Italian Startup Act

Since 2012, Italy has implemented a groundbreaking Startup law to encourage the creation and development of innovative startups.

Italian Startup Visa

Launched in 2014 by Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), Italia Startup Visa programme introduced an online procedure, free of charge and accelerated, for the issuing of visas for self-employment to non-EU citizens who intend to start, individually or as a team, an innovative startup in Italy.

Who is Eligible?

The law refers specifically and explicitly to innovative startups to underscore that its target is not any and all new enterprises, but those whose business is closely and strongly linked to innovation and technology.

To be eligible for Italian startup visa, the enterprise must:

Startup Funding

To obtain the entry visa for startups, foreign entrepreneurs should prove to own no less than €50,000 of financial resources.

This funding can be raised through venture capital, crowdsourcing, investors, or Italian/foreign government and non-government organizations.

Special facilitations are provided for the foreign citizens who have secured the support of a certified incubator.

Startup Visa Latest Stats

In total, as at 31 December 2016, 161 applications were submitted within Italia Startup Visa, 105 of which (65.2%) had a positive outcome. Programme applicants come from 32 different countries: Russia is the most represented country with 41 applications, followed by China (20 applications, 18 of which in 2016), United States and Pakistan (17) and Ukraina (15). Of the applicants, 71% are men and 83.5% have a university degree, typically in engineering (27 cases). The average age is 35.6 years; the youngest applicant was 20 years old, the eldest 65.

Lombardy confirms to be the preferred location chosen by Italia Startup Visa applicants, with 39 applications overall, 23 of which in the city of Milan. Other regions with a significant concentration of stratup visa holders are Lazio (11, all in Rome), Piedmont (11) and Veneto (10).

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