Work Permits for 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.

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 of the residence permit.

Regardless of whether expats apply for a working residence permit before or after they have arrived (the ability to do so depends 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 and proof of identification, fingerprints and photos must be presented. Different types of permits may have different requirements. The residence permit is an electronic smart card to guard against fraud.

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.

Working residence permit application process

Every Italian province has an office that the government describes a one-stop shop for immigration (Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione or Immigration Desk). These offices are responsible for the entire process of hiring foreign workers in Italy. Before an application for a residence permit can be made, the expat’s Italian employer must first apply for clearance (nulla osta al lavoro) at their nearest immigration centre.

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 working residence 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.

Once 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.

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 additional three months. Permits for self-employment, employment under a local employer and family joining visas are valid for a maximum of two years.

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.

* 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.

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