By Uglobal Staff
Italy has announced a new visa stream for digital nomads from non-EU countries, which is expected to be implemented by this coming summer season and compete with other similar programs in Germany and Portugal.
Italian immigration attorney Alessia Ajelli, who is associated with the LCA Studio Legale firm in Milan, told Uglobal that the exact details of the new visa stream, such as application procedures, would emerge in the coming weeks.
“We shall see how it will be implemented and what will be in the detailed requirements that, according to Italian immigration law, applicants shall have to meet,” Ajelli said, adding: “applications cannot be filed yet, as the visa category has not been implemented yet into Italian immigration law.”
While the amendment to accommodate digital nomad workers in the law was adopted on March 28, the exact procedures detailing the visa application process is expected to be announced in another decree in about a month's time after consultations are made with Italian ministries of foreign affairs, interior, and tourism.
“We must wait for the implementation of the visa category into Italian immigration law, which is expected by the end of April 2022, and which will set all the procedures, requirements and steps for the application,” Ajelli said.
Visa open to wide range of professions
According to the amendment, the visa would be open to all remote workers who use digital tools to work for companies outside of Italy.
Specifically, the text of the Italian law defines digital nomads as "citizens of a third country who carry out highly qualified work activities using technological tools that allow them to work remotely, autonomously, or for a company that is not resident in the territory of the Italian state. "
Giuditta Petreni, who is a senior immigration consultant with the Italian law firm Mazzeschi, told Uglobal the digital nomad is expected to be open to non-EU applicants from a wide range of professions.
“We do not believe that this option will be limited to certain categories of professions, it should apply to all. However, if a regulated profession is practiced, it may require acknowledgment of professional qualification in Italy,” Petreni said.
Nomads to get renewable permits
Italian media outlets quoted one of the architects of the new visa law, lawmaker Luca Carabetta, as saying that the visa would allow digital nomads to stay in the country for at least a year; further, the applicants would be able to renew their residence permits as many as times they wanted if they meet all the criteria.
In the law, it says “For these subjects, if they carry out their activity in Italy, no work permit is required and the residence permit, upon acquisition of an entry visa, is issued for a period not exceeding one year, provided that the holder has the availability of health insurance, to cover all risks in the national territory, and that the fiscal and contributory provisions in force in the national law are respected.”
Carabetta said the new visa stream would also allow applicants to bring their families, adding that the digital nomad procedures would be implemented “by the summer.”
While the exact criteria to qualify for the new visa is expected to be revealed in a month from now when the additional bill detailing the application process would be revealed, it is expected that digital nomads would have to meet minimum monthly income thresholds.
About the expected range of the minimum income threshold requirement, Petreni said: “We do not know yet; it may be the same as self-employment visa, that is to say 8,500 euros per year.”
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