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renewing residency/work permit

 
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ioamosalerno



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 40
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: renewing residency/work permit Reply with quote

Ciao! I'm currently teaching in Germany, and I am considering a move to Italy. I was wondering if anyone here can shed some light on how easy or difficult it is for a non-EU teacher to renew their residency and work permits? I read that the documents are only issued for the length of the contracts.... is this correct, or is it simply a straightforward formality once an inital work/residency permit has been obtained? I need to know as I am trying to figure out a way to be able to teach in Italy indefinately while still returning to the states twice a year to help farm, possibly. Thanks for any help in advance
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you suggesting that your work/residency permits linked to your work contract(s) in Germany will somehow be honoured in Italy? They won't. They are entirely tied to an employer and a contract term.

These things are not mere formalities, I can assure you!!
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 447

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was wondering if anyone here can shed some light on how easy or difficult it is for a non-EU teacher to renew their residency and work permits? I read that the documents are only issued for the length of the contracts. . .


Since you are asking about renewal, are we to assume you have been successful in obtaining a work visa? When I was in Italy, non-EU teachers had to be either gloriously well-qualified or extremely well-connected to obtain a work visa. It helped to be both. Italy is not Germany, and does not have the same exceptions that allow Americans to work in Germany. The Americans who were working legally held either family reunification or student visas. (Basically you can marry an Italian or you can become a student.) You can then work legally on either of these visas--up to 20 hours on a student visa. What is all but impossible these days is for an American teacher to get a work visa--there are plenty of British applicants to go around.

I'm sure there are exceptions, but there are not many. It takes a LOT of networking, savings, and serendipity to become one of them. Marriage is probably easier.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I need to know


Stop right there! Although, in theory, there are laws and regulations that cover every aspect and detail of immigration / visa issues, you're not going to get the same answer from every Italian official. Questura, post office, anagrafe - all have their own ways of doing things and of interpreting the law.

You might get more favourable treatment because you're American (unfair, but that's how it goes) but otherwise, accept a Dantesque scenario of thousands of people milling around a cold, wet courtyard in the early hours of the morning, shepherded (if that's the right word - Italians don't really do shepherding) by officials barking through megaphones. And that's for the permesso di soggiorno.

Italy is not a cut and dried sort of place. There aren't the sort of certainties that fit with a "need to know". Frustrating, perhaps, but living in Italy with any sort of equilibrium means accepting a "go with the flow" mentality. If it's assurances that you're after, then maybe Italy isn't the answer.

In terms of legality, both Spiral and A Good Story are 100% accurate. Everyone has stories of people they know living and working here illegally (because doing it legally as an American involves a huge amount of paperwork, hassle, and patience). But the risks of deportation (let alone lack of health cover, bank account etc etc) make that option seriously unwise.

If you need a regular fix of Italy, why not try and get work somewhere else, close to the border. France? Switzerland? Austria? Slovenia?? Then come over for weekenders etc.
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 447

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Unfortunately, as you guessed, getting a work visa is far from simple. In fact, for non-EU citizens it's nearly impossible. To get a work visa, you must first find an employer to sponsor you. It is a long process (I have heard 6 months to a year) and must be done outside of Italy in your home country (I am guessing you are American or Canadian?). Employers are also required to demonstrate why this person is being hired for the particular position instead of an EU citizen, which is very hard to justify for English teaching jobs, when there are two countries full of native speakers that can work immediately. I taught English in Italy for two years and never met anyone who had a work visa to do it." --from ExpatsinItaly.com


IAS,
I don't know if you are familiar with the ExpatsinItaly website, but it's a good place to begin researching if you are interested in living and working in Italy. In particular, the sections about Bureaucratic Situations and The Working Life may be of interest to you, along with the visa information and links. Also note that Italy ranks 80th among nations for ease of dealing with government bureaucracy.

Here are a few threads that may or may not be applicable to your inquiry:

http://expatsinitaly.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16125

http://expatsinitaly.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13571

http://expatsinitaly.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14991

These discuss the general realities as well as one exception, who explains how she was able to get a work visa. Smile

.
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ioamosalerno



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 40
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, thanks for all the insight, but maybe I wasn't clear enough. I want to obtain a freelance work permit, not a permit for contracted employment. I'm teaching in Germany right now, but I'm not liking Germany at all (food, language, among others). I understand it might take a few trips down to Italy to get it all arranged, but I can deal with that since I am already a resident of Germany (and therefore can use the Italian consulate here in Germany to deal with all of this). What I'm wanting to know is IF I'm lucky enough to get a freelance work permit, what is involved in renewing it? More work contracts/extension of existing contracts, proof that I have earned X amount of euros in the previous year, etc.... I've also got my sights on Belgium and Holland, but Italy is the most appealing as I my Italian is much better than my Dutch. Thanks again for the help.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9130
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I understand it might take a few trips down to Italy to get it all arranged


As stated above, Italy doesn't have similar freelance rules to Germany. It is extremely unlikely that you will be able to get a freelance permit to teach English is Italy (or the Netherlands: Dutch law specifically stated in 2010 - last time I checked - that teaching English is NOT a sufficient employment prospect for granting a visa to a non-EU citizen. Highly unlikely this has changed.).

As AGS points out:
Quote:
When I was in Italy, non-EU teachers had to be either gloriously well-qualified or extremely well-connected to obtain a work visa. It helped to be both. Italy is not Germany, and does not have the same exceptions that allow Americans to work in Germany. The Americans who were working legally held either family reunification or student visas. (Basically you can marry an Italian or you can become a student.) You can then work legally on either of these visas--up to 20 hours on a student visa. What is all but impossible these days is for an American teacher to get a work visa--there are plenty of British applicants to go around.





Case study: I've an American friend who did a study-abroad stint in Rome in university days. Her major was Italian language. By the time she wanted to return to Italy, she had friends and contacts there, an MA in English-Italian translations, and a very serious drive to make it work somewhere. This was pre-Schengen zone (2006-9), so working illegally was far more feasible than now.
In three years of being in-country, working under the table, and with contacts in businesses who wanted to help her, she was never able to get a work permit of any kind, even considering that she is a certified professional in translations Italian/English, and has CELTA for teaching English. She left the country in March 2009, after 90 days of her first Schengen zone visa, not wanting to risk being caught and deported or banned from the EU.

Do let us know if you prove to be the exception after all; lots and lots of North Americans will want to know how you did it.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What I'm wanting to know is IF I'm lucky enough to get a freelance work permit


AFAIK, this doesn't exist in Italy.

I'm a freelancer, but I don't need a permit because I'm EU. What I need to be a freelancer is a P Iva (VAT number) which you can only get if you're resident. And to be resident will be the difficult thing for non-EU.

Non-EUs have these options available to them in Italy:
- get Italian citizenship
- marry an Italian
- get a work visa (sponsored by an Italian company)
- get an ER visa (elective residency, for which you have to prove you have enough funds to keep you going and you're NOT allowed to work - i.e for retirement purposes)
- get a study visa

You can't just bowl up here and say you're going to work freelance and can you have a visa for that, please.

Hope that clarifies!
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 447

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ioamosalerno wrote:
hey, thanks for all the insight, but maybe I wasn't clear enough. I want to obtain a freelance work permit, not a permit for contracted employment. I'm teaching in Germany right now, but I'm not liking Germany at all (food, language, among others). I understand it might take a few trips down to Italy to get it all arranged, but I can deal with that since I am already a resident of Germany (and therefore can use the Italian consulate here in Germany to deal with all of this). What I'm wanting to know is IF I'm lucky enough to get a freelance work permit, what is involved in renewing it? More work contracts/extension of existing contracts, proof that I have earned X amount of euros in the previous year, etc.... I've also got my sights on Belgium and Holland, but Italy is the most appealing as I my Italian is much better than my Dutch. Thanks again for the help.


Unfortunately, as Spiral and Teacher in Rome indicate, the outlook for freelance work is even more bleak for an American than if you were trying to obtain a visa for dependent work. While there is a provision for a self-employment visa, it is meant for the truly self-employed, not those hired part-time by companies. It is also subject to the annual flussi, a kind of lottery--or perhaps "quota" is a better description. It is typically opened in the first quarter of the year, and is usually filled within hours of the announcement. The last I knew, the flussi was frozen, with a backlog of thousands of applications.

If you are really serious about wanting to work in Italy, and have no possibility of either marriage or ancestry citizenship in an EU country, then your best bet is a student visa. In the past there has been a flussi for conversion of student visas to work visas. (Again, the spots were usually filled within hours.) I seem to remember that this was suspended in 2011, but someone else may have more reliable info. Even without conversion, however, you would be able to work while on your student visa, giving you the opportunity to network, network, network until you find that one employer who is so smitten that she is willing to move heaven and earth and the Italian government to get you a work visa.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah - the flussi...

Publicised about an hour before they expire, resulting in thousands of disappointed applicants.

They're generally only open to certain types of employees, such as agricultural workers, as far as I know.

One other thing - to get a student visa you need to be enrolled at a university such as the Foreigner's University of Perugia, or John Cabot at Rome. For that you need to have paid up a year in advance I think, and you also need a certain standard of Italian. With a student visa you can work up to 20 hours a week (to support yourself). Not sure what happens if you never attend any uni classes - probably nothing. A student visa isn't a mickey mouse option, and I'm not sure how long you can extend it for. But it's certainly one way to live and work in Italy (as long as you're in commuting distance of one of those universities.)
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