Authorization is essential in order to obtain a visa for family reunification and subsequently a residence permit issued for family reasons.
Activation: at any time
Duration: about 180 days from presentation of the application.
Requirements for foreign nationals seeking reunification
1. possession of EC residence permit for long-term stay or current residence permit of not less than 1 year's duration for salaried employment, self-employment, asylum, subsidiary protection, humanitarian reasons (pending conversion to a subsidiary protection permit), study, religious and family reasons, or possession of a residence permit for scientific research irrespective of duration;
2. receipt of gross annual income, already earned or presumed, deriving from legitimate sources, not less than:
- € 8,137,35 for reunification of 1 dependent family member;
- € 10,849.8 for reunification of 2 dependent family members;
- € 13,562.25 for reunification of 3 dependent family members;
- € 16,274.7 for reunification of 4 dependent family members;
- for the reunification of 2 or more children under the age of 14 or the reunification of 2 or more relatives of the holders who have subsidiary protection status, a minimum income of not less than twice the annual social allowance is required (€ 10,849.8);
- for the reunification of 1 family member and 2 or more children under the age of 14, an income of at least € 13,562.25; is required;
when determining income, account must also be taken of any dependent family members reunited previously, and of children born in Italy who are already named in the residence permit;
the income of the applicant can be combined with the income generated by co-habiting family members.
3. availability of accommodation responding to health and hygiene requirements and acceptable living standards, as verified by the competent municipal authorities.
Family members eligible for reunification
- spouse not legally separated and not less than 18 years of age;
- offspring who are minors, whether of spouse or born out of wedlock provided that the other parent, if alive, has given consent (minors who are adopted or in foster care or custody have the status of offspring);
- dependent adult offspring, if unable to provide for their own indispensable everyday needs due to a state of health resulting in complete invalidity;
- dependent parents having no other offspring in their country of origin or extraction, or parents over 65 years of age, if other offspring are unable to provide the necessary support and maintenance for serious health reasons (must be documented).
General documentation indicated by the competent Italian diplomatic-consular authority in the country of residence, to be presented at the first interview with the SUI (Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione - Immigration Service).
Documentation regarding accommodation (to be presented at the first interview with the SUI).
- certification (original) issued by the competent municipal offices, regarding the availability of accommodation responding to health and hygiene requirements and acceptable living standards.
- if owner of the property, 1 photocopy of the title deed;
- if tenant, 1 photocopy of the registered rental agreement, drawn up in the name of the applicant for a duration of not less than 6 months (if the agreement has been renewed, a copy of form F23 is required, certifying payment of the annual renewal fee to the Registry Office);
- if co-tenant, 1 photocopy of the registered rental agreement drawn up for a duration of not less than 6 months (in this instance the consent of the co-tenant is also required (Form S2) together with a copy of the co-tenant’s current identity document and residence permit, if a foreign national);
- if non-paying occupant, 1 photocopy of the registered free loan agreement;
- if the applicant is a guest, the application must be accompanied by a declaration from the owner of the property on Form S2 confirming permission for reunified family members to occupy the property as well, and a copy of the signatory’s current identity document (if the rental agreement contains restrictive clauses, the application must be accompanied by a copy of the owner’s current identity document, and the "Owner’s permission" Form, duly filled in);
N.B.: in the case of family reunification in favour only of a minor under the age of 14 the municipal certificate can be replaced by: a declaration of hospitality (original) signed by the owner of the property (Form S1) and 1 copy of the rental/free loan/ownership agreement for a duration of not less than 6 months with effect from the date indicated in Form S1.
Documentation regarding employment/income, to be presented at the first interview with the SUI (Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione - Immigration Service).
N.B.: When determining income, account must also be taken of any dependent family members reunited previously, and of children born in Italy who are already named in the residence permit. Accordingly, where the applicant has already secured authorizations previously, the "previous reunifications declaration" must be attached to the application, together with a copy of the family members’ residence permit.
Declaration by the work provider, indicating the current employer-employee relationship (Form S3, original, signed with all parts filled in), and accompanied by:
1 photocopy of the notice of recruitment sent to the Provincial Employment Centre;
1 photocopy of the last pay packet;
1 photocopy of the applicant’s most recent CUD (Certificato Unico Dipendente) or, if the employment contract is less than 1 year old and the applicant therefore has still made no tax return, the declaration by the work provider must also contain an indication of the presumed income of the employee, using Form S3bis rather than form S3;
1 photocopy of the identity document of the work provider or, if the work provider is a foreign national, a copy of the current residence permit, and if the permit has lapsed, of the receipt confirming renewal.
1 photocopy of the most recent tax return (modello Unico) with receipt of filing on-line; if the activity is less than one year old, a statement (original) relating to the entire period, drawn up and signed by the applicant’s accountant;
certificate of registration with the Chamber of Commerce or downloaded extract of entry in the Chamber of Commerce register, and 1 photocopy of municipal licence where required;
1 photocopy of VAT registration certificate.
Documentation certifying family relations
Once authorization for family reunification has been secured, through the SUI, certification demonstrating family relations, matrimony, age of minors and any other record of civil status, translated and legalized, must be presented by the family members (for whom authorization has been secured) to the competent Italian diplomatic-consular authority in the country of origin, at the moment of applying for a visa to enter Italy.
Presenting the application
For help with presentation of the application to the SUI (Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione - Immigration Service), the applicant can seek assistance from accredited municipal offices, national employers’ associations, trade union organizations and accredited non-profit agencies.
Collecting the permit
Having received the application, the competent SUI will contact and ask the applicant to appear for the purposes of presenting and authenticating the documentation relative to the availability of the required accommodation and minimum income.
The SUI issues a receipt for the application and the documentation presented.
Having verified whether or not the criteria are met, the SUI will issue or deny the authorization no later than 180 days after the application is received, informing the consular authority accordingly.
Having secured the authorization, the family member for whom reunification has been requested must apply to the competent Italian diplomatic-consular authority in the country of residence for a visa to enter Italy, producing the documentation in which family relations are certified.
The authorization can be used for up to 6 months from the date of issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When presenting the suitability of accommodation certificate issued by the municipal authorities, is the original document required?
2. Who issues the suitability of accommodation certificate?
This must be requested by the applicant from the municipal authority for the area in which the dwelling is situated.
3. What document must be produced to show that a rental agreement has been tacitly renewed?
A copy of Form F23 certifying payment of the annual renewal fee to the Registry Office.
4. What information must be presented when declaring the joint income of a co-habiting family member?
Co-habiting family members must indicate their income by providing documentation of salaried or self-employed activity.
5. Where must documentation certifying family relations be presented?
At the moment of applying for a visa to enter Italy, the family member for whom authorization has been requested and secured must present certifications demonstrating family relations, matrimony, age of minors and any other record of civil status, duly translated and legalized, to the competent Italian diplomatic-consular authority in the country of origin.
6. What happens when the required certification is not available, due to problems connected with the competent foreign authority, or is not sufficiently reliable?
The diplomatic service in (or having jurisdiction in) the country of origin of the family members will issue the documentation on the basis of DNA tests carried out at the expense of the interested parties.
7. How can the state of health of dependent adult offspring be documented?
Through certification issued, at the expense of the applicant, by a doctor appointed through the competent Italian diplomatic-consular service in the country of origin of the family members for whom reunification has been requested.
8. How is the authorization issued?
Having checked that the documentation is complete and in order, the SUI (Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione - Immigration Service) will contact and ask the applicant to appear, bringing a revenue stamp for € 14.62. The applicant will also be handed a written communication with the telephone number of the SUI to contact for the subsequent interview of the family member at the same office in order to arrange a residence permit, within 8 days of entering Italy.
9. For how long does the authorization remain valid?
The authorization can be used for up to 6 months from the date of issue.
10. Can the authorization be collected by a person other than the applicant?
Yes. A note of instruction is required, together with copies of the identity documents of the applicant and of the person deputizing.
11. Having secured the authorization, what does the foreign applicant do next?
The document must be sent to the country of origin of the family member, who will then approach the Italian diplomatic or consular service to request the reunification entry visa and present the documentation certifying family relations.
12. Where must the application for a family reunification entry visa be presented?
To the Italian diplomatic or consular services in the foreign applicant’s country of origin or long-term residence.
13. What details must be included in the application for an entry visa, and what documents must be attached?
The application must contain all general details of the family member seeking reunification, together with details of his/her passport or other recognized equivalent travel document (travel document for stateless persons, travel document for refugees, travel pass for foreign nationals unable to obtain a valid travel document from the Authority of their own country, United Nations laissez passer or individual document issued by a NATO Headquarters). The application must be accompanied by the passport or other recognized equivalent travel document, the reunification authorization, and the documentation certifying family relations.
14. When and how is the entry visa delivered?
No later than 30 days following presentation of the application.
15. Are other documents provided by the diplomatic or consular services when issuing the entry visa?
Yes, a communication written in a language understood by the visa applicant, or alternatively in English, French, Spanish or Arabic, explaining the rights and duties of the individual concerning entry and residence in Italy, and the obligation to apply to the SUI (Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione - Immigration Service) for a residence permit no later than 8 days after entering the country.
16. Who must the diplomatic or consular authorities inform that the visa has been issued to the applicant?
Advice is sent to the SUI, electronically.
17. What is the duty of a person or persons acting as host to a foreign national who enters Italy with a family reunification visa?
Send a written communication, within 48 hours, to the local police authority, stating that the foreign or stateless visitor has been given lodging or hospitality or acquired the ownership of real estate, rural or urban, even if the visitor is a relative by blood or affinity. The communication must include general details of the writer and of the foreign national or stateless visitor, the details of the visitor's passport or identity document, the exact location of the property acquired by the visitor, or in which the visitor is housed or accommodated as a guest, and the reason for the communication. Failure to comply is punishable by a fine of between € 160 and € 1,100.
18. By whom and how is the foreign national informed that he/she has been denied an entry visa?
By the diplomatic or consular authorities in a written and reasoned statement, handed to the applicant in person, indicating the procedure for a possible appeal, for example when there are documented convictions of first instance, not least in application of the penalty prescribed by article 444 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, for offences under article 380, paras 1 and 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, namely offences concerning drugs, sexual licence, smuggling of illegal migrants into Italy and from Italy to other countries, or for offences concerning the recruitment of persons to be forced into prostitution or the exploitation of prostitution or of minors to be employed in unlawful activities. If the foreign national does not understand the Italian language, the statement is accompanied by a translation in a language he or she is able to understand, or at all events in English, French, Spanish or Arabic according to preferences expressed by the recipient.
19. What must a foreign national do on arrival in Italy with a family reunification visa?
Within 8 days after entering the country, contact the SUI to collect the certificate confirming allocation of a tax code number, and to fill in and sign the form requesting a residence permit for reasons of family reunification; thereafter, a communication will be sent, indicating the time and date established for an interview at Police Headquarters (Immigration desk) for the purposes of photographic identification and fingerprinting, whereupon the residence permit for reasons of family reunification will be issued (or denied).
20. Can foreign nationals with no income apply for a family reunification authorization?
Yes. If an applicant has no income of his/her own, the income of a spouse or of co-habiting family members can be taken into consideration, provided it is sufficient.
21. What identity documents are admissible as alternatives to a passport?
Documents having the same validity as a passport include:
- stateless person’s travel document;
- refugee’s travel document;
- travel pass for foreign nationals (unable to obtain a valid travel document from the Authorities in their own country);
- United Nations laissez passer;
- individual document issued by a NATO Headquarters to military personnel serving with NATO forces;
- seaman's book, issued to seafarers for professional purposes;
- air navigation document;
- identity card allowing foreign travel, for citizens of a European Union state;
- identity card and other documents of citizens in States that are party to the “European Agreement on the Abolition of Passports" (signed in Paris 13/12/1957).
22. Having secured the authorization, what does the foreign family member do next?
Approach the Italian diplomatic or consular representative to present the application for issue of an entry visa, together with documentation received from the applicant family member and documentation certifying the family relationship.