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What are the Penalties for Overstaying a Visa to Work in Italy?

How Long Can I Work Under the Table in Italy without a Visa?

As you were offered this 5 month job in advance of your arrival in Italy and your employers obviously knows that you do not have a proper visa, I must ask:

What does your employer recommend?

Working on the Road

If the people that you are going to be working for are legit, I would imagine that they have previously hired other people who are in the same visa-less situation as you. I would ask your employer for the contact info for other employees and find out what they have done/ are doing.

I am inclined to say that you will not have any problems overstaying your visa in Italy, they seem to be a little more lax about overstays that other countries on the region (as of Feb. 2010). I have known many people working in the black markets of Europe who have not had any problems with overstaying their visas. What you propose to do is very common . . . and it usually works out. But there is always the odd chance that it won’t for you and you will be banned from Italy or fined.

I say that the situation is greatly in your favor, just so you do not fly through Germany, Switzerland, or go to England after you exit the Schengen zone.

The world is big — if you get caught just travel somewhere else for a few years. Travel is about taking chances and doing things that you normally wouldn’t.

More information on overstaying visas and/ or working in Europe:

Overstaying Visa in Europe
Overstaying Visa in Germany

How to find work in Europe

Work Abroad and Travel Employment

Walk Slow,



Original question about working in Italy

I am working in Italy for 5 months but don’t have any sort of visa. I am a U.S. citizen and would like to travel after I’m done working. I know that this is illegal, but how serious is the offense and do they really check your stamp? I only have one stamp from entering Italy. Are there ways to get around this or should I cut my losses and leave when the 90 day period is up? I would love the chance to save up during this job so I can see the continent, but would hate to get banned/fined or any other punishment that goes along with this. I hear that Greece and the UK are the most strict. I would love some advice as I was given the chance for this job a week before I had to be here, so I am just now looking up all of the information on what I’m allowed to do. Thank you!

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Filed under: Europe, Italy, Travel Help

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3170 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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