A) HOW TO OBTAIN A VISA AND PERMIT OF STAY FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT IN ITALY (AS ENTRPRENEUR OR AS DIRECTOR/SHAREHOLDER OF AN ITALIAN BASED COMPANY)
The acceptance of foreign nationals into the State territory for reasons of self-employment is regulated principally by the Consolidated Law on Immigration, which foresees, as a pre-condition, the publication of the decree of the President of the Council of Ministers concerning the planning of migratory movements, in which also the quotas on acceptance for self-employment are established. This decree fixes numerical limits (quotas), both quantitative (quotas for each single nationality) and qualitative (quotas for determined professions) for the acceptance of the foreign worker into the State territory. A further pre-condition is the issuing of an entrance visa for self-employment on the part of the Italian diplomatic or consular Representative in the country of origin or stable residence of the foreign citizen.
What are the general requirements necessary for obtaining a visa for self-employment?
In all cases, in order to obtain the entrance visa for self-employment, the foreign citizen must always be able to demonstrate to the Italian diplomatic or consular Representative in the country of origin or stable residence that they are in possession of:
– a suitable inhabitation, that can be demonstrated by means of exhibiting a contract of purchase, or rental of a property, which is to say by means of a declaration made by the Italian citizen or foreign citizen regularly staying in Italy, who confirms that they have made a suitable inhabitation available to the applicant;
– annual earnings derived from legitimate sources in excess of the minimum foreseen by Law for exemption from participation towards health expenses, equal to approximately € 8.500, for the year 2017. This requirement is considered fulfilled also in the presence of a corresponding guarantee on the part of organisations or Italian citizens or foreigners regularly staying in Italy, namely in the presence of a declaration by the applicant or the legal representative of the company who guarantees for the self-employed worker the compensation of a figure greater than the minimum level foreseen by Law for exemption from participation towards health expenses, namely in the presence of documentation that attests the attaining, in the subject’s Country of residence, of analogous earnings for the year preceding that of the request for the visa;
– the provisional clearance for the purposes of entrance, issued by the competent police headquarters, to whom must also be delivered (also by nominating a Power of Attorney) a copy of the declarations and the certificates, or of the replacement documentation requested on the basis of the type of self-employment to be carried out in Italy.
All the predisposed documentation, dated no later than three months previously, together with the clearance for public security issued by the police headquarters, must furthermore be produced by the Italian diplomatic or consular representative of the country of origin or of stable residence of the foreign citizen in order to obtain the entrance visa for reasons of self-employment.
B) WHEN IS THE ENTRANCE VISA FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT GRANTED AND BY WHICH MEANS?
Once the request has been received and evaluated and the existence of the general and specific requirements of the Consolidated Law on immigration ascertained, the entrance visa for work is issued by means of placing it on the passport of the worker in the form of a sticker, following a standard model.
The entrance visa is denied also in proven cases of convictions in the first degree. If the foreigner does not understand the Italian language, the provision must be accompanied by a translation of its contents in the language he/she understands or, in any case, in English, French, Spanish or Arabic, according to the preferences expressed by the interested party. the rejection provision is motivated and is delivered by hand to the interested party.
When is it necessary to request the permit of stay for self-employment?
Within 8 working days following arrival on the State territory the foreign worker has the obligation to present a request for a permit of stay for the purpose of self-employment (art.5, T.U. Immigration),.
C) PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT
Three different hypotheses can be distinguished for the path that the foreign citizen can take on the basis of the type of self-employment that they intend to carry out in Italy:
1) NON-OCCASIONAL ACTIVITY OF AUTONOMOUS INDUSTRIAL, PROFESSIONAL, ARTISAN OR COMMERCIAL WORK WHICH FORESEE LICENCES, AUTHORIZATIONS OR ENROLMENT ON ALBI OR REGISTERS.
In this hypothesis the foreign citizen must:
a) request, also by means of a Power of Attorney, the competent administrative authority who are responsible for issuing the relative licences, authorizations and/or verifying the necessary requirements for the activity, whether he or she may require an enabling enrolment on a public register or record, a declaration that there are no reasons for rejecting the issuing of the enabling or authorizing title. If it is necessary to provide recognition of professional qualifications to exercise a profession, when this was obtained in a country not belonging to the European Union the applicant must first obtain recognition of the title in question in Italy.
b) request an attestation of the economic means necessary for carrying out the activity. If it is of an entrepreneurial nature and therefore can be attributed to the Companies’ Register in accordance with art.2188 of the Civil Code, this attestation shall be issued by the competent Chamber of Commerce on the territory. The criteria followed by the Chambers of Commerce for defining the economic parameters are based on the consideration of all or part of the following cost factors connected to the start-up and exercising of a specific activity:
– eventual property
– machinery and plants
– costs connected to administrative obligations and tax payments
– start-up expenses
– other expenses
Furthermore, this attestation is made by the professional orders competent for the activities subjected to enrolment on the orders themselves. The declaration or attestation must be of a sum at least triple the capitalization, on an annual basis, of the monthly sum of the social pension.
2) ACTIVITY OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT FOR WHICH NO ENROLMENT ON THE COMPANIES’ REGISTER IS FORESEEN (FOR WHICH NO LICENCE OR ENROLMENT ON PUBLIC REGISTERS OR LISTS IS REQUIRED)
In this hypothesis the foreign citizen must be in possession of:
a) a suitable contract complete, in the case in which it is underwritten by an Italian company, with a certificate of enrolment on the Companies’ Register and, in the case of foreign clients, by an analogous attestation stamped by the competent Italian diplomatic or consular representative;
b) copy of a formal declaration of responsibility, previously issued or sent by the Italian client or by his/her legal representative to the competent Regional Labour Directorate, which indicates that, by virtue of the stipulated contract no rapport of subordinate work will be established.
c) a declaration by the client guaranteeing, for the worker, the compensation of a sum greater than the minimum level foreseen by Law for exemption from participation in health expenses;
d) copy of the latest budget deposited with the Companies’ Register in the cases of limited liability companies or the latest tax return in the cases of individual companies or non-entrepreneurial clients from whom it is clear that the entity of their earnings is suitable for guaranteeing the remuneration expressed in point c).
3) PARTNER and/or DIRECTOR OF PRE-EXISTING COMPANIES AND COOPERATIVES,
foreign citizens who occupy – limited to public companies, limited liability companies, or limited partnerships with share capital, that have already been active for at least three years – the role of president, member of the board of administration, CEO or auditor. The foreigner in this case is not required to produce any attestation concerning the financial parameters of reference. The foreign partner undertaking the work or subject occupying a company position must be in possession of:
a) certificate of the company’s enrolment on the Companies’ Register;
b) copy of a formal declaration of responsibility, previously issued or sent by the client or his/her legal representative to the competent Regional Labour Directorate in which it is indicated that, by virtue of the stipulated contract, no rapport of subordinate work will be established;
c) a declaration by the legal representative of the company guaranteeing for the partner undertaking the work or for the subject occupying a company position, the compensation of a sum higher than the minimum level foreseen by Law for exemption from participation towards health expenses;
d) copy of the latest company budget or copy of the last tax return declaration in the case of partnerships.