Marriage of a foreign citizen in Italy

Those who marry in Italy, even if they are foreigner,s are subject to Italian legislation on family law, Article 116 of the civil code and updates.

In order to get married in Italy with an Italian citizen or with a non-EU citizen, it is not necessary to have a residence permit, but a valid identity document is sufficient, eg. passport.

Basically, it is necessary and appropriate to contact the Consulate or the Embassy, to request the release of the permit for the marriage or a declaration showing that there are no impediments to marrying, according to the laws of the State of origin. Once the permit has been issued, it is important to require the authentication of the signature by the Ambassador or the Consul at the Legalization Office of the Prefecture.

In some cases, it may happen that some Embassies or Consulates do not issue the nulla osta if one does not have a regular residence permit and a passport. In this case, the foreign citizen will have to go to their country to request it from the competent offices.

Once in order with the procedure, the spouses must go together to the Marriage Office of the central Registry of the Municipality of residence and deliver the appropriate documentation:

• valid identity document;

• birth certificate authenticated by the Embassy of the country of origin;

• nulla osta issued by the Consulate or the Embassy;

• self-certification of free status and residence;

After this documentation is presented, the day of the oath will be set to publicly exchange the promise of marriage in front of the Registrar, together with two witnesses, one for each. In case of foreign witnesses they must have a valid residence permit. At the request of future foreign spouses, it is possible to request the presence of an interpreter.

In light of what has happened, the Office will then arrange the publication, that is the display of a sheet with the names of the future spouses and the place where they will marry in the Praetorian Register of the Municipality.

After 8 days (including at least 2 Sundays) from the publication, the Wedding Office will issue the certificate of successful publication.

This document must be delivered, within 180 days, to the Civil Status Officer at the Municipality of residence to fix the date of the wedding.

Once married to an Italian citizen, the foreign citizen has the right to be issued a residence permit for family reasons, even if before the marriage he/she was an irregular citizen.

If one has a residence permit for any other reason, one can request the conversion of the permit  into a permit for family reasons using the kit to be sent to the Police Headquarters via the authorized post offices. If, on the other hand, one does not have a residence permit, the foreign citizen cannot be expelled and can still apply for a residence permit for family reasons by going directly to the Police Headquarters, Central Office, to request the permit.