unity is a
fundamental right recognised and safeguarded by the Italian legal system, and
also applies to foreign nationals that intend to rejoin their family members.
In fact, family reunification represents an essential requirement for
the positive outcome of the integration process in the social and working lives
of foreign nationals in Italy.
reunification may be applied by foreign nationals holding a residence permit
with a validity of at least one year, or foreign nationals that applied
for the renewal of a permit issued for employed or self-employed work, or for
asylum, study, religious or family reasons.
visas shall be applied for by foreign nationals regularly residing in Italy by
submitting the application for family reunification at the One-Stop
Shop for Immigration, by using the online procedure available in the website of the Ministry
of the Interior.
first phase of the procedure for the issuance of entry visas: objective
issuing the visa, some requirements shall be assessed.
nationals regularly residing in Italy shall give evidence of having:
- a suitable house, endowed with all
sanitation requirements and equipped with the housing suitability
certificate. This certificate is issued by the Technical Office of
the Municipality of Residence or by the relevant LHU. In case
the individuals applying for reunification are hosted by third parties,
they shall also enclose the statement drafted by the owner of the apartment,
according to form S2, expressing the consent to also host
other family member/s.
In case of reunification involving minors aged less than 14, the
municipal certificate may also be replaced by a declaration of hospitality by
the owner of the apartment in form S1.
Applicants shall submit to the One-Stop Shop for Immigration also a copy
of the lease or gratuitous loan or ownership contract, with a duration
of at least six months starting from the day on which the application was
According to the Circular Letter issued by the Ministry of the Interior,
the requirements related to housing suitability - in compliance with the EU
directive on family reunification - (article 7, par. 1, lett. a), are
those contained in the Decree dated 5th July 1975 issued by the Ministry of
Health. The latter defines the main housing sanitation requirements as well as
the minimum housing surface according to the number of people living in a given
In particular, houses shall comply with the following requirements:
Surface per inhabitant:
For every additional inhabitant
+ 10 sq.m
Bedroom for 1 person
Bedroom for 2 persons
14 Bedroom for 1 person
+ living room of 14 sq.m
28 sq.m (including bathroom)
38 sq.m (including bathroom)
Derogation up to 2.55 metres for
Derogation up to 2.40 metres for
corridors, bathrooms, accesses and and cupboards
Living room and kitchen with opening
Bathroom that, when not endowed with
windows, shall have a mechanical aspiration system
Whenever local climate conditions make
See MINISTRY OF THE
INTERIOR, Circular Letter of 18th November 2009, n. 7170.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH, Ministerial Decree of July 5, 1975 containing the
modifications to the Ministerial instructions of June 20, 1896, with respect to
the minimum height and the main sanitation requirements existing in the
accommodation, in the Official Journal of
the Italian Republic n. 190 of July 18, 1975.
Foreign nationals applying for family reunification shall also show the
availability of a minimum annual income deriving from legal sources and
not lower than the annual amount of the social allowance for each family member
intending to be reunified. This income parameter is updated every year.
The necessary income increases according to the number of family members that
intend to be reunified.
For example, in 2014, applicants regularly
residing in Italy that intend to be reunited with a spouse and a son older than
14 years shall have an income equal to € 11,637.86 (namely € 5,818.93 +
2,909.46 + 2,909.46).
The documents to be submitted to prove income availability vary according
to the type of applicant’s employment:
Employees will have to present the latest tax
return, a copy of the employment contract, the last pay check or certified
photocopy of payroll, a self-certification of the employer according to form
S3 showing the employment relationship. In case the employment relationship
started less than one year before, the self-certification of the employer shall
contain an indication of the presumed income of the employee.
Domestic workers shall submit the final income tax return,
if any, or eventually the communication of recruitment to the Employment Centre
or to INPS, the receipt showing the payment of social security contributions
relating to the quarter preceding the date of submission of the application, a
self-certification by the employer, according to form S2, showing the
existence of the employment relation.
Self-employed workers shall produce the necessary supporting
documentation based on the category they belong to. If workers operate as sole
proprietorship a certificate of registration in the Chamber of Commerce
shall be produced, besides a photocopy of the document indicating the VAT
number, a photocopy of the municipal license (if applicable), the income tax
return (Unico) equipped with the submission receipt in case the business was
started more than one year before, or, in case of a business started less than
one year before, a report made by an accountant relating to the entire period
In case the worker operates as a company
it is necessary to produce a certificate of incorporation of the company, a
photocopy of the VAT number assigned to the company the income tax return
(Unico) equipped with the submission receipt in case the business was started
more than one year before, or, in case of a business started less than one year
before, a report made by an accountant relating to the entire period of
In case of project-based
collaboration a photocopy shall be submitted of the collaboration contract
indicating the duration of the employment and the related remuneration, a
statement of the client showing the validity of the project-based contract, a
declaration of registration to INPS, besides a photocopy of the income tax
If a foreign national regularly residing
in Italy is a working member a chamber of commerce certificate shall be
produced, in addition to a photocopy of the VAT number, a statement by the
Chairman of the cooperative showing the current employment relationship, a
photocopy of the Register of Shareholders, and a copy of the Income Tax Return
Finally, if the worker regularly
residing in Italy is a professional , the certificate of registration in
the roll shall be produced, in addition to the Income Tax Return equipped with
the relevant receipt.
of reunification of two or more sons aged less than 14 or two or more family
members holding the status of subsidiary protection, an income not lower
than the double of the annual amount of social allowance will be needed.
order to determine the total income, the overall income of family members
living with the applicant shall be calculated.
not necessary to show the ownership of requirements as suitable housing and
income in case of asylum seekers and refugees.
second phase of the procedure for the issuance of the entry visa: the
assessment of subjective requirements
nationals in Italy may apply for the reunification of some family members
spouse aged at least 18 and with which no legal separation is in
- The children that at the moment of the
application for reunification are under 18 years of age, including
those of the spouse or born from another partner, provided that they are
not married and that the other parent (if any) has given one’s consent.
Minor children adopted or fostered or subject to guardianship shall be
considered as sons.
- Adult children who are dependents
on the foreign national living in Italy in case they, for objective
reasons, are not able to meet their basic needs for serious health problems
entailing total disability.
dependents on the foreign national living in Italy or parents aged over
65, in case there are no other sons able to support them in their
country of origin, or if other children are not able to support them for
serious and documented health problems.
In case of parents aged over 65, a health insurance is also
needed, while awaiting for a ministerial decree to define the amount of the
contribution for the voluntary registration in the National Health Service
See MINISTRY OF THE
INTERIOR, Circular Letter of 17th February 2009, no. 737.
Access the News on the registration
in the NHS of over 65 non-EU migrant parents
- The entry for family reunification is also
allowed to the natural parent of minors regularly residing in Italy
with the other parent. The application may be submitted on behalf of
the minor by the regularly residing parent. As to the requirements in
terms of income and housing, the condition of the regularly residing
parent is considered.
nationals regularly residing in Italy cannot apply for family
reunification if already married with another spouse residing in
end of the first phase the One-Stop Shop for immigration issues an authorisation
for family reunification within 180 days as from the submission of the
application. An appeal may be lodged to the Ordinary Court of the city
of residence of the applicant regularly residing in Italy against the denial to
grant the authorisation.
authorisation is electronically sent directly to the Italian Consular
Offices of the Country of origin or of residence of the family member still
living abroad, by opening the second phase of the procedure, namely the assessment
of the subjective requirements for the issuance of the entry visa.
family members for which the authorisation was requested shall submit to the
consular offices, together with the application for the issuance of the entry
visa, the certificate stating the family relationship (marriage, minor
age, as well as any necessary civil status certificate) duly translated and legalised by the consular
authority. The legalisation is not necessary in case bilateral or international
agreements exist on the abolition of legalisation of foreign public documents
according to the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation
for Foreign Public Documents (The Hague, 1961)
absence of a suitable certificate, the diplomatic representation at the Country
of origin of family members issues the documents above on the basis of the
necessary assessments, including the examination of the DNA, at the
expenses of the parties concerned.
outcome of the application.
received the application, the One-Stop Shop for immigration waits for the
opinion of the Police Headquarters in charge of assessing the eventual presence
of reasons preventing foreign family members to enter the Italian territory. As
the positive opinion of the Police Headquarters is received, the One-Stop Shop
sends to the applicant the letter of summoning to produce the documents
on the income and accommodation, besides any other document deemed necessary.
visa for family reunification is either issued or denied within 30 days as
from the application.
the applicant enjoys the status of refugee the rejection of the
application cannot be exclusively due to the lack of documents showing the
existence of family bonds or the ownership of the other requirements by family
48 hours as
from the entry to Italy by the family member having obtained the visa for
family reunification, the family member regularly residing in Italy shall
submit the written declaration of supply of building to the police
visas for accompanying family members
the family member intends to enter Italy along with the foreign national
holding the residence permit or an entry visa for employed work related to a
contract with a duration of at least one year, or for self-employed
work, or for study or religious reasons, it is possible to apply for an entry
visa for accompanying family members on the same conditions for which it is
possible to apply for family reunification, provided that the requirements of kinship
and availability of housing and income apply.
procedure for the issuance of the authorisation is the same as the issuance for
family reunification. The application shall be sent electronically to the One-Stop
Shop for Immigration by using the form T, through the computerised procedure available in the website of the
Ministry of the Interior.
this case the foreign national holding the residence permit that submits an
application while still abroad may avail oneself of a special proxy in
Italy for the submission of the application and of the relevant documentation.
Therefore, when convened to the One Stop Shop for submitting the documentation,
foreign nationals shall also have:
- A photocopy of an identity document of the
- Delegation in favour of an Italian or foreign national
living in Italy for the purpose of submitting the application for
authorisation for accompanying family members, drafted by the foreign
national that already has a visa, translated and legalized by the
diplomatic representation of the Italian Consulate in the country origin
or residence of the applicant.
permit for family reasons.
residence permit for family reasons is issued
- To the foreign national that entered Italy with
an entry visa for family reunification, or with visa travelling with relative, or an entry visa for
the purpose of reunification with minor children
- To foreign nationals legally residing for at
least one year who have married
in the territory of the Italian State with Italian nationals or with
nationals of one of the Member States of the European Union, or with
legally residing foreign nationals
- To the foreign family member regularly residing
in Italy, owning the requirements for obtaining the reunification with an
Italian citizen or the citizen of a Member State of the European Union
residing in Italy, or with foreign nationals regularly residing in Italy.
In this case the permit of the family member is converted into a
residence permit for family reasons. Such conversion may be applied for
within one year as from the date of expiration of the residence permit
originally owned by the family member.
In case of a refugee it is not necessary to own a valid residence
permit by the family member.
- To foreign parents, including natural ones, of an
Italian minor residing in Italy, provided that such minor was not
deprived of the parental responsibility according to the Italian law.
For the purpose of assessing the necessary requirements for the
eligibility to the residence permit for family reasons, it is necessary to show
the existence of a real cohabitation following marriage. The
non-cohabitation entails the revocation of the residence permit for
family reasons, unless the two spouses had children after their marriage.
The ownership of a residence permit for family reasons allows access to social
services, enrolment to educational courses or vocational training,
registration as unemployed, the performance of employed or self-employed work within
the age limits under Italian Law.
The residence permit for family reasons is used for a duration equal
to the residence permit of the foreign family member that applied for
The entitlement to the residence permit for family reasons comes to
an end in case of death of the family member owning the requirements
for family reunification and in case of legal separation or of dissolution
Minors under 14 years of age are registered in the residence
permit of their parent. When turning 14, minors are issued a permit valid until
18 years of age. In case of sons not able to obtain the residence permit
for long-term residents, the entitlement to the residence permit for family
reasons ends when turning 18, although it may be converted into
residence permit for employed and self-employed work, or for study reasons.
of family unity
may be lodged to the Ordinary Court of the city of residence of the
applicant regularly residing in Italy against the denial to grant the
residence permit for family reasons, as well as against other measures by the
administrative authority in the field of right to family unity.
Furthermore, a strengthened protection is available against the
departure from the territory of the State by the foreign national that
exercised one’s right to family reunification. Such strengthened protection
imposes to the administration, before adopting a measure of rejection to issue,
revocation or denial of the renewal of the residence permit, to concretely
evaluate the personal situation of the interested person, by taking into
account both his/her dangerousness for security and public order, and the
duration of his/her stay as well as his/her family and social bonds.
Article 20: the opposition to the denial to issue
an authorisation for family reunification and the residence permit for family
reasons, as well as other measures by the administrative authority regarding
the right to family unity.
Decree 286/1998 Consolidated Law on the
provisions governing immigration and the status of foreign nationals
Article 4 , paragraph 3 , on the provisions relating to foreign
nationals representing in Italy a real and current threat to public order or
Article 5, paragraph 5, on the reinforced protection against the
expulsion of foreign nationals who exercised their right to family
Article 7 obligations of the host .
Article 28 , right to family unity .
Article 29 , family reunification .
Article 29bis , family reunification of refugees .
Article 30 , residence permit for family reasons.
Articles 31-33, provisions relating to minors.
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR , Circular Letter no. 7170 of
18th November 2009.
OF HEALTH , Ministerial Decree of 5th July, 1975 containing the
amendments to the Ministerial provisions of 20th June, 1896 , with
respect to the minimum height and the sanitation requirements of the main
housing premises, in the Official Journal
of the Italian Republic no. 190 of 18th July 1975.