1. Get your hands on an Italian citizen and marry them: this is especially effective if you actually have an Italian significant other, might be a bit difficult if you're starting from zero and slightly even more so if you are already married to someone else. Jokes guys, but all that aside, this is your easiest route because once you are married you can pop on over and apply for a permesso for family matters and you're allowed to work legally right away.
2. Hit the books: probably the second easiest option is a study visa. You can be granted a study visa fairly easily but you usually need to be enrolled in an accredited course (for example, a program at a university) and you will be able to live in Italy for the duration of the course. Obviously, the most effective thing would be to do a full degree, Masters, or PhD. You are allowed to work part-time with a student visa (I believe around 20 hours a week). Another plus of having a student visa is that if you complete your degree at an Italian university (ie: you graduate from an Italian university), you can ask for a permesso for an "attesa di occupazione" which gives you an extra year on top of your study visa after you've graduated to essentially "find a job".
3. Look into your ancestry: well you can't go too far back but if you happen to have Italian roots, you may want to investigate the possibility of applying for Italian citizenship. I don't know alot on this process but I know it requires digging up alot of documents to prove your Italian blood and unfortunately alot of first and second generation Italians born abroad had parents that were forced to renounce their Italian citizenship. Nowadays, for example, Canada and Italy allow you to have both citizenships but back in the day that wasn't the case. So if your family members "gave up" their Italian passport when they emigrated, it's likely you don't have the right to it either. The only other thing I know about this is that it is a VERY long drawn-out process, it can literally take years. Because of the right of mobility between EU member countries, I suppose you don't even necessarily need to have Italian roots but if you have the right to citizenship of ANY EU country you could then move to Italy after.
4. Get a transfer from your current employer: if you work for a company with international branches, you're in luck, because you can always ask for an internal transfer to the Italy offices! This works wonders and the company does all of the heavy-lifting in terms of work visa etc. Plus, everyone I've known that has done this has continued to be paid in the currency of their original job and at the same salary plus usually a monthly stipend for food and accommodation so all kinds of yes here.
5. Win the lottery: if you can afford not to work, you can apply to be an elective resident of Italy, or heck if you can afford not to work I suppose you can be an elective resident of the entire freaking world eh?! But unfortunately for this, you are required to show bank statements that prove you can support yourself in a foreign country without working and some people have told me that the number needs to be quite high, however many retired couples will use this route.
7. *Go on a working holiday: I put a little star next to this one because the working holiday option is only applicable to certain countries who have this agreement with Italy. Some that I know off the top of my head are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (?). For example, if you're American and reading this, it's unfortunately not available to you. Also, you need to be less than 35 years of age and show a certain amount of money in the bank. But besides that, it's a very simple visa to apply for and it allows you to live and work in Italy for a year (holiday for six months and work for six months to be exact).
Alright, I think that about does it. Like I said, there is a world of information out there about each specific process but the common thread between all of them is they require TIME and PREPARATION. So if you're serious about the move, start planning and researching yesterday.
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...or check out the category "Moving to Italy".