The family reunion visa allows family members of foreign citizens holding a valid visa or residence permit to legally reside in Italy. In this guide we are going to give you information on how to get the family visa in Italy, what are the requirements for the application and obtainment steps.
Types of family reunion Visa in Italy
Depending on the case that applies, there are 2 types of visas required for family members:
- Accompanying a foreigner who has already obtained a “D” visa from Italy. The validity of the visa must not be less than 1 year, for work, mission, study or religious purposes. In this case, foreign citizens shall start the reunion process while still in their home country, but they can travel to Italy after having submitted the application. Processing time for this type of Italian family reunion visa is usually of a couple of months from the application submission;
- Accompanying a foreigner already living in Italy, who holds a valid Italian stay permit. The validity of the stay permit must be not less than 1 year, and the processing time to get this type of family reunification visa is usually longer if compared with the other visa type. Moreover, the holder of the stay permit has to have obtained it for one the following purposes:
- Employed or independent work;
- Subsidiary protection or humanitarian.
Who can apply for the Italian family reunion visa?
For both family reunion visas previously mentioned, the family members who can join a foreigner who is living in Italy are the following:
- Spouse over 18, who is not legally divorced;
- Children who are younger than 18 years (including adopted, entrusted or protected children), from the spouse or born out of the marriage, unmarried on condition that the other parent has granted the official consent;
- Dependent children who are older than 18 years, if they cannot support themselves due to health conditions;
- Dependent parents over 65 years who do not have proper economical means of support in the country of origin.
Can the Italian family visa be rejected?
The authorities perform controls on the document validity, and the family reunion visa will be denied if there is evidence that the only purpose of a marriage or an adoption was granting an entry permit to Italy.
If the foreigner has just obtained a “D” visa for Italy, a third person resident on the Italian territory should be officially delegated, in order to submit the family reunion application to Italian authorities on behalf of the foreigner. This usually involves preparing a power of attorney (POA) in favor of the delegate person. If prepared abroad, the POA must correctly be legalized and translated for use in Italy.
Family Reunion Visa Italy: Obtainment steps
In order to obtain the visa, it is necessary to follow specific steps in both cases:
- Application for the pre-authorization to the family reunion, or “nulla osta”. The nulla osta shall be requested at the competent authorities in applicant’s place of residence, and its processing time is 90 days from application;
- After obtaining the nulla osta, the family members can apply for the family at the Italian Consulate or Embassy of their home country. The nulla osta, together with the visa application form, the travel documents, and the documents attesting the family status, are the fundamental documents that applicants shall provide at the consular appointment (check here the one competent for your country). Within 8 days from the family arrival in Italy, it is necessary to submit all original documents to the Public Office covering the area of residence of the foreigner.
Afterwards, the family members must apply for a stay permit for family reasons at any competent post office.
What documents are required for family reunion in Italy?
Before starting your nulla osta application process make sure you have a complete checklist of the documents he following documents that are required for the family reunion:
- Applicant’s ID document;
- Certificate of housing suitability for your owned or rented property, issued by the Municipality of residence; or hotel booking if your family will stay at a temporary accommodation after their arrival;
- Accommodation requirements, such as leasing or purchase agreement for your living unit;
- Authorization from the owner of the property of stay, granting the consent for hosting the family at the same residence;
- For dependent parents over 65 it is necessary to have a health insurance or similar;
- Financial requirements, i.e. documents attesting that you have financial means to support your family during their stay in Italy. The financial means shall not be lower than the social allowance amount plus half of this minimum amount for every family member.
For year 2022, the social allowance is €6.085,43/per year, therefore if you are willing to apply for the family reunion visa for one family member your yearly income shall be over €6.085,43 + €3.042,71 = €9.128,14
For both types of visa, the application shall be made by a person already residing in Italy, therefore if the citizen is applying for “ricongiungimento al seguito”, they should officially delegate a third person residing in the Italian territory to submit the family reunion application to Italian authorities on their behalf.
How long is the family reunion visa in Italy and which are the permitted activities?
The resident permit has the same validity as the one of the relative already living in Italy and they can be renewed together. Moreover, holders of these permits can perform the following activities:
- Attend a study or training course;
- Enroll to a unemployment register;
- Work as a self-employed or employee.
What are the pros and cons of the family reunion in Italy?
The family reunion process in Italy may seem at first a long and intricate process, due to need to obtain a nulla osta. In fact, this application implies the collection of several documents and the processing times may be quite long.
However, this kind of visa also offers many advantages. In particular – contrary to the family cohesion (a family permit which shall not be priorly approved through the nulla osta) – people entering Italy with a family reunion visa can have immediate access to the Italian social security system, and in particular to register their residence and get access to National healthcare.
We at Studio A&P apply, prepare and finally submit all required papers to the relevant authorities. In addition, we monitor the process until the visa has been issued.
For more information on othe other types of Italian long-term visa, check out our guide on Long Stay Visa in Italy.