Italy Visas and Work Permits 

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Italy Work Permits and Visa Specialists

Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO-service, we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence.

Italian visa, residency and permit regulations require expert guidance as they vary according to the country foreign nationals live in – the European Union, the European Economic Area and other foreign nationals are all affected by these complex regulations.

Our team is trained to research the latest information on Italian visas and work permits - therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in Italy in no time.

What types of Work Visas and Permits in Italy are there?

Italy forms part of the Schengen area – so citizens from this area are free to migrate throughout without a need for a visa. For those outside the Schengen area, and non-EEA individuals, there are a few visas/permits that they may apply for.

Types of Permits:

Italian residence permit – An Italian residence permit must be obtained by the foreign national upon arrival to Italy. It allows them to live in Italy for more than 3 months and is valid for 2 years. 

Work Permit – For non-EEA citizens, this is part of a work authorization that must be applied for by the employer, on behalf of their prospective employee. 

Types of Visas:

Airport Transit Visas (Type A) – Allows the individual to transit through the international area of a Member State’s airport.

Uniform Schengen Visas (Type C) – the individual may enter and move freely in all countries of the Schengen area. This visa type is valid for a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period.

Visa with Limited Territorial Validity (Type C) – This type of visa only applies for the territory of the issuing state, or for the territory of some states, but not all of them.

Long-Stay Visa (Type D) – this type of visa permits the individual to stay within the territory that has issued it for more than 90 days, with the maximum validity depending on the visa’s use.

How to obtain an Italian Work Visa?

For non-EEA employees to work in Italy, they will need a work visa, a work permit, and a residence permit.

To obtain a work visa, one must register with Italy’s Ministry of the Interior, which can be done through the embassy or consulate of the individual’s residence.

Before applying for a work visa, a work permit (Nulla Osta al Lavore) must be requested, which is done through work authorization that is applied for by the employer, on behalf of the employee.

The Italian government works with a particular system – it only accepts a set amount of work permit applications for a few months every one or two years. This is known as the ‘Decreto Flussi’, or flow of decree. The number of permits accepted also depends on the state of the market and immigration.

The employer must apply for a work permit at their province’s Immigration Office. This may include acquiring certain documentation, such as a copy of your employment contract, your CV, proof of qualifications and other personal information.

Once the work permit application has been accepted, your work visa application may go ahead. The Italian government must also notify the embassy or consulate of the employee’s residence.

For the work visa application, the following documents are required:

  • A valid passport: must have at least two blank pages, and be valid for at least three months after the duration of your visa
  • Passport Photos: They must have been taken around the time of application, in color
  • The original and copy of your ‘Nulla Osta’
  • A copy of the signed employment contract
  • Completed visa application form
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of travel and health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient means
  • Diplomas/other certificates
  • The work visa application fee

However, this list is not exhaustive. Other documents may be required, depending on the country and specific cases.

The standard processing time for work visas in Italy is between 6-12 weeks.

How to Apply for work visa/work permit in Italy

Once the work permit is acquired, the work visa may be applied for, which follows these steps (although this can vary according to the country you are applying from):

  • Contact the province’s Immigration office and inquire if they have received your work permit/work authorization.
  • Fill in the visa application form and present the documents to the local embassy/consulate.
  • Go to the embassy/consulate & give your biometrics: Your fingerprints need to be scanned and facial image taken, especially if you have not travelled to the Schengen Area in the last 5 years.
  • Pay the visa fee: The payment process/requirements may also vary according to the country of residence.

How much is an Italian Work Visa?

A work visa for Italy costs around EUR 116. Unless stated otherwise, this fee must be paid in the currency of the country where the application is being made.

Working Visa / Permit for Italy

Before obtaining a work visa, a work permit or ‘Nulla Osta al Lavore’ will be applied for. To do this, a job offer must have been given by an Italian company, and the employer must apply for a permit on the employee’s behalf.

The approval must be made by immigration department of the business’ province – once that has been done, a notification must be sent to the foreign individual’s Italian embassy or consulate of their residence.

The documents for a work permit include:

  • Application Form
  • Two recent color passport-size photographs
  • Passport Photocopies: The passport must be valid for at least 18 months from the date of the visa application.
  • A color photocopy of the passport page containing the holder’s biodata
  • A sheet containing the applicant’s biodata, phone number and active email address - this must be typed and signed by the applicant
  • Other documentation (if requested)

Once the work permit and visa are granted, foreign nationals need to apply for a temporary residence permit within the first 8 days after arrival in Italy. They must do so at the post office.

The application must first be done at the post office, where they will receive an appointment to the ‘Questura’ or police headquarters, 1-2 months away. The receipt from the post office will serve as a temporary residence permit until then.

At the police headquarters or Questura, you must show the documents and take your fingerprints. Once done, the residence permit may be picked up.

Documentation required for a residence permit includes what was used to apply for the work visa. Both originals and copies are required (copies for the post office, and originals for the Questura).

Validity of the residence permit depends on the type of permit you are applying for. In the case of a residence permit for employment, it is valid for two years.

Business Visa Italy

To engage in business-related activities in Italy, any non-EEA national will need to apply for a Business short-stay visa. The application for this visa requires the following documents:

  • Visa Application Form
  • Recent passport-sized photograph
  • A valid passport for at least 3 months longer after the validity of the visa
  • Flight reservation and/or travel itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Proof of travel and health insurance
  • An invitation letter from the Italian company you will be visiting, which must indicate the individual’s name and title, their travel dates, itinerary, duration of stay, the purpose of their visit, details of the trip’s sponsor, and signed by an authorized person.
  • A letter from their employer stating their business travel, and why they are travelling
  • A Registration Certificate of the Italian company
  • Proof of the trip’s financing – either the employer or Italian company must state the coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation

The validity of a short-stay visa is a maximum of 3 months within a 6-month period and costs EUR 60. However, the time validity of this visa may vary, according to what your embassy grants you.

Italy Visa for EU citizens

Work visas and permits for Italy are not required for EU and EEA nationals, regardless of the purpose or length of their stay. If they wish to remain in the country for less than 3 months, no conditions or formalities are required, and they must hold a valid identity card during the duration of their stay.

They are, however, required to declare their presence in Italy at the local immigration office by means of a declaration of presence form – but this is based on the duration of their stay and particulars, so it is best to call ahead and ask if this is required.

EU/EEA nationals and family members who wish to stay in Italy for more than 3 months require paid or unpaid employment (self-employment) or registration in a private or public institution for pursuing studies, full sickness insurance, and sufficient financial resources.

If they wish to reside in Italy for more than 3 months for work, study, or elective stay, they must apply for registration at the public records office/police station of the municipality in which they are living in.

EU/EEA nationals must also register with the local tax authority for a Tax Identification Number, as well as register with the Social Security and National Health Insurance Funds.

Italy Visa for USA citizens

American Citizens who wish to enter Italy do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes, but they must declare their presence at the local immigration office within 8 days of arrival.

If required to travel to Italy for longer than 90 days, however, an application for a work permit, work visa, a temporary residence permit, and a declaration of presence is required, which must include the following documents (with some variation):

  • The application form.
  • 2 passport photos – recent, showing the whole face with a light background.
  • A valid passport – must be so for at least 3 months beyond the return date, with at least 2 blank pages.
  • A copy of your travel itinerary.
  • Proof of travel and health insurance.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of sufficient funds.
  • Proof of civil status (if required).

Italy Visa for Canadian citizens

For tourism or business purposes, Canadian citizens do not require a short-stay visa to travel to Italy for up to 90 days. However, they must declare their presence to the immigration office or police headquarters of their municipality within 8 days of arrival.

However, if a Canadian citizen plans to reside in Italy for more than 90 days (especially for work or study), they need to apply for a long-stay visa, a work permit, a residence permit, and a declaration of presence, which provide the following documents (with some variation):

  • The application form – to be filled out by hand or electronically.
  • 2 passport photos – recent, whole-face with a light background.
  • A valid passport, which must be for at least 3 months beyond the return date and have at least 2 blank pages. Copies of previous Schengen Visas may also be required (if applicable).
  • A copy of their travel itinerary.
  • Proof of European travel and medical insurance, which covers the entire length of their stay.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of sufficient funds.
  • Proof of civil status (if required).

Italy Visa for China

Chinese citizens require a valid visa to enter Italy, regardless of the duration of their stay.

For applications to enter Italy, they will need to present the following documents (at least):

  • The application form
  • 2 passport photos – recent, whole-face with a light background.
  • Your passport, which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the return date, and have at least 2 blank pages
  • A copy of your travel itinerary
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of travel insurance, with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000 and covers the entire length of your stay.
  • A letter that explains more details of your trip, including the places you will visit, proof of accommodation and other personal information
  • Proof of sufficient funds.

To find employment in Italy, Chinese citizens require a work visa, a work permit, and a residence permit. Once in Italy, Chinese citizens must declare their presence at the local immigration office, or ‘Questura’, as well as apply for the residence permit at their municipality’s police station.

Italy Visa for the UK

In January 2021, the rules for travelling to the Italy changed, due to Brexit. UK citizens may travel to Italy without requiring a visa for up to 90 days within any 180-day period, regardless of the purpose of their visit.

However, to stay in Italy for more than 90 days (for work or study), they will have to apply for a visa and the relevant permits. To apply for a work visa, UK Nationals must have:

  • at least 6 months validity after the departure date on their passport
  • you may have to show proof of accommodation, travel insurance, health insurance, and funds at border control.

UK Citizens must also declare their presence at the local immigration office, or ‘Questura’, as well as apply for the residence permit at their municipality’s police station.

Work with Bradford Jacobs’ PEO Services

If you are expanding your business into Italy and would like to know more about the country’s visa and work permit requirements and compliance, contact us today.