Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

On this page you can find answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic of labour market integration in Italy.



According to the definition of the European Union, a beneficiary of international protection is: “A person who has been granted refugee status or subsidiary protection status”.

Refugee status explained: “A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries' (See also: UNHCR

subsidiary protection status explained: A person who received a subsidiary protection status, because according to international law he or she would face serious harm when returned to the country of origin’ (See also: EUR-LEX

In Italy it is also possible to have a humanitarian protection in case the person is recognized to face severe personal humanitarian conditions (i.e. health problems, victims of grave political instability, episodes of violence, insufficient respect of human rights, natural disasters or other severe situations in the country of origin.

Italy has adhered to or ratified the most important international treaties providing for the protection of refugees and their families. Italian legislation has created several instruments at national and regional level to provide assistance to asylum seekers, including the processing of their application and financial/material help, and to follow them in every step of their socio-labour integration. Asylum seekers may be granted refugee status, subsidiary international protection status or humanitarian protections status. Once granted protection status, refugees may avail themselves of services (see below) established by law for Italian citizens. Additional protective measures are also established for unaccompanied minors present in the country.

Except for some particular cases, which you will be able to read about more below, when you apply for asylum to the police office you will be granted a residence permit as "asylum seeker". If you do not have a place to live, you should tell the police, so that they will send your request to the Prefecture. The Prefecture will check if there are places available either in the second reception system of the SPRAR (Protection System for Asylum and Refugee Applicants) or, alternatively, in the first reception system (CARA/CAS). Because of the low number of places available, you might have to wait long to access a reception centre or you might be transferred to a place other than the one where you initially applied for asylum. In the first and second reception systems you can be accommodated for a limited period of time, whose duration might be extended until the end of the asylum procedure. In some cases, which are defined by law, during the procedure you might be obliged to reside in a CARA or in a CPSA-Hotspot/CIE (Identification and Expulsion centres), without any residence permit.

Integration and support

Once you have obtained a residence permit you must apply for the Tax Code to the Revenue Agency. You will then have to apply for a health card at the ASL (Local Health Centre), in order to be entitled to healthcare and to be assigned to a family doctor who will take care of you in case of health problems. In any case, even before your residence permit is issued, you are always entitled to emergency care. Minor asylum seekers or minor children of asylum seekers have the right to attend public schools, and adult asylum seekers have the right of access to vocational training courses. If you reside in a reception centre, meals will be provided, as well as, in some cases (mainly SPRAR and CAS), Italian language courses and inclusion activities.

Next to having access to work, health, education and welfare services, in Italy beneficiaries of international protection have the right to access public housing and to ask for family reunification. Only refugees can have the Italian citizenship after ten years of residency in the country, at specific conditions defined by law (further information at the CINFORMI page). Differently from refugees and subsidiary protection holders, beneficiaries of humanitarian protection do not have access to family reunification. You can find more information about rights of beneficiaries of international protection in Italy on the related SPRAR Guide.

Education and trainings

In Italy it is possible to study, but often it is necessary to first learn the Italian language. Also, it might be necessary to get your previous diplomas recognized. Below you can find information on Italian language courses. For information about procedures on diploma validation in Italy please visit the CIMEA website. If you want to study at the University, we suggest you to address your request to the Foreign Office Desk at the Institute you would like to enrol in. This page will provide you with the list of the Italian Universities. If you want to attend vocational training courses, you can scroll the Adult Education Provincial Centres List (CPIA) and look for the closest one.  

The Adult Education Provincial Centres (CPIA) provide Italian language courses to foreign people for a small fee. The Centre for Evaluation and Certification Language (CVCL) of the University for Foreigners of Perugia organizes exam sessions of the Italian language Certificates (CELI) for foreigners. Information about the Italian language test necessary to obtain the long-term residence permit in Italy can be found here. You can also find some online Italian language courses for migrants on the web channel of the national TV RAI and on ALMA TV.

The Labour Market

The first residence permit issued at the beginning of the asylum procedure does not allow to work for a period of two months (law at present). If the outcome of the asylum application is not notified within six months from the submission, and the delay is not due to the applicant’s behaviour, the residence permit is renewed for an additional six months and allows to work. In general, beneficiaries of international protection can work with a valid residence permit.

In Italy labour relationships can be of three types:

  • Employed (temporary, permanent, seasonal contracts);
  • “Pseudo” self-employed (coordinated and continuous collaborations contracts);
  • Self-employed

The “pseudo” self-employed work is so defined as it has characteristics of self-employed and, partly, of employed work. The worker, in fact, commits to a job or service with the employer without any subordinate bond, similarly to a self-employed worker. However, differently from self-employed workers, the “pseudo” self-employed worker is granted the benefits and protection typical of employed workers (i.e. family, sickness, maternity allowances and insurance protection).  The minimum salaries for employed jobs are determined by collective work contracts (at national, regional, territorial level). To learn more about the rules and regulations of the Italian labour market you can consult the Integration Manual published by the Ministry of Labour.

Looking for Work

On the Italian page of the FromSkills2Work website you can find information about how or where to find a job or find help looking for a job. You might find job offers in the employment centres Centri per l’Impiego (CPI) located all over the Italian territory. After your registration, the CPI can provide you with information about training opportunities and supporting measures to look for a job in the provincial area covered by the Centre. In addition you might apply for a specific programme implemented by the Ministry of Labour, such as Inside and Percorsi, which include projects of social and economic inclusion for vulnerable migrants and unaccompanied minors.

You can also look on the FromSkills2Work page “Opportunities”, where you can see some vacancies available in Italy (under construction).

You can have an idea of the most needed professions by visiting the Italian “Employee Profiles” page on the FromSkills2Work website. For an overview of the most advertised positions in Italy you can either have a look at the job offers of the major employment agencies (i.e. ADECCO, MANPOWER) or contact the closest Employment Centre (Centro per l’Impiego).

In Italy, some qualified professions are regulated by regional or national registers. The recognition of skills and foreign titles is managed by the relevant institutions. The Ministry of Health, for example, is in charge for the recognition of professions in the health sector. For further information on the recognition of skills you can visit the dedicated FromSkills2Work page.

If you want to open a business, you can have a look at the guides created by the Veneto Region and Province of Milan to support migrants setting up business activities. You can also contact CNA World which supports foreign entrepreneurs to create their businesses, while raising awareness about the importance of migrant businesses in the local economy. “Italia Lavoro” also published the “Guide to incentives and business creation”, within the ACT programme - Supporting actions for the implementation of the labor policies, some specifically targeting migrants. Finally, you can find financial support through the microcredit or through Extrabanca, the first Italian bank created to serve foreign nationals residing in Italy and Italians who believe in the value of multiculturalism and social integration.

Looking for an Employee

If you want to hire a beneficiary of international protection you have to ensure that he/she has a valid working permit (“permesso di soggiorno per attività lavorativa”). To learn more about this process, you can visit the dedicated page on the website “Integrazione Migranti” for more specific information. Some Regions activated incentives to hire beneficiaries of international protection, if you reside in Veneto or Tuscany Regions you might be interested in reading the related FromSkills2Work section.

According to growing evidence from many academia and practice, the benefits are the following: 
  • Diversity leads to a stronger workforce where individuals can share and learn from each other
  • Migration enhances global competitiveness
  • Migration allows companies to address labour shortages and specific skill needs
  • Migrants represent an expanded customer base, often creating new market opportunities
  • Better integrated migrants are successful due to higher motivation and productivity, and display higher loyalty towards their employer, resulting in less turnover and absenteeism
  • A diverse workplace boosts competitiveness and innovation among employees
  • Migration allows businesses to engage with local communities, often composed of migrants
  • Migration allows businesses to engage with governments, for or against migration policies

In Italy, information or trainings are available to help prepare an organization or business to diversify its workforce. If you are interested in find more information on intercultural awareness for your company, please contact IOM Italy.

Offering to Help find a Job

If you want to support a beneficiary of international protection with finding a job, please look at this page. Here you will find specific information on how to support migrants and refugees in their integration process, including skills recognition procedures, family accommodation opportunities, volunteer activities, initiatives of the Italian Protection System for Asylum seekers and refugees (SPRAR).


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