Italy lures remote workers with digital nomad visa

Fine details still being worked out for a new visa scheme to allow digital nomads to live and work in Italy.

The Italian government has approved a decree that will grant a visa to remote workers or so-called digital nomads from non-EU countries for one year.

The scheme, signed into law last week as part of the Sostegni Ter decree, is designed to cut through red tape and offer one-year, renewable visas to freelancers or employees of companies based outside Italy.

The new visa is reportedly aimed at professionals “who carry out highly qualified work activities through the use of technological tools that allow them to work remotely, autonomously or for a company that is not resident in the territory of the Italian state.”

The visa would allow highly-qualified workers to work and reside in Italy, reports Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, on condition that they have health insurance and meet an (as yet unspecified) minimum income requirement.

The new decree will see digital nomads and remote workers added to a limited number of categories of specialised foreign workers who can be issued with a permit to work in Italy, which currently ranges from university professors and circus workers to sailors and nurses, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.

The practicalities of the scheme have yet to be defined, including which categories of professional will qualify, however full details are expected in the coming months.

The move comes as the government prepares to invest €1 billion into rolling out high-speed internet in historic "ghost" towns and villages across Italy as part of plans to revive the local economy and community with an influx of remote workers.