Family reunification and cohesion

Italian law recognises family reunification and cohesion for foreign nationals with regular residence permits.

You can apply for reunification if you are:

  • a non-EU national with a European residence permit, or similar, for at least one year, issued for purposes of work (employed or self-employed), political asylum, study, religion, or family;
  • an Italian national resident in Italy;   
  • a European Union national resident in Italy.

A residence permit for family purposes (family cohesion) is issued to foreign nationals with a regular residence permit in Italy who intend to reconstruct a family with another foreign national with a regular residence permit, or with an Italian or European Union national.

For more information, contact the International Office (SAOS).

Residence permit for family purposes

A residence permit for family purposes is needed when family members want to join someone with a residence permit in Italy.

It is activated within eight days of entry into Italy and is valid for at least six weeks from the application date.

The permit is obtained after the applicant enters Italy on a family reunification visa.

The organisation or private individual who hosts a foreign national with a family reunification visa must send the police written notice within 48 hours that they are hosting the foreign national or have provided accommodation, even if he/she is a relative. Notice must include the full names of the host and the incoming family member (foreign national or stateless person), their passport or identity document details, the full address where the incoming family member is staying or hosted, and the reason for the request. Failure to do so may result in a fine of €160 to €1,100.

A residence permit for family purposes will have the same duration as the permit of the “resident family member”. Both permits may be renewed at the same time. A residence permit for family purposes allows the holder:

  • to work as an employee or to be self-employed (as long as minimum age requirements are met for such work);
  • to register on the list of unemployed persons;
  • to enrol on study or professional-development courses.

Holders of residence permits for family purposes must register with the National Health Service and have the same rights and duties as Italian citizens with regard to health contributions, healthcare in Italy and its duration.

  Documents required

  • 4 passport-size photos on a white background; bring these to your first appointment at police headquarters (Questura);
  • a €16 marca da bollo (duty stamp);
  • a photocopy of your passport or identity document (main page and any pages bearing stamps or visas);
  • a registry office document (e.g. birth certificate) attesting the family relationship. If this document is in a foreign language, it must be translated, legalized and validated by the Italian diplomatic/consular authorities in the incoming family members home country, except where there are specific international agreements.

  Procedure

Obtaining the forms

Please refer to SAOS Desk

Presenting the application

The application forms completed at the Prefettura and the documents indicated must be presented in person in an open envelope at an authorised post office.

Post Office: PADOVA CENTRO - corso Garibaldi 25, 35122 Padova

At the post office, the foreign national will be asked to produce a passport or similar document to prove identity.

The post-office clerk will give the foreign national:

  • the receipt of a registered letter that must be carefully conserved and may be used to register with the Town Hall Registry Office and the Italian National Health Service. The receipt contains two personal code numbers (user ID and password) which can be used to track the progress of the application at www.portaleimmigrazione.it or to check the Questura website to see whether the residence permit is ready for collection;
  • the date on which to go to the Questura for the first appointment; on this occasion you will need to present four photographs and a further copy of the documents sent with the kit. Your fingerprints will also be taken.

Identification and Fingerprinting at Police Headquarters (Questura)

On the first appointment at police headquarters (Questura), students will need to present the following documents:  

  • 4 passport-size photos on a white background;
  • a copy of the documents sent with the kit;
  • your passport (original);
  • the receipt of the registered letter the kit was sent by.

Collecting the permit

Having checked Italy’s State Police website to see whether the permit is ready, students must then go to the SAOS Desk to fix a second appointment with the Questura to collect the residence permit. 

To fix this appointment, students must take the following documents to SAOS:

  • your passport (original);
  • the receipt of the registered letter the kit was sent by.

To collect the permit from the Questura, students will need to present the following documents:

  • your passport (original);
  • the receipt of the registered letter the kit was sent by;
  • the appointment letter.

NB: It will take at least four weeks from the first appointment for the Questura to issue the electronic residence permit if the application is successful. The residence permit will be valid for the same period as the applicant’s health insurance, and for no longer than one year. To extend a stay in Italy, you will need to start renewing their permit two months before its expiry date.

Costs

  • a €16 marca da bollo (duty stamp);
  • €30 for the service and € 27.50 for the issue of an electronic residence permit, both to be made at the post office when sending the application.

  Legal references

Family cohesion

A residence permit for family purposes (family cohesion) is issued to foreign nationals with a regular residence permit in Italy who intend to reconstruct a family with a resident family member, or with an Italian or European Union national.  

The same rules for the release of the residence permit for family purposes are applicable. Please contact SAOS Desk for further information.