The Blue Card Directive has been fully implemented in Italy under Decree n. 108 of 2012, which entered into force on August 8, 2012.
The EU Blue Card is a new scheme that facilitates the immigration process for highly skilled non-EU foreign workers seeking employment in the EU. With the Blue Card, individuals who meet the requirements can apply for a work permit outside of the Italian quota system, and they do not have to spend a minimum amount of time working for a foreign affiliate of the Italian company before they can apply.
According to the new decree, it is now possible to hire directly in Italy non-EU highly skilled workers without being subject to quota limitations, under certain conditions. Similar to the procedure to be followed for ICT work permits, the procedure under the new decree is:
1. The employer files a work permit application with the immigration office. The list of documents must be confirmed by each Immigration Office, but the law includes:
(i) a job offer for not less than one year with a salary of not less than €25,500 per year. The job offered to the worker must be for a highly skilled position;
(ii) a worker's diploma. The worker must have completed a post-secondary study program with a minimum duration of three years. The school must be a institution of higher education recognized by the state in which it is located. The course of study must be related to the type of work being performed;
(iii) documents proving that the worker has suitable accommodations in the country.
2. After the work permit is issued, the worker applies for a visa in his country of residence.
3. Upon entry into Italy, the employer and worker execute a contract of stay at the Immigration Office.
4. The worker files for a permit of stay at the post office and then completes the process at the police office.
Workers with a Blue Card issued by another EU country may be hired in Italy only after 18 months from the date of issuance of their card. The employer still must apply for a work permit, but the worker will not need to obtain a visa.