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Under its annual work visa schedule, dubbed ‘Decreto Flussi’ for the year 2020-21, the Italian government has reopened sea and non-seasonal work visas for Pakistani nationals.
The Italian Government will grant over 30,000 work visas to citizens from a few non-EU countries, including Pakistan. Pakistani workers in agriculture, tourism, construction and freight forwarding sectors will avail this incentive, according to information conveyed by the Pakistan Embassy in Italy to the Board of Investment on Thursday.
As a result of concerted efforts by its embassy in Rome, Pakistan was included in this category of visas after a lag of two years.
Ambassador Jauhar Saleem said on the occasion that, after Brexit, Italy hosts the largest Pakistani diaspora in the European Union, which has sent remittances of over $142 million in 2019-2020.
He said that, after the facility was withdrawn two years earlier, the Pakistani community in Italy had been demanding Pakistan’s re-inclusion in the list of countries qualifying for a seasonal worker visa. Demand for Pakistani workers is steadily growing in the Italian market, especially in the agricultural sector, Ambassador Saleem said.
Under the current agreement, hundreds of Pakistani employees are expected to receive gainful employment in Italy.
Earlier, through a scheme initiated by the Italian government in June 2020 to regularise undocumented foreign employees, the Pakistan Embassy also facilitated thousands of undocumented Pakistani employees in Italy to pursue legal status.