Is a Marriage in Italy valid in the US?

Is a Marriage in Italy valid in the US?

A bride is laughing while the Major is celebrating a civil wedding in Italy.
Besides Planners, we have been legal consultants for the Italian internationalization offices! This experience allowed us to gain deep expertise in foreign affairs.

Get to know all the legal requirement for Americans getting married in Italy

Italy is a popular destination for weddings, both for Italian citizens and for foreign nationals.

Many couples choose to marry in Italy for its beauty, history, and romance.

But what about the legal implications of a marriage in Italy?

Is a marriage between two US citizens valid in the US?

The answer is yes, a marriage between two US citizens that is legally performed in Italy is valid in the US.

It should be highlighted that this remains valid even if only one spouse is American while the other is Italian or holds a different citizenship.

This is because the United States has a policy of comity, which means that it recognizes the laws and legal judgments of other countries.

As long as a marriage is valid in the country where it was performed, it is also valid in the US.

Of course, there are some requirements that must be met for a marriage to be valid in Italy. The couple must be at least 18 years old and they must not be already married to someone else.

They must also provide certain documentation, such as their birth certificates, passports, and a declaration of their intention to marry.

Marriage requirements for US citizens getting married in Italy

In addition to the general requirements for all citizens, US citizens who want to marry legally in Italy must also obtain a sworn statement from the United States Consulate in Italy. This sworn statement, known as per the Italian civil code as the “nulla osta,” is a document that attests to the couple’s legal capacity to marry.

To obtain a sworn statement, the US citizens does not need to submit any documents, but they have to swear before a US official that there are no impediments between the applicant and the future spouse according to the US laws.

You will have to show up at the us consulate with the sworn statement that you can download here:

Please remember not to sign the sworn declaration before meeting with the Consul or their deputy. You can certainly complete the entire form, but ensure that you sign it only when you are in front of an official from the US Consulate in Italy.

After the sworn statement is issued by the American Consulate, we, as your local Counsel in Italy, will submit it to the competent Prefettura for its legalization. The legalization process typically takes one day, but it can only be done on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays (in Rome).

Legalizing a document ensures that it meets the requirements to be recognized by the legal system. This is accomplished by affixing an Apostille, as both Italy and the USA are signatories of The Hague Convention.

Marriage in an Italian Municipality for american citizens

American couple rejoice for their marriage in Italy.

Once we have gathered the atto notorio issued at any Italian Court (as your Italian legal counselor we know and collaborate with the ones where you don’t need to provide any document), we can schedule an appointment at the Municipality selected by the clients, where you will declare no impediments to kinship, affinity, adoption, or affiliation between them under art. 87, numbers 1, 2, and 4 of the civil code, nor any other impediments according to art. 85, 86, and 88 of the same code.

The declaration must be performed before a town hall clerk, and no witnesses are needed.

An interpreter must attend in case the couple doesn’t understand Italian.

The day after or two days later (depending on the Major’s availability), with the presence of two witnesses, the wedding will finally be celebrated in the following days at the presence of an interpreter if needed.

If any of you, whether you’re Italian or an American with Italian residency, the law impose an alternative to the declaration of non-impediments for non-foreign citizens mentioned above. We will indeed need to initiate the notice of marriage, known in Italian as “pubblicazioni di matrimonio.”
Essentially, the town hall where the spouse resides in Italy must announce their intention to marry.

Consequently, the banns will be published for 11 days.
If no opposition arises from any citizens during this period, you can proceed to marry either in the town hall where the spouse resides or in any town hall throughout Italy.

After the marriage

A bride signs the marriage certificate after her civil wedding in the "sala rossa" in Rome.

Before the civil wedding ceremony, we will consult with the clerks.
Once the marriage has been celebrated, we will request the appointed officials to issue multiple marriage certificates. We will retain one to legalize it at the competent prefettura using the apostille procedure (as mentioned above), ensuring that the Italian marriage certificate is recognized within the American legal system.

Who will be your Counselors?

Lawyers talking inside their law firm

Our firm’s specialized legal consultation services are designed to assist you in successfully meeting these requirements, thereby facilitating the legal recognition of your marriage in both Italy and the U.S.

Due to our experience in law firms and the foreign offices of the Italian public administration, we gained significant expertise in Consular affairs, and we are trained to solve the most complicated procedure such as:

1) Nulla osta process, legalization procedure, Court hearings for the refusal of the town hall when there documents missing , legal translation, apostille procedure, emergency procedure for legalization.

2) Same-sex couples that want to celebrate a civil union in Italy as in their country the union is forbidden;

3) Couples that come from countries where divorce is not allowed;

4) Italians living abroad registered at AIRE that need to recover their document to start the marriage banns in the Italian Consulate;

5) Assistance with people that come from countries that do not release the nulla osta;

6) American and Australian couples who needs assistance with “atto notorio” in an Italian Court or the Italian Consulate in the USA or Australia.

7) People with refugee status who have requested asylum in Italy.

Civil Wedding in the Dolomites.

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