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Italy

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area - 301,340 km2

Population – 60,359,546

Official Language – Italian

REGISTRATION AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

All European Union citizens have the right freely to enter and reside in Italy, with different arrangements applying depending on whether the stay is shorter or longer than three months. For stays in Italy of up to three months, no conditions or formalities are required, apart from holding valid ID for travel abroad. The same conditions also apply to family members who accompany or join an EU citizen; this includes, in particular: a spouse; a partner in a registered partnership with the European Union citizen where, according to the law in one Member State, that partnership is the equivalent of marriage in the host Member State; direct descendants under the age of 21 or who are dependants and those of the spouse or partner; dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner.

Family members with non-EU citizenship must hold a valid passport and, where required, an entry visa, unless they already hold a valid ‘residence card of a family member of an EU citizen’.

EU citizens have the right to stay in Italy for over three months, if they:

  • are employed or self-employed in Italy;
  • have sufficient financial resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the country’s social assistance system during their period of residence and have comprehensive health insurance cover or equivalent in the country;
  • are enrolled at a recognised public or private institution to study or undergo vocational training and have sufficient financial resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the country’s social assistance system during their period of residence and have comprehensive health insurance cover in the country;
  • are family members accompanying or joining an EU citizen with the right to reside for over three months.

EU citizens or their family members can, based on the duration of their stay, declare their presence in Italy at a State Police station by means of a declaration of presence.

If you do not make this declaration of presence, it is presumed – unless otherwise indicated – that the period of residence will last over three months.

If you intend to reside for more than three months in Italy for work (as an employee or self-employed), study or elective stay, you must apply for registration for yourself and any family members living with you, at the public records office of the municipality in which you have decided to live.

Family members who are not EU nationals must go to the Questura (police headquarters) to apply for a residence permit for family members of EU citizens.

For any information, you may find addresses for police headquarters located throughout Italy on the State Police website.

LOOKING FOR A JOB

To help you to find a job in Italy, you can register as unemployed with a job centre (CPI) in any part of Italy. In addition to performing administrative tasks, CPIs also provide guidance and advisory services, short training courses and matching skills and jobs.

To find your nearest CPI, you can search in the ‘Cerca lo sportello’ [branch locator] section on the portal of the National Agency for Active Employment Policies (ANPAL) www.anpal.gov.it.   Job offers covering the whole of Italy are also published on the portal, as well as news and information about the world of work and careers. In order to apply for jobs, you need to register and upload your CV.

The EURES service is in operation at each CPI and provides information on vacancies in the European Economic Area and guidance and advice on living and working conditions in different European countries.

You can also contact private job agencies; approximately 4 000 of these are currently authorised by the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy and appear in the job agencies’ register.

In addition to dedicated newsletters and magazines, many daily and weekly newspapers also publish regional and national classified job advertisements.

There are also different tools that you can use to research companies in order to send a spontaneous application such as, for example, the Pagine Gialle, Guida Monaci, and Kompass.

The internet also provides a wealth of resources, such as company websites, Chambers of Commerce websites, specialist private portals and the growing phenomenon of social media use (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).

Currently in Italy, not all employment opportunities are conveyed via official/institutional research and selection channels; some are in fact linked to personal networks and existing contacts from work or school.

It is possible (from 1 July 2015 when restrictions will no longer apply to Croatian citizens) for all European Union citizens to undertake self-employed and employed work without needing to obtain authorisation to work – with the sole exception of activities reserved for Italian citizens – following the principle of equal treatment with Italian citizens.

INCOME AND TAXATION

Remuneration is the employer’s main obligation to the worker in return for the work performed (see Articles 2094 and 2099 of the Italian Civil Code). In Italy, remuneration must be based on an agreement between the parties on the basis of the contractual minimum under the relevant collective contract. Remuneration is frequently expressed net of direct taxes withheld at source and of social security contributions borne by the employer and the employee and includes all various forms of consideration paid, including the basic salary and connected bonuses, benefits in cash or in kind (basic pay, special supplementary allowances, additional months, performance bonuses and any other benefits). The amount of each individual item of pay is usually established in the individual or collective employment contract. Italy’s real average wages are the lowest among the leading industrialised countries of Europe: the average net monthly income in Italy is EUR 1 560 (2016). In the 2009-2019 period, inflation-adjusted income decreased by 2%.

Equal pay for equal work is a principle of the Italian labour system only with regard to the work of women compared to the work of men and of workers who are minors compared to adult workers (Article 37 of the Italian Constitution).

Taxation on personal income (IRPEF) is a direct, progressive tax, proportional to the actual total of all income received by the taxpayer, who pays tax on the basis of income bands. The rates remained unchanged in 2017, ranging from 23% to 43% across five bands.

Value added tax (IVA) is a consumption tax affecting every stage of production for specified goods and services. The standard rate in Italy is 22%, following an increase which came into force on 1 October 2013.

Local taxes are taxes on housing – namely property tax (IMU) – calculated on the basis of municipal rates (excluding first homes), taxes on waste (TARI), and taxes on shared services which are paid by the owner or tenant (excluding first homes). These taxes vary from one city to another.

Vehicle taxes are applied to vehicles and motor vehicles and are managed by the regions; the tariffs used for calculation are based on kW or horsepower.

COST OF LIVING

The cost of food expenditure in Italy is 2.1% higher than the European average, and has a strong influence on income, absorbing more than one sixth of family income. A family’s average food expenditure, EUR 457, is 6% more expensive. The cost of living in the south of the country with regard to food expenditure is significantly lower.

In fact, living expenses (food, bills, taxes, etc.) account for more than 70% of household income, 10% more than the European Union average of 60%. The difference is due to less disposable income, which for Italian families is 25% lower than the European average. Public transport is the cheapest in the EU, but the cost of owning a car (motor vehicle insurance, vehicle tax, fuel) is 42% higher than the European average. In fact, the cost of fuel alone is 8.9% higher.

According to a recent study by ADOC (the Association for Consumer Protection and Guidance), the costs of breakfast, rent, public transport, cinema and mobile phone calls are in fact lower in Italy than the European average, as opposed to domestic utilities (lighting, water, gas and waste), private transport, eating out and food expenditure.

The price of clothing in Italy is very similar to average prices in the EU, while the cost of consumer electronics in various EU countries, from mobile phones to tablet computers, do not differ greatly from one another.  According to a study carried out by the National Consumer Union (UNC) in 2018, the cheapest cities in Italy (based on the rising cost of living) are Potenza and Ancona, while the most expensive cities are Bolzano and Reggio Emilia.

Text last edited on: 09/2019

EDUCATION SYSTEM

Compulsory education lasts 10 years, from six to 16 years of age. It comprises the eight years of the first cycle of education and the first two years of the second cycle, which can be spent in upper secondary schools – run by the State – or attending regional vocational training courses. Moreover, all young people have the right and duty of education and training for at least 12 years or until they obtain a three-year vocational qualification by the age of 18. Compulsory education can be delivered by State schools or officially recognised semi-private schools, which together make up the public education system; alternatively, it can be obtained from non-accredited private schools or by means of home schooling. However, in the two latter cases, for the compulsory schooling requirement to be satisfied, certain conditions apply, including taking examinations. On completion of the compulsory education period, which is usually the end of the second year of upper secondary school, those pupils who do not continue their schooling are issued a certification of competences acquired. Pupils who complete their upper secondary schooling, passing the State examination, can access tertiary education (universities, art and music academies and technical colleges). Some university degree programmes are on a limited access basis and applicants must pass an entry test. A major reform of the Italian university system has been undertaken, which provides qualifications in two cycles: a 3-year degree (Laurea – L) and a specialist or master’s degree involving a further 2 years of specialist study (Laurea Specialistica – LS). There are also single-cycle degrees, where a qualification is not awarded after the first three years, but only at the end of the cycle when a master’s degree is awarded.

RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS AND QUALIFICATIONS

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

  • An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
  • The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

USEFUL LINKS

https://www.governo.it - Government

http://www.welfare.gov.it - Labour Authority

http://www.lavoro.gov.it - Ministry of Labour

http://www.agenziaentrate.it - Taxes

http://www.inps.it - Social Security

http://www.salute.gov.it - Health

http://www.istruzione.it; www.miur.it - Education

http://www.cimea.it - Recognition of qualifications

http://www.poliziadistato.it - Police

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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