ITALY: New Quota Decree Published

March 24, 2017

The Italian government has announced a cap of 30,850 on the number of workers from outside the EEA allowed in Italy for 2017. The figure and the categories of workers allowed this year are similar to those announced in recent years.

  • More than half the quotas are reserved to entries for seasonal work (17,000)
  • The majority of the remaining quotas are reserved for permit conversion (10,850) to allow foreign nationals already in possession of a residence permit in Italy or the EU 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 9am on 14th March 2017 and can be submitted from 9am on 20th March 2017.

Seasonal work permit application forms will be available on the same website from 9am on 21 March 2017 and can be submitted from 9am on 28th March 2017.

Application forms must be submitted by 31st December 2017.

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 regarding Italian immigration, please email us at