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Work Visa Italy

For non-EU citizens who need to enter Italy for work activities.

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The Italian Work Visa allows non-EU citizens to access the Italian territory to carry out work activities. To legally reside and work in Italy, it is necessary to apply for both the Work Visa and the Italian Residence Permit. Moreover, based on the intended work activity, you may fall under the in-quota or extra-quota system established by the Government.

The full application process for a work visa in Italy may take from 2 to 6 months.

If you are submitting the application through a Staffing Agency, you might be interested in the latest regulation of the Italian Government with operational guidance on work permit applications by staffing agencies.

The in-quota and extra-quota system for the work visa in Italy

The Italian government issues work visas according to the in-quota and extra-quota systems.

The in-quota system establishes a maximum number of Italian Work Visas in a calendar year for specific work activities. The extra-quota system includes a series of work visas with no restrictions that fall “outside” of this quota.

Access to Italy is granted with both the in-quota and extra-quota system, though foreign citizens must make sure to fall under the right category of work activity.

In-quota system for limited number of Work Visa

Every year, as per Law Decree 286/1998,  the Italian government establishes a fixed number of Extra-EU citizens who can enter Italy with a work permit, to perform specific types of work.

The measure intends to regulate the entry of non-EU citizens for subordinate, autonomous and occasional work reasons.

Allowed number of work permits in Italy for 2023

For the year 2023, a maximum of 136,000 workers can enter Italy.

More details on specific quotas for 2023 in our article on Italy’s Entry Flow Decree.

Extra-quota: unlimited number of work Visa in Italy for specific categories

Applicants can always request the extra-quota permits, as they are not subject to the limitations of the in-quota system.

This is the perfect solution for highly specialized employees, foreigners performing specific activities or workers in managerial positions.

If you want alternatives to the in-quota system  you might check for a Blue Card, an ICT Visa, an Art 27 letter A or an Business Visa.

The Italian government has also introduced a new “out-of-quota” category, to allow the entry of foreigners who have already gained work experience with Italian companies, even abroad.

EU Blue Card (art.27-quater, paragraph 1, letter a of T.U. nr 286/1998)

The EU Blue Card is a work permit for  qualified workers, who received a job offer from an employer  in Italy.

In order to apply for a European Blue Card, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a University decree of at least three years’ duration and, if required, the necessary professional qualifications. The Italian Consulate in the country that issued the qualification must validate it (Dichiarazione di Valore).
  • Have a valid work contract or job offer from an employer based in Italy.
  • High-level job in Italy: The position offered in Italy must be for a highly skilled position, falling within Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 of the Italian Institute of Statistics ISTAT CP 2011 job classification.
  • The salary in Italy meets the salary requirement of the EU Blue Card: The salary offered must not be less than 3 times the minimum salary to be exempt from national health contributions, i.e. € 24.789.

For more information, have a look at our guide about the Blue Card.

The Italian Intra Company Transfer Visa (ICT)

This procedure allows to temporarily assign a foreign employee with a high managerial, administrative, or specialized knowledge role to a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Italy.

The sending company and the host company must be part of the same company group or joint venture.

For more information, have a look at our guide about the Intra Company Transferee VISA.

Art. 27 letter A. of TUI

Only managers or executives who have been employed by the Home Company for at least six months can apply for this type of work permit. In this case, the residence permit can be extended for a maximum of five years.

However, it is possible that the Host Company will hire the posted worker on a permanent basis when the first residence contract expires.

Art. 27 letter I of the TUI

For workers employed by natural or legal employers, resident or with their headquarters abroad, who are temporarily transferred to employers resident in Italy. With the help of a contract established between the natural or legal employers, this solution enables the performance of services in Italy.

Entry is permitted for the time necessary to complete the tasks in the contract, with a maximum extension of four years.

This is the only hypothesis in which the obligation of prior notification of transnational posting applies pursuant to art. 10 of Legislative Decree 136/2016.

Art. 27 paragraph 1-bis of the TUI

This work permit regulates the entry into Italy of non-EU workers posted by EU companies for services under a service agreement. This permit does not depend on the quotas established each year by the decreto flussi.

For more information, you might want to check our article on the Van der Elst Visa.

The Italian digital nomad visa: is it already available?

Italy is working on the implementation of the new Italian digital nomad visa, that would allow freelance workers or employees of a foreign company to work remotely from Italy. One of its greatest advantages is that it would be exempt from the Decreto Flussi limit, set yearly by the Italian Government.

However, as of today the Italian digital nomad visa is yet to be approved and therefore unavailable for application.

Italy Business Visa

The Italian business visa is for employees travelling to attend meetings, meet customers, visit plants and other, without physically working. It is intended for non-EU/EEA travellers who need to enter Italy for business purposes.

For more information, have a look at our guide on the Italian Business Visa. 

Application process for the Italian Work Visa

The following procedures make up the application process for an Italian work visa, which can take between 2 and 6 months regardless of the in-quota or extra-quota system:

  1. Pre-authorization: The Italian host company has to submit a dedicated online application (Nulla Osta) to the local authorities. Once received the Nulla Osta, employees can apply for the work visa at the Italian embassy of their country of origin;
  2. Stay Permit: After obtaining the visa and once arrived in Italy, employees must submit an application for the Permesso di Soggiorno at the local post office within 8 days from their arrival. Employees will then receive receipts in order to start working legally in the Country;
  3. Fingerprinting: After the Permesso di Soggiorno application, employees must personally get to the Police Station in charge in the territory on the day and time scheduled for fingerprinting by the Police Station
  4. Withdrawal of residence permit: The Police Station contact che applicants to collect the residence permit, once ready.

How long can the Italian Work Permit last?

EU Blue Card

The blue card is valid for 2 years if the employment relationship is for an indefinite period. If this relationship is a fixed-term one, the residency permit lasts 3 months longer than the expiry date of the employment relationship.

Under the following particular qualifications and conditions, the bearer of an EU Blue Card may receive the long-term resident status (and issued an EC long-term resident permit):

  • Having resided legally and continuously for 5 years in the territory of the Union on the basis of an EU Blue Card;
  • They have been in possession, in Italy, for at least 2 years, of a residency permit in electronic format, bearing the words ‘EU Blue Card’.

Family members of a holder of an EU Blue Card and long-term resident status are eligible for a two-year residency permit for family reasons.

Intra Company Transfer Visa (ICT)

The maximum duration of the intra-corporate transfer is 3 years for managers and specialized workers and one year for trainees. At least 3 months must elapse between the end of the maximum duration of the intra-corporate transfer and the submission of another application for entry into national territory for intra-corporate transfer for the same foreigner.

At the termination of the intra-corporate transfer, the alien will return to an entity belonging to the same undertaking or to an undertaking of the same group established in a third country.

Art. 27 letter A. of TUI

It is possible to renew the residence contract for up to five years and is the only type of posted worker that allows the possibility of integration into the workforce of the posted company, once the first residence contract ends.

Art. 27 letter I of the TUI

This permit allows to enter Italy only for the time necessary to complete the contract’s work. It is possible to extend this permit for a maximum of four years.

Italy Business Visa

The duration of the Italian Business Visa depends on the length of the stay for business: however, it cannot exceed a duration of 90 days per semester.

If you are interested in other types of Italian visas for a long-term stay in Italy, check out our complete guide on Italian Long Stay Visa

If you are looking for support for your Italian visa application, Studio A&P can help you: check out our Immigration services to Italy. 

For more information on how to apply for an Italian Visa, take a look at our related article.

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Regulatory Framework

Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers, December 21, 2021

Reference (Italian only)

Legislative Decree of July 25, Luglio 1998, n. 286

Reference (Italian only)

Legislative Decree of July 17, 2016, n.136

Reference (Italian only)

Law of March 6, 1998

Reference (Italian only)

Interpello alla Commissione Affari Istituzionali del 29 aprile 2021

Reference (Italian only)

Intervew with Minister Lamorgese of June 2, 2022

Reference (Italian only)

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