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Working in Italy as a Canadian

Canadians wanting to travel to Italy for up to 3 consecutive months for business and tourism will soon be eligible to apply for the ETIAS for Italy visa waiver through a simple online application. The ETIAS Italy visa waiver will also allow Canadians to take part in a short study programme or training course not lasting more than 90 days and that is not the main reason for the trip.

However, Canadians who want to work in Italy will find the process of getting a visa a little more complicated. Those who have already secured a job in Italy will be able to apply for a work visa for Canadians, while first getting a study visa or a Working Holiday visa for Italy are other valid options, depending on the applicant’s needs.

Travel to Italy with the ETIAS for Canadians

Canadians traveling for tourism, business purposes, or to study in Italy for less than 3 months and not as the main reason for the trip will be eligible to complete an ETIAS Italy application online.

The shared ETIAS visa waiver program for the 26 Schengen countries is being implemented to improve border security within Europe, and applicants will need to answer a series of questions related to security and health before the ETIAS Italy can be approved.

Before applying, it’s necessary to meet the ETIAS Italy requirements for Canadians, including:

  • Having a Canadian passport valid for 3 months from arrival in Italy.
  • Providing a current email address to receive the Italian ETIAS for Canadians.
  • Paying the ETIAS for Italy fee using a valid credit/debit card.

The Italy ETIAS has a total validity of 3 years from issue, or until the corresponding passport expires, and allows multiple-entry visits to of the Schengen Area countries. Canadian travelers can stay in Italy up to 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism or business purposes, including to attend a seminar or conference, but not to work.

How to Work in Italy as a Canadian

Canadians wishing to work as the main reason for the travel to Canada will be required to get a work visa for Italy. However, this is easier said than done. Canadian citizens must already be hired by an Italian employer or have signed a contract to be employed in Italy in the future, in order to apply for an Italian work visa.

It’s necessary to secure a job in Italy before applying, as the Italian employer holds the responsibility of submitting the application for the work visa for Canadians.

The work visa may not be issued if the yearly decreto flussi quotas have already been met for Italy. These controls determine how many non-EU citizens can enter Italy and submit an application for a work visa if they meet the requirements.

If the work visa for Canadians is approved, the Italian government will electronically send the completed application to the applicant’s nearest Italian Consulate in Canada for processing. The work visa will then be ready to pick up from the Consulate within 30 days.

Although the process for getting a work visa for Italy is strict, there are also other routes that Canadians can take to travel to Italy for work. It’s possible to enter Italy on a study visa and work part-time while finding an Italian employer to sponsor the work visa. The Canadian and Italian governments have also implemented a mutual Working Holiday visa, to allow Canadian youth to travel and work in Italy.

The Italian Working Holiday Visa for Canadians

Established in 2006, the Italy-Canada Youth Exchange Program allows Canadian citizens between the ages of 18-35 normally resident in Canada to travel to and work in Italy. Participation in the Italian Working Holiday Program for Canadian citizens is only allowed once, and the Working Holiday visa is not renewable for a further stay in Italy.

Every year a total of 1,250 Canadian youth can apply to spend a 12 month holiday in Italy and to work in Italy for a 6-month period within this time. The mutual Working Holiday Program was established primarily to allow young people from Canada a better understanding of language, culture, and life in Italy, as well as to permit temporary paid employment for Canadians in Italy.

Before applying, young Canadians between 18-35 must meet the Working Holiday visa for Italy requirements, which involve:

  • Having a Canadian passport valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of return from Italy.
  • Proving sufficient financial resources for the stay in Italy, considered to be a minimum of €200 (around C$300) for each of the twelve months. Sufficient funds can be proven by providing either bank statements from the last 3 months, or a credit card registered to the applicant with enough credit to cover the duration of the stay.
  • Getting a Health Insurance policy for the entire stay, with a minimum cover of €30.000 for medical emergencies, including hospitalization and repatriation.
  • Providing a complete flight itinerary in the form of tickets or proof of booking of a round trip, and details of the applicant’s initial accommodation in Italy.

To participate in the Italy-Canada Youth Exchange Program for a Working Holiday, applicants must:

  • Complete an Italian Working Holiday visa application and present it at the nearest Italian Consulate in Canada.
  • Apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno (Residence Permit) at an immigration office within 8 days of arriving in Italy.
  • Upon obtaining work in Italy, submit a request for a Work Permit to the Labour Office through their Italian employer, providing proof of the Permesso di Soggiorno.

Italian Embassies and Consulates in Canada

Eligible Canadian citizens cannot apply after arrival in Italy to participate in the Working Holiday for Italy program. They must apply at one of the following Italian Embassies or Consulates in Canada before leaving the country:

Embassy of Italy in Ottawa
275 Slater St
Ottawa, ON K1P 5H9
Phone: +1 613-232-2401

Italian Consulate General in Toronto
136 Beverley St
Toronto, ON M5T 1Y5
Phone: +1 416-977-1566

Italian Consulate General in Montreal
3489 Drummond St
Montreal, QC H3G 1X6
Phone: +1 514-849-8351

Italian Consulate General in Vancouver
510 W Hastings St #1100
Vancouver, BC V6B 1L8
Phone: +1 604-684-7288