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Business immigration and moving employees within budgets

By Alessia Ajelli & Paolo Grassi
Posted: 4th October 2023 08:57
Moving employees to Italy can be a strategic move for companies of all sizes across a broad range of industries, but such a decision comes with both material and time-related costs. So, what should you expect when relocating employees to Italy, and how can you make it convenient?
The decision to hire a foreign expert or move an employee from an office located abroad – such as a company’s headquarters, to a local office in Italy – is usually taken by those in charge with a pure business mind-set. After careful evaluations and cost-benefit analysis, relocation can often present itself as the best course of action. Significantly, in many cases, making such moves comes with two types of costs that are dangerously overlooked – the material costs of moving a person (and often his/her family) to a whole other country and the time-related costs of complying with all the requirements needed to make these decisions a reality.
The material costs that companies incur when sending employees abroad, to Italy in this particular case, are, in a way, evident – from flights to moving expenses and housing. Local immigration advisors – who work to make relocations as smooth as possible and prove a solid choice for easing headaches down the road – pose another expense that needs to be factored into this discourse. Sure enough, this choice can, in any case, simplify a company’s approach by providing a comprehensive understanding of the procedure without infinite research and mistakes, ensuring all the different steps are managed effectively. 
Material costs are those related to documentation and government fees, like apostille, translation, certification, visa, and tax stamp expenses. Each company possesses a foundational understanding of these costs, at least after being introduced to the process. What they usually ignore, however, is the time that the process, and sometimes each document, takes, causing the procedure to clog up if the preparation is not precise or started early enough.
A fitting example can be seen with the Declaration of Value – a specific document necessary for obtaining the EU Blue Card, which is a residence permit for specialist or management-level hires. The document is essentially a certification of a specific employee's course of study abroad by the Italian diplomatic/consular representation in the place of issuance of the title. It requires that, in addition to the title and the results of the university courses, the results of the individual's entire course of study must be produced, according to the requirements of the competent authority, from time to time. Obtaining the supporting documents and having the Declaration of Value issued can take, in more pathological cases, several months. Then, there are the steps required to issue a work authorisation as well as the very obtainment of a visa to consider.
Therefore, relying on the experts and having a clear understanding of both the material and time-related costs is paramount to ensuring the successful movement of an employee. This awareness, however, is just the starting point, with the fundamental decision becoming what type of immigration service a company requires. Does it need to move employees to Italy, for example, to develop a new branch? Or does a company based in Italy want to hire a foreigner based on their skills and capacity to better its position within the country?
Italian immigration law, compiled in Legislative Decree No. 286/1998 and its subsequent amendments, provides different types of work visas that suit each company’s specific needs for a qualified employee/manager. These include the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT, distinguished in Traditional ICT, ex art. 27 par. 1 lett. a) and the EU ICT (ex art. 27 quinques), which applies to temporary transfers of non-EU employees among companies belonging to the same international group, and the EU Blue Card (ex art. 27 quarter) which enables the direct hiring of non-EU nationals by companies based in Italy.
Each visa and residence permit, such as the ones listed above, have their own requirements regarding the conditions needed to be met as well as the supporting documentation to be gathered and filed to the competent Italian immigration authorities. This, as mentioned above, is an aspect that applicants and companies must take into serious consideration when it comes to both drafting a budget and then acting upon it to carry out the necessary procedures to get to the point of obtaining a visa and residence permit.
In conclusion, it can be said that business immigration can offer a great solution to Italian and multinational companies operating in Italy, and can be achieved with the necessary attention and expert support coupled with careful handling of time and costs.
Alessia Ajelli – Associate at LCA Studio Legale
Tel: +39 0277 8875 271
Alessia Ajelli specialises in immigration law and global immigration. She assists national and international clients with respect to all corporate immigration issues and citizenship rights matters, with particular reference to inbound and outbound transfers of managers and highly-qualified employees to and from Italy. She aids in the likes of obtaining intracompany work permits, EU Blue Cards, and other authorisations governed by the relevant national and/or EU law.
Alessia has also gained experience in M&A and investment transactions, and she advises listed and non-listed companies regarding all corporate law and governance issues. She further assists various companies (i.e., start-ups, web communication and marketing agencies) operating in the new media, internet, software, e-commerce, digital marketing and IT services fields, with a specific focus on all privacy, communication, advertisement, prize, promotional and IP matters.
Paolo Grassi – Trainee at LCA Studio Legale
Tel: +39 345 7494 300
Paolo Grassi is an integral part of the global immigration team, for which he primarily deals with immigration law, aiding national and international clients with all possible corporate immigration issues and citizenship rights matters, especially the transfer, to and from Italy, of managers and highly specialised employees. He too works to obtain intracompany work permits, EU Blue Cards, and other authorisations governed by the relevant national and/or EU law. Moreover, Paolo is included in the Your Legal Counsel team, which helps companies with multidisciplinary counsel become apt at tackling every necessity with efficiency.

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