The permit for service agreement is a type of work permit issued outside the quotas established each year by the Flows Decree and addressed to non-EU workers invited to Italy to provide services under a procurement contract between a contracting party and a contractor party.
Who can apply
Pursuant to Art 27 paragraph 1 letter i) of TU nr 286/1998, companies based in Italy that have to take in non-EU workers under a procurement contract stipulated with a foreign company, can apply for a work permit for procurement contracting. Specifically, the application must be submitted by the contracting company (or a delegated professional) that entrusts services to a contracting company residing or based abroad, which is required to carry out such work independently as a business, that is, using its own labor force.
The current regulatory framework also allows for work permits to be obtained in the case of procurement subcontracting between several companies: in this case, the final customer who has contracted the work to the contracting company is required to provide it with a statement authorizing it to subcontract the work to the foreign contractor company.
Non-EU workers for whom the application may be submitted must be employees duly paid by the contractor firm, temporarily posted in Italy for the performance of the services covered by the contract.
In particular, the workers must already be employees of the foreign contractor firm on a date prior to the date of submission of the application and in any case with an employment relationship of not less than the duration of the posting in Italy.
How to submit the application
Communication to trade unions
As a first step, the contracting company will have to make known its intention to use non-EU personnel through a formal communication to the provincial bodies of the workers’ trade union organizations comparatively most representative in the sector.
Submitting the application for the nulla osta
As a second step, the contracting company (or a delegated professional) will need to submit the nulla osta application through the Ministry of the Interior’s dedicated portal by filling out the appropriate M form.
The filling of the M form requires the inclusion of detailed information about the Italian contracting company and the procurement contract, such as:
- Copy of the identity document of the employer/legal representative or person delegated by notarized power of attorney. Note that if the employer is a foreign national legally residing in Italy, a copy of the valid residence permit will need to be submitted;
- Copy of the communication referred to in point 2.1
- Copy of the procurement contract or subcontract containing: the subject of the contract, the place of execution of the work, the duration of the contract and the workers to be used, the agreed remuneration for the execution of the work, name identified by the contracting company as the safety officer
- Copy of the D.U.V.R.I. (Single document on the assessment of risk from interference) for the operating unit/site at which the workers will be employed
- In the case of subcontracting: copy of the subcontracting authorization issued by the prime consignor;
- Housing suitability certificate: the housing suitability certificate must be requested at the municipality where the housing is located and submitted to the immigration office. If, on the other hand, the employer prefers the worker to stay in a public facility, such as a hotel or residence, an accommodation letter is sufficient.
It is also necessary to submit information and documentation from the contractor company, such as:
- Documentation showing that the foreign company is registered with the corresponding foreign court/chamber of commerce;
- Copy of the foreign company’s financial statements;
- Copy of the passport of the legal representative of the foreign company and the workers to be transferred to Italy;
- Posting letter from the posting company signed for acceptance by the workers;
- Certificates of social security coverage referred to in Section 3.2.
If part of the documentation is drawn up abroad, including the procurement contract or subcontract and the letter of secondment, such documentation must be legalized for use in Italy and translated into Italian.
Authorities issue the work permit.
Following the approval of the application, the authorities will issue the relevant nulla osta and simultaneously transmit the order granting the application to the foreign diplomatic/consular representation to which the worker must go to apply for a visa to enter Italy.
Type of work permit
Maximum duration of the posting
The work permit for procurement contracting can be requested for the period strictly necessary for the provision of the service covered by the contract and in any case for a period not exceeding 2 years.
However, it is possible, in relation to the same procurement contract, to request an extension of the initial duration of the nulla osta, justified by an extension of the duration of the work necessary for the completion of the project, bearing in mind in any case that such an extension may be granted within the maximum limit of 4 years.
By applying the provisions of the Legislative Decree 136/2016, during the transfer to Italy, the foreign worker will have to be guaranteed the same minimum wage treatment provided by the CNNL of the category applied by the requesting company.
In addition, it will be necessary to check whether or not there are bilateral social security conventions between Italy and the worker’s country of origin and therefore the need to apply for the certificate of social security coverage. In the absence of a convention, the contractor will have to apply the Italian regulations on contributions and insurance.
Obligations upon entry into Italy
Application for residence permit.
Within 8 days of entry into Italy, the foreign worker must go to the Sportello Unico Immigrazione of the competent Prefecture to register and subsequently apply for a residence permit.
Appointment for fingerprinting and issuance of the residence permit
For the purpose of the actual issuance of the residence permit, it should also be considered that, after the sending of the first postal kit, immediately after the signing of the Contract of Stay, the appointment for fingerprinting is set after a few months.
The worker will necessarily have to appear in person at this appointment. From then on, it will take at least another 30 to 40 days for the actual residence permit to be issued.
Duration and renewal of the residence permit
The residence permit will be issued for a duration equal to the posting period, renewable if the nulla osta is extended. At the end of the services covered by the procurement contract or in case of early termination of the contract, the foreign worker is obliged to return to the country of origin.
The residence permit issued for procurement contracting purposes cannot be used by the foreign worker to carry out work other than the one authorized, nor for the performance of a different project, other services or by a different consignor than originally planned when the application was submitted.
In addition, the residence permit cannot be converted into a permit for employment so the worker cannot be hired in Italy at the end of the posting period.
The case of non-EU workers posted by EU companies (Form M2)
In the case where the workers to be posted are regularly paid employees of entities based in a state of the European Union, it is not necessary to apply for a nulla osta for their transfer to Italy, because it is sufficient for the consignor to notify the Immigration Office of the contract under which the provision of services will take place,
This communication must be submitted by the contracting company (or a delegated professional) through the dedicated portal of the Ministry of the Interior, filling out the appropriate Form M2. For more information, please view our dedicated article.
For more information on other types of Italian work visas, take a look at our complete guide on Italy Work Visa.