With Legislative Decree No. 253/2016, entered into force on January 11, 2017, Italy has implemented the EU Directive 2014/66/UE, the so-called "ICT Directive", on the conditions of entry and residence of Non EU third-country nationals in the framework of a transfer between companies belonging to the same group.

The Legislative Decree has introduced two new articles – Article 27 quinquies and Article 27 sexies - into the Legislative Decree No. 286/1998 (the Italian Immigration Law).

Notwithstanding the above, it is useful to highlight that the Legislative Decree has not abrogated the traditional Art. 27 lett a) ICT work permits procedure of the Italian Immigration Law, but it has introduced an "alternative", duly compliant with the EU Directive, to the traditional procedure.

The new ICT work permit, like the traditional one, regulates the transfer of Non EU workers in the framework of an intra-company transfer from a Non EU country to Italy and it applies to:

  • managers, i.e. employees working in a managerial position, who may supervise the work of other professionals or employees;
  • specialists, i.e. workers who are highly specialized and who can provide the Italian entity with specialized knowledge; and also
  • trainees, i.e. junior employees who shall be transferred in order to gain experience and knowledge necessary to develop their skills.

The latter is an important news. It designs a sort of "Italian J-1" for intracompany trainees which was not available be-fore. In fact the traditional ICT is available for managers and highly qualified workers only.

The new ICT work permit does not apply to researchers, students, autonomous workers and workers seconded in Italy under EU Directives for secondments from other EU countries.

The new ICT work permit may have a maximum duration of three years for managers and specialists and one year for trainees. Once the new ICT work permit expires, a new application for the same worker can be filed only after 3 months.

No local hiring is permitted with reference to workers holding the new ICT work permit, differently from holders of a traditional ICT work permit who may be hired by the Italian hosting company after a first secondment period by way of a specific work permit conversion procedure. However, something important to be highlighted is the right of the holders of the new ICT work permit, under certain conditions, to temporarily perform activities at another company of the same group of companies established in another EU country.

In order to obtain the new ICT permit, the employment between the sending entity and the worker must be in place for at least three uninterrupted months at the starting date of the secondment period.

The procedure to be completed in order to obtain the new ICT work permit is the following:

  • the application shall be filed to the Immigration Office by the Italian hosting company. The company needs to submit, within the following 10 days, the required sup-porting documents;
  • the Immigration Office, if all conditions are satisfied, shall issue the work authorization within 45 days;
  • the ICT worker shall apply for the visa at the Italian Consulate located in his/her country of residence;
  • within 8 days from the entry into Italy, the worker must submit at the Immigration Office the worker's application for ICT permit of stay;
  • the Police shall issue the final ICT permit of stay within 45 days from the application.

Consequently the procedure is quite similar to the procedure to be completed for the traditional ICT work permit.

The workers who hold an ICT work permit issued by an-other member State shall be entitled to work in Italy up to 90 days by simply notifying their presence to the local Po-lice Station. If such workers want to stay for more than 90 days, they should obtain an ICT work permit, to be issued by the competent Italian authorities, while they shall be exempted from obtaining a work visa in their country of residence.

Furthermore, the new provision states that the ICT workers shall be entitled to bring their relatives in Italy, even if the assignment is for less than one year.

From a practical point of view, guidelines and details from the Italian Immigration Authorities (document lists included), that will clarify how the procedure for the obtainment of this new work permit shall be carried out, are still missing.

LCA Corporate Immigration team remains available for any clarification in relation to the content of this alert and, in general, to the transfer of people, of any nationality, from Italy to the different countries of the world and viceversa.

18 JANUARY 2017

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.