Talks | 24.01.2020

Study residence permit conversion #2 – “Quota mechanism”

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Case: George is a Nigerian medical student who has decided to enroll at the medical school of the University of Parma, which ranks among the top ten Italian universities for medicine and health care, and he has moved to Italy on a student visa to start off his academic path. During the third year, however, he realized that being a doctor was not his highest aspiration and, after receiving an interesting job offer from a large Japanese pharmaceutical company based in the outskirt of Parma, which was looking for a young native English-speaker asset with knowledge in the medical industry, he decided to interrupt his studies and to accept the offer of employment.

Question: what are the options for George to convert his study residence permit into a subordinate work permit that would allow him to remain in Italy and start working for the hiring employer in Parma?

Solution: Considering that George has already received a job offer from an Italian employer, but has not completed a higher education program and has not obtained any certificate or degree by an Italian University, the only viable option he has is to pursue the conversion of his study residence permit into a subordinate work permit, by carrying out the conversion procedure within the so-called “quota mechanism”.

According to Italian immigration law, in fact, the maximum number of study permits that can be converted into work permits in any given year is established by the Italian Government by means of the so-called Cap Decree (decreto Flussi), which is usually implemented in February/March and provides for the total conversion quotas available for that specific year and generally applies to all student residece permit holders, unless specific conditions are satisfied.

As deply pointed out in the previous LCA corporate immigration pill, third-country students who meet the specific and strict requirments expressly set forth by the law are allowed to convert their residence permit into a work one, in any given moment, without having to comply with the provisions of the cap decree (decreto flussi) and with its numerical annual tresholds.

On the contrary, those third-country students who, like George, do not meet the above-mentioned requirements to pursue the “extra-quota” conversion, are allowed to convert their residence permit into a work one on the sole condition that conversion quotas ar still available at that particular time of the year.

In order to start off the procedure for the “quota” conversion of his study permit, George will first of all have to verify the availability of remaining conversion quotas by scheduling an appointment in front of the Immigration Office (Prefettura), by means of the specific web portal of the Italian Minister of Interior.

In the case in which the maximum amount of quotas provided for by the Cap Decree has already been reached, George will not be entitled to convert his study permit into a work one and he will have to wait for the next year’s Cap Decree to be issued by the Government in order for additional quotas to be available.

Should numerical quotas still be available, George will be summoned at the Immigration Office in order for him to sign the so called “contract of stay” (contratto di soggiorno) and to submit to the authorities all the necessary documents expressly required by the law for the conversion, among which the most crucial are:

  • George’s valid residence permit for study purposes;
  • the job offer George has received from the Italian company;
  • proof of availability of accomodation (lease agreement or real estate ownership);
  • certificate of registration with the Municipality of the citu where George is residing (certificato di iscrizione anagrafica); and
  • copy of the Italian hiring company’s legal representative passport or ID.

After the appointment at the Immigration Office and the signing of the aforementioned contract of stay, George will have to send the application for the issuance of the final work permit, by submitting the postal kit throught any Post office.

George’s final work permit will be issued in approximately 2 months, but he will be entitled to sign the employment agreement and to start his assignment for the Italian employer immmediately after the submission of the postal kit. The duration of George’s work permit will be linked to the initial duration of his assignment and it can be renewed for further periods, on the condition that his employment relation with the Italian company persists.

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Corporate Immigration

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