It is now possible to start working in Italy while waiting for the Contract of Stay (Contratto di soggiorno) to be signed
Under the new regulations introduced in the Immigration law (Article 6-bis), it is now possible for the foreigner to start working even before signing the Contract of stay at the Immigration office. Therefore, once the work permit (Nulla Osta) is issued and the foreign employee/assignee has obtained the visa and entered Italy, work can start.
As per the government website https://www.integrazionemigranti.gov.it/Ricerca-news/Dettaglio-news/id/3286/Quali-semplificazioni-per-lassunzione-di-lavoratori-stranieri-dallestero-ha-previsto-il-DL-CutroThis this applies to all cases of entry for subordinate work, including seasonal work. It also applies to all cases under Article 27 (entries outside the immigration quotas) such as Blue Card holders, intra-corporate transfers, etc.
Before this amendment in the law (introduced with the so-called “decreto Cutro”(DL 20 March n. 23 converted into law 5 May 2023 n. 50), it was only possible to start working in Italy after (1) the work permit (nulla osta) had been issued (2) the worker had obtained the entry visa and entered the country, and (3) the worker had signed the contract of stay (contratto di soggiorno).