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Hiring internationally presents numerous advantages to employers, including having access to a wider selection of candidates and having the ability to retain employees who choose to move abroad. In addition, Italy is seeing significant economic growth in sectors like e-commerce, opening the door for international expansion.
Whether you're an employee or employer, it's essential to ensure that you comply with the local laws when working or hiring in Italy, which includes obtaining the correct Italy work visas and permits.
Continue reading to learn about common types of Italy work visas, the eligibility requirements for work permits in Italy, and how to get an Italy work visa.
Types of work visas and permits in Italy
If you're an individual planning to move to a foreign country, whether you're self-employed or you work for an organization, you will be required to abide by the local employment laws of whichever country you reside in.
This means if you plan to live and work in Italy, you will need to ensure you've gotten the necessary Italy work visa and residence permits you need before you begin working there.
In addition, if you're an employer considering relocating an existing employee or contractor to Italy or hiring a new candidate who wants to move there in the coming months, you will need to ensure the employee obtains the required documents, or your company could be held partially responsible and face potential legal or financial penalties.
There are numerous types of Italy work permits, and the type you apply for will depend on the work you plan to do while living in the country and how long you intend to stay there.
Consider some of the following primary types of employment visas in Italy to determine the one for which you will need to apply:
A self-employment visa
Individuals who apply for a self-employment visa in Italy will perform work through their own businesses or other freelance work. To be eligible for this visa, you will need to prove you either have a contract with an Italian client that will amount to EUR 8,500 (roughly $9,000) in the upcoming year or proof that you made at least this amount in the previous year.
With a self-employment visa, you can live and work in Italy for up to 12 months and then choose to leave the country or apply for a visa renewal.
A salaried employment visa
A salaried employment visa is a standard residence visa that entitles an employee to live and work in Italy long-term. If a company is hiring you to live and work in Italy or you're relocating there and will continue your employment contract remotely, there's a good chance that this is the visa you will need.
With a salaried employment visa, the visa holder can live and work in Italy for up to a year, although they can choose to renew their visa for up to five years.
A scientific research visa
This type of visa is intended for individuals brought to Italy specifically to conduct research. If you obtain this visa, the research institute you will be working for accepts the responsibility for "hosting" you in Italy and must also pay you a minimum annual salary of 12,000 EUR (roughly $12,708).
A research visa is unique in that the visa is valid for the length of time agreed upon by the research industry to complete the research. After this, you can choose to apply for a salaried employment visa.
A seasonal work visa
Italy offers seasonal work visas to individuals hired for short periods to fill the country's seasonal needs. To be eligible for this visa, an Italian employer must offer you a job.
With this visa, you can work in Italy for up to nine months, and your employer will provide you with accommodation for your stay.
An extra-quota employment visa
An extra-quota employment visa is available for individuals whose professions don't fall under the typical employment visa eligibility and are not subject to the "Decreto Flussi," which states how many jobs can be filled in Italy by non-EU citizens annually. This includes individuals who have highly specialized careers, such as:
- Interpreters and translators
With this visa, individuals who occupy these professions can live and work in Italy for up to two years (and then apply for a renewal), although the exact time frame depends on the employment contract.
A business Schengen visa
Individuals who live in other Schengen member areas are entitled to enter Italy and work using a short-term Schengen visa. With this visa, an employee can enter Italy for no more than 90 days every 180 days to stay and conduct business. Although this visa isn't ideal for individuals who plan to live and work in Italy long-term, it can be extremely useful for those who live in nearby countries and need to conduct business in the area occasionally.
A digital nomad visa
Many individuals who choose to work remotely are considered digital nomads. They earn a living working online from locations they choose, rather than from a fixed place of business. To reflect this rising trend, Italy has begun issuing digital nomad visas, which entitle the visa holder to live and work in Italy for up to a year without needing to apply for a separate residence visa.
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Italy work visa requirements
To obtain a job visa for Italy, you will need to meet all the relevant Italy work visa requirements and compile any documentation your visa application requires. The exact requirements will vary based on the type of Italy work visa you're applying for, but you will likely need to meet one or all of the following requirements:
- Possess a valid passport that has a minimum of two blank pages and will remain valid for three months after your visa expiration date
- Two additional passport-sized color photos that meet the following requirements:
- Your face is centered in the middle of the photo, within one inch and one and three-eights of an inch from the top and bottom of the photo's edge.
- The photo is no more than six months old.
- The background of the photo is white or off-white.
- Nothing obstructs your face (e.g., hats, sunglasses, etc.).
- You have a neutral facial expression and are not smiling.
- You are looking directly at the camera.
- You're dressed in everyday clothes.
- A copy of your official signed employment contract
- Proof of financial ability to live in Italy
- Your completed Nulla Osta (Italy work visa application) and a copy of your application (for non-EU residents only)
- Personal information, including your biometric data and contact information
- Proof of educational credentials and other relevant professional licenses or certificates
- A receipt proving you paid your visa application fee
- Proof you have somewhere to live while staying in Italy
- A cover letter that expresses your desire to live and work in Italy
- Proof of health coverage
- Your employer's registration certificate
It's important to note that both the employee and employer will be required to meet specific requirements and will need to participate in obtaining the necessary work visa for the employee.
How to apply for an Italian work visa
How you go about applying for a job visa for Italy depends on the type of job you have and the type of work visa you're applying for. Italy has numerous work visas, and you must apply for the correct visa if you want your Italy work visa application to be approved.
While you will need to look up the specific process relevant to the work visa you need for the exact steps to follow, applying for an Italian work visa typically includes the following steps:
- The employer applies for the work permit on the employee's behalf. To do so, the employer will need to submit the relevant documents and completed applications to their local immigration office.
- The employee applies for a work visa. To do so, the employee will need to submit the relevant documents to their local Italian embassy or consulate.
- The employee submits their national visa application form. To do so, the employee will need to fill out the application and deliver it to their local Italian embassy or consulate.
- Pick up the visa. Upon approval, the employee can pick up their valid work visa and enter Italy at any time within six months of the approval date.
- The employee applies for a residence permit. In Italy, an additional residence permit is required to live and work there. This form is called a "permesso di soggiorno." The employee can pick up the application form at their local Italian police station but must request their application within eight business days.
Application processing time
The Italy work visa application processing time can vary widely based on the type of work visa for which you're applying. For example, a business visa in Italy is typically processed in about a month, an extra-quota employment visa is usually processed in roughly two months, and a research visa takes four months to receive, on average.
You can check the average time frame for the type of work visa you're applying for to get a general idea, but it's best to apply for your Italy work permit as early as possible to avoid unnecessary delays that prevent you from working.
Planning to hire or work in Italy? Here’s how Skuad can help
Whether you're an employee moving to Italy or an employer supporting your employees' dream to live abroad, Skuad can help make hiring and managing working relationships in Italy a reality.
With an ever-expanding global workforce, employers can hire new employees living abroad and relocate existing employees who want to explore new areas of the world. Reach out to Skuad today to see how we can help you continue to grow your international team.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about what the process of obtaining an Italy work permit entails and how to navigate the Italian immigration system.
How can I get an Italy work permit?
The process of getting an Italy work permit varies based on the type of work permit you need. However, it typically involves these steps:
- The employer requests an employee's work permit.
- The employee then applies for a work visa.
- The employee submits a national visa application form.
- The employee picks up their visa (pending approval).
- Once in Italy, the employee applies for a residence permit.
How much is a work permit in Italy?
Although the exact cost may vary based on the type of work permit you're applying for, it typically costs 116 EUR (roughly $123) to obtain a work permit in Italy.
Can I work in Italy as a U.S. citizen?
You can work in Italy as a U.S. citizen as long as you've obtained the necessary work entitlements. This requires you to determine which work and residence permits apply to you and work in conjunction with your employer to attain these documents.
How difficult is it to get a work permit in Italy?
Compared to some other countries, getting a work permit in Italy is relatively easy. Although most individuals will need a valid employment contract to apply for a work visa in Italy, recent inclusions like the digital nomad visa are making it easier to live and work there.
How long does it take to get a work permit in Italy?
The length of time it takes to get a work permit in Italy directly correlates to the type of permit you're applying for. Although some visas are processed relatively quickly, others can take upwards of several months.
You cannot legally begin working in Italy until you've received your work visa, so you should apply as early as possible to ensure you receive your permit on time.