Work Permits for Italy
Instead of a work permit, expats will have to apply for a residence permit that will enable them to legally live and work in Italy.
Citizens of the European Union (EU) don’t need a work permit to legally work in Italy since they have a right to work in EU member states. These expats simply apply for an Italian residence card after arriving in the country.
Expats from outside the EU will, however, have to apply for a working residence permit for Italy.
Before this can happen, the expat’s Italian employer must first apply for clearance (nulla osta al lavoro) at the one-stop immigration centre in their county.
Every Italian province has an office that the government describes a one-stop shop for immigration (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione). These offices are responsible for the entire process of hiring foreign workers in Italy.
While the expat applicant will be required to submit certain documents, the employer takes responsibility for much of the application. Expats must have signed an employment contract with their employer before applying for a work permit, since it has to be submitted to the company’s local provincial immigration office as part of their application to hire a foreigner.
After the employer receives clearance to hire a foreign worker, the expat employee can apply for an Italian work visa at their local Italian diplomatic mission.
After the employee is cleared to work in Italy, the expat will be issued an entry visa at their local Italian consulate, which contains a tax code that is necessary for other bureaucratic processes.
Working residence permits for Italy
Foreigners who intend to stay in Italy for more than three months must apply for a residence permit. These permits allow foreigners to stay in Italy, under certain conditions depending on the category.
Regardless of whether expats apply for a permit before or after they have arrived (depending on their nationality), they will have to report to their local immigration centre within eight days of arriving in Italy. This can also be done at a post office in some provinces.
The residence permit is issued at the new arrival’s local police station. This requires filling out an application form specifying the type of permit required, proof of identification, fingerprints and photos. Different types of permits may have different requirements. The residence permit is an electronic smart card to guard against fraud.
In order to get a residence permit expats will have to submit a variety of documents including application forms, a passport and photocopies, passport photos and an application fee. Expats should liaise with their Italian employer to find out when and how this should be done.
The receipt an applicant receives while waiting for their residence card affords them the same rights as the permit they are applying for.
The duration of a working residence permit for Italy is valid for as long as the applicant’s entry visa. Residence permit holders have access to government services and benefits.
Work permit validity
Expats with a permit that is valid for a year or more are required to report to the Italian Ministry of Interior (Ministero Dell’Interno) where they will enter into an agreement to fulfil certain integration objectives such as attending Italian language classes.
A working residence permit for seasonal work is valid for six months and can be extended by an extra three months. Permits for self-employment, employment at a local employer and family joining visas are valid for up to two years.
Expats who are waiting for their working residence permit to be issued don’t have to sign the agreement until they have received their residence card. They are also temporarily allowed to work unless Italian authorities issue a letter to the applicant and their employer stating otherwise.
Work permits for Italy are, however, position specific and any change to the employee’s position has to be reported to immigration. If an expat loses their job in Italy their residence permit will not automatically be revoked. Instead it is possible to register as being unemployed and stay for as long the permit allows.
Work permits for skilled workers in Italy
Highly skilled or qualified expats often have specific requirements to fulfil. This includes executives or specialised staff belonging to large companies with an Italian headquarters , academics, translators, professional sportspeople, artists, and expats working in theatre or opera. Under most circumstances these expats will receive their documentation before entering Italy.
*Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change at short notice and expats should consult their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.