Italy Announces Several Developments
This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.
A new annual quota decree setting numerical limits on foreign workers was published on February 2, 2016. The new decree sets a limit of around 30,000 for subordinate, autonomous work, and other categories of employment, included seasonal workers.
17,850 quotas for subordinate and self-employed work are allocated as follows:
- 1,000 for those who have completed study/training programs in their home countries (under article 23, legislative decree no. 286, July 25, 1998)
- 2,400 for those performing the following autonomous work activities:
- Entrepreneurs intending to carry out investment plans of interest for the Italian economy, for a minimum amount of €500,000 and aimed at creating at least three new work positions
- Freelance workers in skilled regulated professions (e.g., lawyers, doctors, architects) or in professions not regulated by professional registers or by corporative arrangements but nationally representative and included in Public Administration lists
- Officers and owners of noncooperative companies as foreseen by the law on entry visas
- Internationally well-known artists or those with high professional qualifications employed by public or private organizations
- Individuals willing to set up innovative start-up companies (under law no. 221, December 17, 2012)
- 100 for subordinate and autonomous work, reserved for individuals of Italian origin with at least one Italian parent (up to third in line of direct ascendancy) residing in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, or Brazil
- 100 for non-EU citizens who have taken part in Milan Expo 2015
Conversion of Existing Permits Into Work Permits
- 4,600 for conversion of seasonal work permits into non-seasonal work permits
- 6,500 for conversion of study/internship/training permits into subordinate work permits
- 1,500 for conversion of study/ internship/training permits into self-employed work permits
- 1,300 for conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by other EU Member States into an Italian subordinate work permit
- 350 for conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by other EU Member States into an Italian autonomous work permit
The remaining quotas are reserved for seasonal workers and can be applied for starting February 17, 2016.
Quotas will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mandatory Employment Notifications and Immigration Procedures
Italian immigration authorities have fully implemented some changes to the immigration laws introduced in 2012 and 2014 (legislative decree 16 July 2012, n. 109, and legislative decree 4 March 2014, n. 40).
Authorities have lifted the Italian employer’s obligation to notify the Immigration Office (Sportello Unico per L’Immigrazione) separately whenever a mandatory employment notification is needed.
To comply with the mandatory employment notification requirement, an employer must send to the Employment Center relevant to the place of work the applicable online form through the government CO e-Service (Comunicazioni Obbligatorie [CO], which is Italian for “Mandatory Communication”). By doing so, all relevant authorities involved are notified at the same time: the National Social Security Institute (INPS), the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), and any other relevant social security institutions, as well as the government local immigration office (Sportello Unico per L’Immigrazione).
Through filing the form, the employer undertakes not only the commitments relevant to the employer relationship but also, in the case of foreign nationals, those pertaining specifically to immigration regulations.
Mandatory employment notifications are required in a variety of cases, including:
- When an employee is hired;
- When an employee is assigned to work at a company, though remaining employed at the sending employer;
- When a job relationship/assignment ends or is cancelled
- When an employee is transferred; and
- When there’s a change in the work place.
The online mandatory employment communications can be sent only by the employer or by a consultant/agency duly accredited and authorized to deal with the relevant online procedures.
Consequences in immigration procedures. By law, an Italian employer no longer must notify immigration authorities separately whenever there is a variation in the conditions indicated in the contract of stay (e.g., a change in the anticipated end date of assignment, a cancellation, or a change in workplace). Now the employer need only submit the online form.
Red flags. Because changes in law are implemented slowly and vary throughout the country, employers should continue to send certain notifications separately to the immigration offices to ensure that they are correctly received. In particular, employers should continue to notify authorities of any significant changes like the anticipated end of assignment, a cancellation, or a change in workplace. For changes to the contract of stay that are not “ordinary,” the employer should contact the relevant immigration office for guidance.
Any employer failing to comply with the mandatory employment notification procedure is subject to administrative penalties ranging from 250 to 1,500 EUR for each employee. (See article 19, legislative decree 276/03—labor regulations.) Therefore, any employer must be sure to use the government CO e-Service as appropriate.
Self-Certification of Foreign Legal Residents’ Data in Public Offices
The Court of Brescia (Labor division) ruled on February 4, 2016, that the right to provide a self-declaration confirming data already in possession of Public Offices (such as residency in Italy), as set forth for by articles 46 and 47 of Presidential Decree 445/2000, must be granted also to any foreigners legally residing in Italy. Accordingly, a foreigner who is submitting an application to a Public Office can avoid submitting certificates issued by different Public Offices and instead can provide a self-declaration confirming that the data submitted is true.