Italy could be the next place to offer digital nomad visas, according to an early draft of a new law.
The prospect has, understandably, caused a buzz among the growing ranks of professionals who have untethered themselves from office-based jobs during the pandemic.
Where better to balance life online with getting out onto the gorgeous piazzas, hills or azure coasts of Italy?
For remote workers, a draft decree from the Italian Senate in January seemed to bring this dream to life. It proposed a new category of permit, specifically designed for non-EU ‘nomadi digitali’, or (less catchily) those “who carry out highly qualified work activities through the use of technological tools that allow them to work remotely, autonomously or for a company that is not resident in the territory of the Italian state.”
So far so promising. But this section appears to have been cut from the final version of the decree text published on 27 January. The Local, however, reports that legal experts have indicated that the visa made a reappearance under the conversion of the decree into law earlier this week (28 March).
With would-be digital nomads still in the dark – experiencing their first taste of Italy’s famous bureaucracy – here’s a list of the visa options which are still available for long-term travel to the country.
Visas for remote workers in Italy
It’s still possible to make the move as a freelancer or remote worker, even without the special category that others are enjoying in Malta and elsewhere. You can do so on:
A self-employment visa
This is the permit that most non-EU freelancers currently apply for when wanting to move to Italy. Getting the green light is another matter, however. Only 500 of these visas are being allocated in 2022, as in previous years.
And there’s a few admin stumbling blocks, like having to register with the relevant professional body for your line of work, even though these aren’t so common outside of Italy.
If successful, the self-employment visa is valid for an initial period of two years.
The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit is an alternative for those with a firm backing. You needn’t work for a huge company either; even a small company in the US or UK can set up an Italian branch, a senior immigration consultant told the Local.
This visa lasts for five years, and there’s no limit to the amount the Italian government gives out.
However it could be tricky to justify to your boss financially, as they’ll need to put at least €20,000 into the intra-company to show its credentials, and pay taxes. If you’ve got some similarly Italy-loving colleagues, perhaps you could make the case together.
The EU Blue Card
Introduced through the EU, this kind of visa might work for those employed by an Italian company. Again there’s no quota, but there’s quite a few rules to follow.
The Blue Card is for highly qualified non-EU nationals earning a minimum salary of €24,789.93, having completed a three-year university degree. On top of that tall order for prospective workers, the Italian company must have at least €50,000 to show it can hire a foreign employee.
If you can jump through these hoops, the card should facilitate easier travel around the EU. At first you can only work from the country where the company you’re working for is based. If you’re moving from another EU country to work for an Italian company, you can apply for the Blue Card after spending 18 months in that other country, and after one month of arriving in Italy.
None of these routes are straightforward for those wanting to be ‘digitali nomadi’ in the beautiful nation, so it’s no wonder people are crossing their fingers for a new permit.
Source: Euro News