Start a new business and obtain work and residence permit

Nov 22, 2018

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 to highly qualified workers).


Background

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

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 (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 work permit and residence 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 to highly qualified workers).

Read more → 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.

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. 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).

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. Contact us for more information and a free quote, we would be delighted to help you reach your targets and goals.

Giuditta Petreni

Giuditta Petreni has over 10 years of experience in assisting companies and business investors with relocation of managers and staff to Italy. Giuditta has extensive experience advising corporate and private clients on a full range of Italian immigration categories. She is fluent in Italian and English.

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