On June 23, 2023, the Italian government announced that foreign workers would be permitted to begin working in Italy while they wait to sign a contratto di soggiorno (contract of stay) at the immigration office. The change is part of a package of reforms intended to enable qualified foreign workers to begin employment in Italy in a more rapid fashion. While the foreign worker is still eventually required to sign the contract of stay, they no longer have to wait to do so before beginning formal employment.  

Easing the Contratto di Soggiorno Requirement

Prior to the government’s announcement, foreign workers had to complete three main steps before beginning work in Italy:

  1. Application for a work permit (nulla osta) from Italian authorities. The work permit authorizes the foreign national to apply for a visa.
  2. Application for a visa at an Italian consulate abroad. Once the visa has been secured, the foreign worker may travel to and enter Italy for employment reasons.
  3. Completion of the contract of stay (contratto di soggiorno) at the Italian immigration office.

The contract of stay is a document that confirms the terms and conditions of the foreign worker’s employment in Italy and is executed by both the worker and their employer. Previously, only once the contract of stay was completed could the foreign worker begin formal employment. Now, as a result of the change in regulations, foreign workers are able to begin work upon arrival in Italy, provide the work permit and visa have been obtained.

The government’s announcement applies to a broad range of foreign workers, including seasonal laborers, intracompany transferees, and Blue Card holders.

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