Many students who are studying abroad need to sustain themselves during the studies, or, at least have to contribute to the expenses their families have to afford.

But many questions arise as soon as a job opportunity comes to the horizon: can I work in Italy as a regular worker? Should I open a Partita IVA (VAT number)?

The answer to the first question is Yes, although there are some conditions.

Conditions to work as a student

How can I work with a residence permit for study?

As a foreign student, your student permit allows you to work only on a PART-TIME basis for a maximum of 1040 hours per year in order to be able to maintain pay for your studies.

The part-time can be either “vertical” or “horizontal”; it means that You can work either 20 hours per week for 12 months or up to 40 hours per week for 6 months.

In any case You have to remember that, your work contract cannot exceed the duration of your student permit.

(Our translation): 

Source: the Ministry of Work 

Our translation: Article 14, paragraph 4, Presidential Decree 394/99, requires that the same be carried out for a time not exceeding 20 hours per week, even cumulative for fifty-two weeks, without exceeding the annual limit of 1,040 hours. The reason lies in the fact that the study must always constitute the prevailing activity, which is why the National Inspectorate, in its note of 24 May 2022, specified that in the case of employment contracts that are extended throughout the year, the two limitations must generally be considered simultaneously.
When, on the other hand, the holder of a residence permit for study concentrates the work activity in a shorter time frame than that of the 12 months (which is frequent, for example in the period in which the courses attended are suspended), the student is free to organize the performance of the work activity in such a way that, even exceeding the limit of 20 hours per week, the maximum of 1,040 hours per year is respected in any case.It remains that in the event that the holder of the study permit wishes to carry out work with a commitment exceeding the limit of 1,040 hours per year, he will have to convert this permit into a work permit.

Do I need to open a Partita IVA to work as a self-employed person?

The answer is that You don’t need a Partita IVA if your job is not running regularly.

In this case, your job is regulated as “Temporary job” (lavoro occasionale).

You may have heard that You can work on a Temporary Job only until € 5.000 per year.

This is not true, because the 5.000€ ceiling has been canceled a few years ago, so now the only criteria to work without P.IVA is only “qualitative”.

You must remember, however, that when You exceed 4.800€ you must inform your Employer, and your employer will start to pay your social security contributions on your behalf.


Who can I work for?

From the point of view of the Employer, Temporary jobs can be done for a legal entity (food delivery, web designer...) or a person or a family (baby-sitter, house cleaner,..).

You have to follow a different procedure depending on the above two options.

When you work for a legal entity, e.g. a company or a business, you will be paid by the employers by issuing them a document (Notula) that is valid as payment receipt; this document will include and specify the 20% income taxes paid in advance (Ritenuta d’acconto).

When You work for a private or a family (baby-sitter...) You will be paid through a voucher directly on your bank account. To do that You have to register on INPS website following the Libretto di Famiglia procedure

Does the residence permit for study allow self-employment?

Yes, the law does not put restrictions on self-employment for foreigners holding a permit issued for study purposes. The permit for study purposes entitles you to work (with a limitation of working hours for employed workers) and can be converted, in the presence of the requirements laid down by law,  in a permit for the purpose of employment or self-employment.

Generally speaking, in all cases where the law expressly provides for the conversion of a residence permit into work, this residence permit is compatible, even before conversion, with setting up a business, unless expressly provided otherwise by law.

Is a residence permit for study valid for an internship?

Yes,  the permit for study or vocational training allows you to take part in all curricular traineeship activities included in the course of study for which the residence permit has been issued.

In addition, you may carry out non-curricular internship, aimed at employment.

National and regional legislation on training and guidance placements also applies to foreign nationals legally resident in Italy, who can then take advantage of the internship as training and orientation tools aimed at job placement.

Since the internship/traineeship does not constitute an employment relationship, the working hours limit set for paid employment shall not apply.

Can you convert a residence permit for study into a work permit?

Yes. Before the expiration date and regardless the limits of the annual quotas established by the decreto flussi, you can convert a permit issued for study purposes into a permit for employed or self-employed work.

for subordinate work, documentation showing the existence of the employment relationship must be submitted;
for self-employment, the documentation of the activity to be carried out and the financial availability necessary to carry it out must be submitted.

If you convert to a self-employed business entrepreneur, trader or craftsman is also required to register with the Chamber of commerce. 

We recommend that you use a Patronato to fill out your papers.

You must be registered as resident