September 22, 2019 /
Getting Married in Italy for Foreigners
A synthetic guide to get an idea of legal requirements and paperwork.
If you’re wondering how to get married in Italy as a foreigner you’ve landed in the right place today!
If Italy is among the most sought-after destination for weddings, there’s undoubtedly a reason:
- ideal climate
- enchanting cities
- art and history
- unique Tuscan countryside and Amalfi’s coastline
- fabulous castles
- stunning lakes
- splendid churches and cathedrals
- traditional Italian cuisine envied all over the world.
The number of weddings of foreigners celebrated in Italy grows out of proportion every year, and the trend is destined to continue.
If you’re planning to get married in Italy, there are several procedures to follow, so be prepared to create a list of some legal paperwork to obtain.
To make this task easier, below you will read all you need to know to obtain paperwork and legal requirements as a foreign citizen.
What kind of wedding are you willing to celebrate in Italy?
Most weddings are celebrated according to civil or religious rites.
Therefore Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Catholic weddings can be legally binding either.
However, regardless of nationality and religious faith, foreigner citizens need some mandatory documents to get married in Italy.
Before to read the following part of this post we suggest you to read our post about marriage requirements for foreigners in Italy if your country of provenance is one of the following:
If you are a US citizen please read our article about American citizens who wants to get married in Italy.
General legal Requirements for a civil wedding in Italy.
Whether it is a civil or religious ceremony, anyone can get married in Italy as there is no legal residence requirement for a legally binding marriage.
However, some requirements and documents are necessary for a foreign citizen who wants to get married in Italy.
Among the most important, there is undoubtedly the so-called “Nulla Osta”, a certificate issued by the country of origin’s legal authority that certifies that there is no legal impediment to the marriage in Italy.
The Nulla Osta (meaning an equivalent document that states that there are no impediments to your marriage in respect of the rules of you country of origin) can be also issued by the Embassy or Consulate of the country of origin present in Italy (generally if one of the the tow of you is resident in Italy but it depend on the country of provenance).
In some cases (if your State has signed the Munich Convention), depending on the nationality, the Nulla Osta can be replaced by a Double Capacity Certificate, by a Notarial Deed, or by a Sworn Statement.
The type of document depends on the nationality of the couple. To request a first free consultation feel free to contact us for further information about your specific case.
Whereas normally the “nulla osta” needs to be translated into Italian and then legalized, if your country of provenance is one that has ratified the “Munich Convention“, you will only need to ask to the competent authorities in your own country a certificate of legal capacity to marry.
This certificate does not need to be translated or legalized.
In countries that adhere to the Aja Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the abolition of the legalization of foreign public documents, the need to legalize the documents and documents issued by foreign authorities (nulla osta) is replaced by another formality: affixing the “apostille.”
Therefore, those who come from a country adhering to the aforementioned Convention do not need to go to the Consular Representation and request legalization, but can go to the competent internal authority designated by each State – and indicated for each country in the act of accession to the Convention itself (usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) – to obtain the affixing of the apostille on the document.
This document is automatically recognized in Italy.
The updated list of countries that have ratified the Hague Convention (Aja Convention) and the one of the competent authorities that can affix the apostille for each State is available on the website of the Aja Conference http://www.hcch.net/
As you may know, an identification document such as a passport will be required either.
Good advice is to check the validity of documents (not expired) in time and make sure that everything is perfectly intact and legible and shows the same name, as in several surnames.
By law, even those who are political refugees can marry in Italy.It will be sufficient to present a certificate attesting their refugee status issued by the Alto Commissariato of the United Nations.
Special requirements: Minors and previous marriages.
There are also specific cases in which Italian law requires additional requirements, even for foreign citizens, so that a marriage is legally valid:
1) Divorced women cannot marry before three hundred days from the issue of the divorce decree;
2) In the case of a widowed person, the certificate of the first marriage and the death certificate of the deceased spouse is required;
3) In a marriage between foreign minors, the Italian law requires the Juvenile Court (Tribunale dei minori). However, to get legally married -in any case- the couple must be at least 16 years old.
Additional documentation may be required if the foreign couple wishes to celebrate a Catholic wedding, such as the baptism certificate or a certificate attesting attendance at a premarital course or, sometimes, permission granted by the minister for the validity of the rite.