February 2015

This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Italy. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.



Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:

• Attending business meetings or discussions;
• Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Italy;
• Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings.

Please note, business visitors must have the intention for a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment in Italy and they must have no intention to permanently reside in Italy.

Type of Business Visas – The Schengen “C” visa is the typical visa issued to business travelers. Note that many nationalities benefit from a visa waiver arrangement with the Schengen area and are permitted to enter visa free for business visits of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.

Basic Requirements

1. Travel insurance / Proof of medical coverage;
2. Invitation letter issued by the Italian company;
3. Employment letter issued by the company abroad;
4. Hotel reservation;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Italy;
6. Proof of funds.

Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.

Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Italy for up to 90 days out of 180 days during the visa validity period. Visas cannot be extended in country.

Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:

• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document valid for at least months from entry;
• a valid visa or authority to enter Italy (when applicable)


Basic Requirements – The principle visa category for temporary employment in Italy is the Work Permit (Nulla Osta al Lavoro) for intra-company transfers. This is a category for employers to sponsor approved skilled workers to work in Italy on a temporary basis. To qualify as an intra-company transfer, the employee must remain on home payroll, be highly qualified with at least six months of experience in the same field, and the sending company must be linked to the Italian entity by common ownership.

Note that there are several other work permit types in Italy that are not covered in this Country Profile. Please reach out to your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist for further information if needed.

Process Overview – The process for obtaining a work permit for an intra-company transferee is as follows:

1. Work Permit – filed by the Italian sponsoring company with the Italian Immigration Office;
2. Long Stay “D” Visa application – filed with the Italian Consulate abroad;
3. Employee Signs Job Contract – must be completed within eight (8) days of arriving in Italy;
4. Permit to Stay application – must be requested through the local Post Office within eight (8) days of arriving in Italy;
5. Biometrics taken;
6. Permit to Stay collection.

Note that Italian immigration is jurisdictional and all submitted documents shall be legalized, translated and validated according to the rules dictates by the Immigration Department in charge of their application.

Estimated Processing Time – two to six months

Validity periods – Permits to Work and Stay are valid for up to two (2) years. Renewals of are possible.

Family Members – Dependents of Permit to Work and Stay holders are granted permission to work in Italy once their own Permit to Stay has been approved.

Related Immigration Alerts & Blogs

Immigration Alerts