Visas For Members

EU Blue Card: Who can get one in Italy and how do you apply?

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
EU Blue Card: Who can get one in Italy and how do you apply?
Photo: Marco Ceschi su Unsplash

If you need a visa to work in Italy, could an EU Blue Card be the right option for you? Here’s what to know about taking this lesser-used route.


All non-EU citizens planning to move to Italy for work will need a valid work visa. The two most commonly used types are self-employment visas (visti per motivi di lavoro autonomo) and salaried employee visas (visti per motivi di lavoro subordinato).

READ ALSO: How to get an Italian work visa

But for employees there is a second, less talked-about option: the EU Blue Card

First introduced in May 2009 by the European Council, the Blue Card scheme allows highly qualified non-EU nationals to live and work in any member state except Ireland and Denmark. 


The benefits afforded by the EU Blue Card vary from country to country. In Italy, card holders on open-ended employment contracts have the right to remain in the country for two years (the card can then be renewed or be allowed to lapse), whereas those on fixed-term contracts are allowed to stay for the entire length of their contract plus three months.  

More importantly, unlike Italy’s standard salaried worker visa, the EU Blue Card scheme is not subject to the limitations imposed by the ‘decreto flussi’, a government decree which sets out Italy’s changing annual quota for work permits. 

This means that, while there are only so many employee visas available per year, Blue Card applicants face no such limit.


There are four main requirements which EU Blue Card applicants must meet, according to the Italian interior ministry.

Applicants must:

  • Have an undergraduate degree. In order to be accepted by Italian immigration offices, this will have to be validated (dichiarazione di valore) by the Italian consulate of the applicant's own country of residence. Also, in the case of regulated professions, i.e. occupations that require registration with professional boards or national bars (teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.), all the relevant professional qualifications will have to be certified by the Italian education ministry (MIUR) beforehand.
  • Have a professional qualification that falls within Level 1, 2 or 3 of the Italian Institute of Statistics’ official jobs classification.
  • Have a binding job offer from an Italy-based employer that is at least six months in length.
  • Be offered a salary equal to or over 24,789 euros.

Application process

The first stages of the application process however are handled directly by the employer, which makes it slightly easier for applicants.

After making a formal job offer and once the candidate accepts it, the employer files an online application for a work permit (nulla osta) via the interior ministry's website. 

READ ALSO: ‘Not just extra paperwork’: What it’s like moving to Italy after Brexit

The application contains the details of the job offer (duration of the contract, job specification, salary, etc.) together with validated copies of the candidate’s degree award and all their other relevant qualifications (see above). 

Italy's interior ministry has 90 days to process the request, after which, if the application is successful, the applicant will be issued a work permit and will be asked to collect their entry visa (visto di ingresso) from their country’s consulate.


After entering Italy through the above visa, the applicant will have eight days to go to their local immigration office (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione, SUI), fill out an application form for the issuance of a EU Blue Card residence permit (permesso di soggiorno Carta Blu UE) and then post it to their local police station (Questura). 

READ ALSO: Visas and residency permits: How to move to Italy (and stay here)

Failure to turn up at the immigration office and post the application form within the given time frame will result in the nulla osta being revoked. 

Once the permit is ready, the applicant will be asked to collect it at their local Questura, officially completing the application process.

EU Blue Card residence permits have a two-year validity for people on open-ended contracts, whereas they expire at the end of employment for people on fixed-term contracts.

Common questions:

How much does the application process cost? 

There’s a 100-euro application fee plus a number of other administrative costs adding up to a total of around 75 euros.

Can I change my job while on a EU Blue Card residence permit?

Yes, if your new position requires the same level of skill and expertise required by your original position.

All changes must be communicated to and then approved by your local labour inspectorate (Ispettorato Territoriale del Lavoro).

Can I renew my EU Blue Card residence permit?

Yes. Renewal requests must be submitted directly at your regional police station's immigration office (Questura).


Can I take family members with me?

Holders of EU Blue Card residence permits have the right to be joined in Italy by the following family members (see articles 28, 29 of the Immigration Bill): 

  • Legal spouse
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Children over the age of 18 only if they’re financially dependent on the Italian residence permit holder due to serious disability
  • Parents over the age of 65 only if no children of theirs reside in their country of residence and no children can support them financially due to serious health problems

In order to be joined by the above family members, EU Blue Card holders must have:

  • Adequate housing
  • Minimum annual income (this depends on the number of family members joining the applicant)

In order to be joined by family members, Blue Card holders must submit a request at their local immigration office (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione) and provide proof of their relationship with the relevant family members.

If the request is successful, the Blue Card holder's family members are given a residence permit for family purposes (permesso di soggiorno per motivi di famiglia) with the same duration as the Blue Card residence permit.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on individual cases. For further information on the EU Blue Card and how to apply, visit the Italian interior ministry’s website.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also