The decreto flussi

Each year the government establishes how many foreign people can work in Italy. The rules are listed in a law called the Decreto Flussi. Read useful information to know the 2020 Decreto Flussi.

The decreto flussi is an Italian government law that sets how many non- European citizens can enter Italy for work.

Specifically, the decreto flussi establishes the number of non-European citizens who can enter Italy for lavoro stagionale (seasonal work), lavoro subordinato non stagionale (non-seasonal employed work) or lavoro autonomo (self-employed work).

In addition to the number of non-EU citizens who can enter Italy for work, the decreto flussi also sets the number of people who can convert their permesso di soggiorno (for example permesso di soggiorno per studio) in permesso di soggiorno per lavoro subordinato o autonomo.

The decreto is annual, which means that every year the government decides the number of people who can enter Italy for work in that same year. Therefore, a new decreto flussi comes out every year.

Decreto flussi 2020

The decreto flussi 2020 establishes that a total of 30,850 people can enter Italy for work reasons distributed as follows:

  • Lavoro stagionale (therefore for a job that takes place only in one period of the year): 18,000 people from the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea (Republic of Korea), Ivory Coast, Egypt, El Salvador , Ethiopia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Japan, India, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of North Macedonia, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine of which
    • 6,000 for seasonal agricultural work. Applications can be submitted by employers through these associations: Cia, Coldiretti, Confagricoltura, Copagr, Alleanza delle cooperative (includes Lega cooperative and Confcooperative).
    • 1,000 for lavoro stagionale pluriennale (with a single authorization the worker can enter Italy for lavoro stagionale for a maximum of 3 years).
  • Lavoro non stagionale e autonomo  (therefore for jobs that have a longer duration than lavoro stagionale): 12,850 people, of which
    • 6,000 people from Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Korea (Republic of Korea), Ivory Coast, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Japan, India, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius , Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of North Macedonia, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine and the other countries with which Italy has agreements for work in the road transport sectors (example: truck driving), construction and tourism (example: hotel waiter).
    • 100 people who have completed training and education programs abroad approved by the Ministero del Lavoro e dell’Istruzione.
    • 100 people who come from Venezuela and have Italian origin for at least one part of the family.
    • 500 people for lavoro autonomo, like entrepreneurs, freelancers, famous artists, start-up creators.
    • 6150 people who need to convert a type of permesso into a permesso per lavoro including: 4,060 people with a permesso di soggiorno per lavoro stagionale to be converted in permesso di soggiorno per lavoro subordinato non stagionale ; 1,500 people with a permesso di soggiorno per studio, formazione professionale or tirocinio to be converted in permesso di soggiorno per lavoro subordinato; 370 people with a permesso di soggiorno per studio, formazione professionale or tirocinio à to be converted in permesso di soggiorno per lavoro autonomo; 200 people with EC long-term residence permit issued by another EU member state to be converted into a permesso di soggiorno per lavoro subordinato; 20 people with EC long-term residence permits issued by another EU member state to be converted into a permesso di soggiorno per lavoro autonomo.

How to apply

From 13 October 2020, applications can be pre-filled to enter Italy with the decreto flussi.

However, the actual submission of applications is available from 22 October for lavoro non stagionale, lavoro autonomo or for conversions and from 27 October for lavoro stagionale.

The deadline for submitting applications is 31 December, 2020.

The application can only be made online on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. To be able to fill in the application, you must have SPID credentials.

For lavoro stagionale et non stagionale work, it is the employers who must apply, while for lavoro autonomo and conversions, it is the person with the permesso who must apply.

Among the information to be included in the application are:

  • details on the worker’s accommodation in Italy (i.e. where the worker will live)
  • and the documents necessary for carrying out the work, such as the contract (for lavoro subordinato e stagionale) or the licenza for the activity for the lavoro autonomo). The licenza is the authorisation that allows the self-employed person to start his business.

The application will be received and examined by the Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione

After the application

If your application for nulla osta is approved by the Sportello Unico, you can apply for a visto (visa) for Italy at the Italian embassy or consulate in your country of origin.

Once you have obtained the visto, you can enter Italy and apply for a residence permit to stay regularly and carry out your work.

IMPORTANT: The nulla osta is valid for 6 months. This means that you must enter Italy and apply for a residence permit within 6 months from the date of issue of the nulla osta.

If your application for the nulla osta is denied, you will not be able to receive a visa to enter Italy. It is not possible to apply twice in the same year, but it is possible to try again the following year if you meet the requirements of the new decreto flussi.

Remember that people who want to apply for international protection do not have to follow this procedure, but they must apply for international protection.

If you need more information and you are in Italy, you can go to the offices of the Comune that deal with immigration or to a patronato.

To find the immigration office of the Comune, you can do this search on the internet: “Ufficio immigrazione Comune di + the name of your city” (for example, Ufficio immigrazione Comune di Firenze).

To find your local patronato, you can do this search on the internet: “patronato + name of your city (for example patronato Firenze).

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