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Italy’s digital nomad visa: When it will be available and who can apply, according to an expert

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A digital nomad works on a balcony in Rome, Italy.
A digital nomad works on a balcony in Rome, Italy.   -   Copyright  grinvalds/Getty Images/iStockphoto
By Hannah Brown

Italy is one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations. But now, with millions of people no longer required to stay in the office, Italy is becoming a favourite for digital nomads - those who work outside of their home countries and change location frequently.

Until now, there has been no way for digital nomads to work legally in Italy long-term.

But good news came earlier this year when a new visa for remote workers was approved. It was signed into Italian law on 28 March.

Since then, many of our readers have been asking for more details on how the visa will work and when it will be available.

So we spoke to global mobility expert Damien O’Farrell, who has been helping people in Italy for the last 30 years, to get some answers.

Who can apply for an Italian digital nomad visa?

Digital nomad visas are typically designed to benefit all remote workers. But the Italian visa differs in that “it’s being managed under article 27 of the immigration code, which means that it’s aimed at highly skilled workers,” Damien explains.

Though it’s not clear so far who qualifies as a ‘highly skilled worker’, it could be as strict as requiring applicants to have a Master’s degree, according to Damien.

How many Italian digital nomad visas will be available every year?

It appears there will be no limit on the number of permits issued annually - as there are with other kinds of visas under Italy’s ‘decreto flussi’ (foreign worker quota).

How long will Italian digital nomad visas last?

Five Star Movement MP Luca Carabetta - an advocate of the digital nomad visa - has indicated that it will last one year in the first instance, and can be extended to close family members.

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You could soon work from one of the world's favourite tourist destinations.pixabay

What type of job and how much income will be needed for the Italian digital nomad visa?

Applicants will need to be able to evidence that they have been doing their job for a significant amount of time.

It’s likely the digital nomad visa will also entail a minimum income requirement, though the amount is not yet known.

Any other requirements for the Italian digital nomad visa?

Those wishing to apply for the digital nomad visa must have health insurance, an “adequate” place to live and a clean criminal record, according to Carabetta.

Another key difference is that applicants must be tax compliant in Italy before applying for the visa.

The bottom line? Based on the information that’s been made public so far, you’re going to have to meet a long list of requirements to get one of Italy’s digital nomad visas.

Damien’s advice is to speak to an Italian tax expert before you apply so that you understand what tax you’ll need to pay and the associated paperwork.

When will the Italian digital nomad visa be available?

Unfortunately, this is still unclear.

“No visa is available in Italy until an official decree has been issued. And in this case, it hasn't been issued.

“When it's going to be issued - only the Lord knows,” Damien says.

Italian bureaucracy is renowned for being slow moving and difficult to navigate. So it could be next month or it could be another six.

Current visas for remote workers in Italy

If you’re desperate to move to Italy and can’t wait for the digital nomad visa to be launched, there are visas already available which might be suitable, depending on your situation. Full details on these are available here.

Watch the video above to learn more about the Italian digital nomad visa.

Video editor • Hannah Brown