Political System: Republic

Capital City: Rome

Total Area: 301,230 sq km

Population: Approx 60m

Currency: Euro


By virtue of its strategic position, Italy serves as the main thoroughfare linking Northern and Southern Europe, by land, sea, and air. With easy access to the Mediterrean and Adriatic seas, Italy is a gateway to the Baltic States as well as to the Middle East.

However that’s not all, since 2003 Italy has worked hard to reform its perception as a bureaucratic country, by making it friendlier to foreign investment. This has led to a simplification of immigration procedures so that whilst strict, provided the criteria are met, application for entry into Italy is straight forward.

Italy continues to have high rankings for its education system, political freedom, civil rights, press freedom and economic freedom.  As a member of the European Union (EU) and the EEA (European Economic Area), Italy is part of the world’s second largest economy where goods, people and capital can move freely. This means Italy offers great trade opportunities with the rest of Europe.


We offer the following services in Italy:

  • Work Permits
  • Residence Permit
  • Intra-Company transfer
  • Business Visa’s
  • Skilled worker Visa’s


Work Permits/Residence Permit 


For a non-EU national a Work Permit is required to be able to work legally in Italy. Not all work permits are the same, depending on the type of work permit issued, there could be some restrictions e.g. only valid for a certain period or for that specific company.

The Work Permit has to be applied for by the host Italian company or employer, the application process varies, depending on the type of work permit required.

Italian work permits are granted either:

● Within the Italian Quota system

Outside of the Quota system


Within the Quota system

The number of foreign citizens admitted to Italy for work purposes is set each year.  Applications are processed on a “first-come first-serve” basis; applications received after the quota is full are rejected without any possibility of appeal.

There are two different categories of permit; Autonomous and Subordinate.

Autonomous workers are those whose intentions are to enter Italy to practice a profession independently or to set up a commercial or industrial enterprise.

Subordinate workers are those who commit themselves to working for an employer and the employer commits himself to pay the employee a salary


Outside of the Quota system

Under Italian Immigration law, specific categories of work are exempt from the quota system; therefore a work permit can be applied for at any time.

According to Italian Law the following people can enter Italy (for self – employment and subordinate employment) outside the Quotas (when all the places reserved for foreign workers by the government for that year have already been assigned):

-Highly specialized managers/staff;

-Foreign language university lecturers;

-University professors who will hold an academic post in Italy;

-Foreigners with higher education qualifications that allow access to PhD Level programs in their country of origin, who will participate in research programs, provided that the request comes from a research institute is appropriately registered with the Ministry of Educational, -University and Research

-Translators & Interpreters

-Foreigners who are between 20 and 30 years  old, who are accepted  in volunteer programs conducted by religious organizations that are recognized by the State, by NGO’s and by associations for social advancement, following an agreement signed between the foreigner and the organization

-Family collaborators who have already been carrying on full-time domestic labour abroad and for at least one year, for an Italian citizens or European Union citizens who were residing abroad and have moved to Italy,

-Foreigners authorized to reside in Italy for professional training reasons, who carry out training periods with Italian Employees

-Workers who are employees of organizations or businesses that operate in the Italian territory

-Maritime workers

-Workers employed by circuses or shows travelling abroad

-Artistic/technical staff who work on lyrical, theatrical and film businesses, in radio and television businesses and by public organizations for cultural and folkloristic demonstrations

-Sporting professionals

-Journalists/correspondents who are officially accredited and employed by press agencies or broadcasters

-People who carry out research or occasional work in an exchange setting e.g. people working as “au pairs”

-Professional caregivers hired at public and private structures

The above quota concession applies to foreign personnel employed by a foreign company assigned to work in Italy for a parent company for a determined period of time. The most frequent types of work permit applied for (outside of the quota system) are:

  Highly qualified workers allows Italian or foreign companies or entities that operate in Italy to transfer highly specialised personnel in Italy for a fixed period of time to carry out specific activities or tasks.

Intra-company transfer allows managers or highly specialized personnel in possess of at least six months experience with the home company to  be transferred from the foreign Mother Company to the Italian affiliate Company. At the end of the assignment, which maximum length can be up to a period of 5 years, the worker can be hired by the Italian affiliate company.

Supply contract workers employed by a foreign company, can be temporarily transferred to work for an Italian company to carry out specific services in the Italian territory on the basis of a services agreement. The Foreign and Italian companies don’t belong to the same group; they only share a business relationship.


The process

A legal representative of the Host Company or employer must file an application at the Central Immigration Desk along with a variety of personal and corporate documents.

The application will be reviewed and, if the application meets all the requirements and there is quota remaining the Central Immigration Desk issues the Nulla Osta (permission) to the employer. The foreign worker is not permitted to be in Italy whilst during the application process.

The worker will then be able to apply for the relevant entry visa at the Diplomatic Italian Authority in their country of residence.

Within 8 working days of arriving in Italy the employee will have to visit the Central Immigration Office to sign their job contract. They will receive an application form for their Permit of Stay which must be personally applied for at the local Post Office and then collected from the Police.

In order not jeopardise the process the worker – by law – within 120 days from the date of issue of the work permit must apply for the relevant visa at the Italian Consulate or Diplomatic Representative in their country of residence, enter Italy, sign the job contract and apply for a permit of stay.

It is worth noting that that the Italian work permit scheme is administered regionally, so implementation differs significantly depending on the exact Italian city destination.

The work permit can be requested for maximum period of 2 years, with the possibility, in some cases, to extend it for an additional 2 years and a last extension can be obtained for 1 year.


The Service

Our service includes the following

  • We will act on your behalf to progress your application
  • An immigration expert will provide advice on your application to ensure it is completed correctly and submitted to the correct immigration office
  • We will ensure you are kept informed throughout the process
  • Make sure that all required documents are submitted with your application
  • Accompany you to meetings in Italy with the immigration authorities


Non EU Family Process 

A non-EU national, applying form or the holder of an Italian work permit and equivalent permit of stay for subordinate work, self-employment, asylum, study or religious reasons valid for at least 12 months, can apply for a family clearance for his/her family members.

The only family members that can be included are the spouse, any dependent children under 18 years of children over 18 only if, due to their state of health and have disability at 100%, they cannot support themselves financially and dependent parents who do not have family support in the country of origin.

Unmarried partners and partners of the same sex, by Italian law, are not eligible for any types of family visa.

Italy has two types of Family procedures: Family accompanying member and Family re-union. Both process’ guarantee, if successful, long-term National Visas (“NV”).  The main difference between the two procedures is  the timing as the Family accompanying member process starts at the same time as the process for  the Employee therefore they will apply for their entry clearances, visas, enter Italy and apply for their permits of stay at the same  time. The Family re-union process can only be started once the Employee has entered the Italian soil and requested the permit of stay.



The procedure is similar to the work permit/residency but the documents that need to be lodged will vary depending on the business being set up and on the legal requirements in force when the application is lodged. There are many Internal Circulars that continuously change the procedure and documents required; therefore, prior starting a new application the current requirements have to be carefully checked.


Please contact us to discuss your requirements