Real estate purchase in Italy for Chinese citizens

A short guide to get a real estate in Italy. Rules in force among Italy and China: main options and fulfilments. 

Due to Italian law, foreign citizens may purchase real estate inItalyin the following cases and according to the following procedures:

  1. Not regularly staying foreign citizens (including Chinese citizens): only if an international treaty allows it or under reciprocity condition, namely if in his own country an Italian citizen is permitted to purchase a house. Reciprocity’s condition statement is available on Ministry of Foreign Affair’s website at following link:;
  2. Regularly staying foreign citizens, their relatives, and stateless, being in Italywithin three years: with residency permit due to specific working reasons or with “carta di soggiorno”;
  3. EU citizens (27 Countries): without any specific restriction.

In order to collect the requested documents, first of all is needed to identify which of the listed category does the foreign citizen belong to.

As far as Chinese citizens are concerned:

Among Italy and China is in force the promotional and mutual investments protection agreement (Prot. 28.1.1985, ratified with L. 3.3.1987 n. 109), which approves every kind of patrimonial use permitted by laws and regulations of each contracting party, particularly real estate purchase and every other right in rem besides.

Furthermore, it guarantees that the treatment inItalywill not be less favourable that the one granted to Italian residents, or to each other third party. In that respect, it seems not to exist any particular obstacle to the real estate purchase.

Either way, is requested the entry visa issued by the consular representation inChina.

For such three months longer case of stay, residency permit is requested. It must be solicited inItaly, within 8 days of the entry in the territory of the state. Residency permit is not requested in any case of stay for visits, tourism, business and study reasons, for less than three months.

In case the subject is able to support himself in the territory of the state without acting any working activity (in presence of some requirements) he may obtain the voluntary residence (“residenza elettiva”).

Otherwise, in execution of Schengen law, in presence of some requirements, a Chinese citizen would be entitled to get a multiple access touristic visa (valid for 5 years) to buy a real estate inItaly.

Studio Legale Reichel
Avv. Danilo Giandini