Looking to hire foreign workers in Italy and diversify your workforce with international talent?

Italy’s thriving economy makes it an attractive destination for professionals from around the world.

Hiring foreign employees can bring fresh perspectives to your organization, helping it grow and thrive in today’s global marketplace.

In this article, we’ll guide you through all the essential steps and considerations for successfully hiring foreign workers in Italy.

From navigating legal requirements to optimizing your recruitment process, we’ve got you covered on your journey to building a more diverse and dynamic team.


What You Need to Know Before Hiring Foreign Workers in Italy


Before starting the recruitment process, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

The Italian Government has set a limited number of work permits that non-EU nationals can receive to work in Italy. This is known as Decreto Flussi (translated to “Flow Decree”).

Decreto Flussi has the purpose of regulating the influx of foreign workers into Italy.

The quota figures specified in the Decreto Flussi for 2023 allocate a total of 82,705 work permits.

Among these, 44,000 work permits are designated for seasonal workers. At the same time, the remaining 38,705 are for self-employed individuals and those carrying out non-seasonal employment.

This means that you can hire foreign workers in Italy only if the Decreto Flussi annual quota for work permits has not yet been reached.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the Decreto Flussi isn’t always open to applicants. Depending on Italy’s migration flow, the Decreto Flussi is open over a specific period throughout the year.

The opening schedule for the Decreto Flussi can be highly unpredictable. This makes it extremely difficult to anticipate when it will become available.

If the Decreto Flussi is closed, it is mandatory to wait for the Italian Government to release new quotas before applying.

If the Decreto Flussi is open, then you can apply for a work permit on behalf of your prospective employee.


3 Steps to Hiring Foreign Workers in Italy


Hiring foreign workers in Italy can be complex and overwhelming.

In most cases, it involves navigating through red tape and lots of legal requirements.

Whether you’re a growing startup or an established corporation, these three crucial steps will simplify the process and ensure that you stay compliant with Italian regulations.


Step 1: Check If You Meet the Requirements


After signing a work contract, you must apply for a work permit on behalf of your future employee.

The Italian work permit is called Nulla Osta al Lavoro.

To be able to apply for an Italy work permit, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The Decreto Flussi is currently accepting applications


  •  The Decreto Flussi annual work permit quota has not been reached


  • Demonstrate the lack of availability among EU citizens for the role. This can be achieved by verifying with the local employment agency the presence of eligible local candidates.


More information about the Decreto Flussi can be found on the website of Italy’s Ministry of Interior.


Step 2: Apply for a Work Permit



You can apply for a work permit at the Immigration Office (“Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione”) located in the relevant Italian province.

You can submit the application online. The work permit for Italy has a maximum validity of two years.

At the end of this period, you can renew the work permit if your employee still meets all the required conditions.

The documents required for an Italy work permit are as follows:

  • Stamp duty of €16.00


  • Copy of the foreign worker’s passport


  • Photocopy of the identification document and tax code of the employer


  • INPS registration number and INAIL – PAT code of the company


  • Documentation proving the employer’s economic capacity


  • Proof of accommodation


In most cases, the office will independently acquire:

  • Income declaration of the employer or the company’s balance sheet


  • DURC (“Documento Unico di Regolarità Contributiva”) of the company


  • Chamber of Commerce registration of the company


For non-seasonal employment, you typically get an answer on your application in 60 days.

On the other hand, for seasonal employment, you can get an answer on your application in 20 days.

Once the Immigration Office approves your application and gives you permission to hire foreign workers in Italy, you should electronically forward the work permit to your prospective employee.

Then, your future employee can use it to apply for a visa.


Step 3: Your Future Employee Applies for an Italy Work Visa


After receiving the work permit, your future employee can apply for a work visa at the relevant Embassy, Consulate, or Visa Application Center.

The worker is responsible for filling in the visa application form and collecting the supporting documents.

We’ve already prepared a comprehensive guide to help workers apply for an Italy work visa.

Inside this guide, you’ll find a checklist of required documents, along with detailed information about the procedures and legal obligations.

You can access the complete guide by clicking here.


Hiring Foreign Workers in Italy: Final Considerations


Navigating the process of hiring foreign workers in Italy can be rewarding but also challenging.

From visa applications to legal requirements, there’s a lot to consider.

Nevertheless, understanding the ins and outs of hiring foreign workers in Italy can open doors to countless opportunities for your company.

So make sure you seize this strategic advantage and embrace global talent within your Italian company. This will undoubtedly allow you to increase workplace diversity and fuel growth.

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