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Italy – 2017 Quota in Force for Issuance of Work and Residence Permits

Italy – 2017 Quota in Force for Issuance of Work and

This GMS Flash Alert reports on the enactment of the new Italian decree, Decreto Flussi, that sets forth the quotas for 2017 that apply for different categories of foreign workers in Italy.



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On 8 March 2017, Italy enacted the annual decree setting forth the quotas for 2017 that apply for different categories of foreign workers in Italy.  The decree known as the Decreto Flussi explains in detail all numerical limits for each category of worker/citizen permitted to enter with a relevant work permit, the timing for the submission of the work permit request, and the terms and conditions around applying for a work permit.1  This year the total quota for permits is set at 30,850. 

In order to work in Italy, Italian immigration and labor authorities require non-EU nationals to obtain a specific authorization, the so-called Nulla Osta al lavoro (work permit).  Every year the Italian labor authorities establish a limited number of work permits available.  Working visas are issued under the quota system and a pre-determined number of visas are set down in the decree.


It is important that immigration and global mobility professionals with employees destined for Italy are aware of the terms of the decree, which sets out the framework, the specific practices, and rules for the issuance of employees’ work and residence permits in Italy.

Note: Formal international assignments (up to a maximum five years in duration) are not part of the quota system and they are permitted according to Italian immigration rules following specific procedures. 


The Decreto Flussi is updated annually in order to match supply and demand in the labor market.

If any quotas remain unutilized, they may be distributed at the discretion of the Labor Minister according to labor market requirements.

For more details on the quota system and last year’s figures, see GMS Flash Alert 2016-031 (29 February 2016). 

Categories of Workers and Permit Rules under the Decreto Flussi

The government established a quota of 13,850 “units” for “non-seasonal” employees and self-employed individuals (a “unit” is a “person”).

What’s New Compared to 2016

Conversion of Italian Permit of Stay

  • More units to convert seasonal work permits and EU long-stay permits into attendant work residence permits;
  • More units to convert study or vocational training permits and EU long-stay permits into self-employee residence permits.

Non-Seasonal Workers

The Decree provides for 3,000 units for non-seasonal workers.

Self-Employed Individuals 

The Decree provides for 2,400 units allocated for foreign citizens who belong to the following categories: 

a) Entrepreneurs who carry out activities in connection with the Italian economy, invest at least EUR 500,000, and hire at least three employees;

b) Self-employed individuals belonging to a professional association or enrolled with an official/public register; 

c) An individual who has a corporate role, as defined, in a company; 

d) Highly qualified artists or those who are considered international celebrities; 

e) Foreign citizens who want to start up an innovative company, as defined, in Italy. 

Additionally, there are also quotas of:

  • 100 units for autonomous workers or so-called “subordinates” who live in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, or Brazil, and are of Italian origin.
  • 500 non-EU citizens who get a diploma in the home country.

Conversion of Italian Residence Permit

Work Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno per Lavoro Subordinato ) from a Resident Permit on the Following Basis:

  • 4,000 residence permits on study or vocational training basis; 
  • 5,750 seasonal residence permits; 
  • 500 EU long-stay residence permits.

Self-Employed Individual Conversion into a Resident Permit on the Following Basis:

  • 500 residence permits on a study or vocational training basis;
  • 100 EU long-stay residence permits.  

Seasonal Workers

For 2017, the Italian authorities are providing 17,000 units for seasonal workers/employees classified as follows:

  • 17,000 units for workers in the tourism and agricultural sectors who are nationals of certain specified countries.
  • 2,000 units of the above-noted 17,000 are reserved to people who have worked in Italy as seasonal workers in the last five years.

When to Apply

Applications for work permits must be submitted in Italian to the local immigration authorities via a dedicated Web site – applications are being accepted from 14 March 2017 for “non-seasonal” workers and from 21 March 2017 for “seasonal” workers.


1The new Decreto Flussi was published in Gazzetta Ufficiale (the Italian government’s official gazette) on 8 March 2017.

*The KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration services. 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Italy.

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