Thinking about how to move to Italy from America? Dreaming to taste the flavor of la dolce vita! Who doesn’t want to! Whether to work in finance, fashion, or automobile industry; researching on art, architecture, or discoveries, or giving lectures in Rome; making your move to Italy might be for any reason. And why you should not! Italy is exploding with opportunities and had a lot to offer. Plus, It’s also very affordable and comfortable to stay in Italy. No wonder relocating to Italy will be quite alluring!
So, if you are making your plans to immigrate to Italy from US to start a new chapter of your life, our comprehensive guide will give you enough information about the nation, right from getting a visa to exploring outdoors, finding schools, and more.
Italian visa types
When you get ready to move to Italy from the US, the question arises how to move to Italy from USA? Firstly, you need to acquire some essential documents and follow some procedures to ensure a successful and hassle-free trip. Then again a question arises, do US residents need a visa for Italy, and for how long?
Yes, of course! A Visa with all necessary documents is mandatory not only for US residents but for all those who want to visit Italy for any reason for a minimum of 90 days.
However, there are various visa types for different reasons and individuals. Let’s explore them:
- Italy Students Visa
Type C: This type of visa allows multiple entries of students above age 18 and is meant for a short stay which is valid for less than 90 days.
Type D: Students over age 18 can avail of this visa. It is meant for long stays and lasts more than 90 days.
- Italy work visa: Foreign nationals can avail of this visa if they have valid salaried work.
- Italy family visa: Foreign nationals can avail of this visa who want to be a part of a family having Italian citizenship or permanent residence permit.
- Italy working holiday visa: Nationals with ages between 18 to 30 can avail of this visa if they are a member of the working holiday program in Italy.
- Italian pensioner Visa: this visa is available for retirees who can stay in Italy without any financial support.
Italian Visa Requirements
To acquire an Italian visa you must keep the following documents ready:
- Completed visa application form (without any mistakes or inadequacy)
- Valid passport with validity more than visa
- Recent passport size photographs
- Health insurance
- Funds proofs
- Job /University/ college offer letter, if any
- Proof of stay or accommodation in Italy
- Payment of application fee receipt
Italian visa application from the USA
This is the list of documents that are needed to get an Italian visa in the US:
- A valid travel document or passport
- A valid us green Card/advance parole document/ valid USA visa with valid I-94 or I20 or I-797 with one photocopy.
- One application form is filled and signed by the applicant
- One photo fixed on the application form ( don’t staple it, instead fix it with the glue)
- Travel insurance
- Hotel reservations
- Sufficient funds prove
- Travel arrangements prove
- Last 3 months bank for credit card statements
How much does a visa to Italy cost?
The costs of an Italian visa for short term visits for each category are as follows
|Category||Cost of Visa|
|Children below 6 years of age||Free|
|Children’s aged between 6 to 12 years||$48|
|Residence from Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan||$42|
|Diplomatic holders or officials visiting for official purposes||Free|
|Teachers and students going for a school trip||Free|
How to get an Italian visa from USA? To acquire an Italian visa in the USA you can visit and apply for the visa at the consulate general offices present in San Francisco, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and the Italian embassy in Washington DC.
Do US citizens need a visa for Italy? US citizens are allowed to enter Italy for vacation or business purposes for up to 90 days without a visa. Non-residents of the US or anyone planning to stay for a longer period on more than 90 days mast need a permit to stay.
How can I get a tourist visa for Italy from USA? If you are visiting Italy to spend a vacation as a US resident tourist, a visa is not required. But the US citizens who are not permanent residents of the US need to obtain a visa. For a tourist visa, you must call the embassy closet or Italian consulate for an appointment at your residence.
Citizenship / Immigration
Italian citizenship requirements
You can avail of Italian citizenship after leaving for 5 years permanently in Italy. Usually, citizenship gets approved if the resident stays more than 10 months overseas in the past 5 years before applying. To continue the permit you have to leave in Italy for at least 183 days a year.
Can a US citizen get Italian citizenship?
Yes, a US resident can acquire an Italian citizen self only if he/she has legitimate relation to Italian ancestry. Also, you can apply for dual citizenship after marriage which does not require your rejection of the right of citizenship in the US.
Does Italy allow dual citizenship? Yes, Italy allows dual citizenship only if you can prove that your ancestral origin and blood ties are from this country during this verification process. If you have any other citizenship, this will not get rejected during this process.
What documents do I need for Italian residency? The documents required to get an Italian residence permit include:
- Valid passport
- Four passport size photographs
- Documents regarding your stay in Italy
- Health insurance proof
- All documents that have been submitted by you while you are applying for an Italian long term visa in your own country
How long does it take to get Italian citizenship? Usually, the normal process takes more than 10 years but one can obtain citizenship after two to three years after marrying an Italian resident. Non-residents can get an Italian passport after 5 years of their service for the Italian government even if they are outside the nation.
How to open a bank account in Italy from US? US residents can open a non-Italian resident bank account, regardless of a visa or citizenship but these accounts entertain higher rates of interest.
Tax system in Italy
Taxation in Italy increases with the rate of increase of an individual’s income. In the current year, the tax rate ranged between 23% – 43%. Besides that a regional tax of 0.7% – 3.33% and the local tax of 0% – 0.9% were also included in the direct taxation.
Taxes in Italy vs US
|Tax rates (2021)||Italy||USA|
|Income tax||43%||10% – 37%|
|Corporate tax rates||24%||21%|
Can an American open a bank account in Italy? Yes, as an American, you can open a resident or a non-resident bank account depending upon your stay in Italy. If you want to stay in Italy for more than one year or buy property to rent it then a non-resident account is enough. But if you are seriously relocating to Italy and staying there for a longer time then you may need a resident account.
What do I need to open a bank account in Italy? As a US citizen, you must show some relevant documents to the new bank to prove that you are you. The information may vary but the general requirements to create a new bank account in Italy are being
- Valid ID proof such as passport
- Valid Italian residence proofs like a utility bill
- Tax number
- Employment proof or prove that you are a student
Are taxes higher in US or Italy? Taxes are higher in Italy than that of USA as the individual’s higher marginal tax rate is 43% which is 23% more than USA.
Do US citizens pay taxes in Italy? Remember that penalties in Italy for late tax filing and payment are very harsh. If the US citizen is registered as an Italian resident or has a home in Italy or is an owner of any business organization or social interest, then he or she has to pay an Italian income tax return by the 23rd of July every year.
How much tax do I pay in Italy? Taxes in Italy are collected by Agencia Delle Entrate (Italian agency of revenue) which includes income tax, corporate tax, VAT, and social security tax. The income tax is progressive and increases with an increase in a person’s income.
The tax rates applied on individual income are as follows:
|Income tax||Tax rate (in %)|
|€75,000 and more||43|
Housing & Real Estate
Renting property in Italy
The rules to be followed while renting out a house in Italy are as follows:
- Discuss with the local municipality regarding the location of your house to be rented to the tourists.
- After your application gets accepted by the municipality you will be provided an identification code in any online ad.
- While renting out your property don’t forget to you ask for an ID or passport from your guest. Collect all the relevant documents and send these to the police headquarters located near the house.
Can a US citizen buy property in Italy? Yes, US citizens can purchase a property in Italy because US and Italy have a reciprocity agreement which states that an American can buy a property in Italy and vice versa.
How much does a house cost in Italy? The overall cost of purchasing a house in Italy starts from 3500 euro/m2 which is quite expensive than the downtown apartments in the US which start from 2179 Euro/m2. These values vary according to the city you stay in. So, let us know the cost of houses in the top 10 cities of Italy.
|Rome||Around 7300 euro/m2|
|Venice||Around 7000 euro/m2|
|Florence||Starts from 560 euro/m2|
|Milan||Around 9400 euro/m2|
|Naples||Starts from 8000 euro/m2|
|Bologna||Starts from 16000 euro/m2|
|Verona||Around 11250 euro/m2|
|Turin||Around 2000 euro/m2|
|Genoa||Starts from around 6075 euro/m2|
|Perugia||Around 6210 euro/m2|
Are houses expensive in Italy?
No, the cost of houses in Italy is quite inexpensive. It is among the cheapest countries in Europe for those who want to purchase a house in Italy. This is due to the growth of the real estate market and the increase in the number of properties which makes the housing prices drop below their stagnation levels.
Job market in Italy
The job market in Italy is currently touching sky high as compared to the previous years. Currently, the employment rate is 59%, which was never that good since the 70s. Since 2015, the average unemployment rate is below 10%.
Jobs in Italy for US citizens
American residents who have a job offer or have been transferred from their organization to Italy, either permanently or temporarily, can work in Italy. But before that, you have to obtain a work permit from the prospective employer or organization and must acquire a work visa before coming to Italy.
High demand jobs in Italy
According to an analysis released by CEDEFOP, 2015, the job demand for professionals in healthcare science business engineering, and teaching are very high and these opportunities will become 9 times more in upcoming years due to retirements and replacement of employees.
The average salaries in various job sectors are as follows:
|Job sectors||Average salary|
|IT project manager||€54,040|
|Human Resources Manager||€75,396|
Is it hard to get a job in Italy?
If you are well educated, have work experience, highly valued techniques, and have skills in a particular field with good knowledge of English and Italian, then it will be easier for you to get a job in Italy.
What is the most common job in Italy?
Truck drivers, carpenters, assemblers, plumbers, groundskeepers, healthcare jobs, maintenance workers, and child care workers are the most common jobs in Italy.
Well, the statistics of the distribution of workforce in the economic sectors of Italy shows that 3.9% of the workers are working in the agricultural sector, 70.25% in services and 25.87% in industry.
Average salary in Italy
Currently, the average salary in Italy is around €2000 per month.
Healthcare system in Italy
Both Italians and foreigners can access the public healthcare system, which is free of cost. They need to register with the SSN at the Azienda Sanitaria Locale (ASL). The surgeries and hospitalization can also be done free of charge. The cost of the healthcare system is around 36 EUR for every prescription.
You can also choose a private healthcare system if you have private healthcare insurance. The private healthcare system avoids long queues and makes people feel more comfortable.
Healthcare system for foreigners
Foreign citizens need to register with the NHS(National Health Service) to get the same medical treatment and facilities as Italian citizens. But the foreigners can get emergency help even if they haven’t registered with the NHS.
Healthcare system in Italy Vs the USA
The health insurance industry is privatized in the US. They get a free healthcare package if they qualify for Medicare. The government doesn’t take responsibility for the citizen. A visitor has to pay for the medical service. Hence, the healthcare system in the US is expensive.
ServizioSanitario Nazionale (SSN) in Italy distributes funds to the hospitals of every region and offers free standard healthcare to all citizens. People need to deposit co-pay, but the cost is usually low. Legal foreign citizens can also get this benefit once they register with the NHC.
Does Italy have a good healthcare system? The healthcare system in Italy varies according to region. Northern and central Italy provides a good healthcare system. The qualifiers can get free public healthcare. But the private healthcare system is the best option as it prevents long waiting queues and offers comfortable surroundings. Those who don’t qualify for free public healthcare go for a private check-up. The foreigners can also register themselves with NHC to obtain the same medical service as Italians. Italy is one of the healthiest countries and also ranks well as per the World Health Organisation.
Is healthcare free in Italy? Yes, healthcare is free in Italy for those who qualify for it. The surgeries and treatments are also provided free. All legal citizens and foreigners can get this benefit offered by the ServizioSanitario Nazionale (SSN).
Education system in Italy
The education system in Italy comprises of:
Kindergarten- Kindergarten is for kids of age 3-6 years. You can go to either free public or private preschools. Preschool or kindergarten tends to develop both mental and physical skills of a child.
Primary school- Primary education starts for the students who are at the age of 6. It has been mended compulsory for all Italian and foreign children in Italy. All primary schools do not have fixed school hours. Italian, English, History, Geography, Mathematics, Science, Music, Arts, Physical Education and technology are some of the compulsory subjects in the primary schools of Italy.
Secondary school- Secondary schools are divided into lower secondary and upper secondary schools. Both lower and upper secondary education is compulsory for Italian or foreign resident children in Italy. The lower secondary school has the same syllabus as a primary school but includes an extra second language of the European Union. In upper secondary school, students have to change a specific subject to continue up to university.
University- There are the best universities in Italy that come under top world university rankings. Italy is home to 97 sanctioned universities, out of which 67 are state universities in the country.
Education in Italy for International students
Italy is an eminent country for international students. It is known to offer high-quality education and low tuition fees as compared to other Western European countries. International school fees vary from 4,000 to 12,000 EUR per year. Some of the big cities like Rome, Milan or Naples provide the best international schools in Italy. Usually, the international schools teach in English but you can even discover American, French, German, Japanese schools in the country.
Education in Italy Vs. US
In the US, public education is free. But, one can opt for private schools and universities, which can cost you around $3,660 to $ 50,000. In high schools, Saturday and Sunday remain off. There are several extra-curricular activities and the presence of lockers and hallways between classes.
Italy, too, provides free education to the residents of Italy. But the private education range between €900 to €20,000 ($1,000 to $24,100). Italy conducts classes six days a week. There are not many school activities and no lockers and hallways for students.
Does Italy have a good education system? Though Italy is rich in culture and history, it is also rich in high quality and a wide variety of academic institutions where international schools are also highly recognized. Italy is regarded as the cheapest nation in Europe for abroad study. The education system in Italy follows the Bologna process which implements a 3-cycle system.
What rank is Italy in education? According to World Education rankings, Italy has been ranked in 34th position in the reading literacy, math and science as per the Programme for Internal Student Assessment associated by the OCED. The University of Bologna is one of the oldest and top universities in Italy.
Is studying in Italy free? The residents of Italy can get the benefit of free education at all stages. However, international students have to apply for scholarships and financial aid if required from the students` government. Generally, the tuition fees of universities are affordable and can vary between EUR 850 and 1000 per year.
Cost of Moving
Cost of moving to Italy from US
The cost of moving mainly depends upon the way of shipping and the number of items to be shipped.
|New York to Napoli||$916||13.4 days|
|Houston to Civitavecchia (near Rome)||$1,375||18 days|
|Los Angeles to La Spezia||$3,280||26.3 days|
This estimation is based on shipping from port-to-port transportation of the furniture in 20ft. container.
|New York to Rome||$1,500||8 hours|
|Houston to Milan||$1,170||10 hours|
|Los Angeles to Rome||$1,475||12 hours|
This estimation is based on the airport-to-airport transportation of 500 kg of household goods.
Cheapest way to move to Italy from US
If you want to move to Italy from the US, you can either go overseas or airways. Airfreight can be a good option but it is not cost-effective. Hence, the cheapest way to shift from US to Italy is overseas shipping.
Can Americans move to Italy?
Yes, Americans can move to Italy only if he has an entrance visa. If a US citizen wants to stay for more than 3 months and wants to have a resident certificate, he should apply for the visa in advance. After the arrival, he must possess a “permit of stay”. All American citizen are asked to sign an “integration agreement” at the police department if they wish to stay for more than a year.
Cost of shipping
Cost of shipping to Italy from USA
The cost of the shipping varies depending on the delivery method you choose. A cheaper technique can cost you between $10 to $30. The costly ones are generally beyond $50 (small package).
How much would it cost to ship a package to Italy?
The lowest shipping rates of a package from US to Italy depend on the weight of the package and the number of days taken by the service provider. The shipping charges per weight of the packages are as follows:
|Weight||Budget economy (5-8 days)||Express economy (2-4 days)|
What is the cheapest way to ship a package to Italy? The cheapest way to ship a package to Italy from the USA is through tracked mail if the package is lightweight and not urgent. Other than that DPD direct is also the cheapest way to send a package to Italy, if the parcel weighs up to 5kg. The package will be delivered in 4-6 working days. Parcelforce drop-off is the cheapest way to parcel larger packages up to 30kg.
What items cannot be shipped to Italy? Albums, weapons, clocks, footwear, radioactive materials, tobacco, gold, or platinum jewelry are some of the items that cannot be shipped to Italy.
Living in Italy
The cost of living in Italy varies according to the places. In general, northern Italy is costlier than southern Italy. The big cities like Rome and Milan account for higher expenses. Rent expenses are normal in the countryside but high in the main cities. The average rent cost in Italy is 800 EUR per month. The utility costs for electricity, gas and water for 85 square meter apartments are between 100 to 150 EUR (110 to 165 USD).
Cost of living in Italy VS US
The average cost of living in Italy is $ 1359 and in the US is $ 1951. It shows that the cost of living in Italy is 30% less costly than in the US. According to the list of the most expensive countries in the world, Italy is ranked 35th whereas the US is ranked 10th.
|Cost of living (One person)||$1359||$1951|
|Cost of living (Family)||$3347||$4413|
|Rent (one person)||$661||$1209|
Living in Italy as an American
Italy is full of the diverse country which offers something to everyone. Every place has its own charm. But it is essential for an American to find the right place for him and his family. It is not tough to live in Italy as an American. You may feel hard to get a job but once you are in, you will truly enjoy your life. Public education and the healthcare system are free of cost. An American can live up in a small budget but cannot adjust in big cities, like Rome, Milan and Genoa, as everything there is very expensive. Unlike the US, the restaurants, banks and offices in Italy do not open 24*7 hours. So, an American has to cope with this relaxing schedule.
|Affordable and tasty food in Italy||High unemployment in the country|
|Plenty and easy access to educational opportunities||You may face a language barrier.|
|Outstanding public transportation facilities||It is difficult for entrepreneurs to get a work visa|
|Presence of a high-quality healthcare system||It is expensive to live in Italy in some way|
|Easy to obtain citizenship in Italy||The roads are dirty and dangerous|
|There is a suitable Mediterranean climate||High schools do not offer an integrated syllabus|
|Exciting and thriving nightlife.||It is hard to find a job/work|
|Well-maintained residential buildings||Most rentals need a long-term lease for living in the country.|
|Buying property is effortless||Discover a lot of stray dogs in Italy|
|Opening a bank account is uncomplicated||The cost of utility can be huge.|
How much does it cost to live in Italy per month? The estimated monthly cost of living for a single person in Italy is €744 (without rent) and for a family of four is €2627 (without rent).
Is it expensive to live in Italy for an American? No, it is inexpensive to live in Italy for an American. For a US citizen, living in Italy is very affordable and cheap as their average salary is 54% more than Italians.
Is the USA more expensive than Italy? Yes, the USA is 20.4% more costly than Italy.
Best Place to Live in Italy
Italy is a very beautiful place, from cultural heritage to booming economic clubs, Italy has it all. It’s impossible to ignore the never-ending attractions in the cities of Italy.
If you’re planning to move to Italy, let’s have a look at the beautiful cities of Italy without wasting time anymore:
Milan comes at the top among the best places to live in Italy. It fascinates a lot of inhabitants with its great international scene, excellent economic opportunities, world-class educational institutions, and unique cultural heritage.
The city of Bolzano is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and is one of Italy’s bilingual cities where Italian and German are spoken freely. The city has seen the largest number of start-ups, featuring its high standards in terms of quality of life.
Featuring countless ancient churches, museums, and archaeological sites, this is the capital city of Italy. It is also a dream destination for many historians. The historical site of this city is also accompanied by a very modern vibe of colorful art, culture, and fashion.
Turin stands at third position in Italy in terms of economic power. The Turin economy is home to many Italian automotive industries, factories, and offices for companies like Fiat, Maserati, etc. This city has also established itself in the aerospace industry.
The canals in Venice are the most unique way of exploring this beautiful city of Italy. It’s incredibly unique architecture never fails to excite and delight.
It is one of the most stunning visually stunning cities in Italy, featuring endless castles and medieval churches. Almost, every one of you might have heard about this beautiful city from the famous play by Shakespeare – ‘Romeo Juliet’.
You will find a lot of beautiful Palaces and Castles in this incredible city of Italy. This unique city offers a very simple alternative to the fancy tourist destinations nearby.
Florence has been one of the most important cities of medieval Europe. It fascinates many tourists, being one of the major tourist hotspots as well as an economic center. It is ranked as the most beautiful city in the world by Forbes.
Every one of you must have heard about the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’, but not many people know about the stunning arts and palaces of Pisa. It is a beautiful city of medieval times.
Bologna is certainly one of the most historical and cultural cities in Italy. It is home to the oldest universities in Italy and some world-class eateries.
Moving to Italy with a Dog
Italy is one of the most pet-friendly countries in the world. In Italy, pets are also allowed in public places and public transport. So, moving to Italy with your pets can be a great experience of your lifetime.
Before moving your pet to Italy, you need to have the proper knowledge of all the latest rules and regulations and make sure that you have the correct papers and proper documentation.
How much does it cost to fly a dog to Italy? Airlines typically have one fee of around $100 to bring the pet in the cabin, moreover, if you want your pet to fly in the cabin, you must be needed to purchase an airline-compliant pet-carrier that costs from around $30 up to $250.
Can I fly my dog to Italy? Yes, you can get your dog with you while flying to Italy. All you need is proper documentation and an approved pet carrier. The carrier must be big enough for the animal to stand, sit and turn around during the journey and it must also allow adequate ventilation.
Do dogs have to quarantine in Italy? There’s no quarantine for healthy pets arriving in Italy, but they should have an ISO standard microchip implant and a veterinary health certificate issued by an approved veterinary surgeon.
Culture & Climate
The major elements of Italian culture are its unique art and architecture, music, and food. Italy is considered the birthplace of western civilization and cultural superpower. It is famous for its influential civilizations.
Italy is also famous for its family life; family is an extremely important value of the Italian culture. Italians have frequent family gatherings and they enjoy spending time with their family members.
Italy has a variable climate, which means that different areas can exhibit different weather conditions. So, it is always favorable to check the weather conditions of the area you will be traveling to.
Italy has a predominantly Mediterranean climate with mild, sometimes, rainy winters and hot and sunny summers that are usually dry.
What are some cultural traditions in Italy?
Below given are the 5 cultural traditions of the Italians:
Italians are very close to their family members; they share a strong bond not just with their immediate family but also with their extended family members.
Art & Architecture:
It is the most important element of Italian culture. You can even see that the most famous architecture of the world such as the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa is situated in Italy.
Italians love music. They especially love opera singing on different occasions and celebrations. It is said that Italy is the birthplace of opera singing.
90% of Italian population is Roman Catholic. They regularly visit the church, offer their prayers and share their traditions
Holidays and celebrations:
Italians always embrace all the chances of family get-togethers. They follow and celebrate all the festivals of the Christian community including Easter, Christmas, etc.
What makes Italian culture unique? The most amazing thing about Italians is that they are friendly, hospitable, generous, intelligent, and family-oriented people. Another most important characteristic of the Italian culture is that it is deeply rooted in its history and ancient traditions.
Does Italy have 4 seasons? Yes, Italy has four seasons, namely, Primavera (Spring), Estate (Summer), Autunno (Autumn), and Inverno (Winter).
What is the weather like in Italy all year round? In Italy, the summers are short, hot, humid, dry, and mostly clear and the winters are long, cold, wet, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 37°F to 89°F and rarely falls below 28°F or increases above 95°F.
Italy Ranking in the World
Italy is ranked 31st in the overall prosperity index among all the countries. The overall ranking of a country measures its global performance that depends on a variety of metrics.
Let’s have a look at Italy’s ranking scale in different sectors.
|Safety & Security||23rd|
|Market Access & Infrastructure||24th|
Italy is one of the leading countries in the Healthcare sector; its healthcare system is performing very well. Italy is continuously improving its education system; it has some of the top Universities in the world.
It lags behind in social capital, but it is continuously improving itself in each sector and industry. It has made a lot of improvement in ‘Safety & Security’ over the last decade.
People are generally fascinated by the Italian culture and its beautiful churches, museums, castles, and palaces. It’s beautiful art & architecture makes it hard to resist visiting Italy once in a lifetime. Its economic centers and diversified culture attracts many tourists. The best part about Italy is that it has a very low rate of unemployment and it has seen many start-ups flourish. But the ease and beauty of the Italian lifestyle come at a premium, of course. Italy is one of the most expensive countries in Europe.
The healthcare sector and the education sector are continuously evolving and moving towards improvement. But it is always suggested to have a deep research about the different places in Italy and the expenditure before planning to move or relocate to Italy. How to move to Italy as an American, what are the services, taxes, education system! – You will find every sort of information in this guide. So, we request you to carefully read all the guidelines about the paperwork that is needed for the relocation to Italy and make sure that you have all the necessary documents.