What is a Marriage Nulla Osta?

What is a Marriage Nulla Osta?


Let’s see which are necessary paperworks to get married in Italy and learn what is a “Nulla Osta”.

If you’re wondering how to get married in Italy you certainly ran up against the term Nulla Osta.

Today we are gonna explain what’s the meaning for it!

According to article 116 of the Italian civil code, the Nulla Osta is a document that states that there are no impediments to the marriage of foreign citizens in Italy according to the laws of:

  • your country of origin
  • the Italian Republic.

There are two ways to obtain the Nulla Osta for a civil wedding in Italy but only the first one will be accepted by the majority of the Italian town halls:

1. The general rule requires that we, as your counselors, will inquire your Consulate here in Italy after having provided some documents issued in your country of provenance.

As your counselors, we can faster this process since we have a long experience with Consular affairs, civil and court weddings of foreigners in Italy. 

You may need to send us some documents issued by your local authority, and your Nulla Osta will be ready soon in Italy. 

Once we have the null osta, we will go to the competent Prefettura to legalize the signature of your Consul, unless specific Conventions exempt from legalization the nulla osta.

2. The second route is going through the public administration of your country of origin.This route is only navigable subject to specific bilateral agreements between Italy and your country of origin.

The local clerks in your country of origin will provide you a document that states free marital status or a certificate of no impediments to the marriage that states that there are no impediments to your wedding according to the laws of your country of origin.

Once you have obtained this document, which may vary in name as per international agreements, you may be required to have it legalized at the designated offices by the administration of your country of origin, and then proceed with the translation of the text from the language spoken in your country to Italian. This task is generally entrusted to an official interpreter as prescribed by the laws of your country or by the Italian consulate in your country.

It will indeed be necessary to evaluate on a case-by-case basis according to the agreements between your country and Italy, and applicable international conventions.

Concerning the translation, there is some country where the legal system provides the official translator. You must use this specific service in Finland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Sweden.

Please note that in countries where the legal figure of the official translator exists, acts issued by your authorities can be certified by the translator, whose signature is legalized by Italian consular offices unless a specific convention is applicable (i.e. Hague Convention).

In countries where the translator is not provided for by local law, it will be necessary to use the services of the Italian Consulate in your country of origin or translate the document in Italy with the “asseverazione” that is a translation made by a freelance translator in Italy that will declare before a Court official that the translation has been done with the appropriate knowledge of the original language.

As your legal counselors and planners in Italy, we will be happy to assist you with any case.

Due to our long experience with the marriage of foreigners in Italy, we will study your case and quickly provide the solution to any scenario.

Civil wedding in Rome in the "Sala Rossa".

And what about countries that adhered to the Munich Convention to get married in Italy?

If you come from one of the following countries:


the procedure is significantly smarter since Italy since these countries above-mentioned have signed the Munich Convention.

The Munich Convention signed on September 5th, 1980, requests the couples to produce the “Certificate of marriage capacity” issued by the office where the Marital status is registered or at the Municipality of residence in the country of origin.

In German, this certificate is called “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis

Have you ever heard about it?

These types of certificates are exempt from legalization and translation due to this Convention and the italian Ministry of the Interior circular dated January 21st, 2005.

Therefore you do not need translation nor legalization!

Once you obtain this certificate, you will be able to book your wedding at the town hall selected.

And what about the Vienna Convention for a civil marriage in Italy?

The countries that ratified the Vienna Convention are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, and Montenegro Holland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.

The advantage of this procedure is that after the wedding, you will receive a multilingual marriage certificate, eliminating the need for legalization and translation when registering your marriage in your country of origin.

To get more information about other Conventions that may apply to your specific case, check out our posts about marriage requirements for foreigners in Italy, and getting married in Italy for foreigners.

What happens If your country does not belong to any of the Conventions mentioned above?

In this case, we will manage the standard procedure and we will go in person at your competent Consulate in Italy requesting your Nulla Osta and proceed with its legalization.

Regarding legalization, public offices may be overbooked due to the activity of agencies operating in this field. 

To resolve this problem, we will start an emergency procedure that will quickly end up in the release of the legalization of your Nulla Osta.

What to do if the authorities of your country of origin do not want to release the Nulla Osta?

Well, for this scenario, there is a way out we described in the article about how to get married in Italy without the Nulla Osta.

Newlyweds together with the Major after a civil wedding

Who will be your Counselors and Planners?

Family attorneys talking in the law firm

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.

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

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