Italy – Decreto Flussi 2018 Announced

Jan 18, 2018

The Italian government has announced a cap of 30.850 on the number of workers from outside the EEA allowed in Italy for 2018.
The figure and the categories of workers allowed this year are not so different from those announced in the last years.
Once again, no quotas for standard sponsored employment have been issued (apart from a few exceptions below).
More than half quotas are reserved for entries for seasonal work (18.000); the majority of remaining quotas are reserved to permit conversion (9.850) for foreign citizens already in possession of a residence permit in Italy or EU (study, seasonal work, permanent) intending to change status i.e. to convert the existing permit into a permit for employment/self-employment.
The remaining part – few quotas – are for self-employment work (2.400) and special categories (600) of foreigners (such as South American citizens with Italian ancestors or individuals who have completed a specific training in their country of residence).

Immigration for work purposes in Italy is based on a quota-system which is fixed annually by means of a Decree – the so-called “decreto-flussi”. The decree sets the numerical limits 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 skilled, executives or managerial employees assigned to the Italian branch of a foreign legal entity, university lecturers, and professors, translators and interpreters, professional nurses, etc.

Application forms will be available on the dedicated website starting from January 18th and January 24th. Applications for permit conversion and permits reserved to special categories of foreigners can be submitted starting from 9 am on January 23rd  while Seasonal work permit applications can be submitted starting from 9 am on January 31st.
Application forms must be submitted within and not after December 31st, 2018.

Instructions and deadlines are set in quota decree 2018 (DPCM 15 December 2017 and Ministries joint circular 17.01.2018

Quota categories
The 30.850 quotas are to be allocated amongst the following categories:


  • 18.000 quotas Seasonal Work. Limited to:
    • Agriculture; hospitality and tourism industry
    • the following nationalities. Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Japan, India, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Ukraine, Tunisia
    • Within the quota of 18,000 units, 2000 entries are reserved to workers that have already worked as seasonal employees at least once in the previous 5 years and whose employers apply for a multi-year permit. For these, no nationality restrictions apply
  • 500 quotas (work as an employee). For foreign nationals resident abroad who have completed an educational/training program in their home country (pursuant to Art. 23 of Immigration Law)
  • 100 quotas (employee/self-employee). For employed or self-employed work. Reserved to foreign nationals who have Italian ancestry and reside in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela or Brazil
  • 2,400 quotas for self-employment
    • entrepreneurs intending to implement an investment plan of interest for the Italian economy, involving an investment of at least € 500.000 and creating at least 3 new jobs in Italy
    • Freelancers/independent contractors who intend to practice: regulated or controlled professions (i.e. individuals belonging to a professional association or enrolled with an official/public register) OR professions that are not non-regulated but are considered representative at national level and included in the lists edited by the Public Administration
    • Holders of corporate offices or administrative/controlling positions (any of the following: Chairman, CEO, Member of board of directors, Auditor) in an Italian company, active since at least 3 years (requirements set in Visa Decree May 11, 2011 n.850)
    • Foreign citizens who intend set up innovative start-up companies, under certain conditions and who will have a self-employment relationship with the start-up
    • internationally well-known and highest repute artists, artists of recognised high professional qualification or artists who are hired by well-known Italian theatres, important public institutions, public television or well-known national private televisions (requirements set in Visa Decree May 11, 2011 n.850)


  • 4750 quotas – from seasonal to standard work permit. For conversions of seasonal work permit to standard, non-seasonal work permit (as an employee)
  • 3500 quotas from study to employed work. For conversion of study, internship and/or vocational training residence permit into residence permit for work (as an employee)
  • 700 quotas from study to self-employment. For conversion of study, internship and/or vocational training residence permit into residence permit for self-employment
  • 800 quotas. For holders of an EU residence permit for long-term residents issued by a Member State other than Italy who wish to apply for a residence permit for work (as an employee) in Italy
  • 100 quotas. For holders of an EU residence permit for long-term residents issued by a Member State other than Italy who wish to apply for a residence permit for self-employment in Italy

Employers should evaluate their need for work permits for non-EU nationals, especially if intending to hire foreign nationals holding a study, internship and/or vocational training residence permit or permanent residents of an EU country.

This article is posted by Mazzeschi Web Content Manager. Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact at Follow us on social media @StudioMazzeschi to receive latest updates.

  • Contact us

    To request an initial assessment or to arrange a consultation call with one of our consultants, please provide us with your contact details and we will get back to you within the next 24 (working) hours.

    Get in touch →
  • MAZZESCHI S.r.l. - C.F e P.IVA 01200160529 - Cap.Soc. 10.000 € I.V. - Reg. Imp. Siena 01200160529 - REA SI-128403 - Privacy Notice - Cookies Policy
    Copyright © 2019 by Mazzeschi - Web Designer Alessio Piazzini Creazione siti web Firenze
  • Mazzeschi S.r.l. | Operazione/Progetto finanziato nel quadro del POR FESR Toscana 2014-2020
    Il progetto ITACA (ITaly Attract ChinA) è un investimento nei paesi/mercati a lingua cinese, in particolare Taiwan con l’obiettivo di accrescere le quote di mercato dell'azienda. Tramite ITACA la Mazzeschi Srl ha aperto un ufficio a Taiwan con assunzione di personale di lingua cinese, creato un sito internet in lingua cinese e partecipato a fiere e varie attività di promozione a Taiwan.

    Mazzeschi S.r.l. | Project co-financed under Tuscany POR FESR 2014-2020
    The ITACA project (ITaly Attract ChinA) is a fund to invest in Chinese-speaking countries/markets, in particular Taiwan with the aim of increasing the company's market shares. With the help of ITACA project, Mazzeschi Srl has opened an office in Taiwan and has hired a Chinese-speaking staff, created a Chinese website and participated in fairs and various promotional activities in Taiwan.