Always dreamed of moving to work permit in Italy? With its sun-soaked coastline and a laidback lifestyle, the Mediterranean country is an alluring place to become an ex-pat. But moving there permanently can mean mountains of paperwork and months of unexplained delays.

Recently, Italy’s business minister Adolfo Urso announced plans to market the country as an ideal base for remote workers and digital nomads.

Each year, the Italian government also offers a glimmer of hope when it announces how many work permit in Italy it will grant to non-EU citizens.

The 2023 quota, published in the government’s Official Gazette last week, is 82,705. This is significantly higher than in previous years, with less than 67,000 permits issued in 2022.

Who can apply for a work permit in Italy?

Each year, Italy releases the ‘decreto floss, a government decree that sets out its annual work permit quotas and caveats.

The remaining permits will be granted for non-seasonal or self-employed work. The majority (30,105 of 38,705) are reserved for specific industries. These include:

  • Road haulage
  • Construction
  • Hotels and tourism

New for 2023:

  • Mechanics
  • Telecommunications
  • Food
  • Shipbuilding

Don’t forget that as well as a permit, all foreign workers must obtain a work visa and residence permit.

Can I get a work permit in Italy if I am self-employed?

As in previous years, in 2023 only 500 permits will be issued to self-employed workers in Italy. This includes freelancers, entrepreneurs, and artists.

Read on for details of Italy’s digital nomad visa.

Italy introduced stricter rules for work permits in 2023

Although the number of work permit in Italy to be granted is higher than in previous years, stricter rules have been introduced.

This year, employers must verify with the local job center that there are no qualified Italian nationals available to complete non-seasonal work before applying for permits for non-EEA workers. Those trained abroad for the purpose of employment in Italy are excluded from this.

Can digital nomads work in Italy?

In early 2022, Italy approved a new visa for digital nomads.

Are there other quota-free routes to working in Italy?

The EU Blue Card offers visas to non-EU workers employed by an Italian company. While there’s no quota, it is a less popular route as there are strict rules to follow.

The Blue Card is for highly qualified non-EU nationals with a binding job offer from an Italian company. They must earn a minimum salary of €24,789 and have completed an undergraduate university degree.

The Italian company must have at least €50,000 to show it can hire a foreign employee.

This type of visa lasts for two years or for the duration of the employment contract.


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