Working remotely with the digital nomad visa in Italy
Remote work from Rome, anyone? The new digital nomad visa in Italy is launching soon. Find out here who can apply, what the requirements are, and which Italian cities are best for digital nomads.
5 min read
Being a digital nomad means trading a conventional office for the freedom to work from any corner of the globe — including Italy. Its newly announced digital nomad visa program seems poised to attract even more remote workers who want a real taste of Italy’s culture, cuisine, and history. After all, what better way to experience la dolce vita than by really settling in and staying a while?
In this article, we look at the new digital nomad visa in Italy and how to apply. We’ll also explore other options for non-European Union citizens, explain tax basics, and share our top digital nomad destinations for working in Italy.
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Does Italy have a digital nomad visa?
In short: Yes, Italy does offer a digital nomad visa. The program hasn't been implemented yet, although it was approved and signed into law on March 28, 2022. By launching a dedicated digital nomad visa, the Italian government is following the example of other European countries like Germany and Spain. And even though the program is still in development, some information is available already. Here’s what we know so far:
Italy digital nomad visa requirements
The program isn’t open for applications yet, but Italy’s digital nomad visa will be available to people who meet several criteria, such as:
- Non-EU citizens
- Skilled professionals
- Individuals employed by companies based outside Italy
Applicants also need to have valid health insurance coverage and follow any relevant Italian regulations, like paying taxes and contributing to social insurance.
The Italian government will soon issue more legal decrees to clarify the details of the program. This will include income thresholds, criteria for being "highly qualified," definitions of digital nomad work, costs, visa extension procedures, and requirements for taxes, health insurance, and social security.
Our tip: While you wait for the Italian program to roll out, check out which European countries have a digital nomad visa available already.
Also, it seems that Italy's digital nomad visa will only be available to individuals working remotely for a company based outside Italy. Self-employed professionals and freelancers can already apply for the self-employed visa in Italy.
What is Italy's self-employed visa?
This visa allows people from outside the EU to start and run a business or work as a self-employed professional in Italy. Freelancers could fall under this category, too. The requirements for this visa may include:
- A business plan outlining the proposed business activities, market analysis, financial projections, and plans for sustainability
- Proof of relevant qualifications, experience, and skills, depending on the type of business or profession
- Proof of financial means to support yourself
- Any required business permits, licenses, and registrations
- Proof of valid health insurance coverage
- A certificate of a clean criminal record
- A certificate of language proficiency in Italian (depending on the kind of business and location)
However, applying for an Italian self-employment visa isn't an option year-round. Italy uses a structured immigration approach called decreto flussi (“flow decree”), which sets specific quotas for work visas. This immigration initiative operates within defined timeframes each year. During the designated period, non-EU nationals can submit applications for Italian work visas. For example, in 2019, Italy set a cap of 30,850 work visas overall, with 2,400 specifically allotted for self-employment visas.
Still figuring what to focus on as a freelancer? To qualify for a self-employed visa, the business or self-employment activities should align with Italy's economic interests and contribute positively to the local economy.
Working remotely in Italy as an EU citizen
As an EU citizen, you can work and live in Italy without a special permit. However, your liability for taxes and social security contributions can depend on various factors, including your employment status, how long you’re staying in Italy, and where your employer is located.
Of course, regulations and requirements can change. For the most up-to-date and accurate information, check official government sources, such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or your local consulate.
Taxes for digital nomads in Italy
Taxes for digital nomads in Italy are influenced by residency status, income sources, and international tax treaties. If you're a tax resident in Italy, your worldwide income is subject to Italian taxation, while non-residents are often taxed only on income earned in Italy. Employment and self-employment income have different tax implications, and you might benefit from double taxation agreements. It’s best to consult a tax professional who specializes in international taxes.
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Digital nomad destinations in Italy
There’s no shortage of great digital nomad destinations in Italy, with its rich history and diverse landscapes. These Italian cities not only celebrate cultural heritage but also embrace modern ways of working. That means that digital nomads get the best of both worlds: exploring a new culture and thriving professionally at the same time.
With incredible art and architecture around every corner, Florence offers an inspiring backdrop for digital nomads. The city's peaceful atmosphere and historical charm are also a good environment for focused work.
The Eternal City blends millennia of history with contemporary urban life. Digital nomads benefit from diverse coworking spaces and networking events, while the buzz of life in the Italian capital lends plenty of excitement.
As a global hub for fashion and finance, Milan is ideal for networking with professionals from various industries. And when you’re not busy connecting with the thriving business community, you can enjoy the cultural attractions and food scene.
Located on the south end of the Mediterranean coast, Naples is laid-back but full of attitude. Digital nomads can look forward to the seaside views, warm climate, and world-famous pizza.
If you need to work somewhere with fewer distractions, Venice could be the right fit. The unique architecture makes for perfect scenery, and a stroll through the labyrinth of canals is a great way to relax and decompress from work. (Plus, it’s the birthplace of the Aperol spritz!)
Known for science, technology, and innovation, Turin is home to respected universities and a strong tech community. The many tech-related events can help digital nomads expand their professional networks, while the student population keeps the city young at heart.
Your digital nomad life with N26
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