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WORKING IN ITALY

How many work permits will Italy grant in 2023?

The Italian government has announced plans to allocate next year's batch of work permits under the new 'decreto flussi'. Here's what we know so far.

How many work permits will Italy grant in 2023?
The majority of work permits in Italy are usually reserved for seasonal workers in sectors like ariculture or tourism. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

Italy’s government has announced the first details of the next annual decree governing how many and which types of workers will be allowed to move to Italy next year for employment reasons.

The number of work permits available to non-EU nationals will increase under the 2023 decreto flussi, which is expected to be finalised by the end of December, Undersecretary to the Prime Minister Alfredo Mantovano confirmed on Friday.

The number of work permits available overall will rise to 82,705 next year – up from 69,700 in 2022 and 30,000 in 2021.

However, the allocation of permits is expected to be subject to more limited criteria.

Mantovano confirmed that the Italian government will offer a larger quota of work permits to “those who have completed training programs in their countries of origin”, as well as to workers from countries that agree to sign repatriation agreements with Italy for irregular migrants, according to newspaper Corriere della Sera.

READ ALSO: Visas and residency permits: How to move to Italy (and stay here)

The countries involved were not named in the announcement, and no further details were immediately given about the number of permits allocated for workers in each employment sector.

“We would like to have workers arriving in our country already trained” and with a job already lined up, Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, said earlier in December.

The hiring process is expected to become more complex and time-consuming, however, as from 2023 employers will be required to check whether there are already any workers “already present in the country” who could take the jobs available before offering them to workers coming from outside the EU.

The stipulation comes into force as the Italian government cuts unemployment benefits for those in Italy who are deemed fit to work.

The new decree is also expected to extend some types of work permit to two or three years – rather than permits having to be renewed after one year, as is currently the case.

It’s hoped that this change could ease the workload at Italian government offices which have reportedly faced problems in processing work permit applications due to a chronic shortage 

READ ALSO: How many people does Italy grant work permits to every year?

The decreto flussi, which is usually translated as ‘flows decree’, is the piece of legislation which governs the number of work permits available to those coming to Italy from outside of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Italian Labour Ministry publishes an updated decreto flussi at the end of every year, and the final draft for 2023 has not yet been published.

The decree is not expected to mention the planned ‘digital nomad’ visa, which was approved last year but now appears to have been sidelined.

Applications for work permits usually open at the end of January. Further details about the application process for 2023 will be available when the new decreto flussi is published.

Getting one of these permits is just the start. As a non-EEA citizen, there are three main documents you’ll need to live and work in Italy: a work permit (nulla osta), a work visa (visto) and a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).

Find out more information about the types of Italian work visa available here.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases or assist with job applications.

For more information about visa and residency permit applications, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s visa website, or contact your embassy or local Questura (police headquarters) in Italy.

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WORKING IN ITALY

What to know about getting an Italian work permit in 2023

Italy has released details of the number of work permits available this year and which types of workers can apply. Here's what to know if you're thinking of moving to Italy for work from outside the EU.

What to know about getting an Italian work permit in 2023

Each year, the Italian government sets out exactly how many work permits it will grant to non-EU citizens. and for which industries.

The Italian government released the details of the 2023 quota at the end of January, confirming that a total of 82,705 permits will be available this year.

This is significantly higher than in previous years, with just under 70,000 permits issued in 2022, and 30,000 in 2021.

Some 44,000 of this year’s permits are intended for seasonal workers, in industries including agriculture and tourism.

READ ALSO: How to get an Italian work visa

Most of the remaining permits are reserved for those on longer-term employment contracts, and the majority of those can only be allocated to firms hiring workers in the following sectors:

  • Road haulage
  • Construction
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Mechanics
  • Telecommunications
  • Food
  • Shipbuilding

However this year’s decree also brings in new and stricter criteria for issuing these permits.

For non-seasonal permits, employers must now confirm with Italian government employment agencies that no qualified Italian nationals are available to do the jobs before putting in an authorisation request.

READ ALSO: The jobs in Italy that will be most in demand in 2023

This requirement is waived for workers who have completed training programmes in their country of origin that are specifically designed to send workers to Italy. Find further details from the Italian labour ministry here (in Italian).

Applications for this year’s permits will open on March 27th.

Getting one of these permits is just the start. As a non-EEA citizen, there are three main documents you’ll need to live and work in Italy: a work permit (nulla osta), a work visa (visto) and a residency permit (permesso di soggiorno).

Find out more information about the types of Italian work visa available here.

Self-employed workers

As in previous years, in 2023 only 500 permits in total have been made available to self-employed workers. Those eligible include artists, and entrepreneur investors who will create at least three jobs in Italy, but competition for these limited place is fierce.

While Italy approved a ‘digital nomad’ visa in March 2022 that many hoped would make it easier for freelance workers to move to Italy, there have been no updates since and the plan now seems to have been abandoned by Italy’s new government.

The new decree setting out Italy’s 2023 work permit quota does not cover visa rules, so there was no mention of it here.

EU Blue Card

There is one possible way for highly-qualified workers to move to Italy for work outside of the work permit quota: The EU Blue Card is available to non-EU nationals, and the requirements include an undergraduate degree and a firm job offer from an Italian company, with a salary of at least €24,789.

Find out more about the EU Blue Card scheme in a separate article here.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases or assist with job applications.

For more information about visa and residency permit applications, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s visa website, or contact your embassy or local Questura (police headquarters) in Italy.

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