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Social media groups and online forums have been abuzz in recent days with the news that Italy is introducing a digital nomad visa.
Such a visa would give remote workers from outside the European Union a far easier route to a new life in Italy than the current options available, which are only viable for a limited number of people – and so interest in the plan is understandably high.
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But there has been no end of confusion about whether or not the visa has actually been approved and passed into Italian law.
Even many of the Italian legal experts The Local has spoken to over the past week have been uncertain about the status of the visa law – particularly as the final version of the decree text made no mention of it.
The digital nomad visa proposal was initially included in a draft decree, as a provision offering a specific visa for non-EU nomadi digitali “who carry out highly qualified work activities through the use of technological tools that allow them to work remotely, autonomously or for a company that is not resident in the territory of the Italian state.”
As reported in an earlier version of this article, Costanza Petreni, a senior immigration consultant at the immigration firm Mazzeschi, said the proposal made it all the way to the disegno di legge (bill) stage before disappearing from the final text published on January 27th – making it unclear whether the visa had been approved or not.
“The decree did not include the visa option we spoke about which was initially included in the bill,” Petreni clarified on Tuesday.
She confirmed that the visa option then made a reappearance under the conversion of the decree into law on March 28th
“Usually only minor amendments are applied”, at this stage, she explained, “however, the converted law included the visa option, which was ruled out in the published decree, after our interview”.
This appears to mean that the digital nomad visa has in fact been approved and will become available – though none of the Italian legal professionals The Local spoke to on Tuesday were prepared to confirm this at the time of writing, with several immigration lawyers stating that they were still conducting reviews of the new decree.
If it is approved, the Italian government will need to publish another decree detailing the requirements and procedure for obtaining this type of visa – meaning it could still be a while until we know how it works and how to apply.