Urso told a business conference on Tuesday that his ministry plans to market Italy to the growing number of remote workers, or digital nomads, worldwide.
“In the coming months we will draw up a comprehensive legislative proposal making it clear that the best place to live is Italy, even if you are based in Silicon Valley, under the slogan ‘Work in the world and live in Italy’.” he said.
READ ALSO: Will Italy follow Spain in introducing a digital nomad visa?
He said the ministry is looking at “exploiting the opportunities offered by remote working – opportunities that we learned about during the pandemic,” according to Italian news agency Ansa, and claimed that there is “a growing awareness from Silicon Valley to the London Stock Exchange” that Italy is “the best place to live”.
Though the minister didn’t give any details of the plan, his words raised hopes among the many international professionals worldwide who would like to live in Italy short-term but currently have no good options for visas that would allow them to work legally for companies based abroad while in Italy.
A growing number of southern European countries, most recently Spain, have brought in special visas aimed at attracting these mobile workers, but Italy has yet to do so despite approving a law allowing for the creation of a ‘digital nomad’ visa almost a year ago.
According to a study by Nomadi Digitali, Italy’s association for digital nomads, 42 percent of remote workers interested in moving to Italy would like to spend between one and three months in the country, while another 25 percent are looking to stay for up to six months and 20 percent would like to spend longer in the country.
But, under existing rules, non-EU nationals can only spend up to 90 days in Italy without needing a visa and anyone wishing to work legally while in the country must apply for a visa and work permit.
The current visa options available are usually not viable for self-employed freelancers and remote workers, immigration law experts say, due to the strict quotas and requirements involved.
Nomadi Digitali has warned that legislation around remote work should not “consider digital nomads as mere tourists who come to visit our country” and said Italy instead must learn to “consider them as new temporary inhabitants of our communities.”
Keep up with The Local’s news updates on this topic in our working in Italy section.
Never mind visa status, Italy will not become an attractive country in which to start any kind of business activity until inexpensive, high speed Internet is readily available to all. I pay around 10% of the cost for Internet service in Bulgaria for twice the bandwidth here in Italy.
It is a national disgrace.