A synthetic guide

If Italy is among the most chosen countries by foreign couples (and Tuscany is the top ranking) there’s certainly a reason: ideal climate, enchanting cities art and history, villas and fabulous castles, marvelous churches and cathedrals and, not least, traditional dishes 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 set some paperwork. To make this task easier, here is a list with all the requirements that a foreign citizen must obtain in order to get married in Italy.

What kind of wedding can be celebrated in Italy?

Italy occupies a special place in the hearts of couples from all over the world. Most weddings are celebrated according to civil or religious rites or to both of them. Therefore Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Catholic wedding can be legally binding either.

However, regardless of nationality and religious faith, foreign citizens need some mandatory documents in order to get married in Italy.

Necessary requirements for a 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, there are some requirements and documents necessary for a foreign citizen who wants to get married in Italy.

Among the most important there is certainly the Nulla Osta, a certificate issued by a legal authority of the country of origin that certifies that there is no legal impediment to the marriage. The Nulla Osta, necessary for publications, can be issued by the Embassy or Consulate of the country of origin present in Italy or by competent authorities in the country of origin. In some cases, 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.

Another fundamental requirement to get married in Italy is an identification document, such as a passport, which is mandatory for the marriage to be legally binding. Depending on the country of origin or in certain situations, in addition to the identity document, other additional documents may also be required, such as the birth certificate.

A good advice is to check the validity of documents (not expired) in time and make sure that everything is perfectly intact and legible and show the same name, as in the case of several surnames. 

By law, even those who are political refugees can marry in Italy, to whom it is 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:

For example, divorced people cannot marry before three hundred days from the issue of the divorce decree;

in the case of a widowed person, the certificate of the first marriage and the death certificate of the deceased spouse are required;

In case of marriage between foreign minors, the Italian law requires the authorization of the Juvenile Court (the couple must be at least 16 years old otherwise they can’t get married).

Separate documentation may be required if the two foreigners wish to celebrate a Catholic wedding. For example, the baptism certificate or a certificate attesting attendance at a premarital course or, sometimes, a permission from the local minister for the validity of the rite.

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