ITALY: 2018 Quota Decree Published

The Italian government has announced a cap of 30,850 on the number of workers from outside the EEA allowed in Italy for 2018. The total number of quotas is the same as for 2017, and the number per category of workers is only slightly different.

Quota Allocations

  • More than half the quotas are reserved to entries for seasonal work (18,000 – up from 17,000 in 2017).
  • The majority of the remaining quotas are reserved for permit conversion (9850 – down from 10,850 in 2017) to allow foreign nationals already in possession of a residence permit in Italy or the EU to change status, i.e., to convert this into a permit for employment or self-employment.
  • The remaining quotas are for self-employed work (2400) and special categories (600) of foreign nationals (such as South American nationals with Italian ancestors or individuals who have completed specific training in their country of residence).


Immigration for work purposes in Italy is based on a quota-system which is fixed annually by means of a Decree – the so-called “Decreto Flussi”.

The decree sets the numerical limits for each category of foreign national allowed to apply for a work permit and the period during which applications can be submitted. Permits are normally granted on a first come, first served basis.

Several categories of workers are excluded from the cap and are not subject to a fixed limit, such as intra-corporate transferees, highly skilled, executives or managerial employees assigned to the Italian branch of a foreign legal entity, university lecturers and professors, translators and interpreters and professional nurses.


Application forms for permit conversion and permits reserved for special categories of foreign national will be available on a dedicated website from 18 January 2018 and can be submitted from 9am on 23rd January 2018.

Seasonal work permit application forms will be available on the same website from 23rd January 2018 and can be submitted from 9am on 31st January 2018.

Application forms must be submitted by 31st December 2018.

Our Advice

Employers should evaluate their need for work permits for non-EU nationals, especially if intending to hire foreign nationals holding a study, internship or vocational training residence permit, or permanent residents of an EU country.

For advice and information on immigration to Italy in general, please email us at


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