Italian Residence Permits for non-EU citizens working in Italy

italian residence permit to live or work in italy
Find out about all the different types of Italian Residence Permits available for non-EU citizens, both to work or live in Italy.

The Italian law provides for different types of residence permits for non-EU citizens, which are described in the Legislative Decree No. 286 of 1998 (Consolidated Immigration Act) and in the Presidential decree No. 394 of 1999.

Table of contents

  1. Definition of the Italian Residence Permit
  2. Residence permits that allow a working activity
  3. Residence permits that do not allow any working activity
  4. Regulatory framework
  5. How we can help you
  6. Book a call
  7. Get a quotation


1. Definition of the Italian Residence Permit

The residence permit is a document that allows non-EU citizens to legally stay in Italy: it is issued by the competent Italian Immigration Office to those people who wish to remain in the country for more than 90 days.

1.1. Do I need a Visa to apply for the Italian Residence Permit?

Yes. Said applicants first need a visa to enter Italy: there are several types of Visa to apply for, based on the reason to enter Italy.

Have a look here at our full list of Italian Visas available for non-EU citizens.

For long period stays (over 90 days), non-EU citizens are required to register their presence within 8 days after entering Italy at the competent Immigration Office and to apply for a residence permit.

1.2. How long will the Permit be valid?

The validity of the Italian residence permit is the same as that indicated on the visa and it may be renewed.

1.3. What if I stay in Italy for less than 3 months?

Non-EU citizens who wish to stay in Italy for less than 3 months for study, tourism, or business reasons, will have to submit a declaration of presence to the competent Questura within 8 days after entering Italy.

For stays under 3 months, non-EU citizens are not required to apply for a residence permit.

1.4. Do EU citizens need a residence permit to stay in Italy?

EU citizens who want to enter Italy just need to show their identity card and they are not required to apply for a residence permit.

2. Residence permits to work in Italy

The residence permits available for non-EU workers who want to work in Italy are:

2.1. Residence permit for subordinate workers

It is issued by the Immigration Office to the worker who signed a work contract in Italy and who entered the country on a work permit authorization issued by the local authorities (nulla osta al lavoro).

The validity of the residence permit lasts for the duration of the work contract.

In any case, it does not last more than one year for fixed-term contracts and more than two years for indefinite contracts. However, it is always possible to renew it.

2.2. Residence permit for self-employed workers

It is issued by the Immigration Office to the foreign worker who wants to work in Italy as self-employed and it is subject to the number of work permits Italy issues every year according to the so-called decreto flussi (the foreign workers’ quota), with few exceptions.

2.3. Residence permit for seasonal workers

It is issued by the Immigration office to the worker who signed a seasonal working contract in Italy and who enters the country on a work permit authorization issued by the local authorities (nulla osta al lavoro).

This permit does not last less than 20 days and may not last more than 9 months.

However, seasonal workers who can demonstrate coming to Italy to work for at least 2 years in a row, can ask the Immigration Office for a multiannual seasonal work permit.

2.4. Residence permit for study

This residence permit for study reasons allows the holder to work as a subordinate worker for an annual limit of 1040 hours.

If the student receives a work offer, the permit can also per converted into a work permit.

2.5. Residence permit for natural disasters

If the country where the foreigner has to return was hit by a natural disaster that does not allow a safe return and stay, the Immigration Office may release a residence permit for natural disasters. The permit has a validity of 6 months and may be renewed if the conditions of disasters continue.

2.6. Residence permit for family reasons

This type of residence permit is issued to the spouse, disabled children and dependant parents (over 65 years old) of the foreign citizen who already holds a national visa or residence permit.

Find out more with our full guide about the family reunion visa.

2.7. Residence permit for fostering

The residence permit for fostering allows the foreign minor to work in all the cases provided for by the Italian law after completing the compulsory school attendance up to 16 years old. When turning 18, the minor may ask for the conversion of the permit into a working or study permit.

2.8. Residence permit for temporary humanitarian protection or political asylum or international protection

These types of residence permits are issued for specific purposes and, more in general, they allow working activities, which are subject to certain rules and conditions.

For example, people who are recipients of temporary humanitarian protection may be issued a residence permit for humanitarian reasons which generally lasts 6 months and, upon expiration, can be renewed for further 6 months.

Asylum seekers may start working 60 days after the request for international protection.

The residence permit may also be issued by the Immigration Office to people having the “refugee status” or who need international protection.

3. Residence permits that do not allow any working activity

The ones mentioned in Section n.2 are all residence permits that allow non-EU citizens to carry out working activities.

It is important to keep in mind that there are also certain categories of Italian Residence Permits that do not allow any work activity.

Working activities are not allowed for non-EU citizens holding certain types of residence permits for:

  • Medical treatments;
  • Religious reasons;
  • Tourism;
  • Elective residency;
  • Internship permits.


Please also note that the declaration of presence mentioned in 1.3. (issued in case of short stays) does not allow any working activity.



4. Regulatory Framework

First-Level Local Regulation:

How We can help you

Studio A&P provides full support to apply for an Italian Visa. We can carry out the entire process online.

Quick and easy steps on how to get an Italian Visa:

  1. Contact us before you arrive in Italy;
  2. We will analyze your specific case;
  3. You will receive ad-hoc advisory on fulfillments, timing and costs of the procedure;
  4. You will receive full support in the preparation and submission of all the relevant documents;
  5. We will inform you on the mandatory fulfillments to be completed upon your arrival to Italy.

Don’t know where to start? Have a look here at our full list of Italian Visas to find the one that best suits you.

Fill in the form below to get a quotation from our Experts or directly book a call to receive a dedicated consulting session with A&P.

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