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Marriage between an Italian citizen and a foreign citizen holding no residence papers

20 febbraio 2003

Italian law states that the bureaucratic procedure to follow is quite simple. Civil Law provides for that a foreign citizen marrying an Italian man or woman needs to give few documents in.

Which documents are needed?
-  An internationally valid ID (identity card), this is to say a passport.
-  A translated into Italian birth certificate coming from the person country of origin, the certificate must be certified at the local Italian embassy.
-  The country of origin authorization (this document is released by qualified offices which are the equivalent of our General Registry offices). The authorization needs to state that there are no impediments to marriage according to the state laws and therefore the person can get married.

The above quoted certificates must be both translated and certified at Italian embassy in order to have them accepted by the local Ufficiale di Stato Civile (civil state officer) whom the two are to ask to publish the banns.
The two certificates can be also demanded by a close relative or a fellow-countryman via showing a proxy. The person holding the proxy will ask for the certificates and will then go to the Italian Embassy to apply for their authentification (this is to say to have them translated and certified). The same person will send them to Italy.
Where to go?
Once obtained the needed documents, the person will go, together with his/her future husband/wife, to the Council where husband/wife holds residence to have the banns published by Ufficiale di Stato Civile.

Banns are compulsory in Italy and their purpose to make community aware of the marriage and to let it show any possibile impediment before the wedding takes place. Ufficiale di Stato Civile cannot refuse to publish banns even if the person about to get married doesn’t have a valid residence permit. The officer can report to the police the fact that the person doesn’t have regular documents (even without holding a juridical obligation). Anyway police headquarters take much longer to order expulsions in comparison to marriage times.
Law provides for an at least 10 days awaiting period before marriage is celebrated, two Sundays must be included as well from the day banns are published to the wedding. Recent sentences show that in case of marriage and cohabitation no expulsions can be brought into act.
Finally, the person will be able to ask for the release of the residence permit at local police headquarters within 8 working days.

What’s to happen in case an exclusion order is being noticed?
A non EU citizen without residence papers risks expulsion any time. Immigration consolidated act art. 19 explicitly states that expelling foreign citizens cohabiting with their Italian husband/wife is prohibited. The same article underlines that in case of marriage and persisting cohabitation a family matters residence permit must be released. The permit also allows to work.