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22 October 2021

How do you enter Italy for work, what procedure should you follow?


Answers to frequently asked questions from the User Manual for Integration



Non-EU citizens are allowed to enter Italy for subordinate work (including seasonal) and self-employment only within the maximum amount of entry quotas established annually by specific decrees on management of entry flows for work reasons, with exception of some professional occupations that don’t follow the quota system.
The main regulations on entry and stay in Italy for work reasons are currently provided by the Legislative Decree of 25 July 1998, no. 286 (article 22 et seq.) and the D.P.R. no. 394/1999.

For the recruitment of seasonal or non-seasonal employees, separate flow decrees can be adopted, but in the last years a single one has been issued with entry quotas for both non-seasonal and seasonal workers.
The last flows decree adopted for the employment of seasonal and non-seasonal workers from abroad dates back to 2020 .

What procedure must be followed to get hired by an employer in Italy?

The request to obtain the authorisation (called nulla osta) for the recruitment of a non-EU worker, submitted by an Italian or foreign employer legally resident in Italy, represents the first step of the procedure.
The request can be submitted only after the publication of the annual Flow Decree in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic, according to the procedures indicated in specific ministerial circulars.

The One-Stop-Shop for Immigration issues the nulla osta if:
- falls within the quota annually set by the flows decree;
- that no Italian or EU or non-EU worker registered in unemployment lists or censed as unemployed is available to accept that specific employment (also in case of availability, the employer has the power to confirm his/her request)
- that no impedimental reasons exist by the Police Headquarters.

What happens after submitting the application? How long does it take?

Applications are processed according to the chronological order of submission.

The One-stop shop, after acquiring from Territorial Labor Inspectorate the opinion on applicable contract conditions and on the credit worthiness of the company, and after hearing the opinion of the Police Headquarters – invites the employer for the filing of the documents indicated in the application, the issuance of the permit and the signing of the residence contract.
Once the worker has the nulla osta, issued by the One-Stop-Shop for Immigration (Sportello Unico Immigrazione), he can request an entry visa for subordinate work reasons to the competent diplomatic or consular Authority of hiscountry of origin.

The nulla osta will be valid for a period not exceeding 6 months as from the date of issuance.  The Consulate notifies to the foreign national the draft residence contract for work reasons and issues within 30 days as from the application the entry visa and the tax code. Once the visa is obtained, workers can enter Italy.

What should I do once I enter Italy?

Within 8 working days as from their entry to Italy, foreign workers shall go to the competent One-stop shop that verifies the documentation and delivers to the worker the tax code certificate. Foreign workers sign the residence contract for work purposes without making any changes to it, and it is kept at the One-Stop Shop.
The One-stop shop also asks foreign workers to sign the form for the application to receive the residence permit, which is then sent to the competent Police Headquarters through a suitable kit available at the post office.

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Regulations and law