Situated in Southern Europe, Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is home to famous attractions such as the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the scenic waterways in Venice, and of course, the historic Vatican City.
Thanks to its booming tourism industry, Italy is a top choice among jobseekers in that sector. It also offers plenty of job opportunities in healthcare, domestic services, agriculture, engineering, automotive, information technology, and fashion industries.
In this article, we will discuss how Pinoy jobseekers can become overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Italy. We will go over the criteria, requirements, and steps involved… so keep on reading!
Are you interested in becoming an OFW in Italy? First of all, you need to have a job offer, an Italian work visa, and eventually a residence permit (a.k.a. “permesso di soggiorno”) once you arrive in Italy. In addition, you should know all about the “Decreto Flussi.”
“Decreto Flussi” translates to “flow of foreign workers.” This is how the program goes: every one or two years, the Italian government sets a quota on how many permits will be issued to seasonal as well as non-seasonal workers. For example, in 2019, the Decreto Flussi opened in the month of April, with the Italian government setting a quota of 30,850 work permits, which were issued during that period.
Basically, what this all means is that you can only apply for an Italian work visa under the following conditions:
- Decreto Flussi is open;
- The annual quota is not yet filled;
- You have an Italy-based employer who will apply for a work permit; and
- You are granted a work permit.
NOTE: The Italian work permit is called “Nulla Osta al lavoro.” Your employer is the one who’s responsible for obtaining your work permit at the immigration office in the “Preffetura” (province) where you’ll be based.
When applying for your Italian work visa, the following documents must be prepared:
- Filled up application form;
- Copy of your signed employment contract;
- Original and copy of your work permit (Nulla Osta);
- Your valid passport;
- Passport-sized photos;
- Proof of residence in Italy;
- Proof of adequate financial resources;
- Certificate of paid visa fee; and
- School diploma and other certificates.
NOTE: Additional supporting documents may be required, depending on your job and the type of visa you are applying for.
Most Popular Jobs in Italy for Overseas Filipino Workers
As cited earlier, the most popular industries in Italy are agriculture, automotive, domestic services, engineering, fashion, healthcare, information technology, and tourism. Hence, here is a list of the most in-demand jobs in the country, grouped according to industry:
- Agriculture – agriculturists, farm workers, etc.;
- Construction and Engineering – architects, engineers, carpenters, construction laborers, etc.;
- Domestic Services – caregivers, domestic helpers, drivers, etc.;
- Education – subject teachers, language teachers, etc.;
- Healthcare – doctors, nurses, etc.;
- Information Technology (IT) – cybersecurity specialists, computer programmers, software developers, etc.; and
- Hospitality and Tourism – hotel managers, receptionists, restaurant managers, chefs, waiters, waitresses, etc.
How to Become an OFW in Italy
Are you planning to become an OFW in Italy? Here is an overview of the different steps involved:
Look for an Italy-based employer. You can search online by looking at various job sites. You can also head to the official website of the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), enter “Italy” in the search box for, and browse through the approved job orders. https://www.dmw.gov.ph/approved-job-orders
Once you receive a job offer and sign an employment contract, your employer (or employment agency) will apply for a work permit in Italy on your behalf. The work permit will be sent to you.
When you receive your work permit, apply for a work visa at the Italian Embassy in Manila. As soon as you receive your work visa, you can now go to Italy. You have six months to enter Italy using your visa. Typically, the work visa is valid for the duration of your job contract. It is not more than two years, but it may be renewed for up to five years.
Upon arriving in Italy, you need to apply for a residence permit or “permesso di soggiorno” You can apply for this at the local post office in your city. Eventually, it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the local Italian police department, which grants your residence permit. That’s it! You can now start working in Italy.
Licensed Recruitment Agencies to Italy
When looking for a job abroad, it’s important to apply through accredited manpower agencies. If the agency you are dealing with is not licensed, you could end up getting scammed, or worse, become a victim of human trafficking.
Below is a list of manpower agencies that are licensed to recruit OFWs to Italy. All of these have been accredited by the Department of Migrant Workers or DMW (formerly Philippine Overseas Employment Administration):
- All Seasons Manpower International Services Incorporated;
- GCC International Manpower Agency;
- International Skill Development Inc.;
- Mabuhay Personnel and Management Services Inc.;
- Manpower Resources of Asia Inc.;
- Migrant Workers Manpower Agency Inc.;
- Omanfil International Manpower Development Corporation;
- Primeworld Manpower Agency Inc.;
- Reliable Recruitment Corporation;
- Sunway International Manpower Services Inc.; and
- Worldstar International Manpower Services Corporation.
NOTE: If you want to see the full list of manpower agencies that are licenses to recruit land-based and sea-based OFWs around the word, please visit the official website of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Meanwhile, here are some frequently asked questions — and answers — about how to become an OFW in Italy:
1. Who are qualified to work in Italy?
The required qualifications would depend on the type of job being applied for. Of course, basic criteria such as age, educational background, and previous job experience must be met. Moreover, the applicant must apply when “Decreto Flussi,” a program by the Italian government, is open. You can apply if the annual quota set through this program is not yet filled, and if you have an Italy-based employer who was able to obtain a work visa on your behalf.
2. What are the requirements?
To apply for a work visa, you (and your employer) must prepare several documents, as follows: filled up application form; copy of signed employment contract; original and copy of work permit; valid passport, passport-sized photos; proof of residence in Italy; proof of adequate financial resources; certificate of paid visa fee; and school diploma, among other documents.
3. What are the most in-demand jobs for OFWs?
At present, the most popular industries in Italy are: agriculture, construction and engineering; domestic services; education; healthcare; information technology (IT); and hospitality and tourism. Hence, the most in-demand jobs include: farm workers, agriculturists, engineers, construction laborers, domestic helpers, caregivers, subject teachers, language teachers, nurses, doctors, software developers, computer programmers, hotel managers, and restaurant managers.
4. How can I become an OFW in Italy?
First of all, you need to look for a job in Italy by searching online or by browsing the Department of Migrant Workers’ official website. Once you receive a job offer, your employer (or employment agency) will apply for your work permit in Italy. Then, you can apply for a work visa at the Italian Embassy in Manila. As soon as you arrive in Italy, you need to apply for a “permesso di soggiorno” (residence permit). After completing all of these steps, you can start working in Italy for the duration of your work visa and employment contract.
5. How can I learn more about working in Italy?
You can learn more about becoming an OFW in Italy by getting in touch with the Italian Embassy in Manila. Its contact details are provided below.
Contact Information: Italian Embassy in Manila
If you have any questions and concerns about working in Italy, you can contact the Italian Embassy in the Philippines through the following details. Its office is located in Taguig, Metro Manila:
Address: 5th Floor, Tower B, One Campus Place Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill Dr, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 8892 4531
Video: How to Apply for Work in Italy
Check out this video featured on the YouTube channel, “Jhoe Globe.” This channel is managed by Jobert, a Filipino who is based in Florence, Italy. In this video, he talks about the process for becoming an OFW in Italy, including how to get a working visa. He also explains more about the “Decreto Flussi” program of the Italian government:
Aside from getting a work permit, work visa, residence permit, and other documents, it is important to prepare for your stay abroad. What’s the weather like? What language do most people use? What is the mode of transportation? These are just some of the things that we’ll talk about, as we focus on day-to-day life in Italy.
Mandatory Registrations. Before you start working in Italy, you need to have health insurance and your very own social security number, which can be obtained from the National Social Security Institute. Your employer is the one who will register on your behalf.
Climate. The climate in Italy is diverse; it depends on where you are staying. For example, if you are based in the northern part of the country, you can expect mild summers and cold winters because of the Alps. In contrast, the central and southern part of Italy features a “Mediterranean” climate, which usually consists of hot, dry summers and mild winters.
Meanwhile, the eastern part of the country typically has hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters since it is surrounded by the Po River. As you can see, the climate really depends on your location!
Work Culture. Outside of work, Italians are generally friendly, with a casual, laid back attitude. In the workplace, however, Italians — and foreign workers — are expected to be hardworking, punctual, and professional when it comes to work and business.
Italian Language. English may be common in large cities such as Rome and Milan, as well as in popular tourist destinations. However, it is not widely used in the rural areas. Thus, learning the Italian language is highly recommended! This will enable you to communicate better with your Italian colleagues and friends.
Notably, there are areas of Italy where people speak French, German, Slovenian, and other languages. Keep this in mind when you travel around the country!
Transportation. Italy has a well-developed and extensive public transit system, so it’s quite easy to travel and explore the whole country. Within the large cities such as Rome and Milan, there are local metro networks and bus networks for regular commuters.
As for travel between cities, you can use high-speed trains; there are local trains for reaching rural areas, as well. In addition, there are bus routes that travel regularly between cities, plus buses that travel to other European countries. Cool!
Religion. Majority of Italians are Catholics, just like in the Philippines. In fact, you are likely to find churches where the priest conducting the mass is a Filipino!
That being said, there are slight differences, especially when it comes to how Italians celebrate Christmas. Did you know that Italians “fast” (i.e. they don’t eat meat) for 24 hours before Christmas Eve? Also, when it comes to opening Christmas presents, there are different times for adults and kids. Usually, adults open their gifts after attending Midnight Mass. Children, on the other hand, open their gifts on Christmas morning. Interesting!
Filipinos in Italy. Based on the latest figures from Italy’s Ministry of Interior, there are currently almost 170,000 Filipinos in Italy. Most of them are based in Rome and Milan. Furthermore, information from Italy’s Ministry of Labor and Social Policies indicate that the Philippines is the third biggest destination country for remittances from Italy, next to Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Without a doubt, Italy will remain a top choice for tourists and jobseekers alike, including OFWs. If you are among those who are planning to live and work in this beautiful country, we hope that this guide has been helpful!
On the other hand, if you want to work abroad but you’re looking for something that’s closer to home, why not try Singapore? Check out this article to learn more about how you can become an OFW in this small, yet progressive and developed country.