Case: Zaira is an Iranian biotechnology engineer, who has recently graduated from a University in Teheran, Iran, obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology Engineering. Zaira is interested in improving her professional experience and skills by taking part in an internship program offered and implemented by a worldwide-recognized Italian Company, active in the biotechnologies industry and, at the same time, she is excited about moving abroad and widen her horizons.
Question: what are the options for Zaira to obtain a visa and a residence permit that would allow her to temporary move to and start her internship experience in Italy?
Solution: Considering that Zaira has already obtained a Bachelor Degree by attending a University program in her home country and she is willing to take part in an internship offered by an Italian company, she might find particularly interesting and appealing for her case the Italian visa and residence permit for internship purposes.
The internship visa and residence permit is provided for by Italian immigration law, by means of article 27 letter f), and it can be applied for by those third-country nationals who intend to temporary come to Italy to take part in an internship program, sponsored by an Italian employer, for a maximum period of 1 year, and who meet the following requirements:
- they have obtained a university degree in their country of origin;
- they intend to improve their professional experience and specific practical skills;
- they can offer proof of the fact that they have sufficient economic and financial resources to support themselves while in Italy;
- they can prove the availability of a suitable accommodation in the Italian territory;
- they have obtained from the hosting Italian company a copy of the so-called individual internship program (programma di tirocinio), duly approved and endorsed by the Italian Region in which the internship will take place.
The procedure for the obtainment of the entry visa is initially carried out in front of the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country in which the applicant is residing. Zaira shall, therefore, submit the visa application at the Italian Embassy in Teheran and provide them with the supporting documents that can prove that all the above-mentioned requirements are duly met.
The Italian embassy in Teheran, after evaluating all the supporting documents submitted by Zaira, will issue an entry visa for study purposes, which will allow Zaira to travel to Italy in order to take part in the internship.
Once the Italian Embassy has approved Zaira’s visa application, she will be entitled to enter Italy with the study visa on her passport and, within 8 days following her entrance in the national territory, to apply for the issuance of her residence permit for study purposes, by sending the specific postal kit to the competent authorities.
The internship at the Italian company shall be activated within 15 days after Zaira’s submission of the application for the issuance of the final work permit.
The duration of this residence permit will be strictly linked to the duration of the internship program and cannot in any case be longer than 1 (one) year, without possibility for renewals.
After the successful completion of the internship at the Italian company, the Italian law expressly provides for the possibility for Zaira of being hired by the same host company she worked for as an intern, or by any other Italian company.
In the case in which an Italian company intends to hire Zaira, she will be entitled to convert her residence permit for study purposes into a standard residence permit for subordinate work, and to enter into a standard employment agreement with the Italian employer.