Employment relationship with EU and non-EU citizens

Employment relationship with EU and non-EU citizens

Last update : 19/04/2022
What conditions must EU workers fulfil to reside in Italy?

Generally, EU citizens can freely enter and reside in Italy, where they can carry out subordinate work, as they are treated in the same way as Italian workers from a labour and social security perspective.

However, EU workers must meet certain conditions, depending on the duration of their stay:

  • up to three months: there are no particular conditions or formalities, except for the possession of an identity document valid for foreign travel;
  • longer than three months (and up to five years): possible for workers in a state of unemployment (duly proven) and workers attending a professional training course;
  • continuous for five years: the worker acquires the right to obtain a permanent residence authorisation, a right that is lost following absences from the country for more than two consecutive years.
Last update : 19/04/2022
What conditions must non-EU workers fulfil to reside in Italy?

A non-EU worker residing abroad may enter Italy regularly to carry out their work. An employer may hire a non-EU worker, only once the following steps have been completed:

  • issue of the work authorisation;
  • issue of the entry visa by the Italian diplomatic or consular representation;
  • stipulation of a residence contract for employment between the employer and worker;
  • issue of a residence permit for employment;
  • stipulation between the worker and the Italian State of an “integration agreement” (if the worker requests the issue of a residence permit for a period of at least a year).
Last update : 19/04/2022
What is the procedure to request the authorisation to establish a working relationship with a non-EU worker?

An employer who intends to establish a fixed-term or open-ended employment relationship with a non-EU worker residing abroad, must:

  • Check with the relevant employment services the unavailability of a worker already present in the country to fill the requested position;
  • Submit a personal request for work authorisation for that worker to the unified immigration desk.

If the employer does not have direct knowledge of the non-EU worker, they must request the authorisation for one or more persons registered on special lists under bilateral agreements or understandings with non-EU countries.

The request for the authorisation must be submitted electronically, by filling out the application online directly on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

Last update : 19/04/2022
In what cases can the authorisation be refused?

The authorisation can be refused and, if already issued, revoked in the following cases:

  • the employer has been convicted in the last five years of the following offences: a) aiding and abetting illegal immigration into Italy and illegal emigration from Italy to other countries or offences to recruit persons for prostitution, exploitation or prostitution of minors, or to be used in illegal activities; b) illegal brokering and labour exploitation; c) employment of foreign workers without a residence permit, or whose permit has expired, been revoked or cancelled;
  • documents have been obtained by fraud or have been falsified or counterfeited;
  • the worker does not go to the unified immigration desk to sign the residence contract within eight days of entering Italy, unless the delay is due to force majeure.
Last update : 19/04/2022
What are “out-of-quota” entries?

For certain categories of non-EU workers, entry into Italy and residence in our country takes place regardless of whether the annual quotas for admission are met. These are workers who carry out special work, employed under a fixed-term contract, and highly qualified workers subject to a simplified alternative procedure.

The contents of this Section are not to be intended as a technical and/or legal opinion or other professional advice of any nature.
The contents of this Section are provided merely as information for public outreach purposes, they are not exhaustive and may be removed or amended at any time.
For specific problems or situations, you will need to seek specific advice.
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