Moving to Italy is top of many people’s bucket list in order to experience the Dolce Vita for themselves, explore the fascinating cultural heritage and enjoy the food, wine and high standard of living.
However, you may be asking yourself whether or not you can move to Italy without a job? Unfortunately, for both practical and legal reasons, it’s actually quite difficult to move to Italy if you don’t have a job although it is certainly still possible.
Are there Exceptions to this Rule? Yes, there are several main exceptions which mean that you can move to Italy without having to prove that you have a job.
- If you have an Italian or European Union passport you can move to Italy with or without a job.
- If you have Italian family members then you are entitled to relocate to Italy without needing to have a job (family reunification).
- If you have married an Italian citizen then you can move to Italy and stay for as long as you want without a job.
Aside from these exceptions, it can be fairly hard to move to Italy without a job unless you have planned well and made the necessary arrangements in advance.
Short Visits – Under 90 Days.
This is what I like to do. Americans, and people from many other countries, can move to Italy without a job and stay for up to 90 days, or three months, without requiring a residence permit. Your US passport should be valid for at least 3 months after your planned return date. Technically speaking, if you are staying in the country for under 90 days you would be classified as a tourist.
You can choose to stay in hotels, hostels or rent your own apartment or house for the duration of your visit. There is not too much paperwork required if you are travelling from America or elsewhere on the European continent however your stay will be limited to the 90 day time limit.
Live in Italy and Work Remotely.
If you have a job which allows you to work remotely then you can continue your work wherever you are in the world – including Italy! In the modern world the opportunities for working remotely have been exploding in popularity. With the help of the internet and the amazing advances in all aspects of communications technology there’s a whole host of jobs that you can do online.
Working remotely while living in Italy will actually afford you a relatively high standard of living because many Italians do not earn high salaries and have very little disposable income. In fact, in several parts of Italy the locals can hardly make ends meet on their salaries. This means that if you’re receiving your salary in US Dollars or Great British Pounds then you’ll discover that the exchange rate to Euros is very favorable.
Even a modest remote working salary will allow you to enjoy the cultural life of Italy while staying in an apartment or house that you probably wouldn’t have been able to afford back home. This is just one of the many reasons why the Expat community in Italy is growing fast.
Independent Financial Means.
Not everybody needs to work, no matter where they live, which means that if you have your own independent financial means then you can live in Italy without getting a job by applying for an elective residence visa.
You may have inherited a large sum of money or be retired after a successful career. This will give you the ultimate financial freedom which means that you can live anywhere you want to without having to worry about earning an income – including, of course, in Italy.
Finding a Job in Italy.
For most people though, the option of living on their own private financial means without working is a distant dream and so if you’re looking to move to Italy; how easy is it to find a job in the country?
The labor market in Italy is not the best and as a result many locals have very little disposable income and have a difficult time supporting themselves. According to government data, the average salary in Italy ranges from about 25,000 to 35,000 Euros, which is quite low compared to other parts of Europe. However, despite this, there are still several sectors of the economy in which Expats can easily find themselves jobs in Italy.
What Kind of Jobs are Available for Expats in Italy?
Technically, you can apply for any kind of job that you like in Italy although due to the cultural and language barriers you might find it difficult in some sectors of the economy. According to the European Union there are several main occupations in Italy that are facing shortage of applicants. This is largely due to the fact that so many of the young Italians are leaving the country but it is good news for an Expat looking for work in the county.
The main sectors that are facing skill shortages and a lack of applicants include, but are not limited to:
- Healthcare Professionals at all levels. If you work in the healthcare sectors, depending on your skills and qualifications, you can leverage an excellent salary in Italy. Skill shortages are exasperated in this sector by the aging population and jobs are available for doctors, nurses and health care specialists in all medical fields.
- ICT Professionals and Experts. Just like anywhere in the modern world, ICT skills are in high demand in Italy, particularly in the cities. There will be language barriers involved however if you have a good working knowledge of coding, programming and other related skills you may well find companies that are willing to pay for your Italian classes so they can get you on board as fast as possible!
- Marketing and Design Work. This is a booming industry in Italy and there’s a wide variety of work available. If you are bilingual you can work for companies in their international marketing departments in sectors such as hospitality and tourism.
- STEM Field Jobs. It’s a sad fact but it’s often the case that the most highly qualified and ambitious young Italians tend to leave the country in pursuit of opportunities overseas. This has left a large hole in the labor market that impacts on the STEM field jobs the most. If you can provide skills and experience in this sector you can quickly find long term employment.
- Teaching and TEFL. There are plenty of opportunities in the teaching sector – especially in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). There are thousands of language schools where you can work teaching local Italians, both children and adults, English while receiving a very reasonable salary. For obvious reasons, this is one of the most common fields for Expats to work in while living in Italy. In most cases there are a wide range of perks that come with the job including the school helping to arrange your resident permit and finding you accommodation near to the school.
Researchers have concluded that the skills shortage in Italy will remain in place and probably get worse, over the next few decades. This represents a good opportunity for Expats and immigrants who want to live and work in Italy. The Italian government and local authorities are very supportive of Expats who are moving to the country to fill vital job vacancies which means you will really be giving back to your new community while allowing you to fund your life in Italy.
Should You Learn Italian?
Learning Italian will make it massively easier to find work in the country because unlike other countries in the EU, many Italians speak very poor English. It will be an interesting challenge to learn the language but it will open so many doors and opportunities for you that it’s well worth the time and effort, particularly if you are planning to live in Italy for a long period of time.
Can You Move to Italy without a Job?
There are major skill shortages in a wide range of industries which means that Expats have a great opportunity to create a highly fulfilling new life. However, it can be difficult to find a job in many parts of the country that offer a salary that you’re used to but when you take the lower cost of living into account you might decide it’s a good trade.
Relocating to Italy will be a live changing event but to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible it will always be easier if you have a job lined up in advance. This could be a remote job that you can continue to work on while you’re moving into your new community or it could be with an international company that recruits applicants who want to relocate from America.