An amendment to art. 27 of the Immigration Act is expected to smooth the procedures for “high-qualified” workers who want to move to Italy from outside the European Union. Born as an unexpected development of the Covid-19 global pandemic, remote working has become increasingly widespread. Italy is now ready to join the fold of Countries hosting modern-day nomads. Thanks to the latest update in its Immigration law, Italy introduces the Digital Nomad Visa.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A Digital Nomad Visa is a type of Visa for those workers who can fulfill remotely their work-related tasks and activities. As physical offices are not a constraint they must abide by, digital nomads can move around freely. They can rely on the internet to communicate with clients and colleagues.
Due to the incredibly fast rate with which this trend is growing, Governments around the globe are starting to introduce new legal frameworks to allow the entry and stay of this type of travellers. More specifically, Authorities worldwide are establishing innovative Visas that allow digital nomads to work in a foreign Country.
Thanks to the regulations, it is possible for Digital Nomads to work and live in foreign Countries in compliance with the applicable labour and immigration regulations of their host Nation.
Can you be a Digital Nomad in Italy?
The Italian Government has introduced the Digital Nomad Visa in a Decree published on January 27th, 2022, and later converted into law in March 2022 (latest version – Italian only), following some amendments to the January publication; this decree is known as Decreto Sostegni ter, and it contains a number of support measures for companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Article 6-quinquiens amends Decree Law 286, of July 25th, 1998, (TUI, Unique Immigration Text), adding to Article 27 a new paragraph named q-bis, which is addressed to digital nomads and remote workers from outside the European Union.
To apply for a Digital Nomad Visa, travellers must:
- be non-EU nationals, as EU nationals do not have to apply for Visas.
- fall within the category of highly skilled workers.
- be able to work remotely, thanks to technological tools.
- Work either freelance or for a company based outside Italy.
Based on the above description, it can be deduced that some workers may not benefit form this Visa. Namely it is the case of workers who need to perform their duties on their employer’s premises. They can, nonetheless, apply for other types of Italian Visas.
To learn more about other types of Italian work visas, take a look at our complete guide on Italy Work Visa.
What are the specifics to obtain an Italian Digital Nomad Visa?
Article 6-quinquies of Decree Law 4, of January 27th, 2022, later turned into Law 25, on March 28th, 2022, specifies that, for this type of Visa, applicants will not have to request a nulla osta (i.e., a prior authorization issued by the Ministry of Labour). This exemption will simplify the application process and reduce the processing-time of this specific Visa.
Furthermore, another added advantage of the Italian Digital Nomad Visa is that those who wish to take advantage of this Visa do not have to abide by the limitations of the Flow Decree (Decreto Flussi), that is, a Decree which limits the number of foreigners that can apply for a Visa.
The ensuing residence permit (i.e., official document authorizing foreigners to stay in Italy for a specific amount of time) is going to be issued for a limited period of maximum one year.
What further requirements are applicable?
In article 6-quinquies of the aforementioned Decree Law, the Government has specified that Digital Nomads wishing to obtain an Italian Visa will have to present a medical insurance covering all possible health risks which may arise once in Italy.
Furthermore, the aspiring Digital Nomad will have to comply with all national fiscal and social security provisions.
When will the Digital Nomad Visa be available in Italy?
As of today, it is not possible to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa. As a matter of fact, in the 30 days following the publication of the Decree, the Ministry of Interior, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Labour, were to issue a Decree to further detail the necessary steps to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa.
There has been no indication yet of when the Ministries involved in the publication will release this new decree. For this reason, at the moment, Italian Consulates abroad are not able to collect applications for this type of Visa.
In this Decree, the Ministries involved will present:
- Application modalities.
- Requirements for the issuing of the residence permit.
- Category of highly skilled workers who can apply for the Visa.
- Minimum income required for the application.
- Analysis modalities to verify the authenticity of the work activity to be carried out in Italy.
The new Digital Nomad Visa stems from the necessity to welcome a new type of immigrant, who is either freelance or employed in companies abroad. In addition, these workers are not required to physically attend their workplace, which allows them to move around freely.
The Italian Immigration regulation did not foresee a Visa to meet this need. However, now the landscape of Italian Visas is expanding to welcome Digital Nomads to the Country.
This type of Visa offers various perks, such as an exemption from the Flow Decree limit and from the request of a nulla osta.
The Digital Nomad Visa is, therefore, a good opportunity for those who wish to take advantage of the advantageous tax regimes available for foreigners in Italy.