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You are a teleworker and you dream of explore Italy longer that the restrictive 90 days that foreign tourists are generally allowed to stay? This possibility could soon become a reality, as the first Mediterranean country gives a strong indication the so-called digital nomad visa will be enshrined in law.
Although Europe, in general, has traditionally been strict on immigration channels, in recent years several nations on the continent welcome digital nomads who can demonstrate that they have a sustainable source of income. These workers also benefit from simplified procedures and face much less bureaucracy than ordinary migrants.
With Croatia, Malta and Spain all jumping on the trend, it was only a matter of time before Italy, one of their biggest competitors in the Mediterranean, joined the club. Soon, eligible people may be able to cross town Italy’s countless tourist hotspots without having to worry about their tourist stamps.
The Digital Nomad visa may have already been approved – or not
Italy’s digital nomad visa has been all the rage recently on his dubious deployment. While initially appearing in a draft Italian Senate decree in January, working its way to the disegno di legge stage (where it would be enshrined in law), it was is no longer visible on the final text published on January 27.
The move made those who had been eagerly awaiting Italy’s official announcement confused as to whether or not the visa had been approved. On the text itself, anyone doing “highly skilled” work remotely via technological means (e.g. a computer), either as entrepreneurs or as employees of a company registered outside Italy, would be eligible for the visa.
Corn there might be a silver lining.
Costanza Petreni, a consultant at an Italian immigration firm who was follow developments closelyat confirmed that the digital nomad visa reappeared on March 28, upon conversion of the decree into law. Despite some “minor tweaks”, this could mean that the new immigration route has finally been approved, after the initial setback.
What do immigration lawyers say and what might be the requirements?
Local Italy has contacted experts this week in order to get confirmation, with immigration lawyers admitting they are ‘still under review of the new decree‘ in order to establish whether a digital nomad visa has indeed been adopted. If so, it could still take some time for the new law to come into effect.
In accordance with Italian law, since it has already been approved, the government will be required to issue another decree specifying all the requirements and exact procedures by which remote workers can successfully obtain the visa.
This means that, although it seems likely at this point, it will materialize, there are still a lot of things we don’t know about the visa yet and its eligibility. Once officially launched, those interested can expect it to be similar to other digital nomad offerings in Europe. In neighboring Croatia, for example, applicants must:
- Take out health insurance for the entire stay in Croatia;
- Present a ‘proof of purpose‘: either an employment contract attesting to his status as a teleworker in a foreign company, or documents attesting to his status as a self-employed worker;
- Not have been convicted of a criminal offense in the year preceding their intended stay;
- Observe a minimum income threshold, which for Croatia is approximately US$2,545.28.
With Italy requirements remains to be defined and its still very mysterious visa process, nomads are advised to wait until the law is finally published before making assessments.
What other immigration routes are available for non-EU workers?
For now, those wishing to settle in the Italian peninsula should consider the other options available, such as making a intra-company transfer or apply for a European blue card.
The EU Blue Card allows “highly qualified third-country nationals” who earn a minimum salary of €24,789.93 and who have completed a minimum three-year university degree of move freely within the European Union (EU), as if they were European citizens.
As Italy is part of the EU, blue card holders are automatically allowed to seek employment in the country. Despite the economic obstaclethere are many other requirements in place that make the EU Blue Card, or other traditional immigration pathways, a biggest challenge for teleworkers.
If Italy’s new digital nomad visa is confirmed, it will help nomads migrate much easier, and with simpler requirements. Unlike Italy, countries like Romania and Hungary have already unveiled their coveted digital nomad visas.
Both are ideal destinations for remote workers looking to get off the beaten path and experience Eastern Europe without having to rush through landmarks. For more updates on Travel Off Path’s digital nomads, please see this link.
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