Working remotely while on vacation in Italy

Mar 20, 2023

The digital nomad visa is not operative yet in Italy and the self-employment visa is subject to a very limited number of quotas and extremely difficult to obtain. People travelling without a work visa can do some remote work on condition that the activities carried out while in Italy account for less than (i) 5% of their regular working time and/or less than (ii) 5% of their overall remuneration.


Can I work remotely in Italy without a work visa?

On March 28, 2022, Italy has introduced in its law — with great resonance — a specific visa for digital nomads and remote workers. The law provides, however, that the requirements and conditions for the issuance of these visas should be established with a further Decree that was to be issued within 30 days, i.e, at the end of April 202, but until now, no further actions have been taken and Digital Nomad Visas are still on hold.

See also: Italy’s digital nomad visa: 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒂𝒅𝒐 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 !

The new law has only established some general principles, and Digital Nomads:

  1. shall not need to apply for a work permit in Italy before applying for the visa at the Consulate; however
  2. shall need to submit comprehensive health insurance, covering all risks in Italy; and
  3. shall most likely need to prove to have done their job for a significant amount of time as well as to prove a minimum income requirement and submit their latest tax returns, as it is requested for self-employment visas;
  4. lastly, they shall need to comply with Italian tax and social security obligations.

In other words, similar to what happens for the self-employment visa — Italian Consulates shall be given almost total discretion on the issuance of the visas. This will most likely create confusion because each Consulate shall use different criteria to assess the applications and grant/deny the visa.

Work visa and remote working in Italy

Italy does not have any specific provision regarding ‘remote working’ carried out by foreign visitors. The website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an online questionnaire to be used by foreigners willing to enter Italy.

Il visto per l’Italia (

For both stays of less or more than 90 days, if you select ‘work’ as the reason for stay (and there is no difference if the work is for local or foreign clients) the answer is always that a work visa is required.

From a strictly legal point of view — even though the individual would be working for clients outside Italy — they would still work and if they have entered Italy without a work visa (for tourism or business), they would violate the scope of their visa/scope of entry (if they are a non-visa national).

See also: Visa options for individuals non-sponsored by a company

Can you do some remote work while on holiday?

Taking as reference the EU Practical Guide on the Applicable Legislation In The EU, EEA, and Switzerland, the following criteria could be taken into account to determine when the activities” can be considered marginal and ancillary activities that are insignificant in terms of time and economic return, thus not considered as “work”.

Marginal activities are activities that are permanent but insignificant in terms of time and economic return. It is suggested that, as an indicator:

activities accounting for less than 5% of the worker’s regular working time and/or less than 5% of his/her overall remuneration

should be regarded as marginal activities. Also, the nature of the activities, such as activities that are of a supporting nature, that lack independence, that are performed from home or in the service of the main activity, can be an indicator that they concern marginal activities.


For stays up to 90 days:

(i) visa nationals (eg, citizens of countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Italy, such as China, India, etc.) will need a business visa which allows stays of a maximum of 90 days and 180 days periods, irrespective of the duration of the visa;

(ii) non-visa nationals (eg, citizens of countries such as the USA, Canada, Japan, and Australia) can enter without a visa and are subject to the same limitation of a maximum of 90 days and 180 days periods;

both can do some remote work on condition that the activities carried out while in Italy account for less than (i) 5% of their regular working time and/or less than (ii) 5% of their overall remuneration.

For stays more than 90 days:

both visa nationals and non-visa nationals (irrespective of the purpose of their stay) will need a Schengen long-term visa (type D)See also the EU Visa Policy.

See also: How to count your Schengen 90 days

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