If you are a non-EU national living in Italy with a valid residence permit, then you are eligible to apply to bring your (also non-EU) family members to live with you. This is done through the Italy Family visa, which is also known as an “Italy spouse visa” or family reunification (ricongiungimento familiare) visa.
What is the Italy Family Reunion Visa?
The Italy Family Visa is one type of the Italian long-stay visa, which is also known as a national or D-visa. It allows the holder to enter Italy with the purpose of remaining longer than three months and joining a family member already residing in Italy.
Once your family member has received their Italy family reunion visa, they can enter the country and apply for an Italian residence permit. It is the permit which allows them to legally reside in Italy with you.
As such, the Italy Family Reunion Visa is known as an entrance visa.
If your family member is not an EU national or from Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, or Iceland they will need an Italy family visa to enter the country. Even nationals of non-EU countries who are exempt from the Italy Schengen visa must apply for a long-stay visa.
Who is Allowed to Join You With an Italy Family Visa?
You can submit an application for the following family members to come join you in Italy through the Italian family visa:
- Children under 18. Your spouse’s children also count, as do children who are born outside marriage as long as the other parent gives consent.
- Dependent children over 18, who are unable to provide for themselves due to health problems.
- Parents over 65 who are dependant on you and have no other children who can take care of them instead.
How to Apply for an Italy Family Visa?
Your family members must submit an application for the Italy Family Visa at an Italian embassy or consulate in their home country.
Get Nulla Osta authorization
However, before they can submit the visa application, you have to get authorization in Italy which allows them to join you.
This is called a Nulla Osta and it is basically a clearance from the competent Italian authorities, allowing your family members to join you in Italy. You must apply for a Nulla Osta at an Italian Immigration Desk (Sportello Unico per l’immigrazione). If the Immigraion Desk issues the authorization, they will electronically forward it to the appropriate Italian embassy or consulate where your family members will submit the visa application.
Start the application process
The Nulla Osta is valid for six months. Your family members must apply for an Italian Family Visa at their home country within this period. The application process for an Italian Family Visa goes as follows:
- Book a visa appointment at an Italian embassy or consulate in their country.
- Download and complete Italy Long-Stay Visa Application Form.
- Gather all the necessary documents.
- When the date of the appointment comes, submit the application in person.
- Pay the Italian visa fee.
- Enter a visa interview.
- Wait for processing.
Requirements for an Italy Family Visa
When submitting a family reunion visa, you and your family members must provide several supporting documents. You must also be able to meet several conditions in regards to accommodation and financial income if you want to bring them to join you in Italy.
When your family members apply for an Italy family visa, they have to present:
- Original and copy of the Nulla Osta
- Copy of your residence permit (or ID card, if you are an Italian citizen) and passport
- Italy Long-Stay Visa Application Form, completed and signed
- Passport-size pictures
- 35mm x 45mm
- Light, preferably white, background
- Face must take up 70% – 80% of the picture
- Neutral facial expression
- Passports which are valid at least three months after the expiry of the visa and have at least two blank pages.
- Statement from you (the Italian resident) declaring that you want to have your family members with you, and you meet the requirements for family reunification set by Italian law.
- Proof of family relationship, as applicable: Birth certificates for children and marriage certificate for your spouse.
- Proof you have sufficient required funds and suitable accommodation to welcome your family members.
- Receipt of paid Italy visa fee.
- Proof of booked plane tickets.
- In case a minor is travelling alone: Written permission from the child’s other parent allowing them to travel to Italy.
- In case you are bringing your parent/s to Italy:
- Original copies of your birth certificate.
- Proof your parent/s are dependant on you (such as money transfers).
- A written statement from your parent/s, declaring they are dependant on you.
In addition, there are several other conditions you have to meet to be eligible to bring your family members with you.
Italy Family Visa financial requirements
Financial requirements cannot be lower than the annual amount of the social allowance. You must make at least € 5.830,76 a year and then have 50% of that amount for any family members who will join you in Italy. So, if your spouse and one child will join you, you must have €11,661.52.
Accommodation requirements which are in line with hygienic requirements established by Italian law. You must also have a big enough apartment to accommodate all your family members.
|Number of family members in the apartment||Minimum area required||Minimum number of bedrooms|
If your family members receive their visas for family reunification, they have three months to enter Italy. Once there, they can apply for their Italian residence permit.
Italy Family Visa Processing Time
When it comes to the visa itself, the processing time is around three weeks, up to a couple months. However, different factors can impact it. For example, if there are no available appointment slots, your family members cannot submit an application immediately. Next, if there are any missing or incorrect documents from their application, they will have to resubmit, so the processing time will be delayed.
Add to that the time it takes for you to receive a Nulla Osta (this can range from 4 to 12 months), and it may be nearly a year before your family members can join you in Italy.
After Obtaining an Italy Family Visa
After your family members receive their family reunification visas from the appropriate Italian authorities abroad, they have six months to enter Italy. Once they are in Italy, they have eight days to submit an application for an Italian residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). They can do this at the local police headquarters (Questura), where they will receive an application kit with all the required forms.
Their residence permit allow your family members to work and enroll in school.
Italy Family Cohesion Visa
There is another option for bringing your family members with you to Italy: Italy Family Cohesion. However, in this case, your family would have needed to enter Italy at the same time as you under Italy Schengen visas (or no visa at all, if visas aren’t needed for their country.) then. Once in Italy, they have to apply for their residence permits for family reunion.
Otherwise, even for family cohesion, the same financial and accommodation requirements as for family reunion visa apply.
Before you travel to Italy, you must prepare all the required documents, such as translated and official marriage and birth certificates.