The Italian Blue Card (Carta Blu) allows highly specialized workers to work in Italy on an employment contract. The Blue Card is a type of work permit issued outside the quotas established each year by the Government, addressed to highly qualified foreign workers who have been offered the opportunity to work in Italy.
Italy Blue Card: The Highly Qualified Worker
In order to apply for a Blue Card in Italy, the worker must be “highly qualified“, that is to say:
- In possession of Higher education qualification (university diploma) that certifies the successful completion of a higher education course lasting at least three years.
- Professional qualification as falling within levels 1, 2 and 3 of the ISTAT classification of professions CP 2011 (ISTAT – Nomenclatura e Classificazione delle Unità Professionali)
- In the case of regulated professions, the requirements for exercising the profession in Italy.
What are the steps to apply for the Italian Blue Card?
File the Application
The first step is to proceed with submitting the application for the work permit for the purpose of issuing the Blue Card.
The application requires a selection of documents to provide.
Applicants must submit the request, in the name of the employer, to the Immigration Authorities in charge. Applicants can submit the request through the telematic system of the Ministry of the Interior.
Authorities issue the nulla osta
Secondly, After having assessed the request and the related supporting documentation for the purposes, the Authorities issue the nulla osta, an authorization that will allow the worker to request the Visa from the consular authority selected during the application phase, that will allow the worker to enter Italy.
Authorities issue the Blue Card
Following the signing of the Contratto di Soggiorno for work, the Italian Immigration Authorities issue the Blue Card residence permit for to the foreign worker. Permit’s duration is usually of two years, in the event that there is a proposal for permanent employment or, in the case of a fixed-term contract, with a maximum duration of one year.
In any case, the duration of the Blue Card is always at the discretion of the authorities.
Requirements to apply for the Italian Blue Card
Requirements for the Foreign Worker
The foreign worker must possess a certificate of successful completion of a higher education course. The higher education course must be of at least 3 years (i.e. a bachelor’s degree). The worker must also possess the professional qualification, in line with levels 1, 2 and 3 of the ISTAT classification of CP professions 2011.
The foreigner must also possess the Declaration of Value. This is issued by the competent Italian diplomatic representation in the country where the qualification was obtained.
The educational qualification and the degree must be inherent to the job position cover in Italy.
Requirements for the Italian Employer
The contract offered by the Italian company must have a duration of at least one year (12 months). The contract must mention that the worker will receive a minimum wage equal to 3 times the health expenditure. Therefore, minimum wage cannot be less than € 24,789.00 gross per year.
Moreover, the employer must not have made any redundancies in the last 12 months due to staff reduction.
Lastly, the employer must not have workers in C.I.G. having a qualification corresponding to that with which the non-EU worker is to be hired.
Italy Blue Card: Timing and procedure for the release
At least 90 days to issue the Nulla Osta
From the time of application, the relevant nulla osta is issued after at least 90 days by the Italian Authorities.
Subsequently, the foreigner can apply for a visa for subordinate work at the Italian Consulate or Embassy in the Country of residency.
Request of the residence permit possibly within 8 days from arrival in Italy
Upon obtaining the visa and after that, the foreigner can enter Italy and, possibly within 8 days from the arrival, go to the Immigration Office of the competent Prefettura for the signing of the Contratto di Soggiorno and the request for the first residence permit.
The employer must communicate the employment to the competent authorities within 48 hours from signing the Contratto di Soggiorno.
Fingerprints appointment for the residence permit usually after 2 months
For the actual issuing of the residence permit, it is also necessary to take into consideration that, when the first postal kit is sent immediately after the signing of the Contratto di Soggiorno, the fingerprints appointment is scheduled approximately two months later, to which the worker must necessarily show up.
30/40 more days to issue the Blue Card residence permit
The appointment will take place at the competent police headquarters, for the purpose of leaving the fingerprints. From that moment, it will take at least another 30/40 days to issue the actual residence permit.
Mandatory proof of accommodation for the Italian Blue Card
Moreover, it is also necessary to take into account the release of any housing suitability certificate.
In other words, if the employer chooses that the worker has to stay in a private accommodation (i.e. a rented or owned apartment) it is necessary to request the housing suitability.
This housing suitability certificate must be requested to the municipality where the accommodation is located and presented to the immigration office.
On the other hand, if the employer prefers that the worker stays in a public accommodation, such as an hotel or a residence, an accommodation letter is enough.
A letter printed on the residence/hotel letterhead is required by the Italian authorities for the purpose of the Blue Card application in Italy.
To learn more about other types of work visa in Italy, read our complete guide to Italy Work Visa.