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What Options Exist for Working in Italy as an American?
Imagine enjoying rich and diverse Italian culture, food, and stunning scenery every day! When you tire of being a tourist, you may decide you want to live in Italy, either temporarily or permanently. For many Americans, the dream of working in Italy can become a reality through one of two legal pathways.
Researching Job Opportunities in Italy
There are many jobs in Italy for English speakers, in a wide variety of industries. You should be aware that northern Italy is known for manufacturing and technology jobs, while the southern region offers more job opportunities in tourism, fashion, and education. While Rome is the cultural capital, Milan is considered by many to be the economic capital of Italy.
The wide range of jobs in Italy for Americans includes:
- Accountants, actuaries, and personal assistants
- Consultants, customer service, and marketing positions
- Banking, engineering, and software development careers
- Graphics, media, and digital production
- Business management and supervisory positions
- Tour guides, translators, and retail sales
- Tutoring, childcare, or teaching English
Understanding Contracts for Employment in Italy
Job opportunities in Italy are offered under a specific type of contract, which may be permanent or temporary, and can affect your ability to obtain a work visa if you need one. The terms you may see in a job offer are typically:
- Contratto a progetto. Working on a project basis, your contract may be renewed or may end when the project is over. Employers will not provide paid sick, maternity, or holiday leave.
- Contratto a tempo determinato. This is a fixed term contract for a specific period and may not be renewed. Benefits are usually provided for the term of the contract.
- Contratto a tempo indeterminato. This is a permanent contract and the best option for most of us, when it can be found. Full benefits and protections are provided with permanent positions, which may be full- or part-time. Competition for these jobs can be high, but native English speakers who are also proficient in Italian often have an advantage.
- Contratto di somministrazione. This is a contract with an agency, which supplies temporary workers to companies. Similar to a temp agency in the United States, this is another good option to get started working in Italy.
- Contratto a chiamata. An on-call contract which does not have fixed hours, this type of employment is a good option for those who have flexible schedules and can respond to work on short notice.
- Contratto di apprendistato. For those under 29 years of age, an apprenticeship can be a path to a skilled trade in Italy. Apprenticeships typically last 6 months at a minimum, and for some trades may be as long as 3 years.
Searching For Employment in Italy
Finding a new job in Italy from the United States can be more challenging, but there are many online resources available to help you start making connections and communicating with potential employers. Even more so than in the US, networking and building relationships is often essential to landing a top-level position in Italy.
Some of the ways to find these connections include:
- Applying to agencies for temporary work, often in tourism, food service, or manufacturing.
- Contacting the Centro per l’impiego, which is a job center in Italy, to obtain a real-time assessment of what types of industries are hiring in various regions.
- Searching online job platforms specific to Italy, or searching within them by location, using tools like Indeed Italia, Trovalavoro, Infojobs, ClubIn or LinkedIn.
- Joining professional groups and attending conferences to network with individuals in your industry or field of expertise.
Networking and Interviewing for Work in Italy
Become an active participant in professional groups where important networking takes place both online and in person. Some groups to consider are:
- Confcommercio, the Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, encompassing the areas of commerce, transportation, tourism, and services
- CONFAPI, the Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises
- Confindustria, the General Confederation of Italian Industry, with members in service and manufacturing organizations
- CNA, the National Confederation of Artisans and SMEs
Once you secure an interview, plan to make that all important first impression. Dress to impress, in line with the company culture, and when in doubt, choose a formal look over a casual one. This is a handshake occasion, rather than the informal Italian greeting that involves a kiss on the cheek. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early for your appointment, as punctuality and reliability are very important in this competitive job market.
What Legal Documentation Is Needed to Work in Italy?
Of course it is much easier to find a job in Italy if you are an EU citizen. Many Americans of Italian ancestry have the ability to obtain dual Italian citizenship, which allows them to live and work in Italy without additional paperwork.
For those who don’t have this option, securing a job is more challenging, but still possible. You will need the following documentation to get started:
- Visa. Your visa is permission to enter the country and dictates how long you can stay. Visas are issued for tourists and students, and for employment. There are summer jobs in Italy for English speakers, and even a temporary position can be a solid basis for a visa.
- Residence permit. You must apply for a residence permit at the local Police Headquarters within 8 days of entering the country. Your visa type will determine the type of residence permit you receive.
Applying for Dual Italian American Citizenship
If you are an Italian descendant with ancestors that immigrated from Italy to the United States, you may qualify for dual Italian American citizenship status. You must be able to provide the necessary documentation showing your Italian lineage and satisfy other Italian citizenship requirements.
However, the process and procedure for finding work can be much faster and quicker than waiting to find an employer, obtaining employer sponsorship, and securing a work visa. Jobs in Italy for foreigners are limited, but once you obtain dual citizenship status, you are free to apply to any employer in Italy and receive the same preferred status as other EU citizens in the job market.
Furthermore, you can take advantage of all the benefits Italian citizens enjoy and the new opportunities having Italian citizenship status provides. You and your entire family may qualify for dual Italian American citizenship status, so you can bring your family along too!
Is Dual Italian Citizenship a Possibility for You?
Many Americans have a legitimate claim to Italian citizenship by ancestry or marriage. To find out more about what is needed to qualify, please feel free to contact the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 or online today! We offer a free 30-minute telephone consultation to answer all of your questions