Italy – Highly-qualified worker

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a highly-skilled employee in Italy? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To work in Italy as a highly-skilled worker:

Highly-skilled workers fall outside the quota system.

More on highly skilled workers (in Italian).


Where and how to apply

Proposal for residence contract

Your employer must present a request or a communication (in case he/she has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry) proposing a contract to the One-Stop-Shop for ImmigrationSearch for available translations of the preceding link in the “Prefettura” of the competent province.

Highly-skilled work is not subject to quotas. More on highly skilled workers (in Italian).


When the employer’s proposal is accepted, the One-Stop-Shop For Immigration will communicate the decision to the Italian embassy in your country of originSearch for available translations of the preceding link and you will be issued with a visa.

Residence permit

You must apply for a residence permit at the One-Stop-Shop for Immigration in the “Prefettura” of the competent province within eight days of arriving in Italy.

As a general rule, visas to enter the Italian territory (excluding Uniform Schengen Visas) cost €116. As for residence permits, their cost is €40 for stays between 3 and 12 months; €50 for stays between 12 and 24 months; and €100 for long-term residence permits, highly-qualified workers and intra-corporate transferees. In addition, administrative costs amount to €30 for the sending of the postal kit; €16 for the tax stamp; and €30.46 for issuance costs.

Documents required

You must sign a contract of residence (in Italian) and present a passport and travel documents.

Duration of validity of permits (Blue Card)

Your work authorisation corresponds to the contract of work-related residence and will last for a corresponding period of time:

  • contract duration plus three months;
  • If you have an unlimited contract the permit is issued for two years.

The duration of your residence permits will depend on your visa or work authorisation.


Decisions related to visas and residence permits can be challenged before the Regional Administrative Tribunal within 60 days of notification.

Further information

More on highly skilled work in Italy (in Italian)

Change of employment

For the first two years in the territory, the type of activity you, as a highly-qualified worker, may undertake must be similar to that for which a work authorisation has been released. Change of employer must be authorised by the Territorial Directorate for labour.


If you have a residence permit for salaried employment but lose your job or resign you may be put on the employment placement lists for the remaining period of validity of your residence permit or, in any event, for a period of at least twelve months.

Unemployment benefits are granted to workers who have involuntarily lost their job, provided they meet the criteria set by law.

Change of status

Highly-qualified workers may convert their status to long-term residence (see section on long-term residence below).

Family members

Family reunification is allowed provided the person residing in the Italian territory holds a residence permit of at least one year and meets the legal requirements as to incomes and accommodation.

Long-term residence

An EC long-term residence status is granted after five years of continuous and legal residence.

You must prove sufficient financial resources, accommodation and you must not constitute a threat to public order and security.

You must present:

  • copies of passport and tax declaration or declaration of income;
  • a criminal record;
  • a certified identification certificate and a certificate of adequate accommodation where a permit is simultaneously granted to a family member;
  • the following levels of income:
    • If you have no family you must show that your income is equal to or higher than that of the annual social security.
    • If you have a family composed of one or more members you must show an income equal to or higher than the yearly social security increased by half for each family member.
  • If you have two or more children aged less than fourteen, you must show an income equal to or higher than the double of the annual social security.

More on long-term residence (in Italian).

No information available