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Italy – 2018 Quota in Force for Issuance of Work and Residence Permits

Italy – 2018 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 2018 that apply for different categories of foreign workers in Italy.



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On 16 January 2018, Italy enacted the annual decree setting forth the quotas for 2018 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 Italy 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  

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 Minister2 according to labor market requirements.

For more details on the quota system and last year’s figures, see GMS Flash Alert 2017-060 (5 April 2017). 

Categories of Workers and Permit Rules under the Decreto Flussi

Categories of Workers and Permit Rules under the Decreto FlussiThe government established a quota of 13,850 “units” for “non-seasonal” employees and self-employed individuals (a “unit” is a “person”).

Non-Seasonal 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 €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.

Conversion of Italian Residence Permit

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

  • 3,500 residence permits on study or vocational training basis; 
  • 4,750 seasonal residence permits; 
  • 800 EU long-stay residence permits.

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

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

There are also additional quotas of:

  • 100 units for autonomous workers or 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.

Seasonal Workers

For 2018, the Italian authorities are providing 18,000 units for seasonal workers/employees classified as follows:

  • 16,000 units for seasonal workers/ employees (in general) plus 2,000 for seasonal workers who have previously worked in Italy during 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 23 January 2018 for “non-seasonal” workers, and from 31 January 2018 for “seasonal” workers.


1  The new Decreto Flussi was published in Gazzetta Ufficiale (the Italian government’s official gazette) on 16 January 2018.  For the Decreto Flussi, click here.  

Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali.

* Please note that the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labor services. 

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

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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