Italy Introduces EU Blue Card
The Blue Card allows highly skilled non-EU nationals to live and work in Italy and ultimately acquire long-term residence rights in the European Union.
Italy introduced its version of the European Union Blue Card on August 8. The Blue Card allows highly skilled non-EU nationals to live and work in Italy and ultimately acquire long-term EU residence rights. The Ministry of Interior is now accepting Blue Card applications online.
To be eligible for a Blue Card, a non-EU national must have a confirmed job offer or valid work contract with a sponsoring employer in Italy and hold at least a three-year university degree or equivalent work experience. The applicant’s degree must be relevant to the applicant’s proposed occupation in Italy. Applicants are not required to have worked overseas for an affiliate of the sponsoring employer prior to applying, and Blue Card applications are exempt from Italy’s work permit quota system.
A foreign national’s sponsoring employer is responsible for submitting the Blue Card application on his or her behalf. Blue Card applications will be adjudicated within 90 days of submission. After the Blue Card is granted, the foreign national must apply for an entry visa at an Italian diplomatic post before they can to travel to Italy.
Foreign nationals who have held another EU country’s Blue Card for at least 18 months will automatically qualify for the Italian Blue Card and do not require a visa to enter Italy. Within one month of entry, their sponsoring employer must submit the Blue Card application; the Blue Card will be issued within two months of submission. The foreign national is not permitted to begin work until the Blue Card is issued and he or she has executed a Contract of Stay after arriving in Italy.
Blue Cards are valid for the length of a foreign national’s employment contract plus three months, or for two years if the foreign national has an indefinite contract. Dependent family members will be issued residence permits that can be renewed for the duration of the principal’s Blue Card.
After residing in Italy for 18 months, cardholders may enter other EU countries visa-free and apply for Blue Cards in those countries, subject to local rules.
Fragomen worked closely with Studio Mazzeschi (Italy) to prepare this alert. It is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Global or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.