Working in Italy
EU citizens, with the exception of EU citizens from Romania and Bulgaria, have free access to the Italian labor market and are not required to obtain a work permit.
Employees from non-EU countries are required to obtain a work permit and a residency permit in order to be gainfully employed in Italy. From 2010 on, applications for work permits must be applied for over the Internet on the website of the Ministry of the Interior (Ministero dell’Interno). The electronic applications are registered and forwarded to the responsible provinces for processing. As soon as a positive statement for the work permit is issued, the application is sent, together with a recommendation for a residency permit (contratto di soggiorno), to the Italian embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of origin in order to allow the foreign citizen to enter Italy with a work permit.
Employees of film companies or broadcasting or television companies do not apply at the Ministry of the Interior, but rather at the Department of Labor/National Employment Office for Performing Artists (Direzione generale del mercato del lavoro – Ufficio per il collocamento nazionale lavoratori dello spettacolo). The law allows for, beyond the regular earmarked immigration quotas, the issuance of work permits for conditional employment in the entertainment industry.
In the case of artistic employment not extending beyond three months, the work permit may be applied for once the employee is already in Italy. Work permits are issued initially for a period of 12 months.