Reciprocity and visa for foreign investors
Law on the conversion of the "Simplifications" law

Law no. 120 of 11 September 2020, converting into law, with modifications, Decree Law no. 76 of 16 July 2020, containing urgent measures for simplification and digital innovation, introduced in the Decree a new Art. 40-quater, containing some important modifications to the regulation of the residency visa for investors as per Art. 26-bis of Legislative Decree no. 286 of 25 July 1998 (Consolidated text of provisions concerning immigration regulations and regulations on the condition of foreigners).

First of all, the possibility is expressly introduced that the visa may be requested not only by the foreign investor "natural person", but also by the legal representative of the "legal person" who intends to make substantial investments in Italy, either in the purchase of public securities and shareholdings, or in the performance of a philanthropic act.

There is, however, an important difference with respect to the permit issued to "natural persons" investors.

The new paragraph 3-bis of Art. 26-bis of Legislative Decree No. 286/1998 establishes that when a "foreign legal entity" on behalf of its representative applies for a visa, the authority competent to issue the authorisation shall request the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to verify the existence of the condition of reciprocity and in case of subsequent issue of the authorisation, it shall certify the verification of this condition.

Consequently, the issuance of the investor visa to the legal representative of the investor "legal entity" requires the verification of the reciprocity condition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These considerations do not apply, however, to the foreign investor "natural person", who can obtain the visa even in the absence of reciprocity, but once the investor visa has been obtained, he is exempted from this verification pursuant to the new paragraph 5-bis of Art. 26, Legislative Decree 286/1998.

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