What is the change? Italy has set new work permit quotas, opening up spots for 17,850 subordinate and self-employed non-EU nationals to work in the country.

What does the change mean? Non-EU nationals may apply for work permits in specified areas beginning Feb. 9.

  • Implementation time frame: The application period opens Feb. 9.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.  
  • Who is affected: Employers looking to hire non-EU nationals in specified areas, autonomous workers (such as freelancers and entrepreneurs) who want to work in Italy, and non-EU nationals looking to convert existing permits to work permits.
  • Business impact: The availability of new quota slots should help some employers in Italy meet business needs in specified areas.
  • Next steps: Online applications may be submitted beginning Feb. 9 on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Background: The Italian government published the 2016 Immigrant Quota decree this week, setting the quota for subordinate, autonomous work and other categories of work permits at 17,850. The 2016 quotas are as follows:

Quota Category of Worker
2,400 Self-employed workers: freelancers, officers or owners of noncooperative companies, internationally known artists, entrepreneurs whose activity is deemed beneficial to the Italian economy, start-up entrepreneurs.
1,000 Non-EU nationals who have completed study or training programs in their home countries.
100 Non-EU nationals of Italian origin who have at least one Italian parent and are currently residing in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay or Venezuela.
100 Non-EU nationals who participated in Milan Expo 2015.

The remaining 14,250 spots are for those seeking to convert existing permits to work permits.

Quota Type of Conversion
4,600 Conversion of seasonal work permits into nonseasonal subordinate work permits.
6,500 Conversion of study or training permits to subordinate work permits.
1,500 Conversion of study or training permits to self-employed work permits.
1,300 Conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by another EU country into an Italian subordinate work permit.
350 Conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by another EU country into an Italian autonomous work permit.

An additional 13,000 work permits will be made available for seasonal work. Applications for seasonal work permits can be filed beginning Feb. 17.

BAL Analysis: The total quota for non-seasonal work permits remains the same as last year, but the allocations have been reorganized within the conversion categories, in particular allowing more holders of study and training permits to convert to subordinate and self-employed work permits than last year.

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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