Legislative Decree No. 152 of October 18, 2023, which implements the Directive 2021/1883 on EU Blue Card in Italy, was published in the Official Gazette on November 2, 2023: the new rules will enter into force on November 17, 2023.The Decree aims to promote a more effective regime for highly qualified third-country workers, broadening the scope and providing flexible and inclusive admission criteria in order to facilitate mobility within the Union.
Among the objective requirements for entry into Italy, it introduces as an alternative the possession of:
a) a university degree of at least three years’ duration (bachelor’s degree) or a post-secondary professional qualification of at least three years’ duration or corresponding to at least level 6 of the National Qualifications Framework;
b) The requirements of Legislative Decree 206/2007 on the recognition of professional qualifications for access to the practice of regulated professions;
c) a higher professional qualification attested by at least 5 years’ experience at a level comparable to a university degree, relevant to the profession or field specified in the employment contract or binding offer;
d) for managers and specialists in the field of information and communication technologies, a higher professional qualification attested by at least three years’ relevant professional experience during the seven years preceding the date of application.
On the other hand, from an applicant’s perspective, the pool of those who can apply for the EU Blue Card is expanded to include beneficiaries of international protection, seasonal workers, and workers who have entered the country to provide employment services as part of intra-corporate transfers under Article 27-quinquies.
The application for authorization must include a legally binding proposal with a minimum duration of 6 months, and the annual salary must not be less than the salary provided for in the national collective agreements signed by relatively more representative trade unions throughout the country, and in any case not less than the average gross annual salary as determined by The Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT).
During the first 12 months of employment, the Blue Card holder is subject to restrictions both in terms of changing employers and in terms of the type of performed.
The Blue Card holder may work as a self-employed person in parallel with work as a highly qualified professional.
Notwithstanding Article 22(2), the employer is not obliged to check with the competent employment office whether a worker is available in the national territory if the application for an EU Blue Card concerns a third-country national who already holds another residence permit issued for the purpose of performing highly qualified work.
The new Decree also changes the expectations for foreigners holding Blue Cards issued by another Member State who can enter Italy to carry out a highly qualified professional activity for a period:
a) not exceeding 90 days within a period of 180 days – short-term mobility – or
b) exceeding 90 days – long-term mobility, if 12 months of legal residence in the country that issued the card have expired, without the need for a visa and subject to the issuance of the nulla osta within 30 days of the submission of the application.
We invite all those interested in the Blue Card process to stay tuned to our social channels as we await the publication of the guidelines by the Ministry, especially regarding the requirements that will be needed to prove professional qualification or experience in terms of documentation.