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Entry Visa for Digital Nomads: a Decree for Highly Skilled Foreigners

24 May 2024 - Immigration Law - Min Read 5 min
Entry Visa for Digital Nomads: a Decree for Highly Skilled Foreigners

With the Interministerial Decree of February 29, 2024 (Official Gazette General Series no. 79 of 04-04-2024), the procedures for issuing entry visas to Italy for so-called “Digital Nomads” and highly skilled remote workers are defined.

Specifically, the Ministry of the Interior, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies, has published the decree entitled “Procedures and requirements for the entry and stay of citizens of non-European Union countries who carry out highly skilled work activities through the use of technological tools that allow remote work.”

The entry and stay of citizens from non-European Union countries who carry out highly qualified work activities using technologies that allow them to work remotely are regulated.

The Decree specifies:

  • Procedures and requirements for the issuance of residence permits;
  • Categories of highly skilled workers who can benefit from such residence permits;
  • Minimum income thresholds for the applicant;
  • Necessary procedures for verifying the work activity to be carried out.

Entries of highly skilled workers into the national territory are already provided for by Italian law in Legislative Decree July 25, 1998, no. 286 (“Entry and residence for highly skilled workers. Issuance of the EU Blue Card“), but the affirmation of remote work, which has become widespread due to Covid, is now a consolidated reality that has made further legislative intervention necessary.

Who the Decree is for? Digital Nomads and Remote Workers

Authorization to enter Italy is reserved for those citizens from non-European countries who possess a high professional qualification.

The decree encompasses all those who work remotely but effectively distinguishes two distinct types of workers:

  1. Digital Nomads: Freelancers.
  2. Remote Workers: Salaried employees.

Both categories will be able to carry out highly qualified work activities in Italy, either autonomously or as employees, through the use of technological tools that allow them to work remotely.

In the event that such workers intend to carry out their activity in Italy, entry and stay, for periods exceeding ninety days, are allowed outside the annual quotas.

For entry and stay periods of less than ninety days, the issuance of an entry visa and residence permit is still required.

Digital Nomad

“Digital Nomads” are defined as highly skilled self-employed workers who use technological tools to carry out their work from anywhere, thus freeing themselves from the constraints of a fixed office.

Once in Italy, Digital Nomads who meet the decree’s criteria will receive a residence permit labeled “digital nomad – remote worker,” valid for a maximum of one year, although renewable.

To qualify as Digital Nomads, one must possess a tertiary level higher education degree or a post-secondary level professional qualification lasting at least three years, or a higher professional qualification attested by at least five years of professional experience.

As self-employed workers, Digital Nomads do not need to obtain a provisional clearance.

Digital Nomads, as self-employed workers, must also apply for a VAT registration number to certify their status.

Requirements to qualify as Digital Nomads

The requirements for Digital Nomads to obtain authorization to enter Italy are:

  • Being able to use technological tools that allow remote work;
  • Possessing high professional skills, equivalent to those required for the issuance of the Blue Card;
  • Carrying out highly qualified work activities;
  • Having accumulated at least six months of experience in the same work area for which recognition as a Digital Nomad is sought;
  • Possessing a minimum annual income derived from lawful sources not less than three times the minimum level required for exemption from participation in health care costs (roughly around €28,000);
  • Having health insurance for medical treatment and hospitalization, valid for the national territory and for the duration of the stay;
  • Having suitable documentation regarding accommodation arrangements.

Remote Workers

“Remote workers” are those who are employed by or collaborate with companies and carry out their work remotely.

For this category, the decree stipulates that a work contract or a binding job offer is required to apply for the visa and residence permit.

For “remote workers,” as employees, there is no need for clearance from the Unified Desk for Immigration.

The decree specifies how “remote workers” can change employers while the residence permit is valid or at its annual expiry.

Remote workers, along with the residence permit, will be issued a tax code.

Requirements to qualify as Remote Workers

The requirements for highly skilled remote workers to obtain authorization to enter Italy are:

  • Being able to use technological tools that allow remote work;
  • Possessing high professional skills, equivalent to those required for the issuance of the Blue Card; (check How to Employ Highly Qualified Immigrants);
  • Carrying out highly qualified work activities;
  • Presenting the employment contract or collaboration or the related binding offer;
  • Having accumulated at least six months of experience in the same work area for which recognition as a remote worker is sought;
  • Possessing a minimum annual income derived from lawful sources not less than three times the minimum level required for exemption from participation in health care costs (roughly around €28,000);
  • Having health insurance for medical treatment and hospitalization, valid for the national territory and for the duration of the stay;
  • Having suitable documentation regarding accommodation arrangements.

Residence Permit for Digital Nomads/Remote Workers

Workers who qualify as “Digital Nomads” or highly skilled remote workers may request the issuance of an entry visa, followed by a residence permit stating “digital nomad – remote worker,” valid for a maximum of one year (renewable but not convertible), and will have the right to apply for family reunification.

Foreigners holding an entry visa must apply for a residence permit directly to the police headquarters of the province where they are located (not through postal kits), within eight working days of entry into the territory of the State.

Digital Nomads and remote workers, not belonging to the European Union, will be assigned a tax code by the police headquarters, and communicated at the time of the issuance of the residence permit.

The decree also regulates the procedures for verifying compliance with contributory and tax provisions.

If there are no bilateral agreements (agreements between two States to regulate a series of matters of common interest) on social security with the country of origin, Italian social security and insurance regulations will apply.

Unlike the provisions of the Blue Card, the employer hiring a highly skilled remote worker does not necessarily have to be resident in the Italian territory.

This decree aims to facilitate the entry and stay in Italy of highly skilled professionals who can contribute to the country’s economy, while promoting work flexibility and technological innovation.

With these new rules, Italy positions itself as an attractive destination for remote workers worldwide.

If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers from the Immigration Department.

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Calogero Boccadutri

Calogero Boccadutri is the Managing Partner of Boccadutri International Law Firm. He has trial experience in Forex, Personal Injury and Administrative litigation.



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