This article aims at highlighting the major changes regarding the regulation of legal entries into the national territory introduced by Decree Law No. 20 March 10, 2023 (the so-called Cutro Decree), with specifics according to the various categories of workers and permits.
As widely known, many types of visas for Italy are subjected to yearly quantitative restrictions. In the sector lexicon, these quantitative limitations are referred to with the term “quotas“, to which we will refer to below.
Seasonal Agricultural Labor
Employers who have applied for the allocation of agricultural workers but did not fall within the quotas can obtain the allocation of the requested workers with priority in the subsequent Flow Decrees of the three-year period, without having to submit any documentation again.
Strengthening Collaboration Tools with Foreign Countries against Irregular Migration Flows
Workers from states that promote, even collaborating with the Italian state, media campaigns regarding the risks of being smuggled will have priority access to reserved quotas.
The entry and stay for fixed-term, indefinite term or seasonal employment of foreigners who are citizens of countries with which Italy has stipulated understandings or agreements to facilitate the repatriation of irregular migrants to their country of origin can also be authorized outside the quantitative limits set by the Flows Decree, the so-called quotas.
With these changes, the Government intends to discourage irregular entries by promoting and incentivizing the cooperation of countries of origin through “reward” mechanisms, whereby regular entries are facilitated to citizens of those countries that are most cooperative in combating irregular entry.
Speeding up the Procedure
If the Immigration Desk does not obtain communications from the Police Headquarters regarding any obstructive reasons of a criminal nature within 60 days, it must still proceed to issue the Nulla Osta for entry (Art. 22 paragraph 5.01 of the Italian Immigration Act). The Nulla Osta is the first authorization that leads to the issuance of an Italian Visa and Residence Permits in many immigration procedures.
On the other hand, it is decided that the same Nulla Osta is revocable (along with the visa) should the obstructive elements be ascertained subsequently, also entailing the legal termination of the residence contract and the revocation of the permit.
In addition, the work activity of the non-EU citizen is allowed from the entry in Italy of the worker with a Visa, even without the signing of the public “contract of Stay” with the Immigration Desk. This simplification applies to all visas for employment, including seasonal work, and also extends to out-of-quota entries. This means, in practical terms, that employers will no longer have to wait for an appointment at the Immigration Desk once the worker enters Italy on a Visa. In fact, the worker will be allowed to start working from his entry in Italy.
Asseveration of applications for clearance
With the introduction of the new Art. 24-bis to the Italian Immigration Code, the verification of the requirements set by the collective bargaining agreements, as well as the appropriateness of the number of Nulla Osta applications submitted by the same employer in relation to its contributory and wage capacity, are entrusted to labor consultants and the most representative organizations of employers at the national level.
With the new Decree, the verification therefore shifts from the Provincial Labor Inspectorate (a public entity) to the aforementioned categories of professionals.
The above asseveration continues not to be required with reference to applications submitted by employers’ organizations that have entered into memoranda of understanding with the Ministry of Labor.
New Categories of Extra-Quota Visas (not subject to the quantitative limits of the Flows Decree)
- Foreigners, stateless persons or refugees who have completed a vocational or a civic-linguistic training courses organized on the basis of the needs expressed to the Ministry of Labor by the trade associations of the productive sectors concerned, may also be allowed to enter the Country with a Visa. Within 6 months from the completion of the course, the visa application and confirmation of the employer’s willingness to hire must be submitted. Within 7 days from the start of the courses, the Ministry of Labor notifies the Ministry of the Interior and Foreign Affairs the information on the participants to prompt the completion of checks and the absence of obstructive elements.
- Extra-quota entries, with the amendment of the ‘P.A. bis Decree’, also include non-EU workers who have already worked abroad for Italian companies or for foreign companies with full or partial Italian ownership.
Renewal of residence permit
After the first renewal, work and family residence permits are renewed for three years instead of two. The rule is probably aimed at easing the workload of the police headquarters, which in some cases suffer heavy backlogs with significant delays in issuing permits even compared to the 60-day limit from the appointment at the police headquarters for fingerprinting.
Specific quotas for new occupational categories
Among the various new features, we have the provision of specific quotas for workers in the family and socio-health care sectors, as well as workers for bus passenger transport, or employed in fishing, all occupational categories not previously provided for.
All holders of a residence permit for study/training purposes can convert their permits into a work permit outside of the “quota” limits, a possibility previously provided only for those earning a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in Italy.
On the other hand, as in the past, certain quotas are provided for conversions into residence permits for employment or self-employment by holders of residence permits for seasonal work and EU long-term resident permits issued by another EU state.
- In particular, with regard to self-employment, the types of conversions defined above (falling within the limits of the so-called quotas) are allowed in the maximum number of 50 per year, a very low number that suggests the government’s closure as to this type of conversion, by nature not supported by the “guarantee” of an employer.
- On the other hand, as far as conversions to employment are concerned, in 2023 and 2024, the “quota” conversions defined above amount to 4100 per year, while in 2025 5100 conversions will be allowed.
On our informative webpage on Italian immigration Law, you can find a dedicated section to several conversions of permit that are allowed without any quantitative restriction.
To learn more about the Cutro Decree, please contact us through our contact form.
– Article written by Pietro Derossi.