Every year the Ministero dell’Interno issues the Decreto Flussi, which is the quota of how many non-EU citizens are allowed to enter Italy to carry out seasonal subordinate work, self-employed work and non-seasonal work from eligible countries.
In 2018, the Decreto Flussi quotas were already available in January, with the application being submitted on 31st January 2018. In 2019, they were released on 24th April 2019. 30,850 workers were allowed to enter of which 18,000 were seasonal workers. Many of these worked in agriculture.
Among the countries that made the most requests and that entered Italy following the 2019 Decreto Flussi were India with 22,000 (49%), Morocco with 9,000 (21%) and Egypt (11%).
The Italian provinces that have received multiple applications are Naples 13,000 instances; Verona and Latina 2,000 instances; and Rome and Trento 1,500.00 instances.
This year’s workforce is significantly lacking because foreign labourers are blocked in their countries of origin or because they felt that coming to Italy would pose health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the data collected from the Report on Migration and Rural Areas published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, in Italy the percentage of foreign workers employed in this sector increased from 15 to 20% of migrants, especially seasonal workers who are entering Italy to work in the fruit and vegetables industry. For example, Verona (Veneto) this year are requesting a 1,200 man workforce. Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova is working on this emergency.
Applications are made via: https://nullaostalavoro.dlci.interno.it/Ministero/Index2.
We are regularly checking the Ministero dell’Interno (nulla osta) website but note that the quotas listed on this page remain to be those of 2019.
We do not believe that the quotas for seasonal workers will be released before June or July 2020. The delay is clearly due to the pandemic. Although it would seem that every year the quotas are released later and later. The Department of Agriculture wants these quotas to be released urgently because there is a lack of agricultural workers in the Italian countryside e.g. to pick fruits. A lot of fruits and crops have gone to waste, which has had a devastating effect on the Italian economy and will continue to get worse until there are people on the fields.
Ironically, the UK, which has now reached the same COVID-19 death rate as Italy, had a mass of Romanians enter the UK to pick fruit in mid-April despite the pandemic at the time being at its peak.
It would be prudent to already start preparing documentation as those clients who submit the documents quicker when the quotas are released will have a higher chance of success.