Italy – 2019 Quotas for Issuing Work and Residence Permits

Italy – 2019 Quotas for Issuing Work and Residence Perm

This report covers the enactment of the Italian decree, Decreto Flussi, setting forth the quotas for 2019 for different categories of foreign workers in Italy.


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On 9th April 2019, Italy enacted the annual decree setting forth the quotas for the current year that apply for several categories of foreign workers in Italy. 

The decree known as the Decreto Flussi explains in detail numerical limits for each category of workers/citizens permitted to enter Italy with a relevant work permit, the timing for the submission of the work permit request, and the terms and conditions for applying for a work permit.1  

The total quota for permits in 2019 is set at 30,850 – the same as in 2018. For last year’s figures, see GMS Flash Alert 2018-025 (12 February 2018). 


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

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 employee 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 are permitted according to Italian immigration rules following specific procedures.  


The Decreto Flussi this year establishes the same amount as last year’s quota.

If any quotas remain unutilized, the Labor Minister may distribute them according to labor market requirements across the Italian territory.

Categories of Workers and Permit Rules under the Decreto Flussi

The government established a quota of 12,850 “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 start up companies 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)     Individuals holding 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:

  • 3,500 residence permits for study or vocational training;
  • 4,750 seasonal residence permits;
  • 800 EU long-stay residence permits issued by other EU countries.
  • Self-employed individual conversion into a resident permit:
  • 700 residence permits for study or vocational training;
  • 100 EU long-stay residence permits issued by other EU countries. 

There are also additional quotas of:

  • 100 units for autonomous workers or subordinates who live in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, or Brazil, or of Italian origin.


  • 500 non-EU citizens who get diplomas in the home country.

Seasonal Workers

For 2019, 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 already worked in Italy during the previous five years. 

When to Apply

Applications for work permits must be submitted in Italian to the local immigration authorities on a dedicated Web site – applications are being accepted from 16 April 2019 for “non-seasonal” workers, and from 24 April 2019 for “seasonal” workers.


1   The new Decreto Flussi was published in Gazzetta Ufficiale (the Italian government’s official gazette) on 9 April 2019, in Italian,  see:

* 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.

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