Navigating the Changes: Updated EU Blue Card Rules for Working in Italy

Mar 29, 2024

EU Blue Card to work in Italy: updated rules

The recent updates to the regulations governing the EU Blue Card in Italy brought new possibilities to apply for this type of visa/permit, as before this update, it was possible to apply for the EU Blue Card only if the applicant possessed a University diploma of at least 3-years study program. This mandatory requirement limited many professionals with vast experience and knowledge but without a University diploma to apply for the EU Blue Card.
In this article, we summerized the new alternatives and the general requirements.

Education or Professional Qualification

The worker (EU Blue Car applicant) must possess alternatively:

  • A tertiary level higher education degree or a post-secondary professional qualification that is to say:
    • A diploma issued by a university after at least a three-year course or
    • A diploma issued by a non-university institute after at least a three-year course

Declaration of value or CIMEA (Centre for Information on Academic Mobility and Equivalence (CIMEA) attestation required

  • A higher professional qualification attested by
    • at least five years of professional experience, relevant to the profession or sector specified in the employment contract or binding offer. This must be supported by employment contract(s) and/or payslips, along with an optional letter of experience from the foreign employer, demonstrating the specific sector of activity and the duration of professional experience of at least five years in the same sector of the job offer
    • at least three years of relevant professional experience acquired in the seven years preceding the application for the EU Blue Card, specifically for managers and specialists in the field of information and communication technologies (Information and Communications Technology Services Managers and Professionals), supported by employment contract(s) and/or payslips, along with an optional letter of experience from the foreign employer, demonstrating the specific sector of activity and the duration of professional experience, of at least three years in the preceding seven years

If issued outside the EU, these documentation must be:

  1. Legalized/apostilled.
    1. Translated, with translation certified as faithful to the original text by Italian diplomatic or consular authorities, apostilled, sworn, or attested by an Italian court.
  • for regulated professions, acknowledgment of professional qualification

Also seasonal workers, beneficiaries of international protection, holders of a residence permit for research, and holders of an ICT residence permit within intra-corporate transfers are eligible for Blur card.

Employment Offer for the EU Blue Card

  • The employment offer must have a duration of at least six months with an annual salary not lower than the national collective labour agreements or the average annual gross salary as reported by ISTAT (approximately 27,000 euros).

Additional Requirements by Employer

  • The employer must provide proof of unavailability of a worker already present in the national territory through the competent Employment Center, except in specific cases.
    • An attestation is required, certifying the employer’s compliance with the legal requirements for hiring foreign workers. This can be provided by professionals or employer organizations, taking into account various financial and operational aspects of the company.

EU Blue Card: Limitations

  • During the first 12 months of employment, activities other than those highly qualified are prohibited.
    • Changes of employer during the first 12 months require prior authorization from the Territorial Labor Inspectorate.

EU Blue Card and Self-Employment

Blue Card holders can engage in self-employment activities alongside highly qualified employment.

Job Loss

Blue Card holders who lose their job can be registered in employment lists for the remaining validity period of the residence permit, for a minimum of one year.

EU Blue Card from Another Member State

  • Holders of an EU Blue Card issued by another Member State can enter and stay in Italy for professional activities for up to ninety days within a period of one hundred eighty days (declaration of presence).
    • After twelve months of legal residence in the other Member State, they can enter Italy without a visa to carry out highly qualified work for more than ninety days, subject to approval. This period is reduced to six months if the individual moves from one Member State to another for the same purpose. Within one month of entry into Italian territory, the employer must submit the work authorization application. Within eight working days of entry into Italy or the issuance of the authorization if already in the national territory, the individual must declare their presence and apply for a residence permit.

Additional Aspects reagarding the EU Blue Card for working in Italy

  • The Immigration Desk should issue work authorizations within ninety days of the application.
    • While awaiting for the contract of stay to be signed, Blue Card holders can start working immediately after entry into Italy, upon mandatory notification by the employer (UNILAV). Proof of notification must be provided when signing the residence permit contract.
    • The permit duration is 2 years for indefinite contracts, equivalent to the employment contract plus three months in other cases.

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