Immigration Law

Family Reunification Visa in Italy

Family Reunification means the legal entry and stay in Italy of non-EU foreign nationals who intend to reunite with a family member, who is also a non-EU foreign national, present in Italy and staying through a residence permit (Permesso di Soggiorno or Permesso di Soggiorno CE per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo).

The issuance of the Nullaosta al Ricongiungimento Familiare must be requested from the Prefettura (reference: Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione) competent for the territory, by filling out the appropriate telematic forms.

Requirements

A non-EU foreign national who wishes to apply for a Family Reunification Nulla must:

Residency permit

Hold an EC Long-Term Resident’s Permit or a valid Residence Permit of not less than 1 year issued for employment, self-employment, political asylum, subsidiary protection, study, religious reasons, family reasons, or hold a residence permit for scientific research regardless of duration.

Annual income

Have a minimum annual income, received or assumed, from lawful sources not less than the amounts calculated with reference to the amount of the Social Allowance;

Housing 

Have the availability of housing that complies with sanitation requirements, with Certification of Housing or Housing Suitability (see legislative references below).

In addition, there must be no impediments to the entry of the family member to be reunited (arising from the Italian Civil Code and Penal Code or Schengen database alerts).

Family members for whom reunification can be requested are:

  • The spouse not legally separated and over the age of eighteen and unmarried to another spouse legally residing in Italy;
  • Minor children, including those of the spouse or born out of wedlock, who are unmarried, provided that the other parent, if any, has given his or her consent. 
  • Minors adopted or entrusted or subject to guardianship are treated as children;
  • Dependent adult children if they cannot provide for their indispensable living needs due to their health condition resulting in total disability;
  • Dependent parents if they have no other children in their country of origin or provenance, and who are not married to another spouse legally residing in Italy;
  • Parents over the age of 65, if their other children in the country of origin or provenance are unable to support them due to documented serious health problems, and who are not married to another spouse legally residing in Italy;
  • The natural parent of a minor child legally residing in Italy, who demonstrates that he or she meets the requirements of availability of housing and income: the requirements of the other parent legally residing in Italy are taken into account to demonstrate these requirements;
  • The parent of a child of an unaccompanied minor who holds refugee status.

How to obtain family reunification

  1. The non-EU foreign national must register on the website of the Ministry of the Interior via SPID, and then fill out the application form electronically.
  2. The application can be submitted with the assistance of accredited municipal offices, national associations representing employers, trade unions, and associations authorized to access the system.
  3. Once the Prefecture (Single Desk for Immigration) receives the application, it convenes the applicant by appointment to present the necessary documentation.
  4. The Prefecture (Single Desk for Immigration) verifies the documentation related to the necessary requirements and within no. 90 days of receiving the application issues the Nullaosta, or the measure of refusal.
  5. The Nullaosta for Family Reunification is valid for No. 6 months; therefore, the entry visa must be applied for within that period.

The Procedure

The procedure for applying for a visa for Family Reunification is divided into four stages:

  1. The Prefecture (Single Desk for Immigration) competent for the territory verifies requirements regarding work activity, income and availability of housing for the non-EU foreign citizen legally present on Italian territory and issues the Nullaosta for entry into Italy;
  2. The Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin or habitual residence of the family member to be reunited verifies the requirement of the family relationship and issues the entry visa.
  3. The family member for whom the application has been submitted, once the Nullaosta has been obtained, applies for an entry visa at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin or residence, submitting documentation regarding the family relationship (birth or marriage certificate, translated and legalized).
  4. The documentation relating to the relationship, if produced abroad, must be translated into Italian, or multilingual, and submitted for legalization by the Italian Embassy or Consulate, or for apostilization if from a country adhering to the Hague Convention.

The Visa for Family Reunification

The Entry Visa for Family Reunification (type “National Visa”) is an authorization that allows entry into Italy for a short or long stay to a foreign national who joins a regular family member in Italy.

It can only be issued following a Nullaosta al Riconungimento Familiare (Family Reunification Clearance) applied for at the Italian Prefecture with territorial jurisdiction.

The non-EU foreign citizen, once obtained the Nullaosta al Ricongigimento Familiare applies for an Entry Visa at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin or residence, submitting the following documents:

Entry Visa Application Form

What do you need for an entry-visa in Italy?

  • Recent passport-size photograph
  • Valid travel document with an expiration date at least three months longer than that of the requested visa.
  • Documentation proving the family relationship with the non-EU foreign national legally residing in Italy and who has applied for a Family Reunification Nullah. If produced abroad, it must be translated into Italian, or multilingual, and subject to legalization by the Italian Embassy or Consulate or apostillation if from a country adhering to the Hague Convention.

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