How to apply for the Italy work visa 2022-2023


Updated on Mar 20 • 6 minute read

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.

  1. You'll first need to find a company that'll hire you.
  2. The company will then apply for your work permit.
  3. Only then can you apply for the work visa when Italy starts accepting visa applications.

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.

Are foreigners allowed to work in Italy?

Yes, foreigners are allowed to work in Italy, as long as they meet certain requirements.

  • Europeans, including EEA and Swiss citizens, need to get a declaration of presence from the police station and apply for a residence permit for stays longer than 3 months.
  • Non-Europeans need to secure a job, get a work permit and then apply for a work visa and residence permit to legally stay and work in Italy

Types of work visas in Italy

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:

  1. Salaried employment visa: it's sponsored by your employer and lasts for up to 2 years. It’s renewable for up to 5 years.
  2. Self-employment visa: for those who want to start a business or move their business to Italy. The visa is valid for up to 2 years.
  3. Long-term seasonal work: for workers in the agricultural and tourism sectors. It's valid for up to 9 months.
  4. Working holiday visa: for those who wish to work on holiday. It's valid for a maximum of 12-months.

How can I get a work visa for Italy?

There’re are 5 main steps to getting a work visa for Italy:

  1. Find a job in Italy where the Italian employer is willing to hire you and sponsor your work permit.
  2. Your Italian employer will apply for your work permit (nulla osta al lavoro) at their nearest immigration office (Sportello Unico per I’Immmigrazione).
  3. After your employer has been granted your work permit, your employer will send you a digital copy and notify the embassy or consulate in your home country.
  4. Once you’ve the Nulla Osta and other necessary documents, you’ve 6 months to apply for a work visa at the nearest Italian consulate or embassy.
  5. Once your visa is granted, you’ve 6 months to pick it up and enter 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.

Italy work permit requirements

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):

  • A copy of your valid passport or ID.
  • Proposed work contract, including.
  • Terms of employment, duration of the contract, salary and social security contributions.
  • Employer’s details, such as Chamber of Commerce registration number, company’s legal name, and address.
  • A signed ‘stay contract’ (Contratto di soggiorno) which confirms:
    • The employer will notify of any changes in the employment contract.
    • A suitable accommodation in Italy that meets local housing standards.
    • The employer will pay repatriation costs in case of expulsion from Italy.

Italy work visa requirements

You’ll need the following documents to apply for an Italian work visa:

  • Application form for the Italian Long-Stay Visa.
  • Proof of visa fee payment.
  • A copy of your signed employment contract.
  • The original and the copy of your Nulla Osta.
  • Valid passport and copies.
  • 2 recent passport photos.
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy.
  • Proof of sufficient finance.
  • Copy of flight itinerary.
  • Proof of health and travel insurance, which covers Italy.
  • Other supporting documents, such as diplomas.

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.

Is it easy to get a work permit in Italy?

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.

Italy work permit quota for 2023 (Decreto Flussi)

For 2023, the Italian government has set the work permit quota to 82,705. Of these:

  • 44,000 are for seasonal workers.
  • 38,705 are for non-seasonal and self-employed workers.
    • 24,105 of these permits are reserved for non-seasonal subordinate work, such as tourism, road transport, and construction services.
    • There're 6,000 permits for self-employed workers, non-seasonal workers in other sectors, and those wanting to convert an existing Italian permit to a work permit.

Italy work permit open date 2023

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!

After arriving in Italy

  1. Collect your residence permit

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.

  1. Sign the Integration Agreement

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:

  • Speak Italian at level A2 or above.
  • Learn about civilian life in Italy, such as healthcare, schooling system, work obligations, etc.

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.

  1. Register with the municipality

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).

  1. Get your Codice Fiscale

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.

  1. Apply for health insurance

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.

  1. Open a bank account

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:

  • Passport or national ID card.
  • Tax number (Codice Fiscale).
  • Proof of address (in Italy).
  • Residence card, or proof of employment (in Italy).

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.

Preparing to move to Italy for work

Now that you know all about applying for an Italian work visa and permit, it’s time to start preparing for your move.

  1. Find a job in Italy.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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