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What do I need before leaving?

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as an employed worker in Italy? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To work in Italy as an employed worker, you must obtain:

  • a visa and an authorisation for employed work before you enter Italy;
  • a residence permit within eight days of entering Italy.
Italy operates a quota-system which is fixed annually. Quotas do not apply to certain categories of workers.

More on residence permits for workers and residence permits beyond quotas (in Italian).


Where and how to apply Authorisation to work

Your employer must apply for an authorisation to work at the One-Stop-Shops for Immigration in the Prefettura of the province where the job will take place.

An authorisation to work will be granted only if you come within the annual quota for non-EU workers.

The One-Stop-Shop will electronically inform the consulate or the embassy that an authorisation to work has been granted.


The embassy or consulate in your country of origin or residence will produce a visa which you have six months to collect and use to enter Italy. This period of time is calculated starting from the date on which the authorisation to work is released. The authorisation to work is necessary to obtain the entry visa.

Residence permit

Within eight days of arrival in Italy, you must apply for a residence permit at the One-Stop-Shop for Immigration in the Prefettura of the province where you will work.
Documents required

When applying for an authorisation to work, your future employer must submit documents regarding:

  • your future housing;
  • the proposed residence contract (in Italian);
  • the financial cover of your return journey; and
  • every possible variation regarding your future employment.
You must sign a residence contract (in Italian) with your employer, and present a passport and travel documents.
Duration of validity of permits

Your work authorisation is related to your contract of work-related residence and will last for a corresponding period of time:

  • time-limited contracts of employment are limited to one year;
  • if you have an unlimited contract the permit is issued for two years.
The duration of your residence permits will depend on your visa or work authorisation.
Appeals Decisions related to visas and residence permit can be challenged before the Regional Administrative Tribunal within 60 days of notification.
Further information Ministry of Interior – Entry of foreign nationals into Italy
Italian National Police – non-EU citizens


Loss of employment If you have a residence permit for salaried employment but lose your job or resign, you may be put on the employment placement lists for the remaining period of validity of your residence permit or in any event, for a period of no more than twelve months.

If you lose your job at the end of your permit you can ask for a renewal, for a period of no more than twelve months.
Change of status If you have a residence permit for employment you can engage in self-employed activities if you have the required qualifications and fulfil the necessary legal requirements.

Your change of status will be registered when your original residence permit expires.
Long-term residence An EC long-term residence status is granted after five years of continuous and legal residence.

You must prove sufficient financial resources, accommodation and you must not constitute a threat to public order and security.

You must present:
  • copies of passport and tax declaration or declaration of income;
  • a criminal record;
  • a certified identification certificate and a certificate of adequate accommodation where a permit is simultaneously granted to minor children.
  • the following levels of income:
    • if you have no family you must show that your income is equal to or higher than that of the annual social security level.
    • if you have a family composed of one or more members you must show an income equal to or higher than the annual social security level increased by half for each family member.
  • if you have two or more children aged less than fourteen, you must show an income equal to or higher than the double of the annual social security level.
More on long-term residence (in Italian).