Start a business and obtain a work permit

A newly established and adequately funded company can immediately employ non-EU workers through the EU Blue card procedure, contact us for more details.

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Italian work permit annual quota system

In order to work in Italy, NON-EU citizens must obtain work authorization.

Immigration for work purposes in Italy is based on a quota system that is fixed annually by means of a Decree – the so-called “decreto-flussi“. The decree sets the numerical limits (quota) for each category of foreign nationals allowed to apply for a work permit and the period during which applications can be submitted. Permits are normally granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Several categories of workers are excluded from the cap and are not subject to a fixed limit, such as ICT assignments, highly qualified workers, executives or managerial employees assigned to the Italian branch of a foreign legal entity, university lecturers and professors, translators and interpreters, professional nurses, researchers, etc.

Start a business and obtain a work permit

Registering a company in Italy does not automatically lead to a work permit/visa/residence permit. Current immigration provisions grant a work visa as director or owner of a company (self-employment) only if such company has been in business for at least 3 years.

With few exceptions, Italy allows foreigners to register a new ordinary company entirely owned by foreign individuals or companies. Generally speaking, if the company is adequately funded, it can immediately apply to employ non-EU workers through the EU Blue card procedure (reserved for highly qualified workers).

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EU Blue Card Work Permit

The law does not set any limits for using newly established companies for sponsoring work permits (such as minimum capital or turn-over, number of local workers) but it leaves wide discretion to the local Immigration Office to assess the company’s financial ability to carry out the business and bear all charges relevant to the workers. Accordingly, it is always advisable to start a new business with adequate and substantial funds, in addition to the minimum € 10,000 capital that is required to register a limited liability company (S.r.l.) and to be able to prove to have the financial means for carrying out the planned business.

EU Blue Card Work Permit Application Procedure

Even though there may be slight variations from one category to the other, the basic procedure for obtaining a work permit is the following:

  1. Work permit (Nulla Osta) Online application, filed by the Italian employer/host company;
  2. Work Visa (Visto) application, filed by the worker at the Italian Consulate which has jurisdiction over his place of residence.
  3. Entry into Italy, within 8 days the worker must go to the local Immigration Office (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione), sign the contract of stay (contratto di soggiorno) and/or file the application for the residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).
  4. Obtain the EU Blue Card Residence permit (Permesso di soggiorno Carta Blu UE). The Police issues an EU Blue Card residence permit (Permesso di soggiorno Carta Blu UE) valid for 2 years for open-end work contracts or for the validity of the contract plus 3 months, in case of a fixed term job contract.

Our Services for EU Blue Card Work Permit

We can assist clients with every step of the process, from the work permit (Nulla Osta) application with the Immigration Office (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione) until the collection of the residence permit. Through our network of 100+ local consultants, we accompany our clients in person in all major cities in Italy and guarantee a complete and well-presented application to achieve a higher chance of success.

Request a Free Quote

If you are looking for an immigration service provider in Italy, contact us for an initial consultation and price quote by filling out the online form, or send an email to online form, or send an email to Our immigration consultants will reach out to you shortly via email. Please note that in case of complex issues we may require a consultation fee for the initial assessment and schedule a 30 minutes call with one of our immigration experts.

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