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Work Permit Quotas 2019 for non-EU nationals:

Work permit quotas for non-EU nationals in Italy are released at the beginning of each year by way of publication of the Immigration Quota Decree ‘Decreto Flussi’, which allows non-EU nationals who meet the requirements of the decree to obtain a work permit in Italy.

The quotas vary from year to year. In 2018, the quota was 30,850 in relation to non-EU nationals of which 18,000 were seasonal workers. It is highly likely that the quota shall remain the same for 2019. In 2018, 30,850 workers were divided into three groups i.e. non-seasonal workers, seasonal workers and those who were converting existing permits.

Non-Seasonal Workers –Total 3,000 permits:

Foreign nationals who have completed specific educational programs in their home country: 500 permits.

Certain officers and administrators of Italian companies (restrictions apply), plus certain self-employed individuals from the following categories: a) Entrepreneurs (restrictions apply), b) Freelance workers, c) Highly skilled or renowned artists  d) Founders of start-up companies: 2,400 permits.

Foreign nationals resident in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay or Venezuela with Italian ancestry: 100 permits.

Seasonal workers – 18,000 permits:

Seasonal workers in the tourist and agricultural fields who are nationals of the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia,  former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kosovo, Mali, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine: 16,000 permits

Conversion of existing permits – 9,850 permits:

Conversion of seasonal permits into standard sponsored work permits: 4,750 permits.

Conversion of study/internship/training permits into subordinate work permits: 3,500 permits.

Conversion of certain long term residence permits (“permesso di soggiorno CE”) issued by another EU member State into subordinate work permits: 800 permits.

Conversion of study/internship/training permits into independent work permits: 700 permits.

Conversion of certain long term residence permits (“permesso di soggiorno CE”) issued by another EU member State into independent work permits: 100 permits *

In a the recent Press Conference ‘Conferenza Stampa’ on 23 January 2019, the Interior Minister stated that some countries who have not been collaborating have will be excluded from this upcoming Decreto Flussi, these will possibly include Pakistan and Bangladesh.

At Question Time on 21 November 2018, Lisa Noja from the Partito Democratico asked what the governments intentions were in relation to  the shortage of family assistance (l’assistenza familiare) staff and in particular to domestic workers and caregivers in Italy. The reponse was the the government priority lies in resolving the unemployment rate in Italy, which currently stands at 3 million.

The General Director of Immigration and Political Integration from the Ministry of Labour, Tatiana Esposito, has recently confirmed that the quota for 2019 is unlikely to change. She has suggested that those who are entering to carry out subordinate work should not exceed 6,000 units.

We are still waiting for the quota allowance to be confirmed from the Uffici di Gabinetto dei Ministri and for the signature of the President of the Consiglio dei Ministri. In the event that no decreto is released, the President of the Consiglio can rely on transitional provisions based on the Decreto Flussi 2018.

*statistics obtained from Ernst and Young