You have been dreaming of romantic surroundings where you can enjoy amazing food, even better wine, and immerse yourself in art and culture. In other words, you’ve been dreaming of moving to Italy.
While all that sounds beautiful and romantic, there’s a less dreamy process to handle first – the actual relocation. Before you get to enjoy all the beauty that it boasts, you need to plan the process of relocating overseas, find out all the steps that should be taken, and prepare yourself for what life there looks like.
There is a series of questions you’d want answers to, including Can a US citizen move to Italy? Is life there expensive? How long do you have to live there to become a citizen? It is normal to have doubts and concerns when taking such a huge step in your life. We want to help you out by answering these and many other questions that might be running through your head. Here are the things you should keep in mind when relocating to Italy and what to expect upon your arrival.
Visas, Work Permits, and Residence
Before you make any plans for your new life, you should be sure you have the documents you need when relocating internationally. The first thing to learn about the bureaucracy there is that there might be some hiccups during almost every process, no matter how well prepared you as an applicant are.
Different Procedures for EU and Non-EU Citizens
While EU citizens are free to just come to work, study, and live there without any permits required, non-EU citizens have to deal with a couple of steps first.
Visas and Work Permits
When it comes to the visa application, the process starts while you’re still in your current place of residence. Depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, you’ll be required to pay different fees, but in any case, the costs will be around 116 EUR ($127).
Different types of visas you can apply for here include seasonal work, long-term seasonal work, artistic work, scientific research, as well as independent work, etc. As a US citizen, you don’t need a visa to cross the borders, but only if you won’t stay there for longer than 90 days.
As for the work permits, you don’t have to fill out an application form, you should just provide your future employer with the following documents:
- A copy of your ID or passport
- The residence contract
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of sufficient means for returning home
Temporary and Permanent Residence
If you’re planning to stay for longer than three months, you’re supposed to apply for a residence permit eight days upon your arrival. To do so, you need the following:
- Application form
- Corresponding visa
- Four passport-size photos
- The residence contract
Temporary residence permit usually lasts for as long as your work permit does.
When it comes to permanent residence permit, you can apply for one after you’ve spent five years living in Italy. The process of applying for permanent residence is somewhat more intricate, as you’ll be required to submit the following:
- Application form
- A copy of your passport
- Certificate of residency
- Registration certificates
- Police records
- Proof of sufficient income
- A photocopy of income tax return
To become a permanent resident, you will also have to pass the Italian language test.
Is English Enough or You Have to Learn Italian?
Speaking of the language, let’s shed some light on the language barrier. Namely, you can do well with English only, but that’s just for a start. Generally speaking, the people there do speak some English, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put some effort into learning Italian. It will be much easier to find a proper job that way, plus, it will save you from many misunderstandings due to their poor English. After all, why wouldn’t you want to learn Italian? It’s so romantic and melodic, which makes it easier to learn.
How to Ship Your Goods When Moving to Italy?
When you get everything ready for your departure, there comes a question of how you’re going to ship your stuff to the new address. You should be covered whatever you find most convenient due to the excellent geographical location.
So, depending on what’s better for you, you can choose between international moving by sea and international moving by air. Even if you want to ship your car, too, that won’t be a problem. You can arrange safe and efficient overseas vehicle shipping and get your four-wheeler anywhere you want.
Finding a Home Won’t Be That Hard
Finding accommodation shouldn’t be that difficult, especially when it comes to short-term rentals. People usually look through online ads, but if you’ll feel safer, it might be a good idea to turn to real estate agents to give you a hand, especially if you still don’t speak the language.
Since the demand for both apartments and houses is higher in big cities, it might be easier to find your dream home somewhere in the countryside, or at least in some of the smaller towns. It’s an idea worth considering, at least.
But Finding a Job Would Be Tricky
When it comes to finding a job in Italy, this might be a tricky one. Depending on your field of expertise, you might be required to speak Italian to get the job, and you are required to have one in order to apply for a visa, to start with.
With the unemployment rate of 9.9%, this might not be an ideal place to find a job without any difficulties, but it is possible to land a decent job at least to make a living for your first months there. The average salary is around $2,000. Your chances are the highest if you’re looking for a job in the industrial sector and if you stick to the northern part, as it produces as much as 75% of the country’s wealth.
Cost of Living Depends on the Place You Choose
The cost of living can be rather high if you choose one of the major cities such as Rome or Milan. If you go there, you’ll spend almost as much as you’d spend in New York.
Compared to the US, rent is cheaper, as you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for $800-$900. But again, if you stick to the center of a big city, this number is likely to go as high as $1,500. In a small town, people spend about $600 for rent per month. In case you’re interested in buying a house, the average price per square meter is about $1,900-$2,100.
When it comes to the cost of food, you don’t have to pay much when you’re buying local food. Keep in mind, though, that imported products are quite pricey. To eat out, you’ll pay about $15 for lunch, while dinner for two will probably be around $50-$80.
You might be somewhat surprised at the price of fuel, as you’ll need about $7 for a gallon of gas. In case you opt for public transportation, a monthly pass will cost you about $40.
If you can’t afford to live in a big city, you don’t have to give up on the idea of relocating here – you can move to the countryside. The cost of living in the countryside is significantly lower in all aspects, starting with housing. However, if you decide to relocate there, keep in mind that it will also be more difficult to find a job than it would be in any larger place.
What Are the Most Popular Cities to Live In?
If you don’t want to move to the countryside, not even for the lower costs, you have a variety of amazing big cities to choose from. Wherever you choose to go eventually, you won’t make a mistake, as every city has a lot to offer, and each has its own specific charm and rich history to make it worth considering. Here are some of the most popular cities to keep in mind:
Why Should You Move to Italy?
If you’re moving abroad for love, you couldn’t have chosen a more romantic place. If, however, you’re going with your family and you’re moving with kids, there will be various excellent opportunities for their education. People there are kind, friendly, laid-back, and they know how to enjoy life.
In case you’re still having second thoughts about your relocation, let us mention some more reasons why it would be a good idea to make this beautiful place your new home.
If You Like Warm Weather – We’ve Got Some Good News
Italy experiences a Mediterranean climate, which means you can enjoy warm summers and mostly mild winters, depending on where exactly you choose to relocate. If you like skiing, the Alps are sure to keep you satisfied during the cold months. If you’re looking for a hot summer and breathtaking beaches, head to the south – at least for a vacation if not to live there.
In addition to pleasant weather, you also get to enjoy rich cuisine. We’re sure you already like Italian food, now imagine those gastronomical delights prepared by Italians themselves. They are proud of their culinary tradition for a reason, and they put much effort into preserving it.
Art and Culture
From museums and galleries to magnificent pieces of art on every street corner, this country is all about art, history, and culture. Everywhere you look, you’re sure to discover something marvelous worth great respect and admiration.
Italy’s Vibrant Nightlife
Finally, you can enjoy the exciting and vibrant nightlife here, primarily in big cities such as Rome, Milan, Naples, and so on. People stay in bars until early morning hours or go to concerts in the open – there are all kinds of events to enjoy the nightlife scene there.
Ready to Go?
Do you like the idea of living in Italy? You can’t wait to get there? Remember that you can always speed up the process if you leave it to experts to provide you with packing services and bring all the necessary boxes and packing supplies. You should take the time needed to read more about the visa requirements and prepare all the documents to make your move possible and let experts handle the relocation process.