Citizens of the European Union (EU), Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are legally entitled to work in Italy. Those wanting to stay in the country for more than three months are simply required to register with the local anagrafe (Register Office) in their Italian municipality of residence.
Working longer-term in Italy is trickier if you are a non-EU citizen. Firstly, you will need to secure a job offer. Your prospective employer will then need to complete most of the work-visa application process on your behalf. If your application is successful, your employer will be given your work authorisation. Your local Italian embassy or consulate will then be informed and should be able to provide you with an entry visa within 30 days. It’s worth noting that Italy operates a visa quota system for most occupations, meaning that you will only be offered a visa if the relevant quota has not been met by the time your application is processed. Non-EU citizens planning to stay in Italy for more than 90 days must also apply for a permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) within eight working days of their entry into Italy. Applications for the permit should be made at their nearest questura (police station). General information on the permit is available on the Italian State Police website (www.poliziadistato.it).
Italy does have reciprocal, short-term working-holiday agreements with a handful of countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These visas are generally limited to young adults aged between 18 and 30 or 35 and allow the visa holder to work a limited number of months over a set period of time. Contact your local Italian embassy (www.esteri.it) for more information.
Popular jobs for those permitted to work in Italy include teaching English, either through a language school or as a private freelancer. While some language schools do take on teachers without professional language qualifications, the more reputable (and better-paying) establishments will require you to have a TEFL (Teaching of English as a Foreign Language) certificate. One useful job-seeker website for English-language teachers is ESL Employment (www.eslemployment.com). Au pairing is another popular work option; click onto www.aupairworld.com for more information on work opportunities and tips.