The Italian government has allowed Pakistani nationals to apply for seasonal and non-seasonal work visas - called Decreto-Flussi - for the year 2020-21.
Over 30,000 work visas would be issued by the Italian government to the nationals of a few non-European Union countries, including Pakistan.
Workers from agriculture, tourism, construction and freight forwarding sectors can avail themselves of this opportunity.
Pakistan has been included in this category of visas after a lag of two years as a result of sustained efforts by the Pakistan embassy in Rome.
Talking to media, Pakistan Ambassador to Italy Jauhar Saleem said Italy hosted the largest Pakistani diaspora in the EU following Brexit, who sent over $142 million in remittances in 2019-20.
He shared that Pakistan’s community in Italy had been demanding Pakistan’s re-inclusion in the list of countries eligible for seasonal worker visas, ever since the facility was withdrawn two years ago.
Saleem added that the demand for Pakistani workers in the Italian market was on the rise, especially in the agriculture sector. “It is expected that under the current scheme, hundreds of Pakistani workers will obtain gainful employment in Italy,” he added.
Earlier, the Pakistan embassy said it facilitated thousands of undocumented Pakistani workers in Italy in seeking legal status through a scheme launched by the Italian government in June 2020 to regularise the undocumented foreign workers. Over 18,000 Pakistanis applied for regularisation under the scheme.
Despite the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the Pakistan embassy said it had kept its consular section, both in Rome and Milan, functional to facilitate the community in tapping the growing employment opportunities in Italy.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2020.