Italy is a popular destination for international students seeking quality education and an enriching cultural experience. However, many students may be interested in working to support their studies or gain work experience while in Italy. In this article, we will discuss how international students can obtain a work permit in Italy. It will include the types of permits available, how to apply for them, and important information to keep in mind. Please note this is a summary of information that can be found on the internet. This is not legal or immigration advice.
Types of Work Permits
There are two main types of work permits for foreign students in Italy: a student work permit and a post-graduate work permit.
Student Work Permit
A student work permit allows international students to work up to 20 hours per week. To be eligible for a student work permit, students must be enrolled full-time in a higher education institution and have a valid residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). The residence permit is only valid for up to one year. But, it can be renewed annually as long as the student remains enrolled in school.
Post-Graduate Work Permit
International students who have completed a degree at an Italian institution can “convert” their student residence permit into a work permit. Students can apply for an employee work permit if they have a full-time position in a local company. Alternatively, they can apply for a self-employment permit if they start their own local company. However, because of the more stringent criteria for a self-employment permit, the most common avenue to convert a student permit is through a full-time job offer in Italy.
Steps for Converting A Student Permit to a Work Permit
According to ImmigrationItaly, the process to converting a student permit are:
- online registration with the Ministry of Interior in Italy and filing the application form;
- file all the requested documents (in original) with the local municipality of the city/town of residence;
- sign the agreement of stay in Italy and obtain the necessary documents for applying for a residence permit;
- file the necessary documents for obtaining the Italian residence permit with the post office.
Documents Needed for Conversion
Although it seems simple, we all know that Italian bureaucracy is a long and frustrating process. So, it’s best to know about the procedure and prepare these essential documents beforehand:
- proof of residence (the current student visa);
- proof of employment (the job offer) when applying for an employee permit;
- information about the employer (name, company records, phone number and email address, VAT returns and others);
- information about the degree obtained from the Italian university (when applying for a self-employment permit);
- information about the activity completed which allows for self-sufficiency and proof of annual income of more than 8,500 euros per year;
- information about the housing arrangements (compliance and availability which must be proved through a rental or lease contract).
For international students who are already enrolled in an Italian institution, finding work and staying in Italy is much easier compared to other foreign workers. When looking for a job during your studies, ensure your employer can accommodate your part-time student permit requirements.
If you have graduated and are searching for a job, let potential employers know you don’t need a sponsorship to work at their company. Instead, ask for the administrative help you will need to convert your student visa. Most importantly, make sure to do this procedure before your current student visa expires so you can guarantee your stay in Italy long after your studies are finished.
Best of luck with the Italian bureaucracy system to us all!