What is the change? Companies bringing highly-specialized workers to Italy for intra-company transfers may expedite the application process by using a fast-track procedure.

What does the change mean? The fast-track procedures went into effect more than a year ago, but have recently gained popularity with employers in certain cases.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Intra-company transferee (ICT) work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies hosting non-EU highly specialized workers on intra-company assignments.
  • Impact on processing times: The process includes an online application procedure that shortens approval time to 2-3 weeks .
  • Business impact: This is a good option for companies bringing a large number of ICTs to Italy or in cases where a particular provincial Immigration Office may have longer processing times under the standard procedures.
  • Next steps: Companies must undergo a one-time registration with the Ministry of Interior before they are able to file online work permit applications and generally this process takes approximately 3 months. Employers should work with their BAL attorney to use the fast-track process in appropriate cases.

Background: Under the fast-track program, companies first register with the Ministry of Interior by demonstrating that they meet certain requirements, including making social security payments and executing an agreement with the ministry. The registration process takes approximately three months. Once registered, a company will be given a password to access the online system. Online applications are processed directly by the Immigration Office and do not require document submission. Once approved through the online system – this takes about two to three weeks – the foreign national then applies to the Italian consular post for an employment visa.

Within eight days after arriving in Italy, the foreign worker must execute a Contract of Stay and file an application for a Permit of Stay. Under the fast-track procedures, the Immigration Office must request a mandatory set of documents when it executes the Contract of Stay. These documents include:

  1. Copy of the foreign worker’s passport.
  2. Copy of the ID document of the Italian company’s legal representative.
  3. Certificate of registration with the Chamber of Commerce with an anti-mafia statement.
  4. Notarized and apostilled support letter from the sending company official translation and an official translation.
  5. Proof of government registered affiliation between the sending company and the Italian companies, accompanied by a notarized and apostilled legalization and an official translation.
  6. Employee’s diploma, accompanied by a notarized and apostilled legalization and an official translation.
  7. Italian company’s balance sheets and recent tax declarations.

BAL Analysis: The fast-track process speeds up the initial step in the ICT process because it reduces document submission at the first stage. Companies may want to take advantage of this if they anticipate applying for numerous ICTs or where bringing foreign nationals to regions such as Rome where standard processing can take up to 8 months. However, companies opting for the fast-track procedures are urged to make sure all enumerated documents are ready when the worker enters Italy. If not submitted when the contract of stay is executed within eight days of entry, the employee will not be permitted to begin work. BAL advises that companies weigh the pros and cons of this option strategically, as the registration requirements can be onerous and may not benefit particular situations. If a company is applying annually for ICTs for only one or two workers, it would not be appropriate.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Italy. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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