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EU Blue Card

17 May 2019

Case: Juan Luis is a Chilean management engineer, he has attended a University in Santiago de Chile gaining a Bachelor and a Master degree in Engineeering Management. Juan Luis is currently residing in Chile but he is willing to move to Europe to work for an Italian company that has identified his profile as particularly interesting and that, in light of his high qualification, intends to hire him to cover a very specialized position in the company’s organization.

Question: what are the options for Juan Luis to obtain a work visa and a residence permit for Italy that would allow him to be hired by an Italian company?

Solution: Considering that Juan Luis is a higly-skilled individual, who completed a course of studies at a Chilean University and obtained a Bachelor and Master Degree, he might find particularly interesting and appealing for his case the so called EU Blue Card work permit.

The EU Blue Card work permit was introduced by EU Directive 50/2009 and trasposed into Italian Immigration Law by means of article 27 quater of Legislative Decree 286/98. It can be requested by those third-country nationals who intend to be employed by an Italian company and meet the following requirements:

  • they are higly-skilled workers and they shall be hired to perform an activity included in one of the first three categories of the Italian rank of professions (Classificazione Professioni ISTAT);
  • they have obtained a University degree after at least a three-year course of studies and the degree is recognized by the Italian authorities as equivalent to an Italian one;
  • they have received a binding job offer from an Italian company for a 1-year or and indefinite-term employment agreement;
  • the gross remuneration offered to them by the hiring company is at least 25,000 Euros per year.

To start off the procedure for the obtainment of the EU Blue Card, the Italian company that wants to hire Juan Luis shall file a nominative request for the issuance of the work authorization (nulla osta al lavoro) to the compent Italian immigration authorities (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione), and submit the necessary supporting documents, among which the most crucial are:

  • declaration of value (Dichiarazione di Valore) i.e. the document to be issued by the Italian Embassy in Santiago de Chile that certifies that the Chilean degree is equivalent to an Italian one; and
  • binding job offer signed by the legal representative of the Italian company.

Once the nulla osta has been issued by the competent authorities, Juan Luis will be entitled to apply for an entry visa for subordinate work purposes at the Italian Embassy in Santiago de Chile. With the entry visa duly stamped on his passport, Juan Luis will be able to travel to Italy and, within 8 days from his arrival, he will be requested to apply for the issuance of the EU Blue Card final work permit.

Juan Luis’ residence permit will have the same duration of his employment agreement (no more than 2 years in case of an indefinite-term employment agreement) and it could be renewed for futher periods of 2 years each, as long as the same conditions for its obtainment are duly matched.

Within the first 2 years of duration of his EU Blue Card, Juan Luis will be entitled to change employer only with the prior obtainment of an authorization from the competent Italian Labour Authority – Ispettorato Nazionale del Lavoro.

Should Juan Luis receive an offer for an highly specialized job from a company incorporated in another EU Member State, after the expiration of the first 18 months of duration of his Italian EU Blue Card, he will be entitled to move to such EU Member State and to work for another company, provided that the new employer carries out all the necessary (simplified) procedures provided for by the national law, in order for Juan Luis to obtain his local work authorization.

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