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Nullaosta in Italy: the Decree on migration flows simplifies issuing procedure

The Decree simplifies timing and background checks requirements to issue the Nullaosta.

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The Italian Nullaosta is a written statement that allows employers to apply for a Work Visa in Italy for non-EU nationals. Italian Immigration Authorities are in charge of issuing the nullaosta. The new modifications of the Decree on Migration Flows simplify its issuance by setting a time limit and allowing to obtain it before the complete background checks.

How long does it take to get a Nullaosta in Italy

The nullaosta for subordinate work in Italy shall be issued within 30 days.

This time limit is valid from June 22, 2022, when Law-Decree No.73 of June 21, 2022 became effective, and valid for applications submitted in connection with the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of December 21st, 2021.

For the Decree of Migration Flows 2022, the 30-day period for the issuance of the nullaosta shall run from the date of reception of the application.

Additional circumstances for the issuance of the nullaosta

Authorities should issue the nullaosta also if they do not acquire hindering elements within 30 days (Articles 22 and 24 of Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 25, 1998).

Upon the subsequent ascertainment of the aforementioned hindering elements, Authorities will revoke the nullaosta and the visa.

Apply for the Italian Visa once you get the nullaosta

After the release of the nullaosta, the worker can apply for the entry visa.

Workers must apply for the visa at the Italian diplomatic representation in the foreign country of origin or residence. Authorities normally release the visa within 20 days from the date of submission of the application.

Find out more about available Italian Visas with our guides on Italian Entry Visas and ask our experts.

Following the issuance of the nullaosta and entry visa, and when applicable, the immigration office (sportello unico per l’immigrazione) will invite the employer and the foreigner to sign the residence contract.

Pending the signing, the employer must fulfill the commitments set for in Article 5-bis, paragraph 1, of the Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 25th, 1998.

Rules applicable to the foreigners already present on the Italian territory

The provisions above also apply to foreign citizens with an application already in progress, directed to establish a subordinate employment relationship in Italy. This falls within the framework of the proceedings related to the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers adopted for 2021, referred to in paragraph 1, for those who are already present on national territory as of May 1, 2022.

To this end, foreign citizens must already have:

  • given biometrics information;
  • resided in Italy prior to the aforementioned date, by virtue of the declaration of presence or other attestations consisting of documentation with certain date issued by public institutions.

After the issuance of the nullaosta, in such cases the employer may conclude the employment contract without the need for the verification of eligibility conditions (see paragraph 4.).

Who cannot apply for the Nullaosta in Italy

Foreigners cannot apply for the Italian nullaosta if:

  • They are facing a deportation order;
  • Who are reported, including under international agreements or conventions in force for Italy, for the purpose of non-admission to the territory of the State;
  • Who are convicted, even with a non-final judgment, for:
    • crimes against personal freedom;
    • narcotics;
    • aiding and abetting illegal immigration to or emigration from Italy;
    • aiding and abetting prostitution;
    • child exploitation
  • Who are considered a threat to the public order or security of the state or of one of the countries with which Italy has signed agreements for the abolition of internal border controls and the free movement of persons.

These conditions shall be verified by the immigration office at the time of signing the residence contract.

Subsequent negative verification of the aforementioned conditions shall result in the withdrawal of the nullaosta, as well as the legal termination of the employment contract.

Suspension of criminal and administrative proceedings

From the date of the entry into force of Law Decree No. 73 of June 21, 2022 until the conclusion of the proceedings related to the issuance of the residence permit, criminal and administrative proceedings against the worker for illegal entry and stay in the national territory are suspended, with the exclusion of the offenses referred to in Article 12 of Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 25, 1998.

During the period of suspension, Authorities cannot deport the foreign national. This does not apply if foreigner is already facing a deportation order or a convition, even with a non-final judgment.

The suspension shall cease in the event of denial or revocation of the nullaosta and visa for any possible reason, or if the foreign citizen does not receive the nullaosta within 90 days from the date of entry into force of Law-Decree No. 73 of June 21, 2022.

The issuance of a residence permit determines the extinction of crimes and administrative offenses for the foreign citizen, with the exclusion of the offenses referred to in Article 12 of the Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 25, 1998.

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Regulatory Framework

DPCM Dec. 21, 2021

Reference (Italian only)

DECREE-LAW June 21, 2022, no. 73.

Reference (Italian only)

Legislative decree july 25, 1998, no. 286

Reference (Italian only)

Code of criminal procedure

Reference (Italian only)

Law No. 68 of May 28, 2007

Reference (Italian only)

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