Comprehensive guide to applying for an Italy work visa and work permit, the required documents, the application process, and FAQs
The Italy work visa is a type of Italian Long-Stay visa, also known as a National or D-Visa. The Italian work visa is simply an entrance visa. This means that it grants you permission to enter Italy, but you still need to get additional permission to stay (a residence permit or permesso di soggiorno).
You must apply for your permesso di soggiorno within eight days after you have already entered Italy.
Before You Apply for the Italy Work Visa
Before you can apply for an Italy work visa, you have to make sure that you can. That’s because the Italian government only accepts work permit applications for a few months every one or two years, depending on Italy’s job market and the state of immigration.
In addition to that, there is also a set quota of how many work permits Italy will issue.
This is called a Decreto Flussi (translating to “flow decree”). In 2019, the Decreto Flussi opened in April, and the Italizan government set a quota of 30,850 work permits – the same as in 2018. Through the Decreto Flussi, the Italian government issues work permits for seasonal and non-seasonal workers.
This means that you can only apply for an Italy work visa if:
- The Decreto Flussi is open
- The yearly quota hasn’t been filled
- You have an employer in Italy who will apply for your work permit (Nulla Osta)*
- You are granted a work permit
*An Italian work permit is called a Nulla Osta al lavoro. Your employer has to apply for a Nulla Osta document at their province’s (Preffetura’s) Immigration Office (Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione – SUI).
The Italian government also issues work permits for foreign nationals who are already living in Italy and want to convert their current student or training residence permit into a work residence permit.
How Can I Get an Italian Work Visa and Permit?
So, you’re a foreign national who wants to move to Italy and find a job. Unfortunately, if you are a non-EU citizen, you need to already have a job in Italy (and have fulfilled several conditions) before you can apply for an Italy Work Visa.
For non-EU nationals, receiving permission to live and work in Italy involves a three-part process:
- Find an Italian employer who will hire you and apply for your work permit (they have to apply for your work authorization in Italy). Only after your employer receives your work permit and sends it to you, you can:
- Apply for an Italy Work Visa at the Italian Representation in your home country. If you receive the Italy Work Visa, only then you can:
- Enter Italy and apply for a Residence Permit to be allowed to stay and work in the country legally.
In addition, you only have a short window of time during which you can apply for an Italian Work Visa. The Italian Government also sets out yearly quotas in regards to how many non-EU citizens they will issue work visas to.
What documents do I need to provide to support my Italy Work Visa application?
When applying for an Italy work visa, you must have a set of supporting documents that are required for an Italian visa application. The additional requirements for an Italy Work Visa include:
- Copy of your signed work contract.
- The original and a copy of your Nulla Osta.
- Completed Italian Long-Stay Visa Application form.
- Passport with at least two blank pages, valid for at least three months after the duration of your visa.
- Passport pictures.
- Proof of accommodation in Italy.
- Proof of sufficient financial means.
- Proof of paid visa fee.
- Diplomas/other certificates.
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of requirements. The requirements for an Italy work visa change depending on the country and specific case, therefore you should always contact the appropriate authority where you are applying for a work visa for more information.
The Italian authorities reserve the right to request any documents as they see fit.
In addition, you have to send your employer in Italy whatever documents that they need in order to apply for your work permit. Because your employer applies for your work permit at their province’s Immigration office (and each immigration office has different requirements), you must contact your employer in regards to what documents they need from you.
Where and when can you apply for an Italy Work Visa?
If the Italian immigration office grants you a work permit, your employer has to send the permit to you (usually electronically). The Italian Government also notifies the Italian representation in your country (such as an Italian embassy or consulate), in which you will apply for a work visa.
If your country has no Italian Representation, you must apply at the Visa Application Center or another Schengen country’s representation that Italy has outsourced visa applications to.
You must submit the application in person after you have collected all the necessary documents and downloaded and completed the Italy Visa Application Form.
After you apply for your Italian work visa, the Italian authorities will process your application and decide whether you meet the requirements for a visa. If you receive the Italy work visa, you have six months to pick it up and enter Italy.
After you Apply for the Italy Work Visa
Once you entered Italy with a work visa, you have eight days to apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno card (residence permit). You must apply for the residence permit at your city’s local post office. You have to present your work permit and your work visa when you apply, along with additional supporting documents.
Then, it is the Foreign Department (Ufficio Stranieri) of your local Italian Police Headquarters (Questura) who gives you your Italian residence permit, allowing you to live and work in Italy.
Learn more about Italian Residence Permits here.
How long is the Italy Work Visa Valid?
An Italian work visa is usually valid for the duration of the work contract, but no longer than two years. It can be renewed for up to five years.
Working in Italy for EU Nationals
Since Italy is part of the European Union, any EU national can enter the country and start working without any authorization (such as a work permit). But they do have to get a “declaration of presence” from a local police office or Questura.
If an EU citizen wants to stay longer than three months, however, they must also apply for a residence permit.