There are no specific provisions in the immigration law for  sex workers because  sex work has always been unregulated; therefore, it is virtually impossible for migrant sex workers to obtain a permit of stay for sex work.


Article 27 of the immigration law provides for special work permits for staff employed in the following categories: lyrical shows, theatre, concert or ballet;  dancers, artists or musicians employed in entertainment clubs.

Exceptionally, this type of permit to stay has a maximum duration of one year and does not consent changing one’s workplace. It is, however, forbidden to operate within such clubs as sex workers, although nude dancers are tolerated. More often than not, clubs suspected of organising sexual encounters are closed down.

Someone who is a citizen of the one of the member states of the EU and someone who is not that has a regular permit to stay for work, or for matrimony, or for family reunion, or other …may do sex work with the same rights and privileges as that of an Italian citizen, that is, virtually without  being criminalized. Yet there are many abuses against sex workers that are evidenced by the generalized tendency to give them stiff fines. It is not a rare occasion that the police withdraw the permit to stay and intiiate an act of expulsion because of prostitution.

Minors (under 18 years) are entitled to receive protection. The immigration law states that minors cannot be expelled, except in particular cases. The best advice is always to tell one’s true age.

 The immigration legislation and subsequent modifications apply to all non-EU citizens in general. There are special provisions in the law that apply to asylum seekers and to EU citizens.

Only asylum seekers  who are arriving from specific country are entitled to ask for and obtain this status. Many women from other countries, particularly Nigeria, ask for asylum, but most of these requests are rejected. And the women are invited to return to the country of origin, and they are considered as illegal aliens. In some cases where women have appealed rape or have declared a high risk of being trafficked, these appeals have been accepted by the Courts.

In Italy now to enter and stay without a valid permit of sojourn  is a crime, punished with a fine from 5.000 to 10.000 Euro, the judge will sentenced for the fine and this should facilitate the expulsion of the so called  “clandestine”.   (The law is in Pacchetto Sicurezza 2009 art. 1, comma XVI  Legge 94/2009).

The measure is applied  even to whom is entered in past time, to whom has be expelled, or to whom have lost the job and indeed the permission of soujurn.

Stricter measures are applied for the weddings between migrants and Italian or legalised.  

The children been born from mother or parents not regularly with the permit of sojourn cannot be recorded at the public office of municipality.