that would be required.

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Imodica
7/19/2014 17:35 EST

Can you send me the link to the place where you found the formula on line?

This is so frustrating to my husband and I. We are trying to get everything together and just don't understand why there is conflicting information regarding this subject. Thank you.

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Sergios
7/19/2014 18:35 EST

Sounds like cart before the horse. How do you open an Italian bank account without residency first?

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albertusmagnus
7/19/2014 19:10 EST

Look it up on Voices.yahoo.com
What you need to know to retire abroad in Italy. I used this as a guide when I went to the consulate in LA.
Ciao

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Hammerdog4508
7/22/2014 09:22 EST

I have heard the required income is $8,000 per year, not month.

My spouse and I hope to retire in 2 years. Is this amount correct?

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amanzini
7/22/2014 10:35 EST

It depends on which consulate you talk to. Miami says $8,000 per month, others $3,500 per month.

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Sergios
7/22/2014 10:44 EST

I think both numbers are off.

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Sergios
7/22/2014 11:18 EST

I've posted this before but here it is again. This is the official Farnesina Website (Ministero degli Affari Esteri). It clearly states that for an individual staying longer than 20 days he/she must prove an income of 27,89 Euro per day or 17,04 Euro for each member of a family. That's $37.55 per day or $1,164.05 per individual or $711 for each member of a family. Send this information to your consulate.
http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Ministero/Servizi/Stranieri/IngressoSoggiornoInItalia/Mezzi_finanziari/Tabella_mezzi_sussistenza.htm

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Imodica
7/22/2014 11:20 EST

It is per YEAR. This has been an ongoing subject and it truly seems that it up to the consulate you visit for your visa.

I live in AZ and the regional consulate in Phoenix told my husband and I that it will depend on where you want to live to prove self sufficiency. If you want to go to Rome or Tuscany, you will have to show more yearly income to sustain yourselves than if you were moving to a town in the Abruzzi region.

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Sergios
7/22/2014 11:27 EST

The larger numbers are the daily rates multiplied by 31 days.

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GiadaM
2/25/2016 13:46 EST

I realize this is an old post but... just in case you are still looking this is an excerpt from my Italian real estate agent in Italy who has answered the same concerns I have had.

To move to Italy you should go there on a short stay ( 90 day) look for property. When you buy it you have 18 months to apply for residency after house purchase. With regards to having 4,000 dollars a month or higher, this is absolutely not true! It is required by law that when you move to Italy, you will have to have an Italian bank account (which we will open on your behalf, that's part of our service) and show proof that you have € 5,100 in your bank account (one-off, not monthly).

What you need to have is health insurance when applying for residency at the Embassy in the US, as they might ask for it, along with a copy of your passport and details.

I hope this helps and calms your fears. Good luck God bless.

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rsetzer99
2/25/2016 16:01 EST

From much time spent on a number of forums, and discussions with other expats, I do know that the exact amount of income you need to show to get an elective residence visa can vary from consulate to consulate. You will almost certainly need to have more than just 5100 Eu in a bank account however.

There are a number of other things you will need to get the elective residency visa as well. Health insurance, certainly, along with solid documentation of your income and/or savings and pensions. You will need to get a background check done on yourself, some of your vital documents translated, and some other stuff. If you research ahead of time, and have your documents all in order before you go to the consulate, you will likely find the process to be fairly smooth.

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JacksterJam
2/25/2016 16:35 EST

Giada, I don't know who your real estate agent is, but it is not true that one is required to open a bank account and if you do, no one can open it for you. You must do it in person as it requires a variety of documents and the signing of a stack of paperwork. One does not apply for residency in Italy while in the U.S.; it isn't possible. First, you must apply for a visa, which can only be applied for in one's home country and requires a good number of various documents beyond a copy of your passport and proof of health insurance. When you arrive, you have 8 days to apply for a Permesso di Soggirono, which will require that same stack of documents. Once you have the Permesso in hand (which takes about 4 months to get), only then you can you register residency. If you do decide to open a bank account, be aware that many banks will no longer open accounts for Americans (due to new IRS regulations regarding international banking). If you find a bank that will, a "tourist" account will come with steep monthly fees, but you must first have your Permesso and register residency before you can open a "resident" bank account. Lastly, the process of buying a property can take up to 3 months to complete AFTER your offer has been accepted, but the act of buying a home does not require that one be a resident. Many, many people own homes in Italy but do not live there as a resident and only use their property as vacation homes (less than 90 days at a time).

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Umbertomar
2/25/2016 17:53 EST

Adding to Jackster Jams post, I just recently purchased a property. I have my residency and as a result, since this is my first house in Italy, my transaction costs (taxes in particular) are much lower than a non-resident. My transfer fee was 1.5% including the notary fee. I closed in 2 weeks after signing the real estate contract. Also, remodeling costs of a first house in Italy bears a reduced VAT of 10%. You should be sure that the construction contract is properly drawn

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Umbertomar
2/25/2016 17:53 EST

Adding to Jackster Jams post, I just recently purchased a property. I have my residency and as a result, since this is my first house in Italy, my transaction costs (taxes in particular) are much lower than a non-resident. My transfer fee was 1.5% including the notary fee. I closed in 2 weeks after signing the real estate contract. Also, remodeling costs of a first house in Italy bears a reduced VAT of 10%. You should be sure that the construction contract is properly drawn

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JacksterJam
2/25/2016 22:04 EST

Umbertomar, that's fantastic. Congratulations! I've been looking into buying a property and was told to expect it to take up to 3 months to close. Of course, I was going to finance part of it; perhaps that's what adds so much time???

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JacksterJam
2/25/2016 22:05 EST

I forgot to say that I was also told that fees are less expensive if one is already a resident instead of buying first, then becoming a resident. You brought up a good point!

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Sergios
2/26/2016 02:00 EST

Jacksterjam is correct.

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minturnopat
2/27/2016 12:45 EST

The official dollar figure is about 19,000 a year for two people. The Detroit consulate wanted to see how much money we had in retirement accounts not how much income we had per month. This was for a one year visa. I showed an account with 70,000 in cash and that didn't seem to matter. We already owned our home before applying. Where did you see the 8000 figure at ?

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isabella7
2/27/2016 13:09 EST

When you submit your retirement income statements and holidngs at the consulate to get your elective residence visa, should you black out the account numbers on the statements? I have my appointment in a few weeks and was curious if you this is something one needs to be concerned about.

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velvet
2/27/2016 15:09 EST

Hi. You may want to check out
residence initially.com. Obviously very different information given depending where you live. We have been told by the Italian consulate here in Canberra we must have 38,000 euros income per year.
If you search this forum there is a very long thread about taxes and it was started by Jackster. There is some very good info provided by Jackster and Sergios.
You really do need to research and get as much help as you can as it is not easy and there is lots of conflicting advice even from professionals.

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JacksterJam
2/27/2016 20:42 EST

Velvet, I live in the most expensive city in Italy and the figure you were given by your Consulate is far more than is actually needed. The problem with determining the minimum required income level is that the Italian Consulates are given wide latitude. I have been told by various people that their Consulate required as little as 8,500 euros per year while one woman was denied even applying for a visa because she was told that only the wealthiest of people are given visas for Italy. Sadly, it all depends on the person one encounters at one's Italian Consulate. In my case, I was never told how much income is required; I"m certainly not "wealthy" but apparently my financial resources satisfied the person at my Consulate.

I can not find a definitive amount for those applying for an elective residence visa. This is the closest I have found to levels actually published by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The problem is, it doesn't specifically state figures for the "elective residence" visa, but one would think that it would be more expensive to exist here as a tourist than as a resident. http://www.esteri.it/mae/en/ministero/servizi/stranieri/ingressosoggiornoinitalia/mezzi_finanziari/tabella_mezzi_sussistenza.html

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velvet
2/27/2016 21:19 EST

Yes Jackster it is so inconsistent. The yearly income isn't an issue. Different people, different day, different advice at the consulate. That's why we took a break from researching and getting advice as it was driving us mad. Of course the unofficial and off the record advice has been that it is not worth doing all the paper work for 12 months. Might be something in that.
I am surprised that where you live is considered the most expensive. Is it more than Rome. However you obviously love it there so that's all that matters. Perhaps you could consider writing a book as there are not too many truthful books around.
Regards.

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maluza86
2/27/2016 21:20 EST

Velvet et al,

I live in San Vito Dei Normanni, in Puglia, and like others never was told a definitive amount. I entered Italy legally on just my US passport as the spouse of an Italian/EU Citizen (clause in the pamphlet link) as my wife is a dual national but we lived outside of Italy for 25 years, before she (we) returned.

I traveled to Italy on my US Passport, then went to the Questura in Brindisi during my first week with a copy of my documents, passport, marriage certificate, etc as well as a copy of my military retirement pay statement and that was it. Believe me...military retirement is not that much, but enough to live in Italy.

Here is another good document provided by the polizia and can found by searching the internet as well.

http://img.poliziadistato.it/docs/0554_initaliainregola_English.pdf

While this document is dated 2009 with 2007 figures the amount has not increased much as it is based on the on the amount an Italian received for their social security retirement.

Accordingly it is:
1 – 2 (one – two)
Annual income equal to
the amount of social
security benefit
(5,061.68 euros for 2007)

Again that is ANNUALLY for 2 people. Maybe this document will be of help to those going through their respective Italian Embassies/Consulates.

The whole process for me was very quick and smooth. Three trips to the Questura, initial to get the papers, second to turn them in, get fingerprinted and provide the bollo, then third to pick up. Went surprisingly well and my soggiorno is valid for the length of my passport, which is 2019, so I don't have to do anything until then.

Buona fortuna on your impending retirement and move.

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JacksterJam
2/27/2016 21:33 EST

Hi Velvet. Yes, the latest cost-of-living figures places Firenze at the top. Luckily, I have a landlord that charges a very reasonable amount for monthly rent for this apartment, which is in the historical center; rent prices around the perimeter areas are not as high. Many people are, however, paying exorbitant amounts. The number of university students and non-residents willing to pay those amounts drives up rent prices. It is still possible to find apartments for a reasonable rate but it's not easy.

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JacksterJam
2/27/2016 21:41 EST

Velvet, I should add that my "reasonable" rate is still much higher than what people pay in other parts of Italy but, alas, I'm in love with Firenze. lol

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Sergios
2/28/2016 03:01 EST

Maluza86, unfortunately your example is not helpful for the typical visa applicant because as the spouse of an Italian citizen you have special privalages not available to them. You really don't have an income requirement as a spouse and instead of going to the questura, you could have just gone to the StatoCivile with a legalized marriage certificate and you would have been granted citizenship. I'm not sure why you didn't go that route.

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maluza86
2/28/2016 05:04 EST

Ah Sergios not entirely true, as my wife does not work and I do not want to
become an Italian Citizen (many reasons I don't wish to discuss here)
therefore I did, in fact, have an income requirement. The example I
provided from the pamphlet is for a non EU citizen elective residence
income requirement so I think it is quite valid and helpful. The only
difference is that I did not have to provide the info prior or deal with a
consulate, as I went straight to the Questura as the law requires.

But alas, I'm not going to argue, if someone finds the info helpful, great,
if not, no worries...I've been there and dealt with many of the Italian
organizations for the past 2.5yrs and the pamphlet has a lot of great info for those considering moving to Italy.

Buona Fortuna.

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Sergios
2/28/2016 05:36 EST

Maluza86, I was not arguing, just trying to understand. In my particular situation I did not need a visa to come to Italy because i came to get [have recognized] my Italian citizenship. I was told by the consulate that in that case no visa is required. I did apply for a Permesso because the process would take more than 3 months and I had a tourist visa. No financial information was asked for. I am now a citizen. My wife, who is not Italian is with me and has had to do nothing at all. No residency, no permesso and no citizenship and no financial requirements. She is not required to because she is my wife and by EU law, family members can stay with you. I thought that that case may apply to you but I do not know all of your particulars.

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velvet
2/28/2016 05:54 EST

Thanks all and the phamplet was interesting and I will save it. It will be in the Italy folder along with tons of other stuff.
As I said earlier the required income is not really important for us because as well as my husbands pension I will be on half pay for 12 months.
This conversation though has got me thinking and I wonder if we are making it difficult for ourselves by only going for 12 months as advice has been 'why bother with all that paper work for 12 months' An official person said' they will not worry about a middle age couple who can support themselves overstaying in Italy. '. Other advice has been just leave every three months and pretend not to understand Schengen.?
Once again everyone here has been supportive Thanks as always
Regards
Velvet.

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Sergios
2/28/2016 06:02 EST

Velvet, if you do not need a bank account, to buy a car, to buy a house, or anything else that would require residency, then yes, you can come to italy and stay as long as you like and nobody will bother you. My accounts are in the USA and I access my money through an ATM [Bankomat}. We have three cards so we can get up to $1500 per day, if we want. Just look for a bank that refunds atm charges. So, if you're just looking to stay here as an extended tourist, then just come. However, if you will eventually decide to stay in Italy, the above time will not count. You will have to leave and return with the Visa. Unless one of you has a direct italian ascendant. Then you don't need a Visa.

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JacksterJam
2/28/2016 07:04 EST

Sergios, I found the comment concerning your wife not needing a permit to stay in Italy to be interesting. I only bring this up because I know that you plan to do extensive travel throughout the Schengen in the future and this might be something worth double-checking. I personaly know two American women married to Italian citizens who were both required to obtain a permesso di soggiorno. The first has been married to an Italian citizen and living in Italy for 25 years. She is not an Italian citizen, however she was required to obtain a permesso di soggiorno. She now has a permanent permesso, but because it is was issued 20 years ago, she was almost not allowed to board her connecting plane in Germany when she returned last August after visiting her family in the U.S. They detained her for three hours. The second is an American woman who met and married her Italian husband in the States. They decided to move to Italy last year and she is applying for citizenship. In the mean time, since she has a 3-year wait for citizenship, they required her to obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno. Here is a link from poliziadistato.it regarding "maintaining the unity of the family" concerning non-citizens married to Italian citizens. http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10721-Residence_permit_for_family_reunification/ Another website states this: "Non-EU citizens in Italy for over 90 days require a "stay permit" (Permesso di Soggiorno). There are a variety of permits, each specific to individual circumstances. It is important that the permit type correlates with the intentions of the permit holder. Valid permit holders are entitled to the same benefits as nationals including access to schools, healthcare and social assistance. The Permesso di Soggiorno has a limited period of validity which matches the purpose for stay. Permits can be renewed. The following are the most commonly-issued stay permits:

Permesso di Soggiorno per coesione familiare: permit for the foreign spouse and children of an Italian citizen. (I did not include the entire list because it was not pertinent.) Just a thought.

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maluza86
2/28/2016 07:35 EST

No worries Sergios, just trying to help out with some info I thought was pertinent for those asking questions, whether or not it was exactly like my case. Like you, I just try to provide pertinent info.

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Sergios
2/28/2016 07:44 EST

Interesting JacksterJam. This is Italy and I am specifically in Sicily. I say that because I can never get the same story twice in a row, even from the same official. My wife was listed as being with me on the application for the permesso, although she herself did not get one. The Statocivile told me that once I get my certificate of citizenship, I just need to bring my legalized marriage certificate in to start the citizenship process for my wife.
The EU documentation states that EU citizens are allowed to have their wives, children, even fathers and mothers with them even if they do not posses a visa.
As always in Italy, a bit of confusion.

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maluza86
2/28/2016 07:51 EST

I would also like to add to JacksterJam's comments especially reference to Velvet and Sergios. I have been traveling to and from Italy for the last 25 years and my wife and I moved permanently to Italy 2 years. I have my permesso di soggiorno and a carta d'identita (legal resident). I have also traveled back and forth to the US several times as well as to Abu Dhabi, where I currently do consulting work. Last September departing Italy I was stopped by the custom's officer who did a thorough check of my passport and told me I was living in Italy illegally as my last stamp was May. I explained to him I had a permesso di soggiorno and carta d'identita and was a resident, but unfortunately did not have either document on me. He then pulled me out of line for further questioning and luckily I had a scanned copy of my carta d'identita in my phone so I was allowed to leave. The reason I bring this up is because due to all the migrant problems in Italy and the issues going on in Tunisia the border and customs officials as well as Guarda di Finanza are really cracking down. In my previous 25 years I've never been checked let alone questioned and numerous times my passport was not even stamped! But things are-a changing. Just something to think about.

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JacksterJam
2/28/2016 08:48 EST

Sergios, yes, there is always a bit of confusion, and often a lot. Ha! I am in the middle of a battle with the local Prefettura who is imposing requirements on me that no other Prefettura is imposing on folks residing in Italy in my same category. They are misapplying the law and I might be forced to hire an attorney to get it straightened out. Anyway, just as Maluza mentioned, times are changing. I have a friend who was trying to fly home for Christmas (outside of the Schengen) and although he had the document showing that his Permesso di Soggiorno was in the process of being renewed, he was not allowed to board the plane because his connecting flight landed in a Schengen country. They said, "Well, your application for renewal might be in process, but we don't know that it will actually be approved, now do we?" Of course, he wan't able to get home and he wasn't able to get a refund on his ticket. The free movement concept is still in effect, although several countries have actually suspended it for an indefinite period of time (France is one). How Italy does things and how the rest of the E.U. does them is often very different and Italy has been under fire from a number of E.U. countries to "tighten things up." My own opinion is that if you plan to travel around the Schengen area, your wife should have her own documents to prove that she is a legal resident of a Schengen country. Otherwise, you might have the same issues that both my friends and Maluza have had by being detained and "drilled," or, in some cases, actually denied entry. As an another example, although unrelated to travel, I currently enrolled in a language course offered by the government specifically designed for foreigners living in Italy. I have a permesso, carta d'identita, etc. (all the documents). Well, it just so happened that on the day I went to the school, I did not have my permesso with me (I just returned from Amersterdam and I had left it inside of my passport, which was at home). The official at the school would not let me enroll in the course because "it says here on the form that you must have your permesso di soggirono." I reminded him that a foreigner can not get a carta d'identita without a permesso so it's obvious that I have one, just not on my person that particular day. Nope. It was a two-hour bus trip for nothing. I had to go back the next day with permesso in hand after which he allowed me to enroll and speak with the teacher as to placement. Just another example of one never knows what the person one encounters will or will not do.

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Sergios
2/28/2016 08:55 EST

My wife should be a citizen by the time we leave Italy. Let's hope.

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velvet
2/28/2016 13:15 EST

We could never stay in a country unlawfully. Morally and ethically we just couldn't do it. We would rather struggle along trying to understand all that is required. It is only the tax issue that causes us some grief and the decision we have to make is do we want to pay tax to the Italian government for the privledge of living in Italy for 12 months. The other big problem is where will I get my hair done! Lol

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Sergios
2/28/2016 14:53 EST

Velvet, if you don't establish official residency you don't pay taxes. If you're planning on just staying for an extended vacation, you don't need to establish residency. Even if you do everything legally, go thru the permesso process and the visa. You're still not required to establish official residency. You will not enjoy the benefits, specifically healthcare, but you could still live here for a year. To establish residency you have to go to StatoCivile to register. They send an agent to check your residence. It's a process. If you don't do it nobody will make you do it. Keep in mind that you will be spending outside money in Italy. You are still helping the economy and will not be taking anything away from the economy. But if you're planning on staying permanently, all this will not work.

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Umbertomar
2/29/2016 08:21 EST

Velvet- Here is a link to the tax treaty between Australia and Italy. I am not sure if you are Australian, but other countries tax treaties with Italy are similar. If you have dual residence and no income source in Italy, you may not have to pay Italian tax.
http://www.finanze.it/export/sites/finanze/it/.content/Documenti/dipartimento_pol_fisc/aus-en.pdf

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velvet
2/29/2016 12:42 EST

Umbrertomar
Yes I am Australian. We have studied the tax treaties and had professional advice. The tax treaties only cover income tax. Any other taxes imposed by the Italian government we have to pay. So the wealth tax applies to us. It is a very frustrating topic and I could go on and on but since it is 4.45 am I wont start the day off cranky. Although it would make me put more energy into my exercises. Lol
Thanks anyway.
Regards
Velvet.

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deasmiles
3/1/2016 12:39 EST

That seems kind of steep, where did you find out about this $8K requirement and is it formal? Official

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JacksterJam
3/1/2016 13:51 EST

The folks at Consulates pull figures out of thin air instead of using stated policy. I met an American woman who wasn't allowed to apply for an elective residence visa because the person at her Consulate said, "Visas for Italy are only for the wealthy. Unless you have a million dollars, you don't qualify." That's how it goes. The $8,000 per month is a ridiculous figure; the true figure is closer to 10,000 euros per year, although most people would find it difficult to live on so little. Nonetheless, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has minimum income rules but they are often ignored by personnel at many of the Consulates. http://www.esteri.it/mae/en/ministero/servizi/stranieri/ingressosoggiornoinitalia/mezzi_finanziari/tabella_mezzi_sussistenza.html

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maluza86
3/1/2016 13:58 EST

No the €8000 per month is a ridiculous number as Jackster states. Take a look at the link he provided and the link to the "official" pamphlet I provided. It's no where near that amount and is equal to the amount an Italian would receive in social security.

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rsetzer99
3/1/2016 14:36 EST

While it generally agreed that the 8000 number is inaccurate, you will also find from reading through this entire thread, that the actual number will vary from Consulate to Consulate, and perhaps even from officer to officer in that Consulate. Bottom line is that many people, who do not have huge retirement incomes, have managed to get through the process.

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velvet
3/2/2016 03:01 EST

Hi all. I can argue with the consulate every visit and provide all the evidence to suggest otherwise about how much is required untiI am ready to rip my hair out about There is no point. They are going to see how much we earn by the bank statements anyway. If we want to live in Italy we have to play by the rules told to us here in Australia.
We accept that.
Regards.
Velvet.

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vanderven1
5/28/2016 19:55 EST

My husband and I met with the Honorary Consul last week in Atlanta to get the stamp needed to forward our Extended Stay Visa application to Miami. We just received our application packets back in the mail with a list of requirements we evidently hadn't met in our original application packets:

1. Documented income of "$3,500 per month PER PERSON originating from pensions, annuities, income from properties or investments funds and income from Stable economic and commercial activities." While my husband gets almost $4,100 per month in retirement income, I do not have income at all (too young for Social Security and no pension). We thought that couples, combined, did not have to show twice as much income. Here is the webpage from www.esteri.it showing that $3,500 per month PER PERSON should not be required (which others have posted here as well):

http://www.esteri.it/mae/en/ministero/servizi/stranieri/ingressosoggiornoinitalia/mezzi_finanziari/tabella_mezzi_sussistenza.html

2. "A registered lease or deed for property in Italy for the entire period of stay in Italy." We showed a document signed by the Italian woman we are staying with including her Italian passport number, her date of birth, the address of the property, and her statement that we are personal friends of hers. We were going to decide on a permanent property once we were there and could locate what we wanted. Why is this signed statement not enough?

Everything else -- two years of tax returns, a letter explaining the reasons for our intention to move to Italy, six months of statements from banks, financial institutions, U.S. Social Security institutes, and the last two years of our tax returns are no problem. It's only these other requirements that are troublesome.

If you can provide any guidance, we would really appreciate it. We have tickets to leave for Italy on July 10, and are anxious to get this resolved. Thank you!

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JacksterJam
5/28/2016 22:30 EST

vanderven1, I would definitely argue the income requirement; show them your references regarding such and ask them to provide you with their reference that supports an income requirement of $7,000 per month. Do they expect that you will be living separate lives? Sadly, many, many people have been denied visas because various consulates have made ridiculous income requirement demands.

As for the rental contract (property), as far as I know, it is an issue no one has been able to get around. It's required of everyone and it makes a lot of people nervous; who wants to rent an apartment sight-unseen? But that's what folks have had to do. Good luck and let us know how you make out!

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pablock007
5/28/2016 23:23 EST

Vanderven1, I agree with JacksterJam and advise you to push back on monthly income requirement. The unfortunate reality, based on my own experiences with NYC Italian Consulate, is that the Italian Consulates in USA do not operate under same "rule of law" as recognized or mandated by TAR Lazio court in Rome. My Italian attorney in Rome says that, under Italian law, there is no monthly or annual income requirement for US expats seeking a residency visa. This is obviously at odds with respect to how each and every General Consulate of Italy [USA MAJOR METROPOLITAN CITY] operate. Not sure what else to advise as I am experiencing a version of what you are. If you want to know more, I am happy to discuss offline. Good luck!

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JacksterJam
5/28/2016 23:35 EST

Regarding the income requirement for the elective residence visa, I have discovered that most of my links to Italian government websites regarding the dollar figure no longer operate. Not a big surprise. The one link that is still active (the one listed in vanderven1's post) states that the income levels listed are for "business, medical treatment, sports competition, or for religious reasons, study, transit, transport or tourism."

That list does not include the elective residence visa, which is the problem. No one can get a definitive answer and, as pablock007 noted in his post, his attorney has stated that there is no income requirement for the elective residence visa. Since it seems that the Italian government has not issued income requirements for this type of visa, Italian consulates the world over pick numbers out of thin air.

Just for kicks, I decided to send an email to the Ministero degli Affari Esteri asking for clarification on this matter, not that I expect to get an answer. If I do, I'll surely share it.

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isabella7
5/29/2016 10:26 EST

I recently received my ER visa from the Los Angeles consulate, and when I went to apply, they gave me a 2 page document titled "Requirements for an Italian Elective Residence Visa". They had just updated their website and posted it on their website that very day (April 1). It had not been on the website prior to my visit. This is what is states about income:

"Documented and detailed guarantee of substantial and steady economic resources. Letters from banking institutions stating current available funds. The type of account, the account balance and monthly earnings. These funds must be more than substantial and must generate revenues. Documents from other sources that will provide you with additional financial revenues, such as Social Security pension or other type of pension, property ownership and lease agreements, business ownership and related documentation.

The visa applicant must show solid bank accounts and a set monthly income. For example, a single applicant must have a monthly income of minimum Euro 2,596.60 (at an exchange rate of $1.30 equals $3,375.58).”

As you can see, it does not state any specific amount for 2 people, but it seems that some consulate’s are simply doubling this amount as their requirement for a couple.

Here’s the link:

http://www.conslosangeles.esteri.it/consolato_losangeles/en/i_servizi/per_chi_si_reca_in_italia/italian-elective-residence-visa.html

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rsetzer99
5/29/2016 14:49 EST

This topic is most timely for me. While our retirement and application is
not till next year, we have found a house we plan to buy. Some idea of
where we stand would be useful before we get to the money stage.

I went to the Chicago consulate site and they still have the vague
"substantial means" statement only with no dollar amount.

Additionally one would seek clarification on their $3500 each figure. (And
would it kill them to use current exchange rates?). An American mat
typically have a 401k. Do they have a target number of years in mind? Can I
make my own assumptions on rate of return?

I could make a 7k a month target, but not in perpetuity. (In reality I
probably could keep justifying that number on a rolling basis because no
way in the green green hills of Abruzzo am I going to be spending that kind
of money. But clerks don't live in a real accounting world so that's not
going to fly)

So, an excellent thread that will have my rapt attention.

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rsetzer99
5/29/2016 14:49 EST

This topic is most timely for me. While our retirement and application is
not till next year, we have found a house we plan to buy. Some idea of
where we stand would be useful before we get to the money stage.

I went to the Chicago consulate site and they still have the vague
"substantial means" statement only with no dollar amount.

Additionally one would seek clarification on their $3500 each figure. (And
would it kill them to use current exchange rates?). An American mat
typically have a 401k. Do they have a target number of years in mind? Can I
make my own assumptions on rate of return?

I could make a 7k a month target, but not in perpetuity. (In reality I
probably could keep justifying that number on a rolling basis because no
way in the green green hills of Abruzzo am I going to be spending that kind
of money. But clerks don't live in a real accounting world so that's not
going to fly)

So, an excellent thread that will have my rapt attention.

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Jergirl
5/29/2016 14:58 EST

At one point I was told that if you own a property in Italy, you can automatically get a visa to live there. It is not called a residency visa, but it is basically the same. Did I dream this? It seems this way anyone could come to Italy and buy a property before the 3 months are up. Did I dream this?

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rsetzer99
5/29/2016 15:00 EST

We just got our coda fiscale and opened a bank account two days ago. The requirements for coda was passport with the visa stamp showing you are in the country legally. Then a short walk to unicredit. Yes there were lots of forms. Basic account is 3eu month. The more extensive with checks and banc card is 6eu. I'm told the fee will be cheaper when we close and open a new one when we are in Italy on a permanent basis. First account is just to have somewhere to transfer funds to buy a house.

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Sergios
5/29/2016 15:21 EST

This is a bit tongue in cheek but it's clear about a visa for property owners.
http://www.realcasaitaly.com/index.php/en/sale/residency-status

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ewtexpat
5/29/2016 16:17 EST

Concerning residency visa, I am getting married to next month to my Italian fiance, will the process be fairly uncomplicated? I haven't started exploring this much because I will still be living in the states predominantly for the next 2 years.

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Jergirl
5/29/2016 16:17 EST

Thanks Sergio. I love tongue-in-cheek, did I do foot-in-mouth? Who knows if I'll every find where I read that.

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vanderven1
5/29/2016 19:03 EST

To JacksterJam -- I did what you suggested and wrote the Consul at Miami again (Mr. Fabio Miccolis) and gave him our exact monthly income (was in our app packet), the overall value of our accounts (was in our app packet), and said that I wasn't trying to be argumentative but sincerely wanted to know where the exact language outlining how the $3,500 per person was arrived at? Here is the email I just received back from him (I have to hand it to him that he's on email all the time):

"We gave you the requirements, when in your opinion you have fulfilled them you can send us your applications. We will then notify our decision. Please be advised that by law we can hold on your applications for up to 120 days, it is usually less time but it can take up to few weeks.
Regards
Fabio Miccolis"

I had also said how we'd planned for an Italian residency for years, that we'd now purchased our airline tickets and sold our house, but there is obviously no room for sentiment. We could draw down more income per month to meet the requirement, but have chosen to live at the level we do, and even if we did, we'd now have to wait months to show them six months of that income.

I've written the Embassy in Washington, but other than that, I'm not sure what to do next or if anything can be done. Our daughter has an religious workers visa for Ireland and we could more easily apply there for an extended residency, but have no desire to live with the Irish weather!

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maluza86
5/29/2016 22:11 EST

Ewtexpat,

For you the process is entirely different as are the requirements, since your spouse is Italian. You can either become an Italian citizen through your marriage or decide to just go the permanent resident route, either way the process is easier than those trying to get an elective residency visa with no ties to Italy.

My wife is a dual national. We moved to Italy together from the US in 2014. We/she had not lived in Italy since we married in 1993. I just traveled on my regular US Tourist passport then took care of the Permesso Di Soggiorno and Residency paperwork at the Questura in Brindisi and Anagrafe in San Vito Dei Normanni.

Basically as a spouse you have a "right" to join your spouse so it's not "elective".

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 00:31 EST

vanderven1, I'm so sorry; his response is a typical one in that they provide no law or regulation that supports any decisions they make. That is also an issue with people working in government offices located in Italy; I have personal experience with that. Ha!

Many, many people have come up against this problem. If you are very determined, you could engage the services of an attorney well-versed in Italian immigration issues, perhaps even come to Italy as a tourist and find one here. However, there is no guarantee it will resolve the problem. There is a gentleman on another thread having the same problem who has gone that route but he has an added concern; he bought a house in Italy before applying for a visa.

Another option is to withdraw the required amount, although you'd prefer not to, and reinvest what you're not using. There are reinvestment options that a good tax accountant or financial planner could discuss with you. Although the consulate says one must show that income for the previous six months, you'd could always apply after just a few months and see what happens. Although you already have your tickets, many folks have had to make several trips back and forth the get issues cleared up.

Everything will depend on just how determined you are to live in Italy. There are other countries with warm climates (Spain, southern France, etc.) If other countries are of interest to you, you might read through the forums related to them and see if you can determine how folks are doing obtaining a long-term visa of some sort. Keep in mind that whichever country you and your husband decide to give a try, if you live there long-term, you will be required to learn the language if you become a resident of that country.

As an aside, I believe France is one of two countries in Europe (the other is Sweden) that have a long-term tourist visa available, which I believe is issued for up to one year. That could be an option if you're interested in living in France in that it would give you a good amount of time living in-country before you make a final decision and begin the formal process of applying to live there permanently.

Good luck and keep us informed!

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Sergios
5/30/2016 01:56 EST

Have those of you who are having this issue looked at alternatives? Do you have any ancestral connection to any EU country? Have you considered obtaining, recognition or re-acquisition of citizenship in that country? Once you have residency in any full EU country, getting into Italy becomes much simpler. Look into the laws that govern citizenship in those particular countries. For Italy any direct ancestoral connection allows you to enter Italy and apply for re-acquisition of citizenship without the need for a residency visa. This may be true in most countries of the EU. It's worth a look. It appears to me that the residency visa process in Italy is being used as an obstacle.

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velvet
5/30/2016 03:24 EST

First of all I really feel for you that you are in this predicament What I am about to say won't make you feel any better either.
When processing visa applications the decision maker must either follow legislation or policy. As you will know there are no legislative guidelines for income. Therefore the decision maker is following policy. When following policy the decision to grant a visa becomes discretionary. The response you got from the guy makes that very clear to me as he didn't say you failed to meet the criteria because of legislation.
It makes it very difficult to then appeal any decision. Migration policy does not have to be made public where legislation does.
I did have a Schengen document that showed income but now can't find it. Interestingly like Jackster I have found that all my links are not working. The Italian Embassy here in Canberra has now removed the amount they used to have up on their website. I wonder if this is a directive that all embassies and consulates are following.
Hope you get this sorted soon, good luck.
Regards
Velvet.

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 03:39 EST

Sergios and Velvet, I tend to think there has been a huge shift in "policy." It surprises me that those applying for an elective residence visa during the last year or so are getting caught up in this when the requirements of income, medical insurance, etc. can fully be met. There has to be an underlying reason why it has become so incredibly difficult to obtain this visa. Self-supporting retirees take nothing from the government and do not qualify for, or have need of, government social programs. Rather, they are bringing their money and spending it here, which supports the economy.

This shift in policy can also be found when one is attempting to secure the permanent permesso (which was once available to those who have maintained consistent residency in Italy for five years). At one time, retirees, as long as they can continue to show financial self-support, possession of medical insurance, etc., were eligible to apply. Now government officials are saying, "No." As you say, no "law" addresses this; it seems to have become "policy."

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velvet
5/30/2016 03:49 EST

Jackster I am of the view that the migration crisis affecting Europe is the reason.That view is not meant to be disrectful and I hope people don't take it as such. I am not blaming anyone it is just the world has changed.
The change at the Embassy in their dealings from we are here to help(2015) to being told it is now a formal process has been dramatic.

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elly8157
5/30/2016 03:58 EST

Hello - My husband and I recently obtained our ER Visas from the SF Italian Consulate. Our monthly income is from his California State Teachers Retirement and a small Annuity which is approximately $3700 gross monthly. I have no retirement income yet because of my age. When were at our appointment, the clerk did question me about my lack of monthly income and indicated I might not qualify. He then slid a blank document under the window and told my husband to complete and sign it. No explanation. Since I have a legal background and experience in reading and understanding such forms, I explained to my husband that this document was, "A Declaration of Support." He completed the information regarding me as the person needing support and signed the declaration that he had the income to support me. We gave it back to the clerk and he put it with my application. He didn't say much else other than he didn't review the application for approval but just input the documents so he didn't know if we would be approved. We went home very concerned but I believe the letter my husband wrote on both our behalves that we put with each of our applications, explaining his desire to research is Italian ancestry and his growing up in an Italian family, along with the Declaration of Support is was helped our cause. We did also buy a small apartment so we will have no monthly mortgage or rent and we purchased a travelers insurance policy for a year. We received our Visas a week later.

I can't understand these recent outrageous amounts for the income requirements. Everything is so vague in that regard on the websites. I understand each consulate and each clerk who processes the Visa applications make their own determinations. It's crazy.

Don't give up on your dream. Try the Declaration of Support or at least pose the question to the Italian Consulate in your jurisdiction. Best of luck.

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elly8157
5/30/2016 03:59 EST

Hello - My husband and I recently obtained our ER Visas from the SF Italian Consulate. Our monthly income is from his California State Teachers Retirement and a small Annuity which is approximately $3700 gross monthly. I have no retirement income yet because of my age. When were at our appointment, the clerk did question me about my lack of monthly income and indicated I might not qualify. He then slid a blank document under the window and told my husband to complete and sign it. No explanation. Since I have a legal background and experience in reading and understanding such forms, I explained to my husband that this document was, "A Declaration of Support." He completed the information regarding me as the person needing support and signed the declaration that he had the income to support me. We gave it back to the clerk and he put it with my application. He didn't say much else other than he didn't review the application for approval but just input the documents so he didn't know if we would be approved. We went home very concerned but I believe the letter my husband wrote on both our behalves that we put with each of our applications, explaining his desire to research is Italian ancestry and his growing up in an Italian family, along with the Declaration of Support is was helped our cause. We did also buy a small apartment so we will have no monthly mortgage or rent and we purchased a travelers insurance policy for a year. We received our Visas a week later.

I can't understand these recent outrageous amounts for the income requirements. Everything is so vague in that regard on the websites. I understand each consulate and each clerk who processes the Visa applications make their own determinations. It's crazy.

Don't give up on your dream. Try the Declaration of Support or at least pose the question to the Italian Consulate in your jurisdiction. Best of luck.

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 04:46 EST

Velvet, I tend to agree with you since a lot of people here are concerned about the impact of immigration and the drain on the job market, social programs, and the overall economy. It does, however, boggle the brain to think that self-supporting retirees who take nothing from the government, although they are required to pay taxes, take no jobs, and infuse the economy by spending their money here can be a cause for concern. To be blunt, I'm beginning to think they fear being called "racist" if they don't simply adopt a blanket "denial" policy.

Sadly, I don't think I will ever feel secure that I can make Italy my permanent home, which causes me a great deal of anxiety. Now that they are denying retirees the permanent permesso, what is to say that denying renewals for the elective residence permesso di soggiorno won't become the next policy?

I have considered applying for citizenship, but that creates another host of issues for me that I'm not sure are in my best interest. To be honest, this is not how I envisioned my retirement years; I retired to relieve stress in my life. Moving to Italy has actually increased it! Ha!

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velvet
5/30/2016 05:03 EST

Jackster I have been told that American and Australian retirees moving to Italy are usually on a higher retirement income than retired Italian citizens. I have never been able to find anything about if you compared an Italian person in the exact same position what is the difference in income, assets etc. or is that comparing apples with oranges.

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Sergios
5/30/2016 05:24 EST

A salary of 3 to 4 k euro a month is considered comfortable for a family. Middle class. What the consulates are asking for is borderline upperclass income. Maybe they want bring more money into the economy.

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Salmonica
5/30/2016 06:15 EST

vanderven1,

I agree with you about the Irish weather!! We currently live in it but leaving soon! Thank goodness!

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 06:16 EST

Velvet, I don't know what is available to Australians in terms of retirement plan choices, but in the U.S., it would depend on each person's situation and many factors affect it: type of pension plan, investments in private plans, social security calculations regarding each individual's work and income history (which can be paid in addition to one's work-place retirement plans and private retirement investments), and so on.

I tend to think Americans, Australians, Canadian, etc. generally do better financially in retirement than the average Italian, but I have no resources to back that up. However, like folks anywhere, many Italians also invest money to shore up their retirement social security income, although I don't think there are actual private retirement plans (401K, Roth IRA, etc.) available to them like we have in the U.S.

I can compare an American I know with an Italian I know as to their social security income. Both worked at low-wage jobs during their work years and each had reached the minimum retirement age requirement set by the respective governments (both systems pay more in retirement the longer one works). The American earns about $20,000 per year in social security benefits, the Italian earns about €10,600 per year.

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velvet
5/30/2016 06:36 EST

Jackster and Sergios Thanks. Both posts suggest that is about the same figures for Australians at both ends of the spectrum.
Jackster I have sent you a PM and dont know if it went through.
Regards

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maluza86
5/30/2016 06:39 EST

Also to add some info, this is what is written in the pamphlet provided by the Italian Ministero dell'Interno, for non EU Citizens seeking to join an EU citizen:


NUMBER OF FAMILY REQUIRED INCOME
MEMBERS
(including the applicant)
1 – 2 (one – two) Annual income equal to
the amount of social
security benefit
(5,061.68 euros for 2007)
3 – 4 (three – four) Annual income equal to
the double amount
of social security benefit
5 (five) or more annual income equal to
the triple amount of social
security benefit

From this it can be ascertained that the social security amount for Italians is much lower than that of Americans. That €5061.68 is an annual sum, not a monthly figure.

Also here is a good link for info on obtaining a long-term or Family Reunion Residency Permit.

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maluza86
5/30/2016 06:41 EST

Okay, here's the link ;-)


https://www.portaleimmigrazione.it/ImmigrazioneNet/PDS_Stranieri_en.aspx

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 06:49 EST

Thanks for the link, Maluza, but I still can not find the pamphlet regarding income requirements for the elective residence visa. I'm somehow missing it.

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maluza86
5/30/2016 06:56 EST

Here you go Jackster, Also check out the poliziadistato website, link below.

http://www.poliziadistato.it/statics/40/0554_initaliainregola_english.pdf


http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10617

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 07:06 EST

Maluza, thanks again. I was looking for something that addressed what the Italian Consulates are using to calculate the minimum income requirement for one to qualify to an elective residence visa, which is why I didn't look at that part of the pamphlet.

Hopefully, the Questura will follow these guidelines when the time comes for me to apply for the permanent long-term permit. Last November, the Prefettura said that retirees don't qualify for the long-term permit at all because their income is not from current and active work within Italy. We'll see what the policy is in two years when I can apply.

Regards!

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maluza86
5/30/2016 07:12 EST

Jackster, you are most welcome, sorry can't be of any benefit from the Italian consulate perspective as I did not have to go that route. As it is Italy, I am sure things will change as the ebb and flow of the immigration climate changes. Hopefully this information will benefit some.

To all those trying the elective visa route and dealing with Stateside, Australian or Canadian Italian Consulates:

In bocca al lupo

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 07:31 EST

Elly, I have never heard of such a form. Thanks for sharing that piece of information!

I, too, received my visa from the S.F. Consulate; I think they are one of the more reasonable to work with in the U.S. Sadly, folks are limited by which Consulate they can use as determined by their state of residency.

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2countryliving
5/30/2016 09:55 EST

I lived in Italy for a few years a decade ago and I live in France now. I also looked into moving to Ireland but I would have to apply as an American since they don't recognize my French legal residency status.

Here's what I believe is happening all over Europe. They are changing policies overnight with no warning and no grandfathering in of people in mid process. For instance, Ireland recently changed their policy that any nonEU applicant for a retirement Visa must make 5000 euros PER person in the family per month to receive a Visa (the amount announcement being deeply buried as almost a footnote). People who have bought homes and were originally given a one year Visa are now being told to leave the country with 2 weeks notice, if they can't meet the new requirement. I see this is happening in Italy too. Because they must, by EU law, not discriminate against anyone in their processing of Visas, and they want to keep out anyone who may be poor or potentially poor or need the help of the govt system someday, they have to make these 'only rich people need a apply' policies to keep virtually everyone out. The support systems in most European countries are stretched thin and with the refugees influx, policies are becoming anti-foreigner.

France is still following previous policies for now so it may be more Visa friendly for people with decent income or retirement salary. I don't know if that will change in the future. I know it's gotten much harder to get through the citizenship route - used to take one year, now it takes two years+. However, if one of the main reasons you are moving to Italy is because of the warmth, kindness, humor, hospitality and energy of the Italian people than you would be miserable in France since that's not really their Persona.

I'm sorry everyone is having such a hard time trying to pursue their dream. It's a shame how the world is changing now and becoming so closed.

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 11:15 EST

2countryliving, thanks for sharing your observations. There certainly doesn't seem to be any "grandfathering" of requirements being made in most, if any, circumstances.

I've already experienced this related to my permesso di soggiorno but, luckily, it was a "new" requirement that I was able to fulfill because I faced deportation. And, what you have said would certainly explain why a woman I spoke to a few months ago was told by the consulate in NYC that unless she had a million dollars in the bank, which she didn't, she would not qualify for a visa. The gentleman at the consulate told her "now only rich people can get a visa."

As I stated in an earlier post, now I am leery that these new high income level requirements for entry visas will also apply to those of us who already have a permesso di soggiorno when we try to renew it. I had hopes of buying a home here, but I no longer feel secure that I will be able to remain in Italy indefinitely. For me, it will definitely be a case of "wait and see."

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 11:42 EST

Well, am I surprised! I just received a reply to my email to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy regarding income requirements for retirees to be eligible for the elective residence visa. They stated that the amount is now three times the level of the last published document. Thus, one person must have a yearly income of 31,000 euros, a couple must have a yearly income of 37,200 euros per year, etc. It's interesting that they would even make the statement in writing considering the consulates aren't following that directive. Another case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

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2countryliving
5/30/2016 14:03 EST

I don't think I'd buy a home for a while. Waiting and seeing is your best bet unless you buy something that would be a good rental for tourism. But then that will open you up to Italian taxes and tax returns which could get expensive.

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rsetzer99
5/30/2016 14:21 EST

A question I have not seen answered in regard to this discussion of a
$7000/Mo income is a time period. Or if it has, I have missed it.

So, to ask specifically - Is the $7000 a month the income you must be able
to prove for the Visa period. IE: One year?

Then, when you renew a permisso the following year, are you required to
show again that you can prove the income requirement for another year?

If this were somehow to be the case, then my concerns would be set to rest.

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 15:26 EST

2countryliving, I already pay income, city, regional and wealth taxes to Italy, but owning an apartment as a rental would certainly add to tax headaches. Ha!

The added headache of trying to deal with a tourist apartment from afar is not appealing to me. A lot of people do it successfully, but it's not something I would want to deal with.

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 15:30 EST

rsetzergg, that will be my next question to investigate as it is of great concern to me. If I discover anything, I'll post it, although what one is told by one person is not always the same requirement the person looking at one's permesso di soggiorno renewal application will apply. Almost everything is a "hope for the best" type of scenario.

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velvet
5/30/2016 15:38 EST

2countryliving Great post. Jackster that amount is the first amount we were told lady year by the embassy here and then it went down to 20,000 euros so that is interesting.
The embassy here is fixated on us paying tax in Italy.
Have any of you signed a form allowing for information sharing. I don't have any issues about it just they make a big deal about it here.

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vanderven1
5/30/2016 15:46 EST

Thank you everyone for all your replies. We've been busy moving all our belongings into storage the last few days after selling our house because we THOUGHT we were going to Italy. My husband spoke with his investment advisor today and will arrange to have the equivalent of $7100 per month income deposited for purposes of the visa. I wrote to the Miami Consulate to ask if we showed this income, even though we will not have six months of bank statements showing that amount, nor that amount reflected in two years of tax returns, and to add the form that elly8157 from San Francisco's husband signed saying he would support her, whether he thought we could get the visa. His reply? A one-liner:
"Send everything you feel appropriate."
That was it. So nothing is certain. JacksterJam, I will PM you to ask if I could get a copy of the email sent to you from the Foreign Affairs Office. Adding that to our documentation may help as well. To RSetzer99, It's been virtually impossible to say how much any given Consulate in the US requires as income to even get a visa. I don't know how anyone would know what's required to renew the permesso. My gut tells me that it wouldn't be required to prove income again. But then, my gut was sure we'd get a visa right away.

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2countryliving
5/30/2016 15:53 EST

Jackster, the only way you could do it is to hire a management company which brings its own problems. I would just wait and see for now.

I know taxes in Italy are high. I looked into exchanging my French residency to Italian residency which, according to my research, I could do. However, as a self employed person, my taxes would be 45% even with tax deductions if I include social services taxes. In France, I pay 27.2% tax for my business income that is sourced in France and pay most of my US income tax in the US (although I do pay some extra in France on it).

For retirement, Italy doesn't seem to give many breaks for retirees, but France only charges 8% on my SS income for my cotisations (French SS for medical/pension) so the deal is much better in France. Ireland has good retirees benefits too but I cannot come up with the 5000 euros/month income for retirement.

I just figure I'll live half time in France to keep my residency and half time in Italy or travel the other 6 months or maybe even spend half time in the US which is what I've been doing for a few years. Now that I'm divorced, I can do anything I want!

I do prefer Italy to France when it comes to the people and culture, but France is gorgeous too. Good luck with your Italy challenges.

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 15:57 EST

Hi Velvet.

I don't think I have ever signed a form regarding information sharing. What information do they want shared?

The best way to know for sure about your possible tax liability is to thoroughly understand your tax treaty, then find a competent tax accountant to discuss it. I recommend that you are as well-versed with the tax treaty as possible so that you will be able to determine if the tax accountant in Italy really knows what they are talking about because even if you owe nothing in income taxes, there are other taxes you will have to pay that are not addressed in any tax treaty (city, regional, wealth tax, etc., but these are minimal compared to the income tax rates). If I had not been well-versed in the U.S.-Italy tax treaty, my tax accountant in Italy would have had me paying double the tax that I was required to pay as he had categorized some of my income incorrectly. Luckily for me, he is very open to discussion and taking the time to research all of my questions.

I don't know about Australia, but there are U.S. accountants who specialize in advising clients about our tax treaty with Italy; they can't actually compute the tax, but they can tell you what the tax treaty says regarding your specific situation. Perhaps you can find the same in Australia; a Google search might produce some results for you.

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vanderven1
5/30/2016 16:12 EST

Thank you elly8157 for telling us about the support form that your husband had to file with his visa application. After a little searching, I found on the Chicago Consulate website a list of forms which include Affidavit of Support and Affidavit of Health Insurance Coverage, among others. I'm hoping this will help our case.
http://www.conschicago.esteri.it/consolato_chicago/en/i_servizi/per_chi_si_reca_in_italia/forms.html

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elly8157
5/30/2016 19:25 EST

Continue to stay true to your dream. It will happen. Wishing you the best. Where are you moving to in Italy? We will be in Spoleto but you can get just about anywhere by train or we will rent a car every couple of months. Would love to meet you and your husband. THINK POSITIVE AND PRAY A LOT.

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elly8157
5/30/2016 19:27 EST

Fabulous. I hope this will help. Wishing you all the best.

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elly8157
5/30/2016 19:39 EST

Sergios - what are the tax consequences of being a resident vs. reacquisition of your citizenship. We were going the dual citizenship route and have all the required documents to apply in Italy, but I am concerned that as residents, we will only pay income taxes to the US since my husband has a government pension, but it he becomes a dual citizenship will he then pay income taxes to Italy on his government pension which would be 38 to 42% or can he still file in the US without problem?

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JacksterJam
5/30/2016 23:04 EST

Hi elly. I have sent you a private message. Please check your inbox.

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Sergios
5/31/2016 01:59 EST

elly8157, that really is a question for an expert to answer. For me I had my citizenship recognized but I only collect SS from the US. I am expecting to pay Italian tax on that. My wife will remain just a US citizen so her teacher's pension and SS will be taxed in the US only. Hope that answers your question.

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maxeod1
6/1/2016 21:12 EST

hello , I'm Italian but it's the first time I hear this . Here in Italy there are no special requirements , the important thing is that you have your own resource for keeping yourself , pay taxes , then your money are you doing this' you want without accountability to anyone. If he did not buy anyone and no one would live there .
I would not like you're talking about another kind of issues

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maluza86
6/1/2016 22:18 EST

Elly, take a look at the tax treaty between the US and Italy. Government pensions are only taxed in the country you receive them. I receive a US Military Retirement and it is only taxed in the US. Italy CANNOT tax it.

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maluza86
6/1/2016 22:20 EST

Hello Maxeod, thanks for the insight. The issue, though, is not for Italians, it's for those of us who are foreign citizens, "Expats" trying to move to Italy and acquire residency and/or citizenship. There are some very stringent stipulations to get a visa and move to Italy. The Italian government is not making it very easy as of late.

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JacksterJam
6/1/2016 22:59 EST

rsetzer99, I just received a reply from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to my second email regarding income requirements for renewing the permesso di soggiorno. Although I included the fact that many the Italian Consulates are now requiring that foreigners applying for the elective residence visa meet exorbitant income requirements well above the level they, themselves, quoted, they did not address that issue.

Here was there reply: "The renewal of the residence permit is possible if the original requirements continue to be maintained over time."

Not the reply I was hoping for.

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maluza86
6/1/2016 23:30 EST

Alas, Jackster, my friend, did you really think you were going to get a definitive reply? Italian bureaucracy at its best!

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JacksterJam
6/1/2016 23:42 EST

Maluza, what can I say? Ha! Since they did send definitive numbers for what should be the income required for the visa, I was definitely hoping they'd say that those are the same numbers the Questura should apply to the requirements for the renewal. I'm not sure the Questura even knows what the Consulates are requiring and which "policy" they are following regarding income requirements for the permesso renewals. I hope I'm not looking at a rejection of my renewal this year. Will the Questura use the income requirements as they are stated by the Ministry, or from some policy the Consulates are now using? I'll find out this summer, eh?

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maluza86
6/2/2016 01:08 EST

Jackster, who knows, right??!! Keep us all informed, as you'll be the first to "renew" a Permesso from in country. Mine doesn't expire until 2019, so who knows what lies in store until then, ha, ha, ha. In bocca al lupo.....

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Sergios
6/2/2016 02:05 EST

Maluza86. If you read the treaty you will see that if you take full residency in Italy, italy can claim even government pensions. The language is very vague and I think it is that way on purpose. By full residency I mean Italian citizen with full time residency in Italy.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 02:17 EST

Jacksterjam, my permesso had to be given back when my citizenship was recognized. So I may not be the right person on this discussion but, I was never asked about income during my interview. Not a single word about it. Were you asked during your interview for the permesso? I suspect that your renewal will be based more on your record over the past 5 years than your original qualifications. Take that as an authoritative word from an ignorant person.

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JacksterJam
6/2/2016 03:38 EST

Hi Sergios.

Upon renewal of the permesso di soggiorno, when one submits their application they check that all documentation is attached to verify one's current financial situation. That necessitates submitting a financial statement, tax returns, current bank and financial institution statements, copy of current monthly pension "stub," proof of health insurance, and all the other various documents (copies of current permesso di soggiorno, codice fiscale, carta d'identita`, passport).

If anything is missing, they won't accept the application. I wish they only checked my "record." It would be a whole lot simpler.

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maluza86
6/2/2016 03:42 EST

Sergios, I agree the treaty is very very vague in that area, so probably should have clarified my position. I am a permanent resident, not a citizen. My wife is a dual national. So for me, Italy can't touch my military pension, nor my disability from the VA, which the IRS can't touch either!

I will go back and read the treaty again though, because I like nothing better than sticking needles in my eye??

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JacksterJam
6/2/2016 03:45 EST

Sergios,

I should add that this is what they require in Florence. Elsewhere, I don't know. As we've clearly discovered, not much is consistently done the same in any government office. (wink)

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Sergios
6/2/2016 03:58 EST

I guess going the citizenship route requires much less financial documentation. That, however, is more than made up for with the other documentation that they require. As far as consistency. They are consistently inconsistent, even in the same office. As I discovered.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 03:58 EST

I guess going the citizenship route requires much less financial documentation. That, however, is more than made up for with the other documentation that they require. As far as consistency. They are consistently inconsistent, even in the same office. As I discovered.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 04:00 EST

Try lye for a refreshing change from needles.

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maluza86
6/2/2016 04:02 EST

Thanks ;-) ha ha ha :-)

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velvet
6/2/2016 04:05 EST

Sergious. You make us laugh.

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maluza86
6/2/2016 04:11 EST

That must be the Sicilian way;-)

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JacksterJam
6/2/2016 04:23 EST

Sergios, not only that, they said that had I been applying for citizenship, I would not have had to take the language exam or the oral exam on the Italian constitution, which is required for those of us upon the second renewal of the permesso di soggirono. I'm off to buy some lye!

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DoppioCittadino
6/2/2016 08:42 EST

That's because "applying for citizenship" is a misnomer.

What you are actually doing is submitting proof that you are and always were an Italian citizen - you were born that way - and, like any other Italian citizen, there is no need to prove that you can speak the language or know anything about the country's history (not that those things are a bad idea).

The documentation requirements are not really that bad, especially if you only need to go back one or two generations to reach an Italy-born ancestor. The benefits of citizenship, on the other hand, are great and I would recommend that anyone who has the requisite bloodline should pursue it.

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elly8157
6/2/2016 09:27 EST

Except for the 38-42% income taxes you must pay if you become a citizen. if you have a US Government Pension you are only taxed in the US if you are just residing in Italy and not a citizen.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 09:27 EST

So there you have it. That is all of your solutions. Prove that you are Italians. Actually, making that proof is not always a simple matter because the laws are, as in anything else we have discussed here, interpretable in a way that suits the interpreter. In my case it was the Italian consulate in NY that made the interpretation that I was no longer an Italian. That was a 15 battle. I finally gave up and went to sicily to "re-aquire" my citizenship. Except that when I got there they interpreted my case as my already being a citizen and I just needed the proper documents [which I had but they wanted to have them sent directly to them from the various sources]. That process took 8 months. Incidentally, nobody knew how the process worked so nobody could tell me. Do you go for residency first or apply directly for citizenship? Is the permesso needed? Do you use the needles or lye in the office or in private? As it turns out I went to the residency office first and they said I must go to the citizenship office first. Both said I don't need the permesso. I later found out that the citizenship office can not do anything until I have my residency. And for permesso, I applied for that just incase and found out that since the process for all this takes longer than 90 days, I could have been deported well before any of this was resolved. I have my citizenship, my residency, my italian passport and now I am on a 5 month trip through europe, mostly france and holland, to avoid the ridiculous heat in sicily in the summer. This trip would not be possible without all I went through above. So I believe it was worth it. I wish you could all see the view of the town of Vernet les Bains out my window as I write this. And Velvet, I just finished having a meal of beet salad with goat cheese, and roasted chicken all la herb du provence, all of which I bought at the farmers market in the town square.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 09:29 EST

sorry. that was a 15 year battle

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Sergios
6/2/2016 09:34 EST

As far as taxes, the top rate is 47% in italy as compared to 38% in the USA. But with a good accountant that difference could be modified favorably so I don't think its a major hurdle. Again, the is from somebody who is an expert on many things but not on taxes.

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elly8157
6/2/2016 09:35 EST

Sergio - What was a 15 year battle?

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Sergios
6/2/2016 09:36 EST

fighting the Italian consulates in NY

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rsetzer99
6/2/2016 09:50 EST

I have emails out to two of the immigration/tax firms asking if they can provide clarification, and I also sent an email to the Chicago Consulate asking of their wise advise regarding income requirements for elective visa. I will report back if I receive anything of worth.

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DoppioCittadino
6/2/2016 09:51 EST

38 - 42% are not typical rates for average retirees; they actually begin at 23%, and that is after a standard personal deduction and additional deductions. And, most pension income is not taxed by Italy, though, admittedly, social security is.

On the other hand, with citizenship, you will not have to "buy into" the Italian healthcare system annually, which can easily save a couple €2000 or more depending on their combined income.

https://internationalliving.com/countries/italy/taxes/

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2countryliving
6/2/2016 10:22 EST

Are you sure about not being taxed in Italy on SS or a pension? I've done a lot of research and talked to others on another forum, and other than a bigger personal deduction, everyone says you are taxed on SS and Pension income in Italy as an American (no Italian citizenship). Could you offer some links for this?

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maluza86
6/2/2016 10:30 EST

Reference is for a government pension. If you receive a US pension from a US government entity and are not an Italian citizen your pension is not taxed in Italy, only in the country of origin. However if it is a non - US government pension it will be taxed in the US and in Italy. Google the US Italy tax treaty it's all in there.

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rsetzer99
6/2/2016 10:34 EST

US Social Security is indeed taxed by Italy. But not US, Which is little consolation as you pay the exact same amount of tax either way.

Pensions vary. Most Government Pensions are exempt. That said, with some people working at State levels may have a pension scheme set up in such as way that is does not qualify, so expert advice is necessary.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 11:42 EST

correction maluzzo, if its a non government pension then italy will tax it but you still only get taxed in one country, according to the treaty.

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2countryliving
6/2/2016 12:04 EST

Maluza, what about paying into the Italian SS or medical coverage scheme as a US pensioner? Do you know what percentage or cost that would be for a single person? Is there an age requirement for being considered a pensioner or just whenever you start taking SS?

I live in France but would like to live in Italy when I retire. France is different - it does not tax you on any SS and I've heard they don't charge medical coverage either (although I also read in another article that they charge 8% of your income for for medical). Thanks for the info.

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maluza86
6/2/2016 12:16 EST

Sergio, thanks for the correction, you only get taxed in one country as you mention.

2country, sorry I can't help you on that one. If you are not going to become an Italian citizen, but only a permanent resident, then Jackster is probably the best one to answer. Since my wife is a dual national, I receive my medical though her, so I don't have to pay into anything or provide any other medical insurance. Although, as a military retiree, I do have Tricare for Life as a supplement if I need it.

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bogart2
6/2/2016 12:57 EST

A little off topic and not worth its own thread, but for those interested the following from the WSJ this morning:
Outside the U.S., the convergence between banking and fintech is happening more quickly. PayPal’s Xoom international transfer service, which it acquired last year, recently started allowing bill payments to flow directly from the consumer to utilities or mobile-phone operators.

I know nothing more than the article.

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2countryliving
6/2/2016 12:59 EST

Bogart, you have no idea how life changing that is for me. Thanks.

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2countryliving
6/2/2016 13:09 EST

Bogart, I looked at it and you transfer money easily to Europe but can only pay bills to Philippines and Central America. I was hoping I could pay my bills in the US with it. FYI.

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JacksterJam
6/2/2016 13:56 EST

2contryliving, I'm thinking of a couple of things.

First, if you become a resident in Italy, they will tax your U.S. social security income. How much that tax will actually be will depend on your total gross income minus a variety of possible deductions.

Second, do you already have a permanent E.U. residency permit? If you do, here is what Italy will require in terms of taking up residency in Italy as a retired person (as stated on the Polizia di Stato website): you must prove that you have stable and sufficient funds (your income must be over twice the minimum wage) and that you are covered by a private health insurance for the duration of your stay in Italy. If you meet those requirements, you can obtain a residence permit valid for Italy, which is renewable. Once you have the Italian permit in hand, you can enroll in the health care system and drop your private insurance (see below). If you do not already have an E.U. permanent residence permit, it might be easier if you get that done in France because who knows what you'd have to go through to be able to live in Italy without it. If you have already researched that, I'd be interested to know. This issue will, of course, have an effect on how long you can be in Italy and any tax obligations you might have.

Third, regarding contributing to the Italian retirement system, I believe it is only allowed during one's working years, but I'm not completely schooled on the topic; perhaps someone else can add more information. As I understand it, Italy has only two types of pension funds: 1) closed pension funds which are implemented either as company pension funds by a single company or as industry-wide pension funds set up by the employers' association and the trade unions for a specific group of participants, or 2) open pension funds that are offered by banks, insurance companies or investment management companies for a generic group of participants, i.e. the self-employed.

Fourth, in regard to buying into the Italian national health care system (paying income taxes does not in and of itself allow access to those services), the cost is calculated on a sliding scale depending on one's income. I believe the cost to enroll tops out at 2,400 euros per year, but the rates usually increase every year. For example, an American retiree I know moved to Italy five years ago and her cost to enroll in the health care system was about 350 euros per year. This year, her cost, calculated on about the same amount of income, was 2,200 euros. If you move to Italy and decide to buy into the national health care system, take care with the timing. Again, this is based on the experiences of friends I know, not from personal experience (I have private insurance), but this is what happened to them. First, there is no monthly payment plan; the entire year's cost needs to be paid in its entirety upon enrollment. Second, costs are based on the calendar year so if you enroll, for example, in March, you will still pay for an entire year's coverage, but the coverage ends on December 31 of each year, after which you must "re-up" for the following calendar year.

Good luck! Again, if you have already determined Italy's take on your situation of being a resident in France and wanting to move to Italy, please share!

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velvet
6/2/2016 15:38 EST

Sergious Chicken is my second favourite meal so that meal sounds delicious. Could you have some Lamb at some stage and report back. Lol. Dessert?? France does have the best pastries in the world
You really are living the dream now with travelling for 5 months. That is how my husband and I want to live our dream. You sound like you and your wife deserve it.
Enjoy
Regards
PS I am off to work on a freezing cold ,windy and rainy day. This time next year we will be in Italy. Hope the year goes really really quickly.

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2countryliving
6/2/2016 15:44 EST

Jackster, thanks so much for that. That was extremely helpful and confirmed my research which showed I would get taxed on my SS in Italy. I didn't know how the health care system worked however so your description answered that.

I had also done research on exchanging my French residency to Italian residency but I was looking at 45%+ taxes/medical even with deductions on my self employment income. In France, I pay 15% - 27% taxes depending on the source of the income. So I nixed that idea and am staying in France.

Yes, I have my 10 Year Carte in France which is renewable in 2022. I can also apply for my citizenship in 5 years (I could have applied a year ago but I ended up in a divorce and had to return to the US for a year which meant I broke the 'consecutive 5 years' rule and have to start over).

I looked into Ireland too but they don't recognize my French residency and have a new rule for retirement income too. If I remember correctly, they now require 50,000/yr of income PER person in the family to retire there. I think Europe is just making up as many ways as possible to keep foreigners out.

So I guess I'll stay in France when I retire, make sure I meet residency there (183 days +) and just spend the other six months in Italy. My French residency gives me rights to EU medical care in any EU country so I'm covered (unless they change that too). Just have to keep the card updated, which is free.

Thanks again for your help. It's greatly appreciated.

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Sergios
6/2/2016 16:17 EST

Velvet. Lamb. That is my favorite red meat. The first day in Vernet les Bains we pick a random restaurant at the top of the village. It is run by an expat British couple. After the fois gras, the lamb chops with multi herbed butter was fantastic. Followed by wild cherry soufflé. I like French food.

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JacksterJam
6/2/2016 16:36 EST

2countryliving, I'm going to send you a private message. Please check your "inbox."

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Sergios
6/2/2016 16:38 EST

There are worst places than France.

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vanderven1
6/2/2016 17:07 EST

Yes, Albania for one. Not that I'm comparing Albania in any way to France. I love France! It's just that Italy has been what we've considered our home away from home since we spent summers there while we both were teaching. We haven't been back, now, for five years, so I imagine quite a bit has changed. Meanwhile, in addition to our visa issues, our buyers' loan just fell through a day before closing (after five weeks, their being "preapproved," and our having moved everything we own except our computers and a few groceries into storage while we're renting a furnished studio thinking we'd be leaving for Italy in July). But...we remain hopeful in every way :)

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elly8157
6/2/2016 17:15 EST

Thank you for the article, the article reads -
"As things stand, the personal income tax rate can be as much as 43% for high earners. Italy has a multitude of taxes, so if you are thinking of carrying out any form of business here, we highly recommend that you seek professional guidance from a tax accountant ( commercialista).

After allowances have been taken into account, rates are on a sliding scale. They are currently as follows:

23% for amounts up to $36,000
33% for the next band from $36,001 to $39,300
39% for amounts between $39,301 and $119,200
45% for amounts $119,201 and over."

Unfortunately, we are just over the $39,301 so we fall into the 39% bracket.

In the US we fall into the 15% tax bracket so it would be more than double if we became citizens (appx $9400 more for just income taxes.) I wish it was more affordable but it isn't.

Thanks for your research.

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2countryliving
6/2/2016 19:24 EST

Elly, you better check to see if that includes your health care costs or buy-in to the system. Health care and incomes taxes are not combined in Italy (or France where I live). It's an additional cost and can be high. If you're retired, the cost may be lower.

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JacksterJam
6/3/2016 00:04 EST

Hi elly8157.

I believe the table from the article in question is not accurate. One thing to keep in mind is that your income will be converted to euros when your tax liability is calculated.

For example, if your combined income is $39,500, today that would equal €35,432 (39,500 x .897). The conversion rate used for a given tax year is supposed to be the exchange rate average for the year in question. The conversion rate average for 2015 is .919, which would be €36,300. The article states the rates in dollars, and since the included table only has four brackets while Italy actually has five, I'm not able to calculate the exchange rate they used to convert euros to dollars.

However, after converting your income to euros before calculating your tax, you have to keep in mind that since your income is in dollars, you will pay the tax at whatever the exchange rate is at the time you exchange dollars to euros to pay the tax. For example, today the exchange rate is $1.12. At this time a year ago, it was $1.07. The summer I arrived, it was $1.34 (egads!).

Also keep in mind that there is a deduction for pensioners. Currently, it is €7,500 per pensioner. There are also other deductions to consider.

Here is the website for the tax agency in Italy, the Agenzia delle Entrate, that discusses individual income taxes, as well as a whole host of information on taxation in Italy, in English.

http://www1.agenziaentrate.it/english/italian_taxation/income_tax.htm#Irpef:%20rates%20and%20allowances

Happy reading! Ha!

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velvet
6/3/2016 02:13 EST

vandeven1. You have my sympathy and I am hoping it all works out eventually.
Regards

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DoppioCittadino
6/3/2016 10:00 EST

Please keep in mind, the last I heard, Italy does not have a "Married, Filing Jointly" as in the US tax system. Husbands and wives file separate returns and compute their incomes separately. This will almost always be advantageous from the standpoint of total tax paid.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

And, here is the official information regarding tax rates, etc.: http://www1.agenziaentrate.gov.it/english/italian_taxation/income_tax.htm#Other%20allowances

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vanderven1
6/3/2016 10:39 EST

Thank you, Velvet. We just got another offer on the house already, so fingers crossed!

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vanderven1
6/3/2016 10:40 EST

Thank you, Velvet. We just got another offer on the house already, so fingers crossed!

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Sergios
6/3/2016 11:57 EST

you are correct

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velvet
6/4/2016 20:43 EST

Sergious. I for some reason didn't see your post about lamb. Sounds wonderful and so glad you had dessert.

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Sergios
6/5/2016 01:05 EST

Velvet, for the most part lamb in Italy is served differently. Lamb chops are cut thin (1/4 inch) and grilled at high temps so the meat caramalizes. It's served in a big pile as a finger food. It's really quite good. You don't see thick chops or racks very often. Just a warning.

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maluza86
6/5/2016 01:21 EST

And it's served in a ragu sauce, which is a meat sauce, usually with meatballs, chunks of lamb, beef and even horse meat if you so desire. Also, at least in Puglia, you can buy lamb any way you want at the macelleria...we routinely buy whole leg of lamb, thick cut chops with or without bone in as well as the thinner sliced pieces Sergios mentions for grilling. Either way you slice it (pun intended), it's relatively inexpensive abundant, fresh, and delicious!!

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velvet
6/5/2016 01:46 EST

Thanks. All sounds perfect. Lamb is served anyway here and one thing I can actually cook. It is expensive here but fantastic meat.
I also love the veal in Europe as it is so much better than what we get here.
Hope you are all having a long lunch today. With dessert of course.
Regards.

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Sergios
6/5/2016 02:09 EST

I'm on my way to Barcelona for a couple days. I'll check out the lamb there.

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velvet
6/5/2016 02:13 EST

Great. Because we will be in Spain next year. Thanks I appreciate it

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Sergios
6/7/2016 15:40 EST

So I said I would report on the lamb in Barcelona. Unfortunately, within an hour of arriving, while stopped at a light, we were robbed of all our credit cards, 500 euros and my camera. Not to mention my hard won Italian passport. So we, out of necessity, could not go to any good restaurants. . We did get a little money from American Express so we did go out to eat in corner type bistros. I did have lamb chops. They were served the same way as in Italy, thin and grilled. The Italian one's are better. We escaped Barcelona as soon as we could. Back in France now. I don't recommend Barcelona. And not because of what happened. It's is a city planners wet dream. A grid system of streets and blvds, that goes on and on and becomes much too uniform. The randomness and caos are missing and missed.

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JacksterJam
6/7/2016 15:44 EST

Oh, Sergios. I'm so sorry to hear of your misfortune! It had to be a horrendous experience. You do manage, however, to keep your sense of humor. I hope everything gets squared away with as much ease as possible. Stay safe!

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dg6162
6/7/2016 15:53 EST

Sergios I am so sorry to hear! Barcelona can be charming but there is huge unemployment and it's reputation as a den of pickpockets is getting tiresome. If it's any consolation we were robbed in Lisbon last time we were there in 2013. Both cities are being ruined by runaway tourism. Siracusa on the other hand where I arrived yesterday is still very safe I am told. With cameras everywhere. But cruise ships among other better known forces like planet change are killing the jewels of the Mediterranean. I hope our generation will not be among the last to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of some of these ancient centers of civilization

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Sergios
6/8/2016 02:16 EST

In response to what digi6162 had to say about one of my favorite cities, Siracusa, I copied one of my FB posts of my impression of Barcelona. This can hold true for any tourist inundated city but in my experience Barcelona is the worst.
Please excuse the colorful language.

My Impression of Barcelona
Certain aspects of this city are impressive. Unlike similarly sized cities around the world, there seems to be no commercial center; no skyline, no skyscrapers. The entire downtown is made up 5 and 6 story buildings of impeccable detail and beauty. The streets are a grid pattern with smaller streets and wider boulevards. You can walk for hours, like we did, and be impressed by how well laid out the streets are and how pretty and impressive the buildings are. You can walk for hours, in fact, and not know where you are because after a while all these unique and wonderful buildings all start looking like the same f¥€king building.
Forget the tourist spots. The tourists already found them. If you are tall like (I'm 5'8") me then there is no problem but people of normal height end up seeing other peoples backs instead of the sites. To get into the Gaudy Cathedral would have required a three hour wait on a monday in early June!! The Boqueria Market is a joke. Not to say the market is bad, but you can’t tell with all the tourist blocking your way taking iPhone pictures of figs. I was in the Saint Lorenzo market in Florence in July 2011 and it was not this crowded. And that is a far better market. Or at least it was. In fact if you have a choice, skip Barcelona and go to Florence. Everything in Florence is a piece of art, not just a craft.
Speaking of the Market in Barcelona, Alice and I finally found a free table and had lunch. Since Barcelona is all about the Iberian Ham, I had a plate of the best they had to offer. A six inch plate covered with slices of crudo black footed ham one layer thick for 17 Euros! They gave me the cheap s#!t. I know the difference. The Iberian ham tastes of nuts and pork and the fat melts the instant it touches your tongue. What they gave me was cheap prosciutto. The tourists wouldn’t know the difference anyway. It really is a shame that what makes a city great is what attracts the tourists which brings out the greed in people so that what you end up getting is an illusion of the greatness of the city, a cartoon.
End note. Never realized how puritanical this site is. I'm glad the machine editors are there to protect all of our sensibilities. Seriously, language is language. Words properly used express feelings. Taking away certain words dilute the ability to make such expressions. I don't believe that their are many four year olds on this site. Who is being protected here?

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velvet
6/8/2016 02:40 EST

Sergious. We are sorry this happened to you and thank you for taking the time to respond. Much to people's disgust we have only included Barcelona for 1 night as it does not appeal to us. I can't put my finger on why it doesn't appeal. We will be spending most of the month we are in Spain in Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba and Granada and Seville. Yes they are the tourist hot spots but it is what we are interested in. Italy has my heart and I will always visit even if we can't live there.

Lamb for dinner tonight for us.

Regards

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maluza86
6/8/2016 02:58 EST

Sergios,

Thanks for your insights and candid comments, they are much appreciated. Sorry to hear about your bad experience in Barcelona...at least you are physically fine! Also disgusted if you are being sensored on this site for your candidacy!

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DoppioCittadino
6/8/2016 09:05 EST

Sergios,

I wonder if you would take a few moments to provide a little more detail as to what happened in Barcelona. Was it strong-arm robbery? Was there a weapon involved? How many attackers were there? Young? Old? Did they strike you as Spaniards or other?

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Sergios
6/8/2016 10:47 EST

Again I will paste what I posted on FB.

A Tale of Too City
I tell this tale to warn the many unsuspecting, innocent, unaware, and mostly stupid travelers that we have the fortune to being a part. I gave a synopsis of what happened to us in Barcelona but this is a more complete telling to help keep others from suffering the misery of eating a bodega, pre-made, stale and disgusting sandwich [which I only had two bites before throwing it out]. Going hungry for the night.

We drove to Barcellona on the brand new super toll highway. The tolls were super. When we went through the last toll, entering Barcelona, there were several heavily armed police inspecting cars that had been pulled over. We did not get noticed, I thought, and drove right by. A few minutes later an old, black BMW 3 series pulls up next to us on the highway and the passenger flashes a badge and indicates that we need to pull over. We did. He comes to the passenger window and asks us if we have drogas. I laugh and say no and thought, do you? He looks through Alice’s purse pulling things out one at a time and smelling them. When he is done with hers he looks through mine doing the same thing, He smells everything. Then he looks at Alice’s gold chain and tells her to take it off and put it in the purse. He then zippers the purse and points to Barcelona and says “no wear” “hide” “don’t stop” and walks to his car and drives away. The Ides of March in June.

We were of the understanding that when we arrive in Barcelona, two hours before check-in at the B&B, I was to call the owner so that we could make arrangements for the key and for the car. He said that there was an underground parking lot that would cost 22 euro per night. Check in was to be at 2PM. We arrived at noon and I started calling him. No answer. Call again and again and again. The parking garage across the street from the B&B was closed. We started driving around the area and every parking garage was closed. This means that we have been driving around and around looking like stupid tourists in an Italian plated car. Finally we see an open garage but it is on the bus/taxi lane on Grande Street. I pull a quick turn, go down the single limited access lane only to find that it was actually closed. I pull back out and try to make a left turn at the next corner [no signs telling me what direction the traffic was moving] only to find that it was the wrong way. A man crossing the street on a bicycle sees us and motions us that we have to go straight. So I did and stopped at the next red light. The same man rides up to the passengers side and starts yelling incomprehensible gibberish, it was not spanish, and grabs the door handle, opens and slams the door several times and then rides away. Dumbfounded we pull away and make the proper turn and I noticed that the door open indicator was lit. I asked Alice to check her door but it was shut. Thats funny. I pull over and find the the back drivers side door was half latched. Interesting. The light bulb was yet to turn on.

We are still looking for a parking garage, there is NO street parking available anywhere. We finally see an open garage and pull in. There is nobody in it. just a few cars and empty spaces. No attendant. No lights. I park the car and grab the luggage and the three of us walk out, I figure I could explain to the attendant what happened, and started walking to the B&B three blocks away. While walking I noticed that I did have the overnight bag, and camera bag but I did not have my man-bag. I tell Alice to stay where she was with the stuff and I ran back to the car to get my man-bag. The car was locked? I have a keyless entry key in the man bag. If it was in the car the car would not be locked. I run back, a fat old man running through the streets of Barcelona, to get Alice’s key then run back two blocks to the garage. All the time hoping that they didn’t close the gate on me. It was still open and nobody was still there. I opened the door and searched the car. Nothing. The light came on so bright it was blinding. I get in the car, pull out of the garage and go to pick up Alice and Ringo. When I saw a police car I pulled over and told them and they said that I must report it at the police station in Catalonia Square. So I drive there, I find an open garage and I pulled in and parked. We walked to the police station and spend the next several hours of our lives there. When we were done we realized that we did not have the money to get the car out of the garage. So we grab the stuff filled with what appeared to be lead ingots, and walk the 10 blocks to the B&B. Luckily somebody was there to let us in and we got into our rooms.

American Express came through and sent us 500 euro by western union the next morning. We walked to the office, 6 blocks away, got our money and the Barcelona weekend Finally started. We decided to leave the car where it was because we did not need it in the city. Today we walked to the car [grabbed a cab on the way because the lead ingots didn’t get any lighter] and packed up the car. Alice gave me a 20 euro note to pay for parking and I said that it may be a bit more. So she gave me a 50 euro note. I found the attendant and gave her the ticket. 98 euro for two days.!!!! I show her that I have just a 50 and some change and explain what happened. She took pity and change the bill to 51 euro. I get in the car, drive out of the garage and out of Barcelona. We are back in Vernet les Bains now.
To clarify [I received some questions] while the man distracted us at the front passenger door, somebody else snuck up and opened the back drivers side door and took my bag. Ringo must have just watched. He was in the back chilling.

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DoppioCittadino
6/8/2016 11:00 EST

Wow, that really stinks. I am sorry for your losses but glad that you guys weren't physically hurt.

Lesson learned: never drive with your car doors unlocked and, preferably, with windows raised high enough that an arm won't fit through.

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Sergios
6/8/2016 11:13 EST

I've been told that that method was perfected in Naples.

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Jergirl
6/8/2016 12:09 EST

Some years ago I was in Barcelona and was in a giant reception hall at the ferry port, picking up my ticket from the counter. The place was abandonned except for the policman at the door. Suddenly I felt something and there was a man crouching on the floor with his hand in my bag. I called out the the policeman who did NOTHING. He said "well he didn't take anything in the end, did he?". I heard later that this is the standard policy. Pickpocketers were just not prosecuted.

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Sergios
6/8/2016 12:13 EST

Before leaving Barcelona I noticed that they used my cards before i had a chance to block them. The bought something for 450 euro a the Carafour store. I told the police about it thinking that they could access the video cameras to identify the thief. They said that they wanted 6 months of my accounts in printed form for them to review. I think they were telling me to go {forbidden word} off!

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DoppioCittadino
6/8/2016 12:51 EST

There has been tremendous political pressure all through Western Europe to under-report crimes committed by recent migrants, so that may have something to do with the laissez faire attitude of the police.


"Migrants Linked to 69,000 Would-Be or Actual Crimes in Germany in First Three Months of 2016: Police"
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/06/07/world/europe/07reuters-europe-migrants-germany-crime.html?_r=0

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Sergios
6/8/2016 13:28 EST

That is most likely the case. But not what happened to me.. I can't say for sure but the one man I did see looked Central European. But could have just as easily been Spanish.

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velvet
6/8/2016 15:10 EST

Sergios That is a very scary. Nothing I can say helps.

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Sergios
6/8/2016 15:41 EST

Not to worry. We lost 500 euro in cash an $800 camera (my favorite) and some odds and ends. Everything else is replacesable. A few days of poverty to remind us of what it was once like and a bit of loss of faith in our fellow man (which is probably a good thing).

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almare2
6/9/2016 15:07 EST

Hello, everyone, thanks for all the great info. I have spent hours online researching the income requirements for elective residency in Italy, in Italian, which used to be quite low. I saw on some info pages for Chinese and Russian citizens planning to buy property in Italy that the minimum is now three times the 2008 requirements, or €31,000. What a shock--but could it be the same for Americans? Then I did a search in English and found this forum. Unfortunately, that seems to be true, so as my SS is much lower and my dividends from stock, which amount to about $20,000, are not guaranteed, I guess I will have to give up my dream. And I was so looking forward to renting an apartment in Rome and inviting family and friends to come visit! I will continue to spend 3 or 4 months a year in Italy, but I just hate hauling the suitcases back and forth! And Sergios, I'm very sorry for your loss. My iPad was pickpocketed in Rome last year, but that was my own fault for not keeping it concealed better. But your story is terrible. Anyway, thanks again to all for the info. Now I will not even have to bother to tax my brain about the problem anymore. See you on the forum!

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vanderven1
6/9/2016 18:07 EST

Sergios, I'm really sorry about your loss. A friend traveling with us in Rome was pickpockets of 500 Euros, and I've been mugged twice here in the U.S., so I think any large city or large gathering of people, or any place where there are desperate poor or drug abusers, invites this kind of activity. Almare2, I'm afraid your income will need to be much higher now than before. We were told by the Miami Consulate when they returned our application for visa that we needed to show $3,500 per person, per month, plus substantial savings or pension total. We were also required to obtain a 12-month registered lease. Our landlords found that they can't register the lease until we have our codici fiscali, which I thought was only obtainable after you get to Italy, but have since found an application that you can fill out and turn in with your visa application to any consulate. We're hoping a copy of the signed lease will suffice until we get our codici fiscali and the people we're renting from can then get the lease registered. They do not make it easy, for sure. After increasing our monthly income through my husbands pension, our second application packet is going to the Miami Consulate tomorrow, so our fingers are crossed :))

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vanderven1
6/9/2016 18:07 EST

Sergios, I'm really sorry about your loss. A friend traveling with us in Rome was pickpockets of 500 Euros, and I've been mugged twice here in the U.S., so I think any large city or large gathering of people, or any place where there are desperate poor or drug abusers, invites this kind of activity. Almare2, I'm afraid your income will need to be much higher now than before. We were told by the Miami Consulate when they returned our application for visa that we needed to show $3,500 per person, per month, plus substantial savings or pension total. We were also required to obtain a 12-month registered lease. Our landlords found that they can't register the lease until we have our codici fiscali, which I thought was only obtainable after you get to Italy, but have since found an application that you can fill out and turn in with your visa application to any consulate. We're hoping a copy of the signed lease will suffice until we get our codici fiscali and the people we're renting from can then get the lease registered. They do not make it easy, for sure. After increasing our monthly income through my husbands pension, our second application packet is going to the Miami Consulate tomorrow, so our fingers are crossed :))

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almare2
6/9/2016 18:30 EST

vanderven2, yes, that's what I was saying. Quite a jump up! So I just have to give up the idea. I could never even spend that much in Italy; I don't even in New Jersey! Meanwhile, so many people who will just be a drain on the state are being let in. You'd think the Italian government would be happy to have my US income, even at a lower level, flowing in to be spent in Italy.

BTW, it is, in fact, possible to generate your own codice fiscale using an app available on iTunes. I don't know if it is actually usable, but one time when I bought a SIM card in a TIM store the clerk generated a codice fiscale for me, which is the same as the one that later came up on the app. It's some sort of magical combination of your name and codes based on your date and place of birth. Good luck with your application!

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almare2
6/9/2016 18:42 EST

Also, vanderven2, I once tried to rent an apartment in Italy, but the lease was returned by the local police prefecture with the note "Impossible to register without a permesso di soggiorno." So I'm surprised that you were able to sign a lease before getting the permesso di soggiorno.

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vanderven1
6/9/2016 19:46 EST

almare2, be careful of using the codice fiscale generated by an app or on several online sites. What they say they do is give an "example" of what your codice fiscal would look like if generated by dall'Agenzia delle Entreat (The Italian Revenue Authority). These codes must be generated by them or by an Italian Consulate in your country of origin. Here is the website to get the official form to turn in at your consulate:

http://www.conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/resource/2012/04/10253_f_cons97ISTRUZIONIEMODULOPERLARICHIESTADICODICEFISCALE.pdf

Don't give up hope for living in Italy. See if you can temporarily increase your income for a few months to the minimum required by the consulate for your area (we live in Georgia, so our consulate is Miami). Some of the consulates don't require as much income as others. If you can't do that, you can go to Italy for 90 days, then leave to live 90 days in places such as Ireland and others or 180 days in the UK, then back to Italy. You just can't exceed 90 days in Schengen countries. With Ryan Air flights between countries, it is very inexpensive to get from one European country to another.

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almare2
6/9/2016 20:02 EST

Hi again, vanderven1. Thanks for the suggestions, but what I want to do is rent an apartment, not stay on the move all the time. I want a place to keep my "stuff." I do have income, but it is freelance and from dividends and thus would not count. In case you or anyone else is interested, there is some info in Italian at http://www.trevisolavora.it/guidastranieri/sezioni.asp?id_categoria=379 and http://www.avvocatoimmigrati.it/visto-residenzaelettiva, and the table referred to (from 2000, and one has to have a minmum of 3 times that) is at http://www.trevisolavora.it/guidastranieri/documenti/direttiva_ministero_interno_01_03_2000_definizione_mezzi_di_sussistenza.pdf?id_contenuto=691&id_categoria=379. Interestingly enough, the amount for two people is much less than twice that for one. About the codice fiscale, I remember now that I actually procured one at the Agenzia delle Entrate before signing the lease that didn't go through. But it's the same as the one generated by TIM and the app.

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almare2
6/9/2016 20:07 EST

Also, from what I understand, at least in the beginning one has to prove one's income every six months. Dividends are variable, and there is no one, such as a bank, that can certify what they will continue to be, and as I'm freelance my income varies, and anyway according to the rules only nonwork income will be considered. So my only stable income is SS, which doesn't come close to meeting the minimum.

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almare2
6/9/2016 20:10 EST

My next resort is to see if I can rent a self-storage unit in Rome without having an Italian address. That way at least I wouldn't have to haul heavy suitcases back and forth three or four times a year! :-D

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DoppioCittadino
6/10/2016 08:51 EST

You might actually find it is less expensive overall to lease an apartment long-term instead of paying three months rent -> three months storage -> three months rent -> etc.

Monthly rentals can be extremely expensive during the tourist season.

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almare2
6/10/2016 09:33 EST

DoppioCittadino, thanks for the idea, but I am usually in Italy during the colder (cheaper) months anyway, and generally not for three months at a time (considering that I'm paying rent on my apt. in NJ). It works out to about 4 months a year in Italy (and I also visit friends in other countries in separate trips). And I can't get an apartment lease without having the permesso di soggiorno! I tried once, and the lease was rejected by the local police prefecture for that reason. A box in Rome big enough for a couple of suitcases should cost around €100 a month. I just have to go and talk with the people to find out if I can rent one without having an Italian address, or if I can use a friend's address. Thanks for the thought anyway.

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rsetzer99
6/10/2016 11:39 EST

Something is not quite right. You cannot get the Permesso without having first got the long term visa and you cannot get that without having presented property deed or long term lease.

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JacksterJam
6/10/2016 12:23 EST

almare2, two questions came to mind regarding the refusal of your rental lease. In which city did the police refuse the lease and was the lease for a "tourist" or "resident" apartment? If you tried to rent a resident apartment before you were one, that would be a problem.

A "resident" lease is referred to as a 4x4 (four-year lease renewable for 4 years) or 3x2 (three-year lease renewable for two years) and can only be rented to residents. I, and all of the retired people I know living in Italy, had to rent a "tourist" apartment until after we arrived, applied for and received the permesso di soggiorno, then registered residency with the Comune. I obtained all of the above documents within a year and once the tourist lease was up, I moved into an apartment offering a resident lease. All kinds of people rent "tourist" apartments for a year or more and have no problems and it is the owner's responsibility to register your presence with the police, just the same as a hotel would do.

As for storage options, I can rent a small storage space for 50 euros a month in Florence. Have you shopped around for options in Rome?

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vanderven1
6/10/2016 17:48 EST

The lease we just signed is called a Contratto di Locazione ad Uso Abitavo di Natura Transitoria and is specifically for those people who are (or will be) residents once they have their extended stay visa. It a maximum of 18 months. By that time you will have your codice fiscale and permesso and can lease Regularly. We also had to sign a Dichiarazione stating that we are in Italy for research purposes (ex-academics). Might be a lease to check into.

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JacksterJam
6/10/2016 21:52 EST

Good point, vanderven1! Where I live, most apartments are advertised as being only for "turisiti" or "studenti" but the name of the contracts are more accurately called "transitorio."

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almare2
6/11/2016 04:59 EST

JacksterJam, Thank you for the info. I was not aware that it was possible to rent a tourist apartment for a long period. I first understood that in order to apply for the visto di soggiorno, it is necessary to have a place to live for "tempo indeterminato." Then I read that the Italian consulate requires a 12-month lease, which is what confused me. So what should I do, tell the person I rent a tourist apt. from that I will be moving out once I receive the permesso di soggiorno and make an agreement as to how much in advance I will give notice? I have booked a nice apt. in Rome for my upcoming stays in Nov.-Dec. and Jan.-Mar. (through booking.com). Perhaps I could talk to the owner of that apt. about the possibility of renting privately for a longer period later on.

Re the storage box, the only one I can get to in Rome (as I don't drive) is called Boxintown. A box of 3 MC costs €59 a month, but I think I would need something a bit larger. My only question is if I can rent a box without an Italian address (I do have a codice fiscale and a local friend they could contact in case of emergency). I'm going to go Monday and check it out (I'm in Rome now).

In further developments, it seems as though stock dividends might be counted as income after all, even though they are not guaranteed. Anybody know anything about this? I am thinking I'll spend the next year working hard (I'm a freelance editor) and putting enough money into dividend-bearing investments to raise the annual total including SS above $42,000. Though who knows if the NYC consulate will accept that. Remains to be seen. At least now, thanks to this forum, I have a better idea as to the way ahead! :-)

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almare2
6/11/2016 05:03 EST

vanderven1, Thanks for the info, very interesting. I don't know, though, that I could sign that kind of dichiarazione, not being an ex-academic. How did you find your place? Online? Any specific site to recommend?

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JacksterJam
6/11/2016 07:42 EST

almare2, I can only speak to how apartment owners are in Florence, although I suspect it will be similar in Rome.

Generally, owners require a 6-month notice to vacate, although some will accept a 3-month notice. Either way, be sure it is written into your rental agreement in the case that you want to leave before the 12-month term of the lease. That might be tricky, however, because one never knows exactly when one will get the permesso di soggirono IF one is approved for it. In Florence, it is taking almost 5 months. If there are any issues they want addressed, it could take longer. With the influx of immigrants, the Questura is stretched to the max.

Generally, most folks just live in the apartment until the end of the 12-month term, then find something else, but that depends on each person's circumstance. While you are in Rome on your next trip, I'd suggest visiting a few rental agencies while you are there. If you rent from an agency, they do usually charge a fee equal to one month's rent, so be sure to ask about that. If you have any contacts in Rome, you might be able to find an apartment rented by owner. Be careful, however, as many scams are run on foreigners, which makes using a reputable agency safer.

I would say that if you are renting a place through booking.com for your next trip, the chances are slim that the owner will go back to offering rental leases as they make a whole lot more money going through booking.com. A couple of websites you can use to research apartments using search parameters are casa.it and immobiliare.it. Usually they state in the ad if the apartment is a 4x4 or 3x2, which means for residents, or for "studenti," "turisti," or "transitori," any of which can be rented as a non-resident. If you don't speak Italian, you can cut and paste the descriptions into an online translator like Google Translate. Translators aren't perfect, but they can give you a pretty good idea about the apartment description. Last thought about contacting an agency about an apartment; for some reason, they often don't respond to emails (at least in Florence), so it is best to call them.

Good luck!

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almare2
6/11/2016 11:36 EST

Hi, JacksterJam, thanks for all the good info, very useful. I do speak Italian fluently, so that is no problem. I'm not surprised that it's taking so long with the current situation. What does pne do? Go back to the States once the first 90 days are up, wait 90 days, and return? I've gathered from other posts that until the permesso di soggiorno comes through, one is still on the Schengen rule. I'll take your advice and go to an agency. I think it's safer that way. Thanks again for the info!

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almare2
6/11/2016 11:45 EST

BTW, I was thinking, if I like the apt. sufficiently, of offering the owner the same rent as she is getting through booking.com, less the commission. That way we already know each other, she knows I'm a decent tenant, and I know I am leaving the place and my things in good hands while I'm not there. Then after the 12 months she could go back to booking.com, not having lost any money in the meantime. The location is excellent, the apt. is large for (nonluxury) Rome, and the rent, even through booking.com, is quite good compared to what I've seen on immobiliare.com for similar-sized apts. over the last while. That's why I was thinking about it.

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JacksterJam
6/11/2016 12:03 EST

almare2, no, if one's permesso di soggiorno is in progress, one can stay in Italy until it is issued. The problem with the 90-day rule is that one can not travel through the Schengen after 90-days, even to make connecting flights, until the PdiS is issued. As far as the rest of the Schengen goes, they would consider the person to be without any documentation that allows them to be in the zone (your visa will be for Italy only). While the PdiS is not a travel document, it does tell any authority in the Schengen that you have been given permission by Italy to be there beyond 90 days. So if one's PdiS takes 120 days to be processed, there would be a 30-day period in which one can only travel in and out of Italy, not the rest of the Schengen, assuming that the elective residence visa is issued with multiple entries, which they usually are. It's an issue we all face. I know of several people who were denied boarding of the plane after the 90-day travel period had expired and they were in the "limbo" state of waiting for their permesso. The various folks in question were trying to connect through Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or Vienna, thus I'd assume it would be an issue with connecting flights in any Schengen country.

As far as the apartment goes, whatever suits you, as long as you get a 12-month contract that is valid.

Excuse me if you've already mentioned this, but can you get Italian citizenship via blood lines? I ask because you mentioned that you are fluent in Italian. If so, the rules change. Many folks obtain their citizenship while still in the U.S. and can then bypass the visa/permesso, etc. Others start the process in Italy but how that affects your length of stay until citizenship is gained, I don't know. There are others on this forum than can share some information about that.

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vanderven1
6/11/2016 12:21 EST

Almare1, I looked for months on tourist housing sites, on immobiliare.it, casa.it, and when, for example, I'd find an interesting apt on immobiliare.it, I'd make a note of the agent handling it, go to their company website, and peruse their listings. In the end, we decided not to rent in Rome though it's our favorite place because of the cost. I had two agents of who had units in Perugia that we were just about to commit to when on sabbaticalhomes.com I found an apartment in San Gemini that was 60sm larger than what we almost rented and had a third bedroom the units in Perugia didn't have, and the cost is less than a third of what our apartment in Rome would've cost (and that wasn't exactly where we wanted to be in Rome). sabbaticalhomes.com apartments and homes are all rented by owner and many say the amount asked for rent is negotiable.

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vanderven1
6/11/2016 12:22 EST

Almare1, I looked for months on tourist housing sites, on immobiliare.it, casa.it, and when, for example, I'd find an interesting apt on immobiliare.it, I'd make a note of the agent handling it, go to their company website, and peruse their listings. In the end, we decided not to rent in Rome though it's our favorite place because of the cost. I had two agents of who had units in Perugia that we were just about to commit to when on sabbaticalhomes.com I found an apartment in San Gemini that was 60sm larger than what we almost rented and had a third bedroom the units in Perugia didn't have, and the cost is less than a third of what our apartment in Rome would've cost (and that wasn't exactly where we wanted to be in Rome). sabbaticalhomes.com apartments and homes are all rented by owner and many say the amount asked for rent is negotiable. Also, our new landlords have really gone to bat for us about our lease, writing to the embassy in Miami on our behalf, etc. Wonderful people!

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Sergios
6/11/2016 12:26 EST

Once you have the receipt in hand for the post office [for mailing the permesso application] you then can stay in Italy until you are either given the permesso or you are not.

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almare2
6/11/2016 13:00 EST

Thanks, everyone, for all the great information! I am so happy to have found this forum and finally have an idea of what I need to do, which nobody else has been able to help me with. JacksterJam, I am of Norwegian and German descent, and that three generations ago, so no go. But I have been studying Italian for 20 years and regularly spending time in Italy, though more now that I am semiretired. I have friends in Italy now and don't feature growing old in NJ as I am single, have no children, and have no near relatives there and otherwise only a sister in Wisconsin. In any case, I have wanted to live in Europe since I was a child (who knows why, but I have never really felt in tune with the US and American culture). I lived in Denmark (married) for six years in the late 1970s to early 1980s, then in France and England for a couple of years (married again), then returned to the US because that marriage just wasn't the thing. For years I thought of retiring in France, but then I went to Rome to study for a semester and bit by bit started traveling to Italy instead (mostly Abruzzo) and decided to move to Italy instead. A couple of years ago I started spending more time in Rome and have made new friends here (for example, taking an advanced Italian class), and now I feel really at home here. Given that I'm tall and blonde, Italians are surprised that I speak Italian so well and always ask if I am of Italian descent! I say no, I just like it here. They are also always surprised that Americans have to jump through hoops because in the average Italian's mind we should not be in the same position as the Chinese, Russians, Africans, and South Americans... but we are! :-)

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JacksterJam
6/11/2016 13:12 EST

almare2, I've sent you a private message since it is not related to this specific topic. Please check your messages.

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almare2
6/11/2016 13:15 EST

Sorry, just one more logistical question. Suppose I rent an apt. for 12 months, then go to the consulate and am not approved for the elective residency visa as my income doesn't meet the standard of whomever I am interviewed by. Can I still keep the apt.? Can I go there for a visit on my 90-day Schengen status, reapply for the visa later on, then (hopefully) go into the limbo period and live in the apt., which by then will have less time to go on the lease, maybe not enough time to last through the limbo period? What happens then? Rent again for 12 months? Find another place?

OK, gotta get dressed and get going... it's pizza night with the pals in Rome! :-D

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dg6162
6/11/2016 13:30 EST

Hi folks, I have followed this thread with great interest and I am daring to weigh in with some observations that I hope are helpful. Please do not get angry with me if you disagree with my comments. We should all be grateful to folks like Jacksterjam and Sergios and maluza88 for providing so much helpful insight into a situation that may strike some people as being exceedingly unfair. Our personal situation you should know is completely different from many of yours in that my wife is an EU citizen and so she has a RIGHT of abode here. Sorry for the caps but that is so important to emphasize. Others who have a right of abode are Italian citizens and possibly some of these migranti flooding the place, that is entirely at the discretion of the Italian government and they make these decisions based on humanitarian grounds, or their understanding of same. So separate out people who have a right to live here (as my wife thankfully does) and citizens or their descendants and then we come to people who WANT to live here. Apologies yet again for the caps. Americans should know, Australians should know even better, that nobody who just wants to come to your country has a right to be there. I am Canadian and cannot live in the US (though at least a million of my compatriots are, illegally, just like Latin Americans, but they don't seem to get deported!) Italy is struggling with all of this. One person wrote to this site saying they are 80 plus and retired with income but hello, they have generous medicare here for residents, and do you think a Mexican couple in your circumstances could just show up at a consulate and get a US visa? I lived in Lima once when rebels were blowing up the country and our apartment was above the US consulate, there were black uniformed balaclava-clad soldiers guarding it with automatic weapons day and night, the line formed at 4 AM, by 6 Am it was ten blocks long, and how many of those people got in? So yes many of us dream of living here, but it is the right and I would say the obligation also of the state to impose its conditions as it determines them to be, and they may not make sense to us, but they make sense to them. The headline in the newspapers yesterday was new census data saying fewer and fewer Italians live in Italy and more and more Romanians and Albanians are becoming citizens. These folks unfortunately (and if this sounds racist so be it) are not what I would say first choice for Italy, but in many of these instances Italy has no choice. I am sure they would prefer Americans! But they cannot refuse people who have a RIGHT to live here. So that's their perspective. What would Donald Trump have done? Instead you have a caring and humanitarian government that is sending its sailors into harm's way to rescue thousands of trafficked migrants drowning in the Mediterranean every week. (Frankly I don't get it. Canada thought it was being generous and making history by taking 25,000 Syrians, that's a drop in the bucket, Canadians should not be patting themselves on the back, IMHO). Italy is putting them up in welcome centers all over Sicily, where I am, incidentally. Drive through Siracusa any day and they are panhandling on the streets. But there is no obligation to accept people from anywhere else and there is huge resistance to the idea of burdening the state with your care. So that might sound harsh but please put the shoe on the other foot and think of the folks whose dreams of settling in America were shattered. My maternal grandfather was one - US closed immigration to European Jews in the 20s and that's how I ended up being born in Canada! I feel for everybody who is in the position of seeking clarity on their situation, it is true it would be nice if information were more consistent and readily available, even for us as we go through this process. But I am simply suggesting that before you render judgment on this country you look at it objectively and think about the ways your own country might be treating people who have no right of abode but want to settle there. For centuries, indeed millennia, settlement was the result of warfare, invasions, Sicily has seen so many! Thankfully, today we manage it with our bureaucrats, not a fun job, but better than the pointy end of a sword. As a (very) old man, for better or worse, my three cents!

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JacksterJam
6/11/2016 13:43 EST

almare2, I don't know why you wouldn't be able to keep the apartment as long as your paying the rent. If you are not given a visa, you'd only be able to use it for 90 days out of 180, then repeat.

If you reapply for a visa later on, the apartment lease will have to be for the 12-month period as of the date you re-apply, so you'd have to extend your lease if you are able. Since that is the case, if you are given a visa, your only limbo period is the one during which you are waiting for the PdiS once you apply.

Once you've been given a visa and have applied for the PdiS, if you plan to travel in and out of Italy, you might want to check the regulations on that as I believe, although I could be wrong, that Italy specifically addresses how long one can be outside of Italy during the process.

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Sergios
6/11/2016 13:55 EST

DG6162
I'd say at least a nickel. Well put.

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minturnopat
6/11/2016 14:25 EST

Well said.

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minturnopat
6/11/2016 14:25 EST

Well said.

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velvet
6/11/2016 19:51 EST

While I agree that any country can do what it likes, applying for refugee status and elective residency are completely different. The UNHRC sets out very clear legislation on how a person can claim asylum. Countries do not have to abide by this I might add.
You cannot compare the two processes. Also a person can appeal in a court if a visa is refused. You cannot appeal a PsD because it is not a visa.
As you have said it would be nice if these discressionary powers all followed consistent policy but they don't and that's why people get very frustrated.

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vanderven1
6/12/2016 04:22 EST

And consistent policy is what allows for this and other like forums. Without it, none of us would ever "meet". :)

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velvet
6/12/2016 04:37 EST

vanderven1 How true is that. I have received valuable information here on this forum. All given with politeness and good intent. People like Jackster and Sergious have been fantastic about sharing their knowledge. Has made the process easier to understand (or not lol)

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JacksterJam
6/12/2016 05:22 EST

Velvet, you make me laugh! Thanks. Yes, a consistent policy would help. The other issue concerns the lightening-fast changes in policy that no one is made aware of since they often don't update websites. Ah, well. Keeps life interesting. :-)

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velvet
6/12/2016 06:24 EST

Except my iPad likes spelling Sergious instead of Sergios. Sorry.

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Sergios
6/12/2016 06:39 EST

It's actually sergio but that was taken.

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vanderven1
6/12/2016 21:40 EST

Are you sergious? Sergiously? Ack. Couldn't resist. Sergio, I just figured your name was Sergio S. As in Sergio Santo :) When I try to type Sergios, autocorrect spits out Sergio's, as if he possesses the convo.

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almare2
6/13/2016 00:45 EST

dh6162, your points are well taken. For me, and possibly for others, the cause of frustration is the fact that the legal requirement is that one must possess "risorse sufficienti a mantenersi autonomamente senza esercitare alcuna attività lavorativa." Then one learns that the "resources" are required to be $3,500 a month, when the average Italian earns less than €1,500, which is considered enough for an Italian to maintain him/herself (possibly with children). I couldn't spend $3,500 a month in Italy. I don't even spend that much in NJ, where I live, about half that, in fact. That is where the frustration arises, at least for me. If the regulation would just state, up front, that one has to have enough to live on a high level, tge shock would not be so great.

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almare2
6/13/2016 00:49 EST

Oops, the, not tge. :-)

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Carrara
6/13/2016 01:15 EST

Jackster Jam - Thanks for the clarification, I will look at our tax situation more closely with regard to residency vs citizenship.

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Sergios
6/13/2016 01:29 EST

I grew up with that name and I have heard it all.

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Sergios
6/13/2016 01:32 EST

Actually you could easily spend that much, depending where you are and how often you go out to eat. But yes, you can live on much less.

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velvet
6/13/2016 01:48 EST

almare. Yes that is it.
Although I have a confession to make. As we have only ever wanted to live in Italy for 12 months I always took the elective residency requirements you had to be retired. In my excitement I thought well that's okay I will be on leave from my job so that applies to me and my husband has retired.
Discovered last week as I will have a job the elective residency is not an option for me. It Is for my husband just not me. Can't believe I missed that requirement when reading the requirements thousands of times. Just goes to show that sometimes a person can read things into something that is not there. I am angry with myself for missing this.
I hadn't planned on retiring for at least a couple of years as I am 58.

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vanderven1
6/13/2016 02:04 EST

Velvet, though my husband and I just resubmitted our visa applications this past Friday, and so we don't know if they'll be successful this time, couldn't you do what we did and have your husband do the support form since you'll be without income for a year (if he makes whatever income requirement the embassy/consulate requires for a minimum monthly income for two people)?

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velvet
6/13/2016 02:37 EST

vanderven that is what I am hoping. I have to investigate what requirements dependants have to meet. It is usually the same requirements as the main applicant. My husband's income meets for both of us so I wasn't going to include my salary anyway.
Good luck with the application. How long before you get an answer.

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JacksterJam
6/13/2016 02:45 EST

Velvet, I have always had the understanding that the work restriction applies to working for an Italian company/business. I know a woman who has an elective residency PdiS who said that she is allowed to work "remotely" for a non-Italian company, which she does. Although it isn't an issue for you, I would be interested in knowing if anyone out there can speak to that.

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almare2
6/13/2016 02:55 EST

I would also be interested to know that, as although I am "retired," I still work part-time as a book copy editor. JacksterJam, do you know if she included that income as part of what she needed to get the PdS? If it is variable (depending on how much one works, what is needed to prove the amount?

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almare2
6/13/2016 03:00 EST

Also, does anyone have experience using stock dividends as part of the income requirement? If so, what is needed to prove the annual amount? Is a year-end statement from the brokerage (I use USAA) sufficient? And is the amount of invested capital (it's not in an IRA, just a normal brokerage account) count for anything in the calculation?

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velvet
6/13/2016 03:09 EST

Thanks Jackster that is how I read it as well. I can't find in any of the requirements that you actually can't be employed in your country of residence just that you cannot work in Italy and you can't count income from employment in the financial requirements.

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almare2
6/13/2016 03:10 EST

vanderven1, what are you doing with your US residence in the meantime? That is, presuming your visa application is successful, what will you do with it while you go to Italy and wait for the PdS application to go through? I presume one should have a friend keep an eye on it. But is it permitted to make a quick trip home during the "limbo period" to check on it? Also, when your first application was rejected, did the consulate tell you what you would have to do to have it approved, or was it just "try again and we'll see"? That is, I know that you need to go on your husband's support, but did they give you a specific dollar amount? I ask because you seem uncertain that the application will be approved this time either. In bocca al lupo with your application!

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almare2
6/13/2016 03:19 EST

Sergios, I know one could, but personally I would find it difficult. I don't go to fancy restaurants, and even in Rome one can eat out inexpensively. Anyway, I prefer to cook at home for the most part. €35 a month for a transit pass, clothes from Upim and H&M, a gym membership. I don't spend much, lol! :-D

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maluza86
6/13/2016 03:56 EST

Jackster, My PdiS states no work as well, but that is solely in Italy. The reason being, it is an entirely different process if you are to work in Italy. You would get sponsored by an Italian based/registered company and they would sponsor you and get your work visa to be able to legally work in Italy. Thus your PdiS would be different.

I routinely work in Abu Dhabi and travel back and forth between Italy and the UAE. My contract is with a company in the UAE.

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almare2
6/13/2016 04:01 EST

maluza86, But you cannot include that income when you apply for the visa, correct? Even though it is not from working in Italy. My freelance work is for publishers in New York.

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almare2
6/13/2016 04:02 EST

maluza86, But you cannot include that income when you apply for the visa, correct? Even though it is not from working in Italy. My freelance work is for publishers in New York.

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dg6162
6/13/2016 07:37 EST

Folks consider some logic in putting the income requirement as high as it may be: become a resident and they will tax you on it. They don't care if you need it or spend it or save it, but tax it they will; they want their cut and faced with a choice of a bigger or smaller slice of your pie guess what they will go for... It's elletivo for you and it's even more elletivo for them... So consider long and hard not whether you want to live here because as you have seen you can stay months at a time as tourists without a visa at all... Or you can fork over taxes on not just income but also all your wealth

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dg6162
6/13/2016 07:37 EST

Folks consider some logic in putting the income requirement as high as it may be: become a resident and they will tax you on it. They don't care if you need it or spend it or save it, but tax it they will; they want their cut and faced with a choice of a bigger or smaller slice of your pie guess what they will go for... It's elletivo for you and it's even more elletivo for them... So consider long and hard not whether you want to live here because as you have seen you can stay months at a time as tourists without a visa at all... Or you can fork over taxes on not just income but also all your wealth

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JacksterJam
6/13/2016 08:05 EST

Maluza and Velvet, thanks for your input. It's good to get verification about that the situation as I understood it. For me, I guess I haven't been retired long enough to feel the need to work even part-time. I've been asked by a university back home to do online mathematics instruction; I just can't seem to get excited about it yet. Ha! Maybe later; maybe not. But it is good to know that I choose to do so in the future, it won't cause an issue with my PdiS. Regards.

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JacksterJam
6/13/2016 08:12 EST

almare2, I don't believe either stock dividends or independent work will be considered as part of your required monthly income for the visa or PdiS. From the esteri.it website: "ample economic resources autonomous, stable and regular, of which we can reasonably assume the continuity in the future."

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velvet
6/13/2016 08:14 EST

dg we won't get into the whole tax issue because it like everything else is confusing. lol
Italy does have a higher tax rate than Australia though which I find surprising.

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almare2
6/13/2016 09:06 EST

JacksterJam, So that means my SS alone has to be $3,500 a month? Well, that's not going to happen. If I have $200,000 in the bank (that is, investments). will that help? Or do I have to have a million? Yikes!

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almare2
6/13/2016 09:13 EST

dg6162, The problem is that it means paying both apt. rent at home and hotel or tourist apt. here during those months, which gets expensive. Also, I am beginning to hate the transatlantic flights, which are also expensive if one doesn't want to fly squeezed into a cramped seat (I'm tall with long legs). Also, I have been looking forward to hosting my Norwegian cousins and Danish and American friends in my own apt. At some point I'll be too old to make the trips, and then I guess I'll just have to vegetate and die in NJ. :-P

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vanderven1
6/13/2016 09:20 EST

Velvet, our landlords wrote the Miami consulate on our behalf to ask about to talk about the problem of registering the lease before we had our codici fiscali, and the consulate said we should hear by the 28th, but no assurance we would get the visa.

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Jergirl
6/13/2016 09:21 EST

I am in my apartment in Siracusa now and over the weekend friends were telling me that the minimum wage for a job "on the books" was something like 1,200 euro a month. Unofficial jobs can be something like 600 euro a month. What am I missing here?

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almare2
6/13/2016 09:30 EST

Another problem for me is that only a few years ago a police officer friend in Abruzzo who works a lot with immigrants told me that I would need about €8,000 annually (at the time it was something like 150% of the "assegno sociale"), which I figured I could meet easily. Now it is $42,000, which is quite a jump and has taken my breath away! :-O

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vanderven1
6/13/2016 09:37 EST

Almare, we weren't "rejected" outright or we couldn't have reapplied so quickly I think. They just returned our applications in 3 days with a xeroxed list of what additional information we needed to submit. At the bottom, in italics, it said that even if we provide all additional material, it wouldn't guarantee we'd be granted the visa. Among the requirements listed was income of at least $3,500 per month from both of us, two years' tax returns, a registered 12-month lease, and six months of bank statements, investment statements, financial statements, etc. My husband talked with his one of his retirement account advisors and has had our income raised to that amount per month until at least we the PdiS and also we sent a form signed and notarized saying he would support me along with applications for codici fiscali. We've our house a month ago, have put the everything into storage, and are living in a tiny furnished studio for now. We had planned to do this in prep for leaving for Italy. As part of the applicstion, we had to show round trip tickets to Italy, and January was the farthest time away when I booked in April that I could get, so we'll come back for a visit (if we get our visa) and then return or not depending upon how we feel at the time.

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vanderven1
6/13/2016 09:39 EST

Almare, we weren't "rejected" outright or we couldn't have reapplied so quickly I think. They just returned our applications in 3 days with a xeroxed list of what additional information we needed to submit. At the bottom, in italics, it said that even if we provide all additional material, it wouldn't guarantee we'd be granted the visa. Among the requirements listed was income of at least $3,500 per month from both of us, two years' tax returns, a registered 12-month lease, and six months of bank statements, investment statements, financial statements, etc. My husband talked with his one of his retirement account advisors and has had our income raised to that amount per month until at least we the PdiS and also we sent a form signed and notarized saying he would support me along with applications for codici fiscali. We've our house a month ago, have put the everything into storage, and are living in a tiny furnished studio for now. We had planned to do this in prep for leaving for Italy. As part of the applicstion, we had to show round trip tickets to Italy, and January was the farthest time away when I booked in April that I could get, so we'll come back for a visit (if we get our visa) and then return or not depending upon how we feel at the time.

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rsetzer99
6/13/2016 10:04 EST

It seems clear they take your entire financial picture into account. In addition to US Soc Sec and any other pension, Having Investments, or IRA, ect, with which you can demonstrate via the many 'how long will my money last' calculators you can find on the web that you can sustain the required income level should put one in good standing.

That said, exactly how long ones investments and IRA have to demonstrate they can provide the additional funds is impossible to discern. 10yr, 15yr, 25yr, or some perpetual motion machine one cannot tell.

I certainly know that in Abruzzo I would have to be living like some kind of drunken sailor on leave to spend the equiv of $7000 a month. So the actual draws from my investments would be far smaller than that projected for the visa application.

For the sake of argument and example. One hopes one might feel comfortable being able to demonstrate a guarantee of 100% of their requirement for 20years, and 85% of the requirement for perpetuity would be satisfactory.

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almare2
6/13/2016 10:40 EST

Hi, vanderven1, thanks for the info. I have been looking at visas for France, and it serms that one can get a long-term visa, good for a year, as long as one has sufficient funds to live for a year and a fairly hefty medical insurance policy with no deductible. Then it is renewed each year under the same conditions. Maybe I should go back to my original idea of retiring to France, lol!

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vanderven1
6/13/2016 10:51 EST

Almare, France is a beautiful location, but I'd be wary of their requirement for "substantial resources" as you get into the vague language and arbitrary interpretation as with the Italian requirements. Also, they require all your documentation to be translated into French in order to apply. Our packets were about 3/4" each and having all that translated to French would've been pretty expensive.

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almare2
6/13/2016 11:08 EST

vanderven1, as I mentioned earlier, I have about $200,000 in investments, plus SS, which should be enough to qualify to stay for the first year. In addition, I am still working freelance for my clients in NYC, so I would be adding that income to my resources each year. I know that the papers have to be translated and that will cost, but if I have no chance at all in Italy and a fairly good chance in France, it may be worth the investment and I may just start casting my eyes back that way. I used to speak French excellently (before I started concentrating on Italian) and could get back into it fairly quickly, so that is another advantage. :-)

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maluza86
6/13/2016 12:22 EST

Almare2,

I did not include it with my "income" as I was not working at the time. I showed the Questura my Military retirement income and my VA disability, and those were sufficient. Granted I was in a little different situation, as I did not have to apply for a visa since my wife is a dual national. I did, however, have to show income so as not to be a burden on the state, since my wife does not work, or have a pension. For those of us who came over in late 2013-early 2014 it seems we did not have the same requirements.

Recently there have been more definitive guidelines put out by the Italian government, whether we like it or not. The world has changed a lot in the last three years with regard to immigration, especially in Europe and subsequently in Italy. So while we may not agree or see the rationale, it is getting more strict and the requirements are increasing to electively retire in Italy.

I have also noticed more questions every time I leave and return, being asked to show my Carta Di'Identita and even my PdiS upon exiting Italy. Where previously you were lucky to get your passport stamped, it is getting much more strict and everything is computerized. The last time I left to work in Abu Dhabi, I was questioned on my UAE work visa in my passport and when I said I was going to "reside" there for the next several months, the customs agent informed me I was a resident of San Vito Dei Normanni and not the UAE and I need to start speaking Italian (which I can but usually use English first)!!

So yes, it can be confusing and even heartbreaking for those that cannot meet the "new" requirements, but you have to understand it is Italy, not the US, Canada, or Australia and we are at their mercy when trying to get an elective residency visa. Now, if you have a "right" to live in Italy and are regaining your citizenship from a bloodline, that is a whole different issue.

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almare2
6/13/2016 14:31 EST

maluza86, Thanks for the info. I too remember when one had to ask for a stamp in the passport. No more, and that's the way it should be. And no, I am of Norwegian/German descent, through great-grandparents, so that's no go. Oh well. We can't always get what we want, lol :-/

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velvet
6/14/2016 03:05 EST

Clarification today on me being having to have retired if we live in Italy for 12 months.
Apparently I do not have to be retired as long as I don't work in Italy. As someone mentioned my husbands pension meets the requirements and allows for me as a dependant.
In fact anyone can apply for elective residency as long as they meet financial, private health cover, and a notarised lease. That's a relief for me.
Here in Australia they don't ask for a police check.
If only Italy had a 12 month tourist visa like we have. Would make life so much easier lol.

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vanderven1
8/12/2016 07:55 EST

Just an update. After altering the income from our retirement account and providing a lot of extra paperwork and tax returns, plus several emails written by our Italian landlords to the Miami Consulate, we received our Elective Residency visa and took off as planned on July 10. After 3 days in sweltering Rome, we arrived at our apartment in San Gemini. We LOVE it here and are really happy we decided on this place rather than the city we've loved -- Rome.

Our landlords have continued to be amazing -- introducing us to their friends, inviting us to concerts around Umbria, going with us as interpreters to apply for our Permesso and then for our in person meeting at the Questura. We couldn't ask for more.

Most of all, we love being in Italy, taking in the culture, the people, and the food. Thanks to all of you who offered advice and encouraged stamina!

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nick0126
8/12/2016 09:04 EST

Another Italian ExPat success story! Be sure to visit Abruzzo when the temperature climes in August. Our mountain mornings are better than any AC...

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maluza86
8/12/2016 09:57 EST

Vanderven, auguri e benvenuto in Italia :-)

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JacksterJam
8/12/2016 10:27 EST

Vanderven, happy to learn that it all worked out. Congrats and enjoy!

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vanderven1
8/12/2016 10:44 EST

Grazie, Maluza86 and JacksterJam! Nick0126, we will def visit Abruzzo at some point. Right now the nights and early mornings are very cool with the days bearable with low humidity, so we're driving around to different villages in Umbria just to get familiar with the area :). We're also going to meet friends in Sicily for a week in September since we've never been there. Anyone here living in Sicily who has recommendations about places you have to see?

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vanderven1
8/12/2016 10:53 EST

Hello, Sergios. My husband and I just went through this with the Miami Consulate. They are probably the 2nd highest in the country as far as what various Consulates require in the way of income. Each is different, and they do not have to go by one standard. Of us they required $3,500 per month, per person. My husband went to his pension account rep and had our income increased to that amount for 3 months with s verification letter -- long enough to get the visa through. Then it will reduce back to what we had before. They also required a year lease, and the landlord we found was willing to go to the local office to register the lease only to find out that to register it, we had to have our codice fiscale. I thought these were only gotten once you arrived in Italy, but there is an online application we sent in with our second visa application. When they approved our visas, they also sent our codice fiscale numbers. All is well for now and we're loving Italy. My husband didn't want to keep jumping through the hoops, but I persisted and he is so glad now that we did. Persist!

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rsetzer99
8/12/2016 11:24 EST

Thanks for your post. I found it mildly amusing that the Miami office, often said to be so inflexible in their requirements, was accepting of such a simple work around. They hold firm to their $3500/Mo each requirement, but.....nudge nudge wink wink, just for xxx months.

As an aside, the Miami Consulate site seems to have been scrubbed of all the visa information, and replace just with a link back to. the Minister of Foreign Affairs web site.

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DoppioCittadino
8/12/2016 11:28 EST

Hi, vanderven1.

Congrats on your arrival in Italy!

I wonder if you might be so kind as to give some idea of your living expenses? I know you have only been there a short time, but even rough numbers would be appreciated.

Perhaps you could start a new thread...

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bentleje
8/12/2016 14:06 EST

My plan is to retire in February 2017. I am a single woman. I am currently working. Once I retire I plan to rent my Condo to create the necessary proof of income. Does anyone know how many month I will need to wait to show adequate proof of income most of my income will come from my condo rental. I expect to collect $3000 a month rent and in addition I will collect $1700 in Social Security. I would appreciate any information as I am concerned about the process.

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velvet
8/12/2016 17:03 EST

vanderven. That is fabulous news and congratulations. May it be everything you dreamed of.

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vanderven1
8/12/2016 20:25 EST

Thanks velvet! rsetzer99, we didn't tell the Consulate we would be lowering our income payment once we got here. We just assumed that 3 months was long enough to get us through the permesso process. DoppioCittadino, our living expenses here will be very low compared to most other places in Italy. We found a car dealer who is leasing us a used car for $300/mo incl maintenance with the option of purchasing it if we want. It is small so that even with gas being expensive, we go two weeks usually before refilling. Groceries are much cheaper than back in Atlanta, and our landlords gave us a tremendous rental fee of only 480 euros/mo incl utilities, Internet and cable in a 3br/2ba apartment with a study, living/dining room, and kitchen w/dishwasher and washing machine. Unbelievable. This is why we decided not to settle in Rome, and we've ended up loving this small, medieval town. bentlege, I can't tell you what will be required because it seems every application gets treated differently. They will ask for previous year's tax returns, but perhaps if you have a signed lease and explain this will be part of your income, they will accept it. If it is like our application, they will ask you to have a year long lease agreed to here as well.

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bentleje
8/12/2016 20:46 EST

Thank you that is helpful. Wow, sounds like you found a great deal on your rent! I plan on living in Florence and not getting a car. I hope I can gather all the necessary requirements.

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DoppioCittadino
8/13/2016 07:11 EST

Thanks for the info, vanderven1.

We are planning to spend a year in Firenze, without a car, while we (hopefully) become fluent enough to be able to survive in a smaller village.

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codybrandy
8/13/2016 07:40 EST

Hi D..C.., I just wanted to wish you the best on your endeavor. We retired (not fluent) to a tiny village in Liguria...literally 2 out of c.600 speak a bit of english...we couldn't believe the kindness and the willingness to help..when we showed up at the realtor to visit possibles...he brought an interpreter who spent days with us looking at properties and even help setting up a bank acct. Small town folks....what a delight (we're from Boston) We are here c. 2yrs. now and people still drop by to visit. Good luck on your hunt!

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nick0126
8/13/2016 09:36 EST

I wonder what the interest would be in establishing an email list of ExPats that would be interested in meeting IRW? I'm sure everyone situation, living and otherwise, would be different, but I for one would love to put faces to names and share a glass of wine... I'm in Abruzzo every spring and fall, and am open to "divano Surfing", Bring a bottle of wine and spend a day...

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vanderven1
8/13/2016 19:15 EST

Nick0126 -- I'm not sure what IRW stands for (it's late and I'm tired?), but I put it into google and here's what Free Dictionary came up with:
IRW Integrated Reliability Workshop (IEEE)
IRW International Rocket Week (UK)
IRW Indian Rosewood (guitar construction)
IRW In Real World (Internet slang)
IRW Imperial Romulan Warbird (Star Trek)
IRW Industrial or Residential Waste
IRW Index of Relative Worth
IRW Increased Resolution Window
IRW Ideal Relief Wing (India)
iRW Interactive Reward (shopping website)
IRW Islamic Relief Worldwide
I doubt any of these are what you meant :)
Sure -- why not?

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bentleje
8/13/2016 19:45 EST

In real world

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rsetzer99
8/13/2016 19:49 EST

In real world

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maluza86
8/13/2016 21:41 EST

I think it's a good idea...just expats...maybe include cellphone, town and region. I live in San Vito Dei Normanni, (Brindisi area) Puglia and am sure there are a few expats within 30 minutes or so. I know Whidden39 is not too far and when I get back we hope to finally meet for a cappuccino.

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JacksterJam
8/14/2016 02:04 EST

Nick0126, I also like the idea! I've connected with two expats who use this site and happen to live in the same city as I (one is from my hometown in the U.S. who I didn't previously know); it is definitely nice to put faces to names!

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DoppioCittadino
8/14/2016 08:26 EST

>> In real world

It's confusing because most people use the alternative "IRL" - In Real Life.

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wobbster
1/20/2017 01:21 EST

Hello --

I have a specific question about required income for an Elective Residency visa (US citizens, SF consulate). We have assets (e.g., IRAs, securities) capable of supporting us in retirement in Italy for at least 20+ years based on investments alone under conservative assumptions. However, these assets do not produce an regular income stream of 120.000 Euro per annum, unless you consider IRA distributions. (We've deferred social security for now.)

Do you believe that the SF consulate will require proof of an income stream when applicants can self-support at the required income level by liquidating investments or making (voluntary) IRA disbursements?

(Another way to put this is there an asset level that can suffice in lieu of an demonstrable income stream?)

Thanks,

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Ugo
1/20/2017 07:49 EST

from module nr. 4, they are asked to present to the Italian public, to apply for residence of choice.

They are considered sufficient to stay the economic resources at least equal to the following amounts: € 5061.68 for the sole applicant or for the applicant and 1 family: € 10,123.36 for the applicant and 2 or 3 family members; EUR 15,185.04 for the applicant and 4 family and beyond.

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almare2
1/20/2017 08:20 EST

Ugo, This is no longer correct. Please see JacksterJam's post of 5/30/2016. It is now €31,000. In addition, the dollar amount depends on which US consulate one goes to for the initial visa. For example, the New York consulate requires up to $48,000 a year fixed income to get the elective residency visa, the first step to getting the permesso di soggiorno. Some of the other consulates require less.

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kmagruder
1/20/2017 08:24 EST

The NYC consulate asked for 31K Euros per person in my recent application.

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DoppioCittadino
1/20/2017 08:28 EST

Ugo,

I am quite sure that those very low numbers apply only to _EU citizens_ who wish to move to Italy.

I can assure you, consulates in the US demand far higher amounts - 6 to 10 times as much - from US citizens.

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DoppioCittadino
1/20/2017 08:37 EST

wobster,

I don't know where you got the €120.000 annual income requirement from; you can expect more along the lines of €62.000 - €80.000 for two persons. Quite possibly less, depending upon the consulate.

But, as to your primary question - well, it just all sort of depends. It is up to the consulate to determine the likelihood of your investments being sufficient to sustain you at the required income level. I have heard of consulates demanding a minimum of $1,000,000 in cash-like assets.

One way around the problem (although probably not necessarily a good choice for you) is to convert a large chunk of your investments into one or more irrevocable, lifetime annuities with a fixed monthly payout.

Your best bet is to simply make the application and see what they tell you. They may say, there is nothing you can do - you simply do not have enough assets. They may ask if you would be willing to convert your assets into annuities. They may say everything looks great, welcome to Italia.

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islandblues
1/20/2017 09:59 EST

i just got an ER visa approved in miami in october. am single, 57 and they wanted proof of over 100k. would they have taken less i don't know but they wanted way north of six figures.

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kmagruder
1/20/2017 10:06 EST

Which consulate did you go through? That's a much higher number than I've heard before. Do you own a home in Italy?

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DoppioCittadino
1/20/2017 10:24 EST

Miami has a reputation for being higher than most; however I wonder if your age has anything to do with it?

Being relatively young, you can be expected to live longer and thus, with inflation taken into account, require a higher annual income in your "later years" than someone who is 10 years older, for example.

Just a thought.

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islandblues
1/20/2017 10:30 EST

yes agreed that why i mentioned my age. but i have heard miami is tougher than most. i know a retired woman about my age that sailed through on 50k at the consulate in seattle.

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rsetzer99
1/20/2017 11:34 EST

The formula is secret, and differs from Consulate to Consulate. We went through Chicago, and showed about 60K and there was nothing else asked. It is possible that they like to see multiple sources, but that is a guess, and they might factor age.

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wobbster
1/20/2017 11:44 EST

Thanks for the advice. A related question: is the a possibility of a case in which the application was approved at the Consulate, but the permesso denied at the Prefettura based on insufficient evidence of financial support? Just wondering.

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DoppioCittadino
1/20/2017 13:35 EST

wobbster,

I have heard of such things happening but I think extremely rare. In truth, the consulates seem to make demands grossly in excess of anything you would actually need to live successfully in Italy, perhaps to avoid exactly that issue.

If you go over there with annual income of $60,000, you will be in the top tier of all Italians!

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rsetzer99
1/20/2017 14:01 EST

I just went for my Permesso interview a week ago. I can tell you the papers were examined in far more detail for the visa than they were for the Permesso. I was at a small town Questura so your milage may vary, but the examining officer just basically ticked off that we had documents for income, health insurance, a place to live, and our passports and visa's. That took all of ten minutes and we spent the rest of the time getting fingerprinted. Your Visa package will have more documents. One suggestion, do not just gloss over and give pat answers for your Visa package letter stating why you want to live in Italy. Strive to make some personal connections if you can.

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dreamarrow
1/25/2017 17:15 EST

Check with your local area consulate officer. That sounds incorrect. I looked at it in 2015 and recall income required was something like $1500, maybe 2k tops. Maybe that was per person, I didn't ask income for a couple.

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kmagruder
1/25/2017 18:36 EST

Hi....can you share the names and places that Massimo gave you to get information?

Thanks!

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DoppioCittadino
1/26/2017 08:43 EST

dreamarrow, I think I can assure you that this number ($1500/month, $18000/year) is not being used by any consulate in the US.

Double it and you will be close.

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sdwellers
3/18/2017 12:11 EST

I found this saying the "Social Allowance" is at least 5819 eoro/year?
http://www.stranieriinitalia.it/attualita/attualita/attualita-sp-754/assegno-sociale-5825-euro-per-vivere-in-italia-nel-2017.html

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JacksterJam
3/18/2017 13:32 EST

The consulates do not follow those guidelines. I wrote the Italian Ministry questioning the disparity between what is published and what the much higher incomes level the consulates are requiring when one applies for an elective residence visa. Their response was that the consulates are given wide latitude to make those decisions.

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JacksterJam
3/18/2017 13:33 EST

The consulates do not follow those guidelines. I wrote the Italian Ministry questioning the disparity between what is published and what the much higher income level the consulates are requiring when one applies for an elective residence visa. Their response was that the consulates are given wide latitude to make those decisions.

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DoppioCittadino
3/19/2017 08:17 EST

The Social Allowance stuff refers specifically to EU citizens which Italy *must* accommodate in accordance with EU rules. For non-EU citizens, Italy can - and does - make her own rules.

Even then, the consulates (in the US, anyway) tend to enforce a higher standard than is generally required, This seems to stem at least partly from an incident several years ago when a consulate granted Italian citizenship jus sanguinis (by blood right) based on falsified documents provided by the applicant. The interior ministry send out a memorandum to all consulates worldwide (I have a copy of it someplace) warning them to exercise more caution.

Remember, an ER visa only lets you *enter* the country; to remain, you need to present all of the very same data when you apply for permission to stay (the Permesso di Soggiorno). The consulates do not want to get caught with their pants down by issuing an ER visa only to have the local comune deny a PdiS (yes, it *can* and sometimes *does* happen), so they tend to demand enough resources to ensure that does not occur.

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romaronline
3/29/2017 18:09 EST

Just read most this thread. Interesting how there's no consistency..but from what I understand that's typical in Italy... It's pretty flexible depending on who you deal with..
My husband and I are keen to move to Italy to semi retire . He will gEt a pension and I'm still earning a portable income. We have no assets due to a financial drama some years back to do with property investments we had... Basically we had to start again. So we called the local consulate here in Brisbane Australia and we were told $60k per person in cash in the bank so $120k as a couple and they may accept small monthly income like $3k .... But from reading forums and other articles we will apply with half the cash and with adequate income like 4K as a couple and see what they say... We believe from what we understand about Italian culture it's all about relationships and connections. It's not a dry process although sometimes it often it seems so. Italians are very much about connecting personally. That's why we want to live there. Obviously there is change in their policy but I still sense it's flexible depending on who you talk to and how they view you... Some people get their visa with a lot less income.. Some have supply more and some just get told no. Australians and I believe Americans, English, Canadians etc are used to things more regulated and streamlined. We have heard that in Italy it's all about who you get to know . Italians from what we know operate according to their own rules and that can differ from person to person. That's what we've discovered so far along this journey. We will apply probably in 6 months time .. Got to get to financial resources together but we won't reach the 120k mark in 6 months...we'll see what happens. We also have a dog and so we want to confident that we will be k in Italy without being deported back to Australia as our dog will have to be quarantined ... Not good for her. For us it has to be a 5year stay at least if not permanent. We are also looking if Spain is easier.

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suzenyc
8/14/2017 17:52 EST

Could anyone who used rental income to meet ER financial requirements please help?
Does the consulate go by the amounts in your rental agreements with the tenants, your tax return, or calculations you give them which take into account the maintenance expenses but not the depreciation? I am just worried that if they go by tax returns, I use a 27.5y property depreciation there which decreases the amount on which i pay tax a lot. Thank you!

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rsetzer99
8/15/2017 03:44 EST

Offhand, I have my doubts that the consulate is going to examine your income documents from an accountants point of view. Their concerns are not going to be how much and for how long can you show you have been receiving this income stream. They will be well aware that it could evaporate at a moments notice.

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minturnopat
8/16/2017 10:29 EST

I believe there is no fixed dollar figure. It seems to be at the discretion of the consulate. They asked us to show retirement account balances after we showed a checking acct. with $70.000 for a 2 year elective residence.

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Janeann
11/12/2017 09:07 EST

Sergios, are you saying it’s possible to get the long term visa and skip the permesso?

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Sergios
11/12/2017 12:24 EST

I'm confused, when would I have implied that? Without the Permesso you really can't do anything except be a tourist.

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JacksterJam
11/12/2017 15:11 EST

Janeann, as far as I know, anyone obtaining a visa to be allowed to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days is required by law to apply for a permesso di soggiorno within 8 days of arrival. Even non-E.U. university students who come to Italy for a semester or year abroad must apply for a permesso di soggiorno. It is certainly required of anyone who comes over on an elective residence visa. Not only that, unlike past years, it is also now required that one register one's residency with the city office once the permesso di soggiorno has been granted.

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