Italian blue card residence permit

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Italian blue card residence permit

The Italian immigration law provides for a number of special residence permits for work reasons allowing certain foreign citizens to apply for a special Work Authorization anytime during the year, without limits, and, therefore, out of the entry quotas authorized by the Government. This procedure is indeed always open and is not in any way linked to the Work Authorization Decree.

Among these special cases are those established by the Italian Legislative Decree No. 108/2012 which implemented the European Directive No. 2009/50/CE on EU Blue Card. This Decree provides for a residence permit (hereinafter, also referred to as “Blue Card Permit”) reserved to highly qualified workers who are to be employed directly by an Italian company and hold a higher education or professional qualification that can be recognized in Italy.

The main legal requirements to obtain a Blue Card Permit are the following:

  1. the worker must hold a higher educational qualification (i.e. he/she must have successfully attended a university course at least 3-year long);
  2. the worker must first obtain the recognition of his/her educational qualification and, when provided by the law, the recognition of his/her professional qualification as well: (e.g. lawyers, medical doctors, engineers etc.);
  3. the offered work contract must have a duration of at least 1 year and ensure a gross yearly income of at least € 27,000.00;
  4. the company must ensure the worker an accommodation in Italy.

As highlighted above, before applying for the Work Authorization it is necessary to obtain the recognition of the educational or professional qualification of the worker. Once the qualification is recognized, it is possible to apply for the Work Authorization.

Right after the enactment of the implementing Decree, the provision on the Blue Card Permits were mainly interpreted as requiring the establishment of an employment relationship (lavoro subordinato) between the Company and the highly specialized worker. However, at a later stage, the Italian Interior Minister clarified that the relationship between the company and the worker could also be a “cooperation or similar work relationships”. In fact, the European Directive No. 2009/50/CE expressly states that the Work Authorization application may also be filed in favour of those workers who intend to work on behalf or under the direction and coordination of an Italian company.

Hence, as of now, it is believed that Blue Card Permits is applicable also to those workers who do not enter into a subordinate employment relationship, as it is the case of a managing director of a company.

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