Italian Work Permit for artists, actors and film crews

Feb 24, 2023

Do you know which are the applicable Italian Work Permit for artists, actors and film crews?

Stays under 90 days

The Italian Ministry of Labor confirmed in the past that non-EU Film and TV crews can enter Italy with a visa (for visa waivers or on a business visa for those nationals that require a visa for Italy) if they enter for business purposes (preparatory meetings, site search, etc.). On the other hand, if the non-EU Film and TV crews will perform “work activity”, they will require a work visa, even for short stays (up to 90 days).

If your crew needs to be in Italy for less than 90 days, we suggest you write an email to the Visa office of the Italian Consulate having jurisdiction over the crew’s place of residence (see here) and where they should eventually apply for the visa shortly describing the situation and asking if a work permit and visa are required for filming in Italy for less than 90 days. We suggest cc’ing also the Ministry of Labor and of Foreign Affairs ( – Ministry of Labor – Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Labor Inspectorate)

If the Consulate confirms that no visa is necessary (as it happened in the past), you can use the Consulate’s response to support the fact that the Team can travel with no visa. 

If the answer is that a visa is required, it will be necessary to apply for a work permit before filing for the visa. The procedure can take up to 2 months to obtain the work permits (this depends also on the time necessary to obtain the supporting documents duly legalized). 

Stays over 90 days

In order to perform in Italy for over 90 days, foreign artists are required to obtain a work permit/visa and a permit of stay (if required). Performing in Italy always requires work authorization, either in the form of a work permit or a work visa. Entry for business activities is allowed only if the individual travels to Italy for business meetings and orientation tours.

Entry into Italy for the purpose of artistic subordinate employment is not subject to the “quota” limits and is regulated by the Italian Immigration law.

The work permit application is filed with a specific office within the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The crew/artists/staff/entertainers must be sponsored by an Italian entity/co-producer, even if they remain employees of the foreign company. In this case, the Italian entity/co-producer must be previously appointed by the foreign employer by means of a notarised “contract of agency” (Mandato di rappresentanza). It is vital that the sponsor/host entity in Italy provides evidence of compliance with fiscal and social security obligations.

Artists, even if remaining hired above, must comply with the relevant social security obligations in Italy, unless otherwise established by bilateral social security agreements. The work authorization is issued for an initial period not exceeding twelve months. An extension is possible under specific conditions. Once the work permit is issued, applicants must obtain the relevant visa from the Italian consulate having jurisdiction over their place of residency abroad, then travel to Italy and apply for the residence permit within 8 days from arrival (for stays over 90 days).

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