Updated: Oct 30
The Arduous Journey: Obtaining Letters and Declarations from Banks for the Italian Investor Visa Applications
The Italian Investor Visa for Italy program is designed to attract foreign investors who are interested in making a substantial financial commitment to Italy with no minimum time in Italy and gaining access to the Italian tax relief scheme. Although the immigration process for investors is facilitated and prioritized by Italian authorities, obtaining the investor visa for Italy can be a complex and challenging process without a clear understanding of its requirements.
One of the basic requirements is the ownership of sufficient funds, which are also available, transferable and of licit origins. A simple copy of your bank statements and portfolios will not suffice, what the Investor Visa for Italy evaluation committee will ask for is also a statement declaration from your Bank/financial institute where your funds are kept confirming availability, transferability, and licit origins of the money.
Seeking such letters often comes with challenges and difficulties.
Bureaucratic Red Tape
Many banks have complex bureaucratic processes in place for releasing documents that are different from their standard letters. The kind of letter required by Investor Visa for Italy Committee is very specific and include a confirmation that the Bank has conducted very detailed checks on the client in accordance with financial anti money laundering international regulations (FATF). This may involve multiple layers of approval, extensive paperwork, and lengthy processing times for such declaration to be obtained. Applicants often find themselves caught in a web of administrative procedures.
What to do?
Begin the document request process well in advance of your visa application deadline. Familiarize yourself with the bank’s specific requirements and timelines. Be persistent and follow up regularly to ensure your request progresses smoothly. An early approach will also help you understand from the beginning whether your bank is willing to issue a declaration in support of your investor visa and will leave you time for a plan b. Which leads us to the following point;
Most Banks will initially refuse to issue letters in the specific format proposed by Italian Investor Visa program and directly issue a simple standard letter and attach their AML policy. What to do? Insist on negotiating with your bank and find a compromise. In our experience, some investors managed to work with their banks on finding a different wording that could match the Investor Visa Committee’s expectations regarding bank letters and declarations. Tailor your request accordingly.
Some banks may cite internal policies or simply be unresponsive to your requests, leaving you in a precarious situation. What to do? If you face resistance from your bank, escalate your request to higher-ranking bank officials. Consult with a legal advisor if necessary to understand your rights and options. You may also explore alternative banks willing to cooperate with your Investor visa application needs. Look for contacts with other investors who have already obtained similar letters from other banks.
Overcoming the complexities of obtaining letters and declarations from banks for your visa application can be a formidable challenge. However, with careful planning, persistence, and a clear understanding of the hurdles you may encounter, it is possible to increase your chances of success.
Check out our series of 10 articles about “Navigating the Investor Visa for Italy”
Part 1: Top Tips for Success
Part 3: Filing the online application
Part 5: Italian Investor Visa holders and Visa Options for the Family Members (coming soon)
Part 6: Italian Investor Visa and the things you should take into account before entering Italy (coming soon)
Part 8: Italian Investor Visa and the Italian Permit of Stay for Investors (coming soon)
Part 9: Italian Investor Visa and establishing the Residency in Italy (coming soon)
Part 10: Extending your permit of stay for investor visa (coming soon)