Permanent immigration to Italy continues to be significant, although in 2008 it was mostly accounted for by family reunification and free movement inflows. Between 2007 and 2008, the number of visas issued for family reunification rose 39% from 89 000 to 123
000, while entries for employment fell sharply. An annual quota for labour immigration applies to employer requests; no occupational restrictions are placed and entries are largely for less skilled work. After several years of quotas at 170 000, the 2008 quota
was limited to 150 000 home care workers (from those who applied under the 2007 quota), and no quota was opened for 2009. Lower quotas led to a reduction in inflows for employment in 2008, from 220 000 to 135 000, although these are visa issuance figures
and include seasonal workers. The number of entries for employment fell further in 2009.