Every year Italy is visited by tens of millions of tourists who enjoy the well-kept Mediterranean beaches, magnificent architecture and stunning cuisine in local restaurants. Therefore, in addition to earning money, the positive aspects of labor migration and long-term residence in Italy are obvious. Regardless of the reason for moving – doing business, studying in Italian universities, employment – staying in Italy for more than 3 months requires most foreigners to open a long-term visa in advance.

Work visa to Italy

Working visa to Italy is a mandatory condition for foreigners and one of the most important stages on the way to professional activity in Italian companies. The document is issued in the Italian Consulate in the country of the applicant. This procedure is closely connected with other no less important aspects of employment in this country. About how to get a work visa to Italy in 2024 and the requirements for professionals from third countries (from outside the EU) will be discussed further.

Registration of a work visa to Italy

Despite some difficulties in the Italian economy, the interest of foreigners in employment in Italy increases from year to year. However, in practice it is quite difficult to find a decent vacancy in the local labor market. The country needs a limited number of foreign specialists, in particular, in the owners of technical professions, workers in the tourism industry and less often in unskilled labor (nannies, housekeepers, caregivers).

The average wage in Italy after taxes in 2024 in the neighborhood of 2 thousand euros per month. The legislation does not provide for a minimum rate. Note that the level of labor remuneration depends on the region and the specific profession. Experienced professionals can count on a salary of 2.5 thousand euros and above, and workers without special qualifications in 500-1,000 euros. Carefully analyze the Italian labor market and take into account two important factors that significantly complicate the process of obtaining a work visa to Italy.

  • Competition. Italy is one of the founding states of the current European Union and is still part of this association. Therefore, the labor legislation of the country provides a priority right to employment for Italian citizens and foreigners from the EU, EEA (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland) and Switzerland, who can work in Italy without prior visas and special permits. In addition, the unemployment rate in Italy in 2024 is about 4-5%, and among young people it reaches 25%.

  • Quotas. Based on the needs of the Italian economy 1-2 times a year the local government establishes special quotas (Decreto Flussi) for different categories of foreign professionals, beyond which it is virtually impossible to obtain a work visa to Italy (exceptions see below). It is assumed that no more than 30 thousand quotas will be allocated for 2024. About half of them are for seasonal workers, a significant part for foreign entrepreneurs and foreigners with a temporary residence permit (TPL) in Italy.

Registration of a work visa to Italy

Working visa to Italy outside the quotas

Some applicants from third countries can make a work visa to Italy outside the quotas. There are 2 main categories.

  • IT-specialists. These are foreign workers in the field of information technology, who get a work permit in Italy as a result of transfer within the same company, for example, to an Italian branch. The contract must be valid for at least 5 years. The application processing period lasts from 2 to 6 months.

  • EU Blue Card. Qualified foreign specialists who apply for the EU Blue Card to Italy do not fall under the quotas. For this purpose, a number of conditions must be met:

    • Higher education recognized in Italy (at least 3 years) or experience in the profession of 5 years or more.

    • A valid contract for 1 year or more with a salary level at least 1.5 times higher than the national average.

    • The profession must correspond to level 1 - 3 of the ISTAT Ranking of Professions. In particular, this includes top managers, IT-specialists, engineers, doctors, architects, teachers, accountants, tour operators, agronomists and holders of some other professions (mostly technical).

The EU Blue Card to Italy is issued for the duration of the contract plus 3 months, but for a maximum of 2 years (renewable). The application processing time takes no more than 5 months.

Procedure for obtaining a work visa to Italy

Before applying for a work visa to Italy, a foreign worker must find an open position and sign an employment contract with an Italian employer. It is quite difficult to do this, especially when staying in one's own country. Qualifications, experience and language skills of the applicant must be at the highest level. Sometimes even a good command of English is not enough. In most cases, Italian skills are required.

Next, the employer applies for a work permit (Nulla Osta al lavoro) to the foreigner at the Single Immigration Center (Sportello Unico in l'Immigrazione) at the local Prefecture. Depending on the region, the requirements may differ, but in any case, the lion's share of responsibility lies with the Italian company, and the applicant only sends the necessary documents – passport, diplomas, certificates, resume and so on. The period of consideration of the application is at least 2 months.

If a positive decision is made, then no later than 6 months the foreigner must apply to the Italian Consulate for a work visa. The One-Stop Immigration Center notifies the Italian diplomatic office in advance of the issuance of a work permit to a foreign applicant and sends the supporting documents electronically. Therefore, there should be no special difficulties in obtaining a visa. A stamp in the passport (with few exceptions) will be issued within a month.

After arrival in Italy no later than 8 working days it is necessary to apply to the local police department (Questura) for a residence permit, which is granted within 2 months and valid for up to 2 years. Losing a job does not mean an immediate departure from the country. The applicant is given some time (up to one year) to look for a new job. At the same time it is necessary to register at the employment center. A seasonal work permit in Italy is issued for six months with the right to extend it for another three months.

Documents for a work visa to Italy

Documents for a work visa to Italy

To obtain a work visa to Italy, a foreigner must personally apply to the Italian Consulate in his country with the appropriate application (questionnaire) and provide a list of documents. In rare cases, this can be done for the applicant by an authorized representative on the basis of a notarial power of attorney.

For example, if the place of residence is located at a considerable distance from the Italian diplomatic office. For the usual type of contractual employment, a long-term national visa (type D) is issued, which allows you to stay on Italian territory for more than 3 months.

List of documents for a work visa to Italy in 2024

  1. Competently filled out visa application form of the established sample (Italian or English).

  2. Two color photographs of size 30 × 40 mm or 35 × 45 mm, taken shortly before applying for a visa. One is glued on the application form and the other is attached to the documents.

  3. A passport valid for more than 3 months from the visa expiration date and issued at least 10 years ago. At least two pages must be blank. Plus copies of pages with personal data.

  4. Internal civil passport and copies of all pages.

  5. Written consent to the processing of personal data.

  6. A receipt for payment of the consular fee.

  7. Official work permit and employment contract (originals and copies).

For some activities in Italy, in particular those related to participation in sporting events or performing artists, the list of documents may differ slightly. In addition, depending on the situation, diplomatic officials may require additional (clarifying) information (medical insurance, airline reservations, accommodation). The processing time for applications usually does not exceed 30 calendar days.

Cost of a work visa to Italy

The official cost (consular fee) of a work visa to Italy in 2024 is 116 euros. Additional costs in the form of services of visa centers will cost 29.5 euros. In case of refusal to issue a visa, the funds will not be refunded.

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