Several European countries have recognised that the ability to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers and innovative entrepreneurs is a key factor in increasing their competitiveness in international markets.
The achievement of this objective, however, is linked to the adoption of measures that make it easier to obtain residence permits for individuals with skills and knowledge that can improve the economic structure of the country.
What is the Italia Startup Hub programme
The Italian government has addressed this issue by introducing, with the Decreto Flussi 2015, the Italia Sturtup Hub programme with which it has provided a digitised, centralised and accelerated procedure to allow international talent already living in our country to obtain a residence permit for self-employed workers.
While Italia Startup Visa is aimed at those non-EU citizens who intend to move to Italy and base their innovative business there, the Italia Startup Hub programme is aimed at those who are already on Italian territory for reasons other than entrepreneurial activity and who wish to set up their own innovative startup and, at the same time, convert their residence permit into a permit for self-employed workers.
The administrative procedure leading to the conversion of the residence permit consists of the following steps:
- Application to the programme.
- Evaluation and issue of the nulla osta.
- Conversion of residence permit.
1) Application to the programme
Applications to the Italia Startup Hub programme must be sent to the email address indicated by MISE (Ministry of Economic Development) and must include the following documents:
- The business project containing the application form, a brief presentation of the company and a detailed business plan.
- A signed letter certifying the availability of financial resources of no less than €50,000 to invest in the startup and documents proving such availability.
- A copy of your passport and valid residence permit.
2) Committee Evaluation
After the formal check by the Secretariat, Once they have passed the Secretariat’s formal check, applications are assessed by the Italia Startup Visa Committee.
Differently from the Italia Startup Visa programme, the Committee is not required to ask for any opinion from the competent Police Headquarters, since the applicant already has a residence permit, which indicates the lawfulness of his/her immigration status.
In the event of a positive outcome, a nulla osta is issued for the conversion of the residence permit.
3) Conversion of the residency permit
Depending on the type of residency permit that the foreign national already holds, the procedure to be followed after obtaining the authorisation varies, in particular:
- If the non-EU citizen holds a residence permit for study or a long-term residence permit issued by another EU country, he must make an appointment with the competent Sportello Unico for Immigration, which will provide, by presenting all the required administrative documentation, a kit for the conversion of the residence permit. The kit must be presented at the next appointment with the police headquarters.
- If the non-EU citizen is in possession of a residence permit for subordinate work, scientific research or family reasons, he/she will have to fill in the kit for updating the residence permit, which is available at all post offices, and then transmit the documents to the police headquarters.
Duration of residence permit
The duration of the residence permit for self-employed start-up workers is one year.
Up to 60 days before it expires, the permit can be renewed for a maximum of 2 years and is further renewable on expiry for a further 2 years.
After 5 years, the non-EU citizen can apply for a long-term residence permit, which is valid indefinitely.
Visa for Italy and Italy Startup Hub: what we can do for you
Studio frisacco, thanks to the experience developed in this field and to the collaboration with law firms specialised in this field, can support you in all phases of the Startup Hub programme:
- Assisting you in drafting your business plan and filling in the application form to be submitted to MISE.
- Sending on your behalf all the necessary documentation in order to obtain the nulla osta.
- By assisting you in all the subsequent practices aimed at converting your residence permit.