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07 October 2022

Translators and interpreters: how to enter Italy to work

Answers to the frequently asked questions


Article. 27, paragraph 1 of the “Consolidated Law on Immigration” lists the categories of workers who can enter Italy and obtain a residence permit at any time of the year, without the need of be part of the entry quotas stated by the “Decreto Flussi”. Translators and interpreters are part of the aforementioned categories, meaning that they have access to an easier procedure if they intend to enter Italy to carry out employed or self-employed work.

How can an employer get a foreigner residing abroad to enter Italy to work as a translator or interpreter?

The employer interested in hiring a foreign translator or interpreter not residing in Italy must request an authorization. The application for clearance (model G) must be sent digitally through the website of the Ministry of the Interior. A prior registration through SPID (Italian digital identity) is mandatory. The application must indicate which qualifications or professional certificates, relevant for the languages they will work with, the foreigner has obtained. The Unified Desk for immigration will carry out all the necessary checks. In particular: - Possible objections from the Police Headquarters; - The economic and employment capacity of the employer, which will be verified by the local Labour Inspectorate. If the Immigration Desk gives clearance, the employer will be summoned to collect the authorization to work and sign the work permit. The Unified Desk will then notify the diplomatic or consular representation of the country where the foreigner lives. They will have to collect it within 120 days to get a visa for entry. Once entered in Italy, the foreigner must visit the Unified Desk within eight days to sign the residence contract and request a residence permit.

Is it possible to use a part-time contract to hire a translator residing abroad?

No, the employment contract must provide for at least 20 hours per week.

What qualification must the foreigner have to work in Italy as a translator or interpreter?

It must be a qualification issued by a state school, a public body or an equal institution, according to the legislation in force in the State of issue. The institution must be recognized as legitimate by the competent Embassy or Consulate and must confirm the qualification. The application for authorization must indicate the date on which this confirmation was granted, while the document itself will be delivered later, when the employer will have to go to the Unified Desk to finalize the residence contract.

Can one individual enter Italy for self-employed work as a translator or interpreter?

Yes. In this case, clearance is not necessary, and the worker shall submit themselves the application for an entry visa to the Italian diplomatic or consular representation in their country. In addition to the proof of being qualified, the worker must provide a statement, issued by the Labour Inspectorate of the place where the activity will be carried out, certifying that the work contract or the negotiation program does not constitute an employment relationship.

How long does the residence permit last?

The residence permit is valid for the time indicated in the authorization to work. It can’t exceed two years, albeit it’s renewable for two years more.In the event of termination of the original employment relationship, can the worker establish a new employment relationship? Yes, provided that the new relationship coincides with the original one when it comes to the matter of the work. It is therefore possible, with a valid residence permit, to change the employer but not the profession.

Is it possible to convert a residence permit issued for working as a translator or interpreter?

No. The residence permit for employed or self-employed work granted to translators or interpreters cannot be used to carry out any type of work which wasn’t previously authorized in the stipulated contract, and cannot be converted into a different residence permit.