Residence Permit for Voluntary Work

Residence Permit for Voluntary Work

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Residence Permit for Voluntary Work

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Entrance to Italy for foreign nationals for the purpose of voluntary work is regulated on an annual basis with a Drecree from the Ministry for Employment and Social Policy in collaboration with the Ministry for the Interior and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The decree establishes the quota of foreign nationals granted entry to participate in a voluntary programme. 

Who is eligible? 

Foreign nationals aged between 20 and 30 years who wish to apply for a residence permit for voluntary work can do so at:

  • a civilly recognised ecclesiastical organisation;
  • a non governmental organisation in accordance with legislation no. 49, 26 February 1987;
  • a social promotion association listed on the national register 

How to get a residence permit

The organisation must stipulate an agreement with the foreign national that is to include the duties to be carried out by the voluntary worker, an overview of the hours to be worked, the resources allocated to both arrival and departure travel costs, board, accommodation and money for small expenses for the duration of the stay, as well as, where necessary, an indication of the training programme and knowledge of the Italian language.

The organisation must also draw up an insurance policy to cover any health costs.

Once the agreement is finalised, the organisation must apply for a nulla osta (authorisation) at the relevant Immigration Help Desk in the locality where the voluntary programme will take place. The Help Desk, determining that there are no founded reasons why the foreign national should not be granted entry to Italy, and verifying the requirements are met, issues the nulla osta.

The nulla osta is transmitted electronically from the Immigration Help Desk to the Italian diplomatic representative in the foreign national's country of origin, to allow for the entrance visa to be issued. The voluntary worker, within 6 months of the nulla osta having been issued, must apply to the diplomatic representative for an entrance visa. 

Characteristics of the residence permit

The residence permit is issued for the duration of the voluntary programme, usually, for a period no longer than one year, or in exceptional cases, up to 18 months. It cannot be converted into any other type of residence permit and it cannot be renewed. Furthermore, the period of duration of the residence permit for voluntary work is not calculible towards the issuing of the EU long term residence permit. 

Special Cases

The residence permit for voluntary workers, in the presence of a specific recommendation from the National Youth Agency, is also granted to foreign nationals who must carry out their activity in Italy under the umbrella of the European Voluntary Service project. The European Voluntary Service falls under the Erasmus Plus programme and gives to young people aged between 18 an 30 years the opportunity to do voluntary work abroad for a period of 2-12 months in local projects in various sectors: culture, youth work, sport, social work, cultural heritage, art, free time, civil protection, environment, co-operative development etc... 

Last update: lunedì 06 june 2016
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