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Internship in Italy allowed to non-EU with a residence permit

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With note number 320 of 14 February 2023, the National Labor Inspectorate (INL) provided some clarifications regarding the correct use for internship in Italy of the residence permit issued to non-EU citizens for study or professional training purposes.

Requests for clarification on the activities permitted by the study permit

In particular, the INL acknowledges to have received a request of clarifications on the use of the study residence permit, in relation to the possibility of doing curricular and non-curricular internships.

The main question concerns two interpretative doubts of the regulations currently in force.

  • Firstly, applicants asked to clarify whether the permit released for study or professional training reasons allows carrying out all the curricular internship activities envisaged by the study or professional training course for which the residence permit was issued.
  • Secondly, they asked to confirm whether this residence permit also allows to carry out non-curricular internship activities, aimed at job placement and, if that is the case, whether this is permitted within the same limits in which subordinate work is allowed, pursuant to article 14, paragraph 4, of the Presidential Decree number:

The residence permit for study or training reasons allows, for the period of its validity, the exercise of subordinate work activities for a period of time not exceeding 20 hours per week, which may also be accumulated for fifty-two weeks, within the maximum limit of 1,040 hours per year.

Distinction between cases of citizens already residing in Italy and citizens residing abroad

In response to these questions, the INL refers to note number 481 of 14 February 2023 of the General Directorate of Immigration and Integration Policies of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies.

On one hand, it is reported that the national and regional legislation on traineeships also applies to non-EU citizens, for a principle of equal treatment. On the other hand, it is underlined that the law makes a distinction between:

  • Internships to be offered to non-EU citizens already legally residing in Italy with a residence permit issued for study purposes, and
  • Internships to be offered to non-EU citizens residing abroad.

For citizens already residing in Italy, as provided for by article 2 of Ministerial Decree number 159/2006,

the regional legislation in force regarding training and orientation internships is fully applied or, failing that, the regulation contained in the Ministerial Decree of 25 March 1998, n.142.

When drafting the internship or orientation project, it is therefore necessary to indicate the details of the residence permit in possession of the non-EU citizen, the reasons why it was released, the date of issue and the expiry date.

To citizens who are abroad, instead, the provisions of Decree 286/1998 (Immigration Law) and subsequent modifications, apply. Therefore, as provided by article 3 of Ministerial Decree 159/2006, in this case the training project, endorsed by the region, is presented to the diplomatic mission for the purpose of issuing an entry visa.


In consideration of the above legislation, it is therefore clarified that, in the case in object, the non-EU citizen already present in Italy with a valid residence permit issued for study or professional training reasons can carry out all the curricular internships envisaged by the course of study or professional training for which the residence permit was issued, as these fall within the purpose for which this permit was issued.

Similarly, this citizen will be able to carry out non-curricular internship activities, in compliance with regional regulations, and compatibly with the completion of the study or professional training course for which the entry visa was issued.

In this case, the subordinate work limits pursuant to article 14, paragraph 4 of the Presidential Decree number 394/1999 are irrelevant, since the non-curricular internship does not constitute an employment relationship.

Regulatory Framework

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