After marriage with an Italian citizen, the foreign spouse is entitled to the Permit of Stay for family reasons even if he/she was in the country illegally.
If the spouse holds any other type of permit, he/she can convert it into the Permit of Stay for family reasons. The application is submitted using the application kit available at the post office.
The spouse cannot be expelled even if he/she doesn’t have any permit. The spouse can still apply for the Permit of Stay for family reasons by going directly to the local Provincial Police Headquarters (Questura).
The following documents must be attached:
- A 14,62 Euros revenue stamp
- 4 passport size photos
- Self-certificate from the Italian citizen declaring that the couple are married and living together.
- Photocopy of the passport
The Permit of Stay for family reasons is only issued after the authorities carry out necessary checks to ensure that the couple are actually living together in the declared address.
Once the permit has been issued, the holder is entitled to work, study, medical assistance, etc.
What happens if the authorities decline to issue the permit?
If the application for the Permit of Stay for family reasons is rejected, one can appeal to the local Tribunal. There is no fee for making the appeal.
Withdrawal of the Permit of Stay
The Permit of Stay for family reasons can be withdrawn if the authorities find out that after marriage, the couple are not actually living together, unless the couple has children.
Please note that in case a foreign citizen marries an Italian citizen, the spouse is entitled to a residence permit for family members of European Union citizens (carta di soggiorno per familiare di cittadino UE). One can apply for this permit either at the Provincial Police Headquarters or at the post office by submitting the same documents required for family reunification.
Conversion of the Permit of Stay
In case of legal separation or dissolution of marriage, or death of family member meeting requirements for family reunification, the Permit of Stay for family reasons can be converted into one for subordinate work, self-employed work or studies.
Italian citizenship through marriage
One doesn’t automatically acquire Italian citizenship after marrying an Italian citizen. There are conditions to be met and a procedure to be followed in applying for citizenship.
A foreigner who marries an Italian must apply for citizenship at the local Prefect’s office.
The application can only be made if after marriage, he/she has been a legal resident in Italy for at least two years. This will be reduced by half if the couple has children (natural or adopted). This means that if a foreigner marries an Italian and they have a child, he/she can apply for citizenship after residing legally in the country for one year.
If the foreign citizen married to an Italian citizen doesn’t have residence status, he/she can go to the local City Council and apply for Residency as soon he/she is issued the Permit of Stay for family reasons.
Please note that Italian citizenship through marriage can only be obtained after the Ministry of Home Affairs ascertains that all conditions are met. For instance, the marriage must be subsisting throughout the process of application for citizenship. Citizenship is only awarded if no annulment, separation, or divorce has taken place. It is also a requirement that the couple must be living together. If there is separation or divorce before the citizenship is granted, then the application will be rejected.
By Mascia Salvatore
Marriage in Italy