Case: Nasrin is an offshore rig technician and engineer, she has worked in the petroleum industry for many years and has acquired a solid knowledge and sofisticated skills. Nasrin is currently employed by a Qatari corporation, located in Doha, which has entered into an international service agreement with an Italian company that carries out explorations and drillings in the Adriatic sea for the extraction of petroleum. The Italian company intends to temporary benefit from Nasrin’s experience in order to increase and maximize its operations and satisfy the productivity tresholds expressly provided in the service agreement.
Question: what are the options for Nasrin to obtain a work visa and a residence permit for Italy that would allow her to temporary move to and work in Italy for the Italian client?
Solution: Considering that Nasrin is currently employed by a foreign corporation which has executed an international service agreement with an Italian company, and that she will be requested to carry out work activities specifically related to the object of the service agreement, she might find particularly interesting and appealing for her case the so called Service Agreement work permit.
The service agreement work permit is provided for by Italian Immigration Law (Legislative Decree 286/98) by means of article 27 letter i) and it can be applied for by those third-country nationals who need to be temporary transferred to an Italian company in the framework of an international service agreement entered into by and between the third-country employer and the Italian host company and who meet the following requirements:
- they are employed by a company duly existing and incorporated outside the European Union;
- a valid international service agreement has been entered into by an between the foreign employer and the Italian host company;
- their assignement in Italy is not longer than 2 (two) years, with possibility for a further 2-year extension in the case in which the service agreement cannot be fully executed within the first period of assignment;
- they remain on the pay book of the third-country transferring entity for the entire duration of the transfer to Italy.
To start off the procedure for the obtainment of the service agreement work permit, the Italian company that intends to temporary host Nasrin 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:
- secondment letter, signed by the legal representative of the Qatari corporation, including the details of the secondment to the Italian client;
- official document (by way of example, but not limited to, company registration report) proving the existance of the transferring company; and
- international service agreement entered into by and between the Qatari company and the Italian host one, duly transalted in Italian and legalized/apostilled by the Italian Embassy/Consulate.
Once the nulla osta has been issued by the competent authorities, Nasrin will be entitled to apply for an entry visa for subordinate work purposes at the Italian Embassy in Doha. With the entry visa duly stamped on her passport, Nasrin will be able to travel to Italy and, within 8 days from her arrival, she will be requested to apply for the issuance of the service agreement final work permit.
Nasrin’s residence permit will have the same duration of the service agreement and, in any case no longer than 2 years, and it might be renewed for a futher period of 2 years, only on the condition that the service agreement could not have been fully executed and terminated within the first 2 years of assignment.
After the execution of the service agreement and/or the termination of her assignment in Italy, Nasrin will be legally obliged to leave the national territory and go back to the transferring company in Qatar.