Italy May Soon Offer a Digital Nomad Visa for Remote Workers

As the COVID-19 pandemic has turned working from home into a lifestyle, logging on from anywhere in the world for extended periods of time — otherwise known as a “digital nomad” — has become a new norm. And now, remote workers may soon be able to take their online meetings with Tuscan hills in the background as Italy is the latest country to join the list of WFH-friendly countries

According to The Local, a government decree, known as “decreto sostegni ter” was first introduced in January and voted into law on Thursday.

While the term “digital nomads” doesn’t appear in the bill, the law is aimed at attracting citizens of non-EU countries “who carry out highly qualified work activities through the use of technological tools that allow them to work remotely, autonomously, or for a company that is not resident in the territory of the Italian state,” Italian news outlet Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

There are still many unknowns about the conditions under which this new permit would be granted, such as what constitutes “highly qualified work activities,” for example, under the approved decree non-EU nationals could be granted a one-year permit, which will not be subject to any foreign worker quota restrictions.

Workers would also be able to apply for an extension of the permit.
“Requirements for the remote worker are the availability of suitable accommodation, adequate income, health insurance, and a clean criminal record,” Luca Carabetta, an Italian parliament member from the Five Star Movement party, told The Local. The specific details about some of these requirements and their implementation are yet to be defined.

Remote workers will also need to meet a minimum income requirement, but the exact amount is unknown yet.

As of right now, US citizens are allowed to stay for up to 90 days in Italy. This includes “persons on vacation, those taking professional trips, students registered at an authorized school, or persons performing research or independent study,” according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Italy.

Countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Georgia, Portugal, Bermuda, Dominica, Mauritius, and Malta have all implemented long-term stay visas and permits allowing visitors to reside and work from the country, in some cases, for up to two years.