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EIG Week in Review (July 18, 2014)

July 25, 2014

Highlights

  • New Italian Visa Available for Foreign Entrepreneurs
  • EU Court of Justice Strikes Down German Language Requirement for Spouses of Turkish Nationals
  • Conclusion of Ramadan Expected to Cause Visa Processing Delays

New Italian Visa Available for Foreign Entrepreneurs

Italy recently launched a self-employment startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs. Specifically, non-EU nationals who are establishing technologically innovative startup enterprises in Italy may apply for the visa.  Qualifying applicants will receive free business registration, flexibility with certain labor laws, publicly guaranteed bank loans, tax incentives, and facilitated access to crowd-funding portals.

Applicants are eligible for the startup visa if they satisfy the following conditions:

1.  Applicant is a non-EU national, intending to launch their startup in Italy;

2.  The enterprise must be incorporated as a limited company or cooperative under Italian law (or an EU company domiciled in Italy);

3.  The enterprise must have its headquarters office in Italy;

4.  The enterprise cannot stem from a corporate merger, divestment, or division of another company;

5.  The entrepreneur must prove a minimum of €50,000 in financial resources,

6.  The enterprise must additionally meet at least one of the following three conditions: (a) 15% of the enterprise’s expenditures must be dedicated to research and development; (b) at least 1/3 of its personnel must be Ph.D. students or graduates or people who have been working in research for at least three years; alternatively, that 2/3 of its personnel hold master’s degrees; or, (c) the enterprise must be the owner, filer or licensee of a patent, industrial property right or software registered with the Societa Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers).

Entrepreneurs must submit their application to the Italian Startup Visa Technical Committee (ISVTC) and will receive a decision within 30 days.  If approved, ISVTC will issue the applicant up to five “Certificates of No Impediment,” which will be used to apply for the startup visa, valid for one year (extendable for an additional three years if the startup proves successful).  Startup visa holders may also apply for a one year residence permit upon entering Italy.

EU Court of Justice Strikes Down German Language Requirement for Spouses of Turkish Nationals

The European Union’s Court of Justice recently rejected Germany’s requirement that spouses of Turkish citizens, applying for German residency, demonstrate language proficiency.  The court held that such language requirement violates the Ankara Agreement because it “makes family reunification difficult or impossible” for Turkish employees, and “the language requirement at issue goes beyond what is necessary in order to attain the objective pursued.”  Accordingly, effective July 10, 2014, spouses of Turkish nationals who are applying for residence permits in Germany will not be required to demonstrate language proficiency.

Conclusion of Ramadan Expected to Cause Visa Processing Delays

In celebration of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan, many government and private offices throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Africa will be closed during the end of July and into early August.  Office closures are expected to last anywhere from 2 to 10 days during the celebration.  In light of the closures, visa processing delays of a week or more are anticipated throughout these regions.  Any companies and/or foreign nationals with pending applications are encouraged to contact their processing office to establish the exact closing dates and plan accordingly.