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Van Der Elst work permit

21 June 2019

Case: Camila is an Argentinian software engineer, she has been living for several years in Belgium, where she has been hired by a Belgian software company in light of her solid knowledge and sophisticated skills, and she holds a work and residence permit for Belgium. The Belgian company for which Camila works has entered into an international service agreement with an Italian company that needs to develop a brand new software to enhance its business and operations. The Italian company intends to temporary benefit from Camila’s experience in the implementation of the activities provided for by the service agreement entered into with the Belgian company that employs Camila.

Question: what are the options for Camila 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 Camila is currently employed by a company incorporated in an EU country 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 “Van Der Elst” procedure and work permit.

The “Van Der Elst” work permit is provided for by Italian Immigration Law (Legislative Decree 286/98) by means of article 27 paragraph 1 bis  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 an EU employer and the Italian host company and who meet the following requirements:

  • they are employed by a company duly existing and incorporated inside the European Union;
  • they hold work and stay permit for the EU country where their employer is incorporated;
  • a valid international service agreement has been entered into by an between the EU employer and the Italian host company;
  • they remain on the payroll of the EU transferring entity for the entire duration of the transfer to Italy.

The procedure is simplified, compared to the “traditional” service agreement work permit (see for reference Corporate Immigration Pill #8). Infact, the Italian company that intends to temporary host Camila shall submit a nominative notification to the competent Italian immigration authorities (Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione) prior to the commencement of the secondment period, however it shall not wait for the issuance of the work authorization (nulla osta al lavoro).

After the submission of the notification, Camila – without the need of the prior obtainment of a work visa on her passport – will be indeed entitled to enter Italy and, once in the Italian territory, she will complete her immigration procedure by submitting the necessary supporting documents (same as the ones required for the Service Agreement Work Permit) and execute her contract of stay.

Camila’s work and 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 hes assignment in Italy, Camila will be legally obliged to leave the national territory and go back to the transferring company in Belgium.

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