Did you know that Italy only accepts a limited number of work visa applications and only during specific months per year?
So if you're a non-EU citizen and you want to move to Italy to work, you need to prepare early.
To help you through this process, we'll explain everything you need to know, from finding a job and getting your work permit to getting your residence permit and arranging important paperwork.
Yes, foreigners are allowed to work in Italy, as long as they meet certain requirements.
There are different types of long-term work visas, also known as national Visas (Visa D), for those who want to work in Italy for more than 90 days.
The following are the main work visas in Italy:
There’re are 5 main steps to getting a work visa for Italy:
For your employer to apply for a work permit and for you to apply for a work visa, you need to gather some documents. You can find the list below.
Since your Italian employer will apply for your work permit, you need to send them some supporting documents. The requested documents may vary per local immigration office. So it’s best to ask your employer what you need to submit.
In general, you’ll need the following documents for an Italian work permit (Nulla Osta al lavoro):
You’ll need the following documents to apply for an Italian work visa:
Italy work visa processing time: A work visa for Italy is typically processed within 2 to 30 days. Once your visa is approved, you’ll be notified by your local embassy and you’ll have 6 months to collect it.
A work visa is usually valid for the duration of your job contract.”
It’s difficult to get a work permit in Italy as every year the Italian government sets a limit to how many works permits it’ll grant, depending on the country’s job market and immigration numbers. This is known as Decreto Flussi.
Because of this quota on work permits, it’s super important to apply for Italy work visa on time as applications are processed on a first come first serve basis.
For 2023, the Italian government has set the work permit quota to 82,705. Of these:
The opening date for 2023 work permit applications is March 27th at 9am. This will remain open until all spots have been filled but this can happen quickly so don't wait!
You’ve 8 days after your arrival in Italy to sign the ‘stay contract’ (Contratto di soggiorno) at the immigration single desk (ISD) and obtain your Italian residence permit.
To get your residence permit, go to the post office and fill out an application form and pay €76.46. The application will be sent by post to the police.
In the meantime, you’ll receive a receipt, which can be used as proof of legal stay until you receive the residence permit. The receipt will have a user ID and password which you can use to see the status of your application.
Within a few months, the local police station (questura) will invite you to show your passport, work visa, and take your fingerprints. After that, you’ll get your residence permit, which is a smart card that affords you the right to stay and work in Italy.
You need to sign an integration agreement if you’re moving to Italy for more than 1 year.
When you sign the agreement, you agree to a couple of things, the most important ones being:
To successfully integrate, you need to complete these requirements before your second year in Italy finishes. You can take such courses at the local prefettura.
Completing these requirements will grant you points and you need to have 30 points to renew your residence permit in the future and uphold the agreement. Passing the civic education test will grant you 16 points. Learning Italian will also get you points– 14 points for A2 and 30 points for B1 or above.
Anyone planning to stay long in Italy needs to register with the local municipality. Registering will add your name to the local registry’s record (Ufficio Anagrafe).
Apply for your TAX ID, also known as Codice Fiscale. Having your Codice Fiscale will allow you to pay taxes, open a bank account, get a mobile phone number, and access Italian healthcare.
As a Non-EU citizen working in Italy, it’s mandatory to register for the Italian healthcare system. All employees get free access to state healthcare (Iscrizione Obbligatoria) as they contribute to social security, which funds the system.
Opening a bank account in Italy is a straightforward process. You can go to the bank where you want to register and bring the following documents:
Due to COVID-19, you can also open a bank account online. The bank will ask for photos of the documents listed above and will request to take a picture of you.
Although your Italian bank card will be dispatched within 3 working days, you can already use your online bank account to make payments.”
Now that you know all about applying for an Italian work visa and permit, it’s time to start preparing for your move.
Find a job in Italy.
Learn about Italy’s work culture. Although each company might have a different work culture, companies across the country will probably expect you to know Italian, accept the heirarchy, and dress well.
Know the average salary and cost of living. In 2022, Italy's average gross salary per month is €3,720. As an expat, it's highly likely you'll either earn similar or more. This is great news as the average living cost in Italy is approximately €1,600 per month. So even if you splurge a little, you'll be fine.
Consider where you want to live and work. Every city in Italy has a lot to offer. But the best cities for expats are Milan and Rome as you’re more likely to find English-speaking jobs in these cities. But keep in mind that although Milan might offer higher salaries, it also has a higher cost of living than Rome.
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