Authorisation for family reunification

Authorisation for family reunification

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Authorisation for family reunification

The Ministry for the Interior has clarified that, as a consequence of new legislation regarding civil unions, the right to family reunification is extended to foreign national citizens from same sex marriages, in line with the same conditions in place for spouses (Circular no. 3511 dated 5 August 2016)

Authorisation for Family Reunification can be requested in favour of:

  • spouse who is not legally separated from the applicant and who must not be under the age of 18 years. The applicant must verify that (s)he does not have any other spouse on national territory by submitting a Family Status certificate (issued by the Comune where (s)he is resident) the to the Immigration Office.
  • minor children, including those of spouse, or those born outside marriage, on the condition that the other parent, in the case where he/she is available, has given his/her consent;
  • dependent children over 18 who, for objective reasons, are incapable of supporting themselves due to severe health problems resulting in complete invalidity;
  • dependent parents in the following cases: no other children in the country of origin or birth; parents over the age of 65 years whose other children are incapable of supporting them due to documented severe health problems. To apply for reunification of a parent the applicant must present the parent's marriage certificate in order to verify that the spouse of the parent in question is not on national territory.

For the purposes of reunification, children under the age of 18 years at the moment of application, are considered to be minors. Minors under guardianship, adopted or fostered are considered as children.


When it is not possible to ascertain the identifcation of those family members indicated in b) c) and d) above, it is possible to carry out DNA testing (Desoxyribonucleic Acid) at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) which is in charge of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The biological parent of a child who is already resident in Italy with the other parent can apply for reunification. Adequate housing arrangments and the income of the parent on national territory are required.

The authorisation for family reunification allows family members to obtain an entrance visa to Italy and subsequently a residence permit for family reasons, which allows the holder to:

  • work (as an employee or as self-employed)
  • enrol in school
  • avail of the National Health Service

Who is it for

Foreign Nationals who have any of the following types of residence permit can apply for family reunification:

  • Residence Permit for Subordinate Work (with a minimum duration of 1 year);
  • Residence Card (for family members of EU Citizens);
  • EU Long Term Residence Permit;
  • Residence Permit for Self-Employment;
  • Family Reasons (with a minimum duration of 1 year);
  • Study purposes;
  • Religious purposes;
  • Asylum;
  • Subsidiary protection.

The Immigration Office (Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione) is responsible for issuing authorisations for family reunification and verifies the following requirements:

  • annual income not to be inferior to the value of the Family Income Support benefit payment.This minimum amount of income is increased by 50% for each person to be reunited; for the reunion of two or more children under the age of 14 years or of two or more family members holding the status of subsidiary protection, the annual income must not be inferior to double the value of the Family Income Support benefit payment;
  • suitable housing in accordance with hygiene safety requisites as verified by the local authorities;
  • for parents over the age of 65 years, obligatory health insurance or registration with the National Health Service (SSN) is required. Since a lot of time passes from the application for family reunification to the actual arrival of the family member in Italy, at the time of application submission it is sufficient to present a formal commitment to register for insurance (in this way, avoiding insurance payment during the long waiting period). This then needs to happen within eight days of the parent's arrival in Italy and before the aforementioned personally applies for a residence permit.

Subsequent to issuing of the authorisaion and prior to issuing the entrance visa, the Diplomatic Representative verifies ulterior requirements:

  • proof of relationship (certified registry details that attest the family relationship, to be submitted to the Italian Consolate in the Country of Origin contextually at the request of the visa; when it is not possible to have definitive documentation and there is some doubt as to the relationship, DNA testing (to be paid for by the applicant) must be carried by the International Organisaiton for Migration (IOM) to ascertain the degree of relationship.

Terms, deadlines and how to apply

The time limit for the issuing of the authorisation (nulla osta), which allows the foreign national to obtain an entrance visa from Italian Consolar Authorities and Diplomatic Representatives, is 180 days

Within 8 days of arrival in Italy the family member must proceed to the Immigration Office (Sportello Unico) to comply with administrative regulations, one of which being the compilation of the documents to apply Residence Permit for family reasons. 

Useful downloads

Where to go

Ufficio Relazioni con il Pubblico / Public Relations Office (URP)
Istanza non pi¨ presente in archivio

Where to go

Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione (SUI) / Prefecture Immigration Helpdesk SUI
Istanza non pi¨ presente in archivio
Phone numbers: 0574 430234
Fax0574 430222
Office hours: To make an appointment: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 0900-1200

Where to go

Servizio immigrazione e cittadinanza / Immigration and Citizenship Services
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Last update: thursday 29 dicembre 2022
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