My Top 10 Predictions for Global Mobility in Italy for 2023

Damien O'Farrell
6 min readDec 16, 2022

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1. Digital Nomad Visa: Unfortunately, I believe this visa will remain stalled in the new year. In March 2022, the Italian government approved the introduction of a digital nomad visa. Since then, however, this visa has remained stalled and consequently is still unavailable. To introduce the decree that would make the DNV official, the Italian Labor Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and Interior Ministry all need to give their approval. Given that no approval has been given after months, it is safe to say that this visa will more than likely remain on the backburner for some time. Also, the new Italian government that was recently sworn in is dealing with other emergencies; therefore, they will probably not turn their attention to the digital nomad visa for now. The current government also has a reputation for not wanting to make it easier for foreigners to move to Italy, so this may also come into play when it comes to Italy’s immigration priorities.

2. Housing in First-Tier Cities: The housing markets of Rome, Milan, and Florence will continue to see a huge demand for long- and short-term rentals. Landlords in major markets really have the pick of the litter when it comes to tenants, especially if they own a property for which there are a lot of requests, which is often the case in first-tier cities as many foreigners want to live in these sought-after cities. The trend lately, again in the major markets, is for landlords to request monthly rental payments paid in advance.

3. Cost of Utilities and Groceries: The price hikes that we have seen this year will continue in the new year, in my opinion, for both utilities and groceries. All utility bills in Italy are consumption-based; simply put, the more you consume, the more you pay. Taking this into consideration, it would be beneficial to learn about ways that will allow you to keep your utility bills as low as possible. Shopping around for groceries to see where you can get the best prices is also advisable.

4. Highly-Skilled Talent: Employers in Italy will continue to look abroad for talent with hard-to-find skills in Italy. Candidates from abroad are being sought particularly for these positions: robotic engineer, machine learning engineer, cloud architect, data engineer, and nurse (this requires an advanced level of Italian). As these positions are considered highly skilled, they are normally processed outside the quote system, thus facilitating the immigration process.

5. €1 Properties: The articles about these properties will continue to do the rounds of the internet and will attract people hoping to get their dolce vita for a bargain price. Many of the people who bought these properties have found that since the pandemic, restoration costs have skyrocketed and qualified tradesmen are much harder to find. Other aspects to consider regarding these properties are: These properties are normally located in remote areas, so the resale value may not increase much despite the investment in bringing the property up to standard. The town hall has a list of terms and conditions that potential buyers must agree to; these should be checked and read carefully. Purchasing one of these properties as a non-EU citizen does not give you any special immigration or residency status in any way, shape, or form.

6. Repatriating Italian Nationals: Italians who are repatriated back to Italy require a completely different arrival program, and companies that have understood this will surely see an increase in assignee satisfaction. In many cases, the assignee needs to be reintroduced to Italy, especially if they have been abroad for quite some time. Reverse culture shock is real and often affects these assignees who are repatriating back to their own country. I believe that more and more HR departments are understating this, so I believe we will see an increase in these tailor-made programs.

7. Entry/Exit System (EES): The Entry/Exit System (EES) will be an automated IT system for registering third-country travelers, including both short-stay visa holders and visa-exempt travelers, each time they cross an EU external border. In full respect of fundamental rights and data protection, the system will register the person’s name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images), and the date and place of entry and exit. In my opinion, this will increase the need for compliance, both for corporations and individuals visiting Italy. This will be operational in May 2023.

8. Deposit Return: As companies especially are looking at ways to cut costs, I believe there will be a greater demand for even more thorough check-ins and walk-throughs to avoid spurious claims for dilapidations at the end of the tenancy. To facilitate this, it is advisable to only work with licensed realtors in Italy; stay clear of so-called “middlemen” and people who are not licensed to work in Italy as realtors. In addition to this, the initial state of the property should be documented with at least eighty photos that are taken in context, so that it is very clear what they are referring to. The tenant must be able to prove the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. Otherwise, it will become a you said or they said saga that could drag on for ages.

9. A Real VIP Program: Let’s face it, you would not expect to walk into Hermes and purchase a bag for €200. Why Not? Because it is a high-end brand specializing in exquisitely crafted luxury products. If this is the case, then it stands to reason that if you are looking to relocate one of your most valuable VIP employees, this cannot or should not be done on a regular or low-cost program. A true VIP program must be priced higher because you need to absolutely consider the following: The assignee will need to be followed by a senior staff member at the destination service provider; access to the vendor may be needed out of office hours; and immigration compliance must be taken care of by consummate professionals and not dilettantes. For these reasons, I believe there will be an increase in genuine VIP programs being purchased for hard-to-replace talent that can be poached easily by competitors.

10. Italy as a Destination: In my opinion, in 2023, Italy will continue to be a major draw, especially for individuals looking to relocate. There are a number of reasons that contribute to this, and they include: choosing certain places to live in Italy, such as second- or third-tier cities, can result in a much lower cost of living from almost every point of view; the country’s climate has something for everyone considering that the weather varies from the north to the south of the country; Italian food is fresh, delicious, and offers a myriad of choices from one region to the next; and Italy has various tax incentives to encourage investment as well as programs for individuals wishing to retire in the country.

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Damien O'Farrell

Global Mobility Specialist and Expat Coach with thirty plus years’ experience in providing high-touch immigration, relocation, & coaching services in Italy.