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ITALY: A new procedure has been introduced for intra-company transfers and highly skilled workers

The Italian government recently approved and introduced a new procedure to help facilitate the transfer of intra-company assignments and highly skilled workers. The new online procedure will be available only to companies who register with the Ministry of Interior and comply with the mandatory requirements, such as applicable minimum social security payments. Participating companies will be entitled to avoid filing work permit applications and submitting documents that have been previously requested.

The registration procedure will be facilitated for any company that is a member of an industrial association. Because the government is still introducing this online work permit application process, the details of the new procedure remain in the implementation stage and not all information has been provided.

The new procedure will include the following:

  1. The company must sign a framework agreement with the Ministry. For this purpose, the company must contact the Ministry and provide a copy of a certificate filed with the company’s register, bylaws and articles of incorporation.
  2. The Ministry will forward to the company a draft framework agreement that must be approved and signed by the company. The company may also ask the local industry association (Confindustria), provided it is a member, to adhere to the agreement that has already been stipulated between the Confindustria and the Ministry.
  3. After the execution of the agreement, the company is given a password and access to the online system and can file new applications according to the new procedure.
  4. Applications filed under the new procedure will be subject to the security checks on each individual by the police, while a clearance from the Labour Office will no longer be required.
  5. When the application is approved (the status may be checked through the online system), the individual applicant will receive a work permit approval and will be entitled to request the employment visa at the relevant Consulate.
  6. Once the employment visa is issued, and within eight days from entry into Italy, the individual applicant still must execute a Contract of Stay at the Immigration Office (Sportello Unico) and subsequently file the permit of stay application.

Serious bureaucratic delays expected

While new simpler procedures are being introduced, serious delays in work permit issuance are occurring as a result of government cut backs and resulting strikes at various Prefecture offices, which issue work permits, across Italy. In addition, many Prefectures are not issuing appointments for those work permit holders who have entered Italy and must sign a contract of stay within eight days, as a result of which they cannot apply for their residence permits.

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