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Opening a Bank Account in Italy: A Guide for Nigerian Expatriates

26 Mar 2024

Congratulations on your move to Italy! Whether you settled for work, study, or to experience la dolce vita, you'll likely need a bank account to manage your finances. This guide will walk you through opening an account as a Nigerian expat in Italy. It will even show you how to easily send money to Nigeria from Italy using a trusted money transfer service like ACE Money Transfer. So, get ready to explore Italy's offers, knowing you have a plan for your financial needs.

Before You Begin

Knowing your residency status before opening a bank account in Italy is important, as it affects the available options. In Italy, there are two primary residency statuses relevant to banking: "residente" (resident) and "non-residente" (non-resident).

Residente (Resident) Status

If you plan to reside in Italy for an extended period, you may be eligible for resident status. Residents have access to a broader range of banking services and account options. To qualify as a resident, you typically must spend more than 183 days in Italy within a calendar year or have established a "habitual abode" indicating your intention to stay.

Non-Residente (Non-Resident) Status

On the other hand, non-residents may have limited banking options, but it's still possible to open a bank account. This status is suitable for those staying in Italy temporarily, such as students, short-term employees, or tourists. Non-residents face more stringent documentation requirements, and the available services are more basic than resident accounts.

Gathering the Necessary Documents

Here's a comprehensive list of the required documents for opening a bank account in Italy as a Nigerian expatriate, ensuring a smooth process when you decide to send money online to Nigeria from Italy.    

Valid Nigerian Passport

To establish your identity, you need a current and valid Nigerian passport, a fundamental requirement.

Proof of Residency in Italy

Ensuring proof of residency is essential when settling in Italy. Here are two commonly accepted documents to validate your Italian address:  

Rental Agreement: 

A copy of your rental agreement can provide proof of your Italian address.

Utility Bill: 

Utility bills (electricity, water, gas) with your name and address can also be accepted.  

Italian Tax Code (Codice Fiscale)

The Codice Fiscale is a unique identification code for individuals in Italy and is required for various financial transactions. To obtain one:                        

  • Visit the Agenzia delle Entrate (Revenue Agency) in person.
  • Bring your passport and a valid visa if applicable.
  • Complete the application form (available at the agency or online).
  • In most cases, you will receive your Codice Fiscale immediately.

Employment Letter or Proof of Income (if applicable)

If you're employed in Italy, provide an employment letter from your employer. This should include your position, salary, and employment duration. If you're self-employed or have other sources of income, prepare documents supporting your financial stability.

Additional Documents (Specific to Different Banks)

Different banks may have varying requirements. You must check with your chosen bank for any additional documents they may have. Some common additional documents may include:

  • Proof of enrollment for students.
  • Italian residence certificate for residents.
  • Bank statements from your previous country, especially if you transfer existing funds.

Choosing a Bank

Selecting the right bank for a money transfer is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your overall banking experience. Here are key factors to consider when choosing a bank in Italy as a Nigerian expatriate: 

Location and Branch Availability

Choose a conveniently located bank in Italy with a widespread branch network near your residence or workplace. Ensure good ATM coverage to facilitate easy in-person visits and save on withdrawal fees.

Fees Associated with Different Accounts

Compare fee structures for various account types in Italian banks. Scrutinize charges for basic and savings accounts, as well as additional services. To manage costs effectively, consider transaction fees, including ATM withdrawals and international transfers.

Online Banking Capabilities

Assess the online banking features of potential banks. A user-friendly platform facilitates seamless account management, fund transfers, and transaction monitoring. Verify mobile app compatibility for convenient on-the-go banking, contributing to an efficient overall experience.

Additional Services and Perks

Examine the bank's international money transfer services, considering partnerships for cost-effective options. Inquire about additional perks, like reduced fees or benefits for maintaining a specific account balance, enhancing your overall financial experience in Italy.

Opening the Account

To open a bank account in Italy, follow these general steps:

Visit a Branch in Person

Schedule an appointment with your chosen bank and physically visit a branch. In-person visits are typically required for account opening.

Completing the Application Form

Fill out the necessary application forms provided by the bank. These forms collect essential information about you and the type of account you wish to open. 

Assistance Availability

Banks often have staff available to assist you with the application process. Please ask for assistance if you have any questions or need clarification on specific details.

Submitting Required Documents

Provide all required documents, including your valid Nigerian passport, proof of residency in Italy (such as a rental agreement or utility bill), and your Italian tax code (Codice Fiscale). Additionally, submit any employment letters or proof of income if applicable.

Identification Verification

The bank will verify your identification using the submitted documents. This step is crucial for ensuring the accuracy of your information and complying with regulatory requirements.

Initial Deposit (if required)

Some banks may require an initial deposit to activate the account. Be prepared to deposit the specified amount if this is a requirement.

Receive Account Details

You will receive your account details once your application is approved and all verification steps are completed. This includes the International Bank Account Number (IBAN), crucial for transactions.

Activation of Online Banking (if applicable)

If the bank offers online banking services, you may need to activate your account online or through the provided mobile app. This step allows you to manage your account digitally for make money transfer from Italy to Nigeria.

Sending Money Back to Nigeria

Sending money back to Nigeria is a vital aspect of managing finances for expatriates in Italy. Choosing a secure and cost-effective method is crucial to ensure that your hard-earned funds reach your loved ones efficiently, supporting their financial needs.

Friendly Recommendations

For a reliable and efficient money transfer experience, consider using a reputable service like ACE Money Transfer. With its established track record, ACE Money Transfer offers a secure and convenient solution for expatriates looking to send money to Nigeria.

Benefits of Using ACE Money Transfer

Experience peace of mind and efficiency with ACE Money Transfer's comprehensive services tailored to send money to Nigeria.

Competitive Rates: 

ACE Money Transfer provides competitive exchange rates, ensuring you get the best value when converting to Nigerian Naira.

Secure Transactions: 

Security is paramount, and ACE Money Transfer prioritizes the safety of your financial transactions. Your money is transferred with robust encryption and adherence to international standards.

Convenient Service: 

ACE Money Transfer offers a user-friendly platform, making it easy to initiate transactions online or through their mobile app. The convenience of their service allows you to send money to Nigeria from the comfort of your home or on the go.

Financial Freedom in Italy With ACE Money Transfer 

Getting around the Italian banking system as a Nigerian expatriate requires careful consideration of residency status, document preparation, and bank selection. These conditions are mandatory whether, residents or non-resident, understanding these nuances facilitates a smooth account opening process. 

With due diligence, expatriates can successfully open an Italian bank account, ensuring seamless financial management. Furthermore, for online money transfers from Italy to Nigeria, opting for a trusted service like ACE Money Transfer provides a secure and efficient solution, enhancing the overall expatriate experience in Italy.


Can I open an Italian bank account as a non-resident without a rental agreement?

Yes, some banks may accept alternative proof of address, such as a utility bill or a statement from your employer.

Is there a specific minimum balance requirement for expatriates opening a bank account in Italy?

Minimum balance requirements vary among banks, so it's essential to inquire about specific criteria when choosing a bank.

Do all Italian banks offer online banking services for expatriates?

While many banks provide online services, the extent and features may differ, so assessing online banking capabilities is recommended.

Is the Codice Fiscale required for non-residents opening a bank account in Italy?

Yes, having a Codice Fiscale is generally a requirement for various financial transactions, including opening a bank account.

Can I open a joint account with a family member who is also an expatriate in Italy?

Joint account policies vary, and some banks may allow this, provided both individuals meet the requirements and documentation.

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