The Italian Internship Visa allows non-EU nationals to carry out an internship in Italy. An internship is a period of job training and orientation and it is not considered a full-fledged employment relationship.
The guidelines concerning internships were approved in 2014 by the “Standing Conference for the relationships between the Italian State, the regions and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano” (Conferenza permanente per i rapporti tra lo Stato, le Regioni e le Province Autonome di Trento e Bolzano).
More recently, in October 2022, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies has released a set of guidelines to inform on the right steps to follow when holding a curricular internship for non-EU citizens who live abroad.
The Italian Government recently published new guidelines to regulate the entry of foreigners who wish to participate in training courses and internships for during 2023-2025.
Where to apply for the Italian Internship Visa
Non-EU citizens who want to do an internship in Italy must apply for a dedicated Italian Internship Visa. They have to apply at the Italian representation in their country of residence.
Here you can find a list of all the Italian embassies and consulates in the world.
Basic requirement to apply for an internship Visa in Italy
Applicants for the Internship Visa must be non-EU citizens who have followed a vocational training or educational course in their home country and wish to complete it by doing an internship in Italy.
This includes also unemployed people.
Preliminary steps to apply for an Italian Internship Visa
Non-EU citizens who want to do an internship must apply for an internship visa at the Italian representation in their country of residence. Applicants must also hand over the drafting of the training project.
Then, Authorities will issue the visa within a maximum of 90 days from the date of the request.
The release of the visa is subject to a quota established by the Italian Government on a three-year basis.
Once entering Italy with the entry visa, applicants have 8 days to apply for an internship residence permit.
You can apply for it by going personally to the Questura of the place where you intend to stay.
The internship in Italy for non-EU citizens
The duration of the internship for non-EU citizens must be of at least 3 months. It cannot last more than 12 months, including potential extensions.
Furthermore, the internship must start within 15 days from the request of the residence permit.
On the other hand, non-EU citizens already living in Italy with a valid residence permit may do an internship following the same rules applied to Italian citizens.
At the end of the internship, they can convert the internship residence permit into a work permit upon handing in the valid work documents.
Such a conversion is subject to the number of work permits Italy issues every year according to the so-called decreto flussi (the foreign workers’ quota).
Types of internships allowed in Italy
The internships allowed are those aimed at completing a vocational training course, which must be indicated in the drafting of the training project.
For example, proving to have taken an Italian language course abroad is valid to obtain the Internship Visa, provided that the professional qualification of the applicant is in line with the activities to be carried out during the internship in Italy.
Italy does not allow Internships that involve basic working activities that do not require a training period.
Are internships in Italy paid?
Yes, the host company has to pay internships by law. The minimum amount that the employer has to pay the intern depends on the region in which the internship takes place.
Each Italian Region has a different minimum wage amount, which can range from €300 to €800.
In some cases, like not completing the agreed amount of hours, internships may not be paid.
Economic means of support
In order to enter Italy, applicants must show proof of economic resources to support their stay in Italy.
Applicants can provide proof by also referring to the agreed reimbursement for the internship, according to the rules of each region and the reimbursement due for board and lodging costs.
Requirements for the Hosting Company
Apart from the ordinary requirements foreseen by Italian law, the hosting entity must fulfill specific requirements, such as:
- Provide the intern with board and lodging;
- Provide for the expenses due in case of mandatory repatriation of the intern.
The employer must not include the costs for board and lodging in the reimbursement of costs given to the intern as a payment for his/her work. Regions are the ones who decide the amount of the reimbursement.
The individual Italian regions are the ones that establish the reimbursement due to the intern.
The hosting entity must also set up training units for the intern aimed at:
- Learning Italian at the A1 level, if the intern does not already speak the language;
- Acquiring knowledge about health and safety at work, and about employers and employees’ rights and obligations.
Studio Arletti & Partners can provide full support in the application for the Internship Visa.
For more information on the other types of Italian Visa allowing for a long-term stay in Italy, check out our guide on Italy Long-Stay Visa.