Digital Nomads: Italy is working on the new Visa

With an estimated over 35 million individuals worldwide, Digital Nomads propose an autonomous and modern approach to work, which is way more flexible and was facilitated by isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. What certainly unites most Digital Nomads is the urge for greater flexibility, the ability to autonomously manage their time, and the freedom to choose where to live and work. These professionals express the urgency of official agreements, category organizations, or institutions that help them manage a situation not yet fully regulated from an institutional perspective.

Check out the list of essential information we compiled for those interested in exploring the flexibility of smart-working as a Digital Nomad in Italy:

1.INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY: Becoming a Digital Nomad is certainly easier for freelancers; however, most Italian employees from public or private companies, are usually required to live in Italy, even if working remotely from home, in order to be covered by the statutory insurance that companies are required to provide by law. Forward-thinking companies are also integrating opportunities for flexible work and career, such as the possibility of international mobility that allows employees to move between different company locations worldwide.

2. COLLABORATIONS WITH FOREIGN COMPANIES: Collaboration between Italian workers and foreign companies must consider various tax, insurance, and pension implications depending on the status of the professional individual. In the case of an employee working remotely from Italy for a foreign company which is not located in Italy, the company can delegate the worker’s social security and insurance obligations, namely INAIL and INPS, directly to the individual who does not have additional tax requirements as if they were hired by an Italian company.

3. ‘RETURNING BRAINS’: Since 2015, the Italian government has improved measures to encourage the return to Italy of those professionals and researchers with Italian citizenship who moved abroad for work. In recent years, this category benefited from tax reductions on their income ranging from 70% up to 90%. However, a substantial downsizing of this benefit was introduced in the recent tax reform starting from January 2024.

4. THE PLACE YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IN MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE: Many factors become influential when choosing your relocation country, namely the weather, the internet broadband or how easy it is to obtain a Visa vs. its duration. Consider consulting informative platforms like the Global Nomad Guide, to find additional details on all these variables. Interestingly, you’ll discover, for example, that if you want to move to a new country in a more permanent way, it may be worth choosing Portugal or Antigua, where visas last up to 2 years; and, if the speed of your internet connection is a priority, in addition to Antigua, you can choose Barbados, for much faster internet than many other tropical destinations.

5. DIGITAL NOMAD VISA: The Digital Nomad Visa is an option that several countries introduced to facilitate those foreign residents willing to relocate for a temporary stay while working for a company from another country. This type of Visa usually grants the possibility of staying in the chosen country for 12 months. Similar regulatory innovations allow Digital Nomads to work and live in foreign countries while complying with the current laws on work and immigration of the host country.

Italian immigration law did not previously provide a visa to meet this need. However, as the variety of Italian visas is expanding, and the recent updates to the country’s immigration law, Italy is finally ready to introduce its version of a Digital Nomad Visa. The Italian government introduced the Digital Nomad Visa in a law from March 2022; the new visa fulfils the need to welcome a new type of immigrants, freelancers or employed by foreign companies: these are not required to be physically available in their headquarter offices and can therefore, move freely and also potentially work from abroad.

The Digital Nomad Visa offers various benefits, including the exemption from the limits of the Italian ‘Decreto Flussi’ and the exemption from the requirement of a ‘nulla osta’, streamlining procedures for highly qualified workers who want to move to Italy from non-EU countries for a maximum period of one year. This solution represents a valid opportunity for workers to take advantage of the favourable tax regimes available to foreigners living in Italy.

As of today, applications for a Digital Nomad Visa are not viable yet and Italian Consulates abroad are currently unable to accept requests for this type of visa. On a different note, much needs to be done for Italian citizens who choose to spend all or a significant part of their time abroad, working for an Italian or a foreign company: major issues arise with compliance to social security and taxes, especially in relation to double taxation (i.e., where should you pay taxes and pension contribution?). For these reasons, cases should be treated with a diversified approach, and in the absence of a defined regulatory framework, the support of a consultant is essential.

Soluzioni Pratiche Srl will provide further information via our social channels and our website as soon as the operational circular on the Digital Nomad status is made available.

The Staff of Soluzioni Pratiche Srl