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Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy's digital nomad visa

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Q&A: Your questions answered about Italy's digital nomad visa
Can you make a living while travelling the world? Italy's new digital nomad visa is expected to make this easier. Photo by Persnickety Prints on Unsplash

Italy's long-awaited digital nomad visa is now available, but who can apply and how does it work? We answer readers' most common questions about the visa and application process.


Following the news that Italy’s 'digital nomad' visa has finally been introduced, we've received questions from readers around the world who are interested in taking advantage of the scheme.

It’s hoped that the new digital nomad visa will mean an easier route to a new life in Italy than the other visa options already available, which immigration experts say are not always viable for freelancers and remote workers.

READ ALSO: Which European countries offer a 'digital nomad' visa?

While it is possible for many non-EU nationals to spend up to 90 days in Italy without a visa, anyone wishing to become a resident and work legally in the country must apply for a visa and work permit. 

Note that citizens of EEA/Schengen countries do not face a visa requirement in order to live and work in Italy.

While the final approval of the new digital nomad visa looks promising, there are a few rules and requirements to know about when deciding whether this option is right for you.

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the visa so far, based on the text of the now-published implementation decree (read it in full here, in Italian) as well as the latest advice from immigration lawyers at Studio Legale Metta.

Who is eligible for this type of visa?

According to Studio Legale Metta, “this new visa is meant for freelancers, self-employed digital nomads and remote employees on a company payroll.”

While the implementing decree does not specify particular types of employment, applicants must have a degree or professional qualification.

LISTED: The visa options Americans can apply for to live in Italy

Metta explains that “applicants must prove they have a university or college degree (minimum 3 years) from an accredited institution, an accredited professional license, or accredited superior professional experience.”


And there is a minimum income requirement. The law states that to be eligible, workers must have an annual income of no less than three times the minimum amount that would exempt them from paying for healthcare, which is equal to just under €28,000 per year.

However, as Metta explains, “this can include income from any source, for example, rental income, corporate dividends, etc. 

“Plus, each Italian Consulate might apply its own interpretation about qualifying sources of income and might require a higher amount as well.”

READ ALSO: Does Italy have a golden visa?

Applicants must also have valid health insurance for the duration of their stay, and must provide evidence that they have performed the same work they intend to carry out in Italy for at least six months before arriving in the country.

The applicant must also provide either an employment contract or what the decree terms a “collaboration contract” along with an identification document and proof that they have accommodation in Italy.

How long will an Italian digital nomad visa be valid?

As expected, the visa is valid for one year in the first instance and can be renewed yearly as long as you still meet all the requirements.

Living the remote-working dream in Italy will involve a bit of paperwork. Photo by David Espina on Unsplash


When and how can I apply for Italy’s digital nomad visa?

Applications for Italy's digital nomad visa appear to be open as of the publication of the implementation decree.

To apply, you’ll need to book an in-person appointment at an Italian consulate in your home country and obtain the correct visa application form for that consulate (these may vary by consulate.)

READ ALSO: Do you need a lawyer for an Italian visa or residency permit application?

Your consulate should be able to give you a list of the exact requirements ahead of your appointment, but it’s likely you’ll need to bring documentation including a valid passport, proof of employment, proof of income, health insurance, proof of accommodation in Italy and a criminal record certificate.

As with applications for other types of Italian visa, the exact requirements, and waiting times for approval, may vary by consulate.

Find a complete guide to applying for Italy's digital nomad visa here.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

The decree text does not mention any age limits, meaning that, just as for most other types of Italian visa, there are unlikely to be any such requirements.


How much will the visa application cost?

“The visa application fee is 116 euros per person,” advises Metta. “Some consulates accept cash and even local currency. In most cases, they ask for a money order payable to the Consulate of Italy.”

“Check on the website of your competent Italian Consulate for the applicable fee in local currency right before submitting the Italian Digital Nomad Visa application form.”

How long does the application process take?

While there is no official timeframe to refer to, Studio Legale Metta suggests “accounting for a minimum of 4-5 months for the entire process (that includes the 3 months, by law, that the consulate has to get back to you about whether your visa has been approved or not).”

What could cause your application to be denied?

Aside from failing to meet any of the criteria listed above, having a criminal record from within the past five years may mean your application is turned down.

The law states that the applicant must have an employer certify, or must self-certify, that they have not received any convictions in the past five years for crimes relating to migration, prostitution, exploitation of minors or labour exploitation; the visa can be revoked at any time if this is found to be untrue.


Will I need a nulla osta al lavoro?

The nulla osta authorisation document for work purposes is usually requested as part of applications for an Italian work permit, but one benefit of the digital nomad visa scheme is that this document is not required, as confirmed by the decree text.

This is because those entering Italy with a digital nomad visa will be eligible to get a work permit outside of Italy’s limited quota system for foreign workers.

What other documentation will I need?

Your Italian digital nomad visa will give you the right to enter Italy and apply for a residency permit - as well as to work legally once you arrive.

But of course, this isn't the only piece of paperwork you'll need in order to become an Italian resident.

Once you’ve got your visa, and within eight days of your arrival in Italy, you’ll need to apply for the residency permit, or permesso di soggiorno

“The Permesso di Soggiorno for an Italian Digital Nomad and Remote Worker Visa usually is issued for one or two full years starting from the date of your filing your permit application with the Italian post office, regardless of the visa expiration date,” explains Metta.

How is the digital nomad visa different to the self-employment visa?

Italy does already have a self-employment visa and other existing work visa options.

The main difference is that those who successfully apply for the digital nomad visa will be able to get a work permit outside of Italy’s limited quota system for foreign workers.

EXPLAINED: Italian work permits: Who needs one and how do you get it?

This is a big deal because the quota system only allows for 500 permits per year (for the last few years, including in 2024) to be issued to self-employed workers - and that’s if you can meet the requirements, including the definition of a 'self-employed worker', for the purposes of the self-employment visa.

Immigration lawyers describe the application process for the self-employment visa as “hard and uncertain” due to limited availability and stringent (and often unclear) application requirements.

Another potential option for highly qualified workers moving to Italy is the EU Blue Card scheme.

How will taxation work for digital nomads in Italy?

Italy’s tax rules are primarily based on residency. Becoming legally resident generally means you'll be seen by the Italian state as resident for tax purposes and obliged to file an income tax return - you can see a full explanation here of how the tax residency rules work.

This should not mean you'll be taxed twice on the same income, but the rules will depend on any taxation agreements your country has with Italy.

As Italy’s tax system is complex, it’s always advisable to seek professional advice from a qualified professional.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on specific cases. For more information about visa applications, see the Italian Foreign Ministry's visa website or contact the Italian consulate in your country.


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].
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Maude Frances 2024/04/12 16:24
Under an Elective Residency Visa, permanent residence is possible after five years, followed by citizenship after another five. Will this be the case also for the Digital Nomad Visa?
Barnaby Benson 2024/04/10 18:18
The article doesn't explain what are the benefits of having the digital nomad visa? Presumably the residency permit you can they apply for gives you permission to stay in the country all year round i.e. not be subject to the 90 day rule? It would be good to have this confirmed.

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