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Canadian nationals can move to Italy from Canada following the rules on immigration which have been established between the immigration authorities of the two nations. Here, Canadians must be aware that the Italian law distinguishes between two main scenarios – arrivals for short-term and long-term relocation.
WHAT ARE THE RULES?
For each case, one can move to Italy by following the basic immigration regulations (there are different legal requirements to be met when arriving here for short-term stays compared to the ones applied for long-term stays). For short-term stays, the Italian legislation provides two main rules: the one where the foreigner must apply for a visa and the one where the foreigner can arrive without completing any visa formalities.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY VISA RULES?
According to the General Consulate of Italy in Toronto, Canadian citizens and persons who have obtained permanent residency in Canada can benefit from visa exemptions for some basic visa categories currently applicable under Italian immigration law.
Please mind that there is a legal distinction between persons who are Canadian citizens and those who are Canadian permanent residents. This distinction can create differences in the visa requirements applied to such persons. This can imply that a Canadian citizen can immigrate to Italy from Canada without the need to apply for a visa. In contrast, a person who is a Canadian permanent resident who will arrive here for the same purpose and the exact duration of stay may need to obtain a visa.
The latter requirement is influenced by the nationality of the person who has become a Canadian permanent resident. For instance, Italy requires transit visas for the nationals of certain countries. This visa is not necessary for Canadian citizens, but this requirement can still apply to foreigners who are holders of a Canadian Permanent Residence Card.
For short-term stays, Canadians moving from Canada to Italy can also arrive without a visa, and they are entitled to stay in the country for 90 days in a period of 180 days. The purpose of the arrival is of no importance in offering this right. Thus business reasons, short-term studies, travelling and so on, are all allowed.
CAN CANADIANS MOVE TO ITALY FROM CANADA FOR A WORK HOLIDAY PROGRAM?
Yes, Canadians are entitled to relocate to Italy to enter the Work Holiday Program, an immigration program that aims at youth exchange amongst the nations that have joined this program. Through it, foreigners can arrive here and visit Italy while working for a limited period here. Our immigration lawyer in Italy has prepared a short description of the Work Holiday Program:
the possibility of immigrating to Italy from Canada under this program appeared in 2006 when the two states signed a memorandum for a youth exchange program;
through this, a total of 1250 Canadians can relocate to Italy for a limited period;
the program is addressed solely to young persons who have aged 18 to 35 years old;
Canadians have to apply for a visa that will grant the right to live in Italy for 12 months;
given that the stay is longer than 90 days, the applicant must apply for a residency permit in eight full days if the applicant receives the ticket after the arrival.
The Working Holiday Visa is included in the D visa category, which refers to visas issued for stays longer than 90 days. Here, regardless if the applicant is a Canadian national or a permanent resident, the Italian authorities will require issuing a visa when moving from Canada to Italy. If you want to apply for a D visa, we invite you to contact our immigration lawyer in Italy. He will present you with all the legal formalities you should follow to immigrate to Italy.
If you live long enough in Italy, you will also have the possibility to apply for citizenship. Citizenship in Italy can be obtained through naturalization in most cases, which is a long process that requires the foreigner to live here for a minimum of ten years.
The process can be shorter if the foreigner qualifies for other types of citizenship, such as by marriage or descent.
Suppose you are a Canadian who wants to move to Italy permanently to become a citizen. In that case, you will first need to obtain a permanent residence permit, which can be issued only after living here for five years.
If you qualify for citizenship by descent, the years of minimum residency are reduced to only 3, and the same applies if you are married to an Italian national.
You are also entitled to residency through investments through the Golden Visa in Italy program. The program can provide permanent residence, as initially, it grants the right to place for two years. If the investment conditions are maintained, the investor can renew the visa for another three years, meeting the overall time required for permanent residency (5 years).
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.