No VISA Requirement for Marriage or Civil Unions in Italy

No VISA Requirement for Marriage or Civil Unions in Italy

Civil Wedding in Cortina.

Civil Unions and Marriages in Italy: A Legal Overview

Italy, renowned for its rich cultural heritage, offers robust protections not only for civil unions but also for marriages.

Over the years, certain municipalities have showcased a deep sensitivity towards upholding the rights outlined by the “Legge 20 maggio 2016, n. 76“.

For instance, several administrations might levy fees for foreign couples wishing to have a civil wedding.

However, exceptions are often made for same-sex couples wanting a civil union, thus promoting inclusivity.

The Constitutional Stance on VISA Requirements

There exists a significant myth surrounding both marriages and civil unions in Italy – the supposed necessity of a tourist visa.
This misconception has been clearly addressed by Italy’s Constitutional Court. The reality is quite empowering: even those who might be in Italy without the “proper” visa can still proceed with either a marriage or a civil union.

Such unions are legally unassailable, ensuring that couples will not face any legal repercussions in the future.

The foundation of this stance is Judgment No. 203 dated July 20, 2022, which challenged certain articles of the Civil Code as being contradictory to the Constitution.
This ruling has paved the way for foreign citizens in Italy, making family establishment more welcoming and straightforward.

Proxy Marriages in Italy: Challenges and Ambiguities

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

Proxy marriage, a distinctive legal institution, offers a unique solution for couples unable to be physically present for their union. In Italy, however, pursuing a proxy marriage, whether for a traditional marriage or a civil union, is laden with challenges and uncertainties.

Firstly, for a proxy marriage to be sanctioned, it necessitates the existence of serious reasons.

These reasons are meticulously evaluated by the competent Court in the district where one of the parties resides or where the wedding shall take place.

Given the subjectivity and rigorous criteria of what might constitute “serious reasons”, applicants often face prolonged waiting periods, during which the outcome remains uncertain.

Complicating matters further is the overarching legal framework that governs both marriages and civil unions in Italy.
The prevailing legislation frequently draws broad parallels between traditional marriages and civil unions involving opposite-sex couples.

This extensive interlinking has given rise to debates and substantial legal ambiguities. Even seasoned legal professionals, including judges, occasionally grapple with interpreting these nuances, more so when the focus shifts to same-sex unions or marriages.

In essence, the convergence of stringent court assessments, combined with the nebulous terrain of Italian matrimonial and civil union laws, renders the path to proxy marriage a multifaceted one. Those considering this route should brace themselves for potential delays and the intricacies inherent in navigating Italy’s legal labyrinth.

A same-sex couple getting married in Italy.

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.

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