Apart from being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy has something more to offer to foreign remote workers who are seeking a life-work balance. Close to the big cities, Italy preserves its treasures. Here, those who work remotely can find affordable rental prices, a decent public transportation system, active and prosperous communities, and excellent food sold at very low prices.
Does Italy Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
Italy is a top destination for digital nomads and remote workers looking to experience la dolce vita. With stunning scenery, delicious food, historic cities, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder many location-independent professionals flock to Italy. However, one question often arises: does Italy offer a specific digital nomad visa or remote work permit?
The short answer is no, Italy currently does not have an official digital nomad visa. But things are going to change very soon as the Parliament has created a specific law.
Highly skilled remote workers will be soon more than welcome
A new law in Italy aims to attract highly skilled remote workers from outside the EU. Article 6 of Law 25, voted on March 28, 2022, modifies Article 27 of the Consolidated Law on Immigration (Legislative Decree 286/1998) to create a new residence permit category for non-EU “digital nomads” and remote workers.
This category will allow qualified individuals from outside the EU to work remotely in Italy, either as freelancers or for companies based abroad. To enter Italy, these remote workers will need to obtain a special one-year visa for this category.
Once the one-year visa is obtained, remote workers in this category will be entitled to a one-year residence permit. They must have health insurance covering all risks and comply with Italy’s tax and social security laws. This new policy creates an opportunity for companies based outside of Italy to hire highly skilled staff who want the experience of living in Italy, a development that benefits both the workers and the Italian economy.
Italy as a coworking space
The new law signals Italy’s ambition to attract more digital nomads and highly skilled remote workers from non-EU countries. As coworking spaces and remote work hubs expand in Italy, especially in the South, the country is becoming an increasingly welcoming place for location-independent professionals. While Italy does not yet have an official “digital nomad visa,” this law brings it one step closer. Further developments on this front are expected in the coming years.
With the growth of coworking spaces and remote work friendly locations, especially in southern Italy, the landscape is becoming more welcoming to location independent professionals. There is hope Italy may launch a digital nomad or remote work visa in the coming years.
Alternatives to the visa for digital nomads
While waiting for the new law to be implemented, there are a few options for those looking to work remotely while enjoying all Italy has to offer.
While Italy may not have an official digital nomad program now, the country is working to attract more digital nomads and remote workers.
For now, with a bit of patience and paperwork, it is possible for digital nomads and remote workers to experience and work from Italy.One option is to apply for a self-employment or freelancer visa, which allows you to work for yourself – including remotely for foreign companies. To be eligible, you will need to prove you have enough income to support yourself in Italy and that your services provide economic benefit.
To obtain a self-employment or other kind of visa, you can refer to a legal service in Italy.
Another possibility is to enter Italy as a tourist, which allows you to stay up to 90 days, then apply for a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) which can be extended to up to one year. While on a tourist visa or residence permit, remote work is technically not allowed but rarely enforced for digital nomads – just be discreet. You will still need to show proof of income and health insurance to apply for the residence permit.
The final and most flexible option is to apply for an Elective Residence Visa, which allows you to stay in Italy for up to one year with few restrictions. With this visa, you can work remotely for a foreign employer. You will need to provide evidence of income, accommodation, and health insurance to obtain the visa. The flexible Elective Residence Visa may be the best option currently available for digital nomads looking to work while living la dolce vita in Italy.
A fabulous digital nomad community
Plus, Italy hosts a great community, the Italian FB Digital Nomad Community! It’s a group where remote workers that are interested in Italy, or already living there, share information. Joining the community, you’ll get insider advice on where to live and work in Italy, and suggestions for solutions such as home exchange and coliving. Those who like the idea of sharing their experience with other digital nomads should also look into the useful tips offered on the Globeworker web app: you’ll find a lot of useful information.
What do you need to be a digital nomad in Italy?
First and foremost, a digital nomad visa for Italy. Digital nomad visas are those created especially to enable travelers to stay in a country longer, typically for a timeframe between six months and two years, and be allowed to work remotely.
Does Italy have a digital nomad visa?
Yes, on paper: the Italian government approved a 12-month visa for non-EU remote workers more than one year ago, precisely on March 28, 2022, but the details are hard to understand because they haven’t been fully implemented yet. This law will allow non-EU citizens to obtain a residence permit (“permesso di soggiorno”) and work remotely without applying for a standard work visa permit. The latter, in fact, is subject to the quota limits established by the annual Decreto Flussi, the law that sets the maximum number of non-EU citizens who can be granted visas for employment or self-employment.
Digital nomad visa Italy – eligibility
What we do know for sure is that to be eligible for a digital nomad visa for Italy, you have to:
- Be a non-EU citizen
- Have a job for a non-Italian company based abroad
- Provide proof that you will be working remotely
Digital nomad visa Italy – requirements
There are specific requirements you will need to meet to get a digital nomad visa for Italy. Specifically, you’ll be required to prove that you have:
- Sufficient financial means
- Accommodation in Italy (an apartment rental agreement or hotel booking)
- Health insurance covering the full length of your stay in Italy
- A clean criminal record
Digital nomad visa for Italy – taxes
The legislation governing the details of digital nomad visas for Italy still needs to be finalized, but what is certain is that long-term digital nomads will have to pay Italian taxes. The good news is that current Italian fiscal law provides for several advantageous tax regimes applicable to remote workers and freelancers in general, and to foreign nationals in particular.
First and foremost the Regime Forfettario, a scheme that offers Italian tax residents a flat rate equal to 15%, or 5% for the first five years of a new business. All taxpayers whose income does not exceed €85,000 per year are eligible.
The “Lavoratori Impatriati” scheme is also interesting for digital nomads, and in fact, is devised to attract workers who choose to transfer their residence to Italy. Taxpayers subject to this regime pay only 30% taxes on their annual income for the first five years, and those who select certain regions, specifically Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sardinia, or Sicily, only 10%.
These favorable taxation regimes are certainly an added bonus and another good reason to be a digital nomad in Italy.
Interest Rates on Mortgages in Italy
In 2023, and possibly into 2024, interest rates on mortgages and personal loans in England are expected to rise. This means that buying a house in the UK has become increasingly difficult, as the cost of borrowing money becomes more expensive. However, there is an alternative for those looking to purchase their own property: buying a home in Italy.
Italy is an attractive option for those looking to buy a home. In many areas of Italy, property prices are significantly lower than in the UK, and with interest rates on loans and mortgages still relatively low, it can be a more affordable option for those looking to invest in a property.
Buying a home in Italy can also offer the chance to live in a beautiful location, with a relaxed way of life and a warm climate. From the stunning countryside of Tuscany to the coastal towns of Puglia, there are many areas of Italy that offer a fantastic quality of life.
Of course, buying a property in another country can come with its own challenges, such as navigating local laws and regulations, and ensuring that all necessary paperwork is in order. However, with the help of a reputable estate agent and legal advisor, these challenges can be overcome.