HomeSearch NewsHow to enter Italy for work? What is the procedure to be followed?

07 April 2023

How to enter Italy for work? What is the procedure to be followed?

Answers to frequently asked questions

The main legal provisions regarding entrance and residence for work reasons are in the Decreto Legislativo of 25 July 1998, N. 286, subsequent modifications and integrations (Article 22 and following) and D.P.R. N. 394/1999.

Entering Italy for reasons of subordinate work (including seasonal work) and self-employment is possible – except for certain professional profiles for which access is allowed outside of the quotas – only within the maximum quotas established annually by the specific decrees for programming entries for work reasons.
More information concerning the last flow decree are available here

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

The sending by an employer, be it an Italian employer or a foreign employer legally residing in Italy, of the request for a nulla osta to hire a non-EU worker is the starting point for the entire procedure.

 The application for a nulla osta to work can be submitted through the special online platform, only after the publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale of the annual decree on the programming of flows and according to the procedures indicated in ministerial circulars.
The application is sent to the Single Desk for Immigration (Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione - SUI), which issues the nulla osta to work on condition that the request for employment made by the employer:

  • falls within the quota established annually by the flows decree;
  • that no Italian/ EU/ non-EU worker registered in the employment lists or registered as unemployed is available to accept that particular employment;
  • that there are no obstacles by the Police Headquarters;
  • that the contractual conditions required by current legislation to recruit foreign workers are met.


How do you check that no worker is legally residing in Italy and available to accept the job offered?

The procedure introduced starting with the 2022 Decreto Flussi provides that the employer, before sending the request for work authorisation, must check with the competent Employment Centre that there are no other workers already available to fill the job for which they intend to hire the worker abroad. This verification must be done by sending an application to the Employment Centre using the form prepared by Anpal. When the application is sent to the Sportello Unico, it will be possible to proceed if:

a) the Employment Centre does not respond to the request submitted within fifteen working days from the application;

b) the worker referred by the Employment Centre is not suitable for the job offered;

(c) the worker sent by the Employment Centre does not appear, except for a justified reason, for the interview at least twenty working days after the date of the request.

The occurrence of the aforementioned circumstances must be proven by a self-certification (here is the model) that the employer must attach to the application for work authorisation.

This verification is not necessary for hiring seasonal workers.


Who verifies compliance with the income and contractual conditions required by law for hiring a worker from abroad?

Starting with the 2022 Decreto Flussi, it has been provided that the documentation to be attached to the application for a nulla osta also includes an asseveration (a document through which professionals or employers' organisations certify that the employer meets the contractual prerequisites required by law for the employment of foreign workers). For reading more on these prerequisites, see the clarifications provided by the National Labour Inspectorate.


What happens after the application is submitted?

Recetly has been established that once 60 days have passed since the submission of the application without the obstructive reasons having emerged, the nulla osta is automatically issued and sent - electronically - to the Italian diplomatic representations of the worker's country of origin, which must issue the entry visa within twenty days of the relative application. Once the visa has been obtained, the worker can enter Italy.      

The employer will be notified of the issuance of the nulla osta using a communication they will receive at the e-mail address indicated and can download the nulla osta directly by accessing the Portale Servizi-ALI.

Any subsequent ascertainment of obstructive elements found by the Questura and/or within the scope of sample checks carried out by the National Labour Inspectorate will lead to the revocation of the nulla osta and the visa, the legal termination of the residence contract and the revocation of the residence permit.


What happens if the quotas provided for by the flows decree are exhausted?

Applications submitted under the flows decree are processed in chronological order of submission. As the available quotas are much lower than the number of applications submitted, quotas usually exhaust quickly. If no quotas are available, the permit is not automatically issued. DL 20/23 has provided that applications not granted due to a lack of quotas may be examined within the quotas that will be available with subsequent decrees.


What are the obstacles for which the nulla osta may be refused?

The Questore orders the refusal of the nulla osta if there are obstructive reasons:

a) concerning the employer, the legal representative or the members of the company's administrative body, if they have been reported for one of the offences provided for in the TUI or for one of the offences provided for in Articles 380 and 381 of the Code of Criminal Procedure unless the relevant proceedings have been concluded with a measure that excludes the offence or the responsibility of the person concerned, or if a preventive measure has been applied against them, without prejudice to the effects of rehabilitation in all cases.

b) concerning the foreign worker. Article 4 of the TUI provides that a foreigner considered a threat to public order or the security of the State or coming from one of the countries with which Italy has signed agreements for the abolition of internal border controls and the free movement of persons cannot be admitted to Italy.

A foreigner who has been sentenced, even with a non-final sentence, for the offences provided for in Article 380, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, or for offences relating to narcotics, sexual freedom, aiding and abetting clandestine immigration, or for offences aimed at recruiting persons for prostitution or the exploitation of prostitution or minors, cannot be admitted to Italy. The foreigner's entry into Italy is also prevented by a conviction, with an irrevocable sentence, for one of the offences relating to the protection of copyright and counterfeiting.

The nulla osta for work cannot be issued to foreigners who have been expelled unless they have obtained special authorisation or the period of the entry ban has elapsed, and to foreigners who must be expelled and those who have been reported for rejection or non-admission for serious reasons of public order, national security and the protection of international relations.


What must be done once in Italy?

Within 8 working days of entering Italy, the foreign worker goes to the competent Sportello Unico (Single Desk), which, once the documentation has been verified, gives the worker the certificate of assignment of a tax code. The foreign worker then signs the residence contract for work without attaching any modifications or conditions to it, which is kept at the Sportello Unico itself. The Sportello Unico also arranges for the foreign worker to sign the residence permit application form, which is sent to the competent Questura by means of a special kit at the post office.

Pending the signing of the residence contract, the nulla osta allows work to be carried out.




See also

Regulations and law