Can you imagine working in one of the most beautiful places in the world? Over 63 million people visit Italy every year as tourists, students, and working professionals. Italy has been dominating the services sector, offering valuable careers in the automotive, telecommunications, engineering, data science, tourism, and fashion industries.

As such, the Italian government is constantly looking for skills and talent in STEM and nursing occupations, ICT professions, teaching professions, and experts in marketing and creative design. In addition, family time and work-life balance are important in Italian culture, so you can expect a good working environment and friendly living conditions in Italy.

There are plenty of opportunities for foreigners in Italy. However, depending on your nationality and country of residence, you may or may not need an Italian work visa if you wish to work in the country.

Do I need a work visa in Italy?

Italy is part of the European Union. This means citizens of EU-member countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, are allowed to work in Italy without any authorization. Upon arrival in the country, EU nationals only need to register with a local police station and apply for a residence permit.

Citizens from non-EU countries, however, must have a work visa to be able to commence work in Italy. You can visit this website of Italian Migration to verify whether or not you’ll need a work visa.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in Italy?

Work permits in Italy are a type of long-stay visa known as National or D-Visas. These are issued for subordinate work contracts or self-employed work. Both of these permits last up to two years and are renewable for five years.

Work visa applications are also open for foreigners already in Italy, such as those who wish to convert their student residence permits into work residence permits.

Either way, you will need the following supporting documents for your Italian work visa application:

  • Signed employment contract
  • Original and one extra copy of Nulla Osta (a civil document allowing foreigners to live and work in Italy for over 90 days)
  • Passport with two blank pages and valid for three more months after your visa’s duration
  • Two recent passport pictures, colored photographs on a white background
  • Italian Long-Stay Visa Application form
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy
  • Proof of financial sufficiency
  • Proof of paid visa application fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Diplomas, vocational certificates, and other qualifying professional documents

Bear in mind that these requirements may change depending on a specific case or what is needed by the embassy in your country of residence. Italian authorities have the right to request additional documents that they believe are pertinent to your application.

Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in Italy

In principle, non-EU nationals need a work visa and a residence permit together before they can start their employment. You apply for a work visa first and then process your residence permit afterward.

The first thing to remember when applying for an Italian work visa is the window of time that the Italian government accepts applications. It is only for a few months every two to three years depending on the industry. Moreover, there is a quota or Decreto Flussi that determines the number of foreign work permits to be issued in a certain period. In previous years, it was around 30,000 non-EU workers per year.

In short, you can only apply for a work visa in Italy if the following conditions are met:

  • The Decreto Flussi is open and the yearly quota is unmet
  • You have a job offer from an Italian employer

If you do find the circumstances favorable, you can follow these steps to begin your application:

1. Get a work permit from an Italian company.

To be granted a work visa in Italy, you need a work permit or Nulla Osta al Lavoro from an Italian employer. Thus, you should find an Italian company or co-operation to hire you since only they can process the authorization for you.

Your employer will apply for your work permit on the Ministry of the Interior website or at the Italian immigration office (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione or SUI) nearest them. Once the permit is granted, the office will notify the Italian consulate or embassy in your country of residence, while your employer will also send you a copy of the permit.

2. Complete the necessary requirements.

After you receive your work permit from your employer, you can start collecting all documents pertinent to your Italian work visa application. Download and complete the Italy Long Stay Visa Application Form and prepare the rest of the documents listed above.

3. Schedule an appointment with the Italian embassy.

Submit your application to the Italian embassy or consulate in your country of residence. All applicants are required to apply in person and provide biometric data, such as fingerprints and a photo.

Don’t forget to settle the application fees of €116. You pay this fee upon submitting your application and is non-refundable in the event that the application is unsuccessful. It is paid in your local currency where you made the application.

The processing of the visa takes about 30 days. Upon receiving an Italian work visa, you have six months to collect it and come to Italy.

4. Request for a Residence Permit.

Once you’re settled in Italy, you need to apply for a residence permit or permesso di soggiorno within eight days of your arrival. You must submit a request for a Residence permit appropriate to your Italian work visa. You can visit the nearest Sportello Unico or One-Stop-Shop for Immigration and fill out necessary documents and a residence permit request form.

The request will be forwarded to the post office, where they will advise you on an appointment date on which to acquire photo-dactyloscopy (biometric) records. You will also be given two personal identification codes (a user ID and a password). You can input these codes to the national Immigration Portal to follow the status of your application.

As soon as your application is granted, the Police Headquarters will inform you of the availability of your residence permit.


I hope that this article on how to get a work visa in Italy was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.