What is the change? Foreign students who complete a first level master’s degree through a three-year university program can convert their student permits to work permits without being subject to numerical restrictions.

What does it mean? More non-European Union foreign students in Italy will be able to convert to work permits.

  • Implementation timeframe: Dec. 11, 2013.
  • Visas/permits affected: Study and work permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers sponsoring non-EU students who have earned a first-level master’s degree.
  • Impact on processing times: No direct impact, but the removal of this category from quota limits will have a positive impact on qualifying students.

Background: The Italian Ministry of Interior announced the new policy in Circular No. 7438 on Dec. 11. The relaxed rule applies to first-level master’s degree holders who have completed a three-year university program. Work permits converted from these study permits will not be counted toward annual numerical limits on non-EU nationals. The current quotas cap the number of conversions from study permits to work permits at 7,000.

BAL Analysis: The new rule will benefit employers that seek to hire foreign students who have graduated from an Italian university.

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

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