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Italy’s Dolce Visa; King of The Golden Visas

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EU Golden Visas are synonymous with investment migration. Residency by investment in the EU has exploded in the past decade with no sign of demand curbing anytime soon.

Governments established Golden Visas as a response to the 2008 financial crisis and found them to be extremely beneficial to their economies, so Golden Visas grew alongside the demand.

The past few years have seen a shift in the narrative, though, as many EU governments are now changing or planning to scrap their Golden Visas.

Portugal abolished all real estate-linked investments, Greece is implementing a second price hike in as many years, Spain’s government is considering removing the real estate option or suspending the Golden Visa entirely, and Malta is facing the EU in court with the first hearing set for the 17th of June.

Italy’s Golden Visa – or Dolce Visa – sings a different tune, though. The Italian program is in full flow and continues to have the backing of the government and the population.

Among all of the EU Golden Visas, Italy’s emerges as the undisputed king of the new look EU residency by investment landscape.

Top Tier Brand

The most important aspect of any Golden Visa that investors need to consider – but sadly often overlook due to heavy marketing by practitioners – is the country.

All EU countries operate on an elevated level. Italy, Cyprus, Spain, and Malta are all among the top 30 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index (Portugal ranks 42nd), and they all offer high living standards.

However, there are variances between the EU’s member states, and Italy is the clear-cut best of the Golden Visa pack.

Investors looking to set up a Plan B need to choose a country they would actually like to live in, not just any country they can flee to if the worst becomes a reality.

Malta and Cyprus may be gorgeous islands, but they do not offer the same economic, lifestyle, healthcare, education, or business opportunities as larger EU nations.

Portugal has a nice climate, but its natural scenery doesn’t compare to the Italian Riviera, nor can its cities compete with the metropolises of Rome, Milan, or the historic cities of Florence and Venice.

Among the five Golden Visa giants, Italy’s Dolce Visa and Spain’s program have the best brands, the greatest livability, and the most opportunities.

Italy’s economy edges out its Spanish counterpart (third biggest in the EU, seventh worldwide), and it has the lowest inflation rate in Europe, clocking in at just 0.8% in April.

Compared to Spain’s 3.4% inflation rate in the same month, Italy currently offers better value for money.

The Italian brand is exceptional. The country is teeming with remarkable cities and outstanding natural wonders. It is steeped in history, and no other nation on Earth can match its majestic blend of historical significance and modern relevance. It is the best place to go if you need – or want – a magnificent second home.

Fast Application Process

Another important aspect of any Golden Visa that investors need to consider is its processing time.

This is where Italy’s Golden Visa edges out Portugal by miles. Investors only need three months to obtain their Italian Golden Visa, similar to waiting times in Spain and just a month more than in Cyprus.

In Spain, it usually takes investors between three to six months, but since it is processed on a consular level it will depend on the embassy or consulate in the investor’s home nation. Portugal has been dealing -ineptly- with a massive backlog that has now increased processing times to over 18 months.

Italy is also the only one of the five that allows investors to obtain Dolce Visa via an online application, as the rest require some sort of physical application, making the process longer.

Investors need to consider how long it takes for them to set up their Plan B, because geopolitical tensions, internal conflicts, and economic turmoil may happen at any moment, and having that residency permit sooner than later is critical.

Real Estate Linked Investment

Italy also has a more flexible investment framework that can allow applicants to invest directly or indirectly into their asset of choice. There are no limitations on what the company they invest in can acquire or fund, which opens the door to investing in high-end real estate projects that yield robust returns.

Portugal scrapped its real estate investment option and banned Golden Visa qualifying funds from investing in any type of real estate, limiting options and raising the overall risk level for investors.Spain may soon scrap its real estate investment, and Greece has limited real estate investments in terms of short-term rentals (while also increasing prices).

Italy’s streamlined investment framework is optimal for investors, and one considerable aspect is that investors only need to make their investments after gaining approval, unlike the rest of the European countries.

No Controversy

Most Golden Visas are having a tough time. Outcry regarding soaring housing prices (sale or rent) in Portugal, Spain, and Greece has led their governments to take drastic measures. It is clear that neither the governments or their populations like the Golden Visas.

Malta is facing a brutal court case against the EU, while Cyprus’ Golden Visa remains burdened by the now defunct citizenship by investment program that was exposed by the damning Al Jazeera Cyprus Papers scandal that eventually led the government to shut down the program entirely.

Cyprus’ Golden Visa also has the limitation of not being a part of the Schengen Zone, hence providing no added global mobility, unlike its other counterparts.

It is a different story in Italy, though. The government’s elegant design of the program and its investment framework means that it is welcomed by all. The government likes it, the population benefits from it, and investors integrate into the economy seamlessly.

Italy’s Dolce Visa is the king of the Golden Visas, and it is here to stay.

To know more about Italy’s Dolce Visa, contact Invest in Italy via our website or email us directly at enquiries@investinitaly.world