Marrying an Italian Citizen: Guide to obtain an Italian Family VISA.

Marrying an Italian Citizen: Guide to obtain an Italian Family VISA.

Civil Wedding in the Dolomites before the Mayor of Bolzano

How to Obtain a Schengen Residence Permit after Marrying an Italian Citizen.

Whoever marries in Italy, even if a foreigner, is subject to the Italian laws concerning family rights.

To marry in Italy with a foreign citizen, it is not necessary to have a Schengen residence permit: a valid identity document (e.g., a passport) is sufficient.

The irregular status of a foreign citizen, therefore, is not an obstacle to the celebration of marriage with an Italian citizen.

According to Italian law, all incomes produced and assets acquired by one of the spouses after the marriage are owned by both spouses (comunione dei beni).
If the spouses prefer the separation of property, they must declare it at the time of marriage.

Once the marriage with an Italian citizen is celebrated, the foreign citizen is entitled to the issuance of a Family VISA for family reasons, even if before the marriage they were an illegal or irregular citizen.

If they have a residence permit for any other reason, they can request the conversion of the residence permit into a permit for family reasons.

A foreign citizen married to an Italian citizen does not automatically acquire Italian citizenship but must submit the application to the competent Prefettura after at least two years of marriage (if there are children, the waiting time is reduced to one year).

A groom tenderly caresses the cheek of his bride during their outdoor civil wedding ceremony in the countryside in Tuscany.

Pubblicazioni di Matrimonio (Notice of marriage)

To get married in Italy, whether by civil or religious ceremony, the citizen must request the banns of marriage at the Civil Status Office of the municipality of residence of one of the two future spouses.

If one intends to marry according to the Catholic rite or other cults recognized by the Italian State, it will be necessary to make a request to the Parish priest or the minister of the cult who will officiate the marriage.

Once the necessary documents are obtained, the Office will then proceed with the publication, that is, it will display on the online Notice Board of the Municipality the names of the future spouses and the place where they will marry, for at least eight days and from the 12th day after posting, the civil marriage can be celebrated, or the certificate of executed publications can be withdrawn to be delivered to the Minister of cult, in case of religious marriage. In the case of a civil marriage to be celebrated in another Municipality, the delegation for the celebration in the other Municipality is delivered.

The publications are valid for 180 days from the date of executed publication, in case the marriage is not celebrated within this term, these expire and must be repeated.

A wedding ceremony on a lush lawn terrace on the Amalfi Coast, with the sea in the background and a celebrant in front

Schengen Residence Permit for Family Reasons


The residence permit for family reasons is issued:

  • to the foreign national who has an entry visa for “family reunification,” or an entry visa for “family member accompanying,” or an entry visa for “reunification with a minor child”;
  • to the foreign national who has been residing in Italy for at least one year and has married, in Italy, a citizen of Italy, or a citizen of an EU Member State, or another foreign citizen legally residing;
  • to the individual who already has a residence permit (of any type) and wishes to reunite with a family member who is legally residing in Italy. The existing residence permit is converted into a residence permit for family reasons. The conversion takes place in Italy, without the need to return to one’s country, and can be requested within a year from the expiration date of the residence permit held;
  • to the foreign parent of a minor Italian citizen residing in Italy;
  • to the foreign family member of a refugee.

    The residence permit for family reasons allows access to welfare services, enrollment in educational or professional training courses, registration on job placement lists, and the performance of employed or self-employed work, subject to minimum age requirements for work activities.

Marriage of a Foreign Citizen with an Italian Citizen

Civil Wedding in Cortina.


Once a foreign citizen has married in Italy with an Italian citizen, they are entitled to a VISA for family reasons, even if they were an illegal or irregular citizen before the marriage.

If they have a residence permit for any other reason, they can request the conversion of their permit into a residence permit for family reasons using the kit sent to the Police Headquarters through authorized post offices.

If, however, they do not have any residence permit, the foreign citizen cannot be expelled and may still request a residence permit for family reasons by going directly to the Central Police Station, Office for Foreigners, to apply for the permit.

In this case, the documentation to be presented includes:

  • revenue stamp;
  • 4 passport-sized photos;
  • self-certification by the Italian citizen attesting to cohabitation and marriage;
  • photocopy of the passport.
    This permit is issued only after verification of actual cohabitation at the declared residence at the time of the permit application.

What Happens If the Permit Is Denied
In case of denial of the residence permit for family reasons, an appeal can be made to the judge of the Tribunal in the place of residence. The acts of the proceeding are exempt from stamp duty and registration fee and from any other tax.

Revocation of the Residence Permit
The issued residence permit is immediately revoked if it is found that the marriage did not result in actual cohabitation, unless children have been born from the marriage.

It is important to note that in the case of marriage of a foreign citizen with an Italian citizen, Italian law provides for the right to issue a “EU family member residence card,” by presenting to the Police Headquarters or sending through authorized post offices, the same documentation required for the residence permit for family reasons application.

Conversion of the Residence Permit
In case of legal separation, dissolution of marriage, or in the event of the death of the family member who meets the requirements for reunification, the residence permit for family reasons can be converted into a permit for employed work, self-employed work, or for study purposes.

Who Will Be Your Counselor Assisting You Throughout the Entire Process?

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) Legal support for foreigners marrying an Italian citizen to obtain a family visa residence permit;

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

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

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

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


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