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News on entry flows, permit conversions and immigration procedures

Law Decree 20/2023 introduced some new provisions on immigration and access to work for non-EU citizens. These news are expected to be converted into law by May 10th and are aimed at fighting illegal immigration.

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Law Decree 20/2023, published on the Official Gazette on March 10, 2023, introduced some new provisions on immigration and access to work for non-EU citizens. These news are expected to be converted into law by May 10th and are aimed at fighting illegal immigration by simplifying the available procedures for the entry of qualified migrants.

New three-year planning of entry flows

Article 1 provides that a three-year decree on entry flows for work reasons will be adopted for the three-year period 2023-2025.

The 3-year planning for the Italian Decreto Flussi is official from October 2023. Have a look here for more details of the Italian flow decree 2023.

The new three-year decree, to be issued by the President of the Council of Ministers following also a consultation with the competent parliamentary commissions, will have to take into account the analysis of the labor market needs, as reported by the most representative workers’ and employers’ national organizations. It is furthermore envisaged that previous applications which could not be accepted due to the lack of quotas may be examined as a priority within the new quota decree.

Quickening of work permits issuing procedure

Article 2 aims to speed up the procedure of issuing the “nulla osta” by simplifying the checks required for its release. Specifically, it provides that the local immigration office issues the authorization in any case, after 60 days from the application submission, even if no information has been acquired by the competent police headquarters on any impeding reasons.

Furthermore, following the release of the “nulla osta” and while waiting for the contract of stay signature, the “nulla osta” issued for work reasons will allow the applicant to already carry out the relevant work activity on the national territory.

Out of quota entry permits for applicants who completed a training course and conversion of study permits into work permits

Article 3, paragraph 1, establishes that foreigners residing abroad who have completed, in their country of origin, training courses recognized in Italy, will be allowed entry for subordinate work, outside the quota limits.

Such training courses will be organized based on the needs of the Italian market in relation to specific production sectors and will be promoted by the Ministry of Labor.

On the other hand, article 3, paragraph 2, establishes that stay permits issued for study or training reasons may be converted out of the quota limits. The possibility of conversion outside the quota system, which was previously only available to foreigners who had obtained a university degree, a master’s degree or a PhD released by qualified Italian institutions, is therefore now extended to all holders of a stay permit for study or training reasons.

Stay permit duration

Article 4 modifies the duration of certain types of stay permits. In particular, it envisages that, in the case of renewal of a stay permit issued for permanent employment, for self-employment or for family reunification, the renewed permit will be issued with a duration of three years, instead of two years as it had been the case up to now.

Priority to agricultural workers

Article 5 provides that employers who have applied for the allocation of quotas for agricultural workers and who have not been assigned a quota shall have priority over new applicants, within the subsequent flow decree. Furthermore, the decree promotes initiatives aimed at protecting the Italian market from agri-food crimes.

Increasing penalties for crimes related to illegal immigration

Finally, article 8 intends to increase the penalties for crimes related to illegal immigration, introducing the new crime of “death or injury as a consequence of crimes relating to illegal immigration”. This is aimed at severely punishing anyone who promotes, organizes, finances or carries out the transport of foreign citizens to Italy or performs other acts aimed at promoting illegal entry into the Italian territory.

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Regulatory Framework

Decree law March 10th 2023, No. 20

Reference (Italian only)

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