We will assist you in getting married in Italy and apply for your Nulla Osta for your Civil Marriage!

If you’re wondering how to apply for your Court or civil wedding in Italy as a foreigner, you’ve landed in the right place today!

Thanks to our substantial experience in the legal field, we can undoubtedly help you by guaranteeing you legal assistance for your wedding in Italy!

Firstly, consider that foreign citizens who have decided to get married in Italy will have to present the authorization to marry according to art. 116 of the Civil Code. 

We are talking about the so-called “Nulla Osta.”

This document will state that there are no impediments to your marriage regarding your country of origin rules.

Who issues the Nulla Osta?

The nulla osta is issued by the “competent authority” and so it needs to be requested from:

1. Your diplomatic Consulate or Embassy in Italy (Suggested)

We will inquire your competent Consulate in Italy to book an appointment for. notary service in order to get the Nulla Osta for marriage purposes.

Most of the time, it is already drawn up in Italian or both in Italian and in your language. 

Then, we will proceed to legalize your Nulla Osta at the competent Italian Prefettura unless an international conventions is applicable to your case exempting your Nulla Osta from legalization.

This is the fastest way to get your Nulla Osta to marry in Italy legally, and we can easily manage the whole process!

2. Your local Authority in the Country of origin.

The nulla osta, if issued in the language of the Country of origin, must be duly translated into Italian (by an official translator if the law of your Country provided for it or by the Italian Consulate in your Country) and legalized by the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your Country, except if specific Conventions eliminate the requirement of the legalization.

For example:

  • Munich Convention (September 5, 1980) allows you to only ask the competent authorities in your own Country for a certificate of legal capacity to marry. Countries that have signed this Convention are Austria, Italy, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.
  • London Convention (June 7, 7 1968) stated that Nulla Osta emanated by the following countries are exempted from legalization: Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Republic of Moldova, United Kingdom, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium.
  • Brussels Convention of May 25, 1987, abolished any form of legalization between Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Latvia, Italy. Although adhering to the Brussels Convention, the legalization, consular, or apostille regime remains valid for the other EU states if they adhere to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.
  • Budapest Convention of May 26, 1977, has abolished legalization for all acts issued in Hungary.
  • Vienna Convention: Countries adhering to the 1976 Vienna Convention will obtain a marriage certificate from the Italian town hall where the marriage ceremony has been performed in a multilingual format exempt from translation and legalization). The countries that ratified the Vienna Convention are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, and Montenegro Holland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.
  • Hague Convention (October 5, 1961) consents to obtain a Nulla Osta that doesn’t need to be legalized in Italy. Therefore, those who come from a country adhering to this 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 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/.

Please note that this procedure is rarely accepted by Italian town hall, because a general free marital status certificate is not accepted most of the time.

The majority of town halls in Italy request the Nulla Osta, because this documents is issued by your Consulate in Italy according to the italian laws and the regulations of your country of origin.

Therefore the procedure described at point 1 above in the most recommended.

Civil marriage in an Italian town hall


Nulla osta issued in Italy for a foreign bride.
Civil wedding ceremony in Amalfi before the Major.

Is the Residency permit required to get married in Italy?

The answer is No.

There is no legal residence requirement for a legally binding marriage in Italy. 

You do not need a residency permit either.

Therefore if you do not have the so-called “permesso di soggiorno” (residency permit), you can indeed get married in Italy to an Italian citizen or a foreigner.

Indeed, the Italian Constitutional Court, with sentence no. 245 of 25 July 2011, declared that foreign citizens without a residence permit could marry in Italy.

End of a wedding ceremony in Südtirol in the Dolomites

Once the Nulla Osta has been issued you have two way to proceed with the Italian Municipality where your marriage will be celebrated.

Let’s examine the two options.

1. one of the future spouses is a foreigner living in Italy.

In addition to the nulla osta, banns of marriage (the so-called “pubblicazioni di Matrimonio”) must be publicized in the Municipality of residence of the Italian or foreigner spouse in the Italian Municipality where they live.

2. both the foreigner spouses do not live in Italy.

In this case, banns of marriage do not need to be made, and the couple will have to swear a declaration and sign an application form provided by the decree of the President November 3, 2000, n. 396 in which the future spouses declare that there are name no impediment of kinship, affinity, of adoption or affiliation, according to article 87 of the Italian civil code, if the spouses have already contracted a previous marriage and whether the spouses are in the conditions indicated in the articles 85 and 88 of the civil code.

Civil Marriage in Tuscany

How can a political refugee get married in Italy?

Political refugees can marry in Italy. It will be sufficient to present a certificate attesting to their refugee status issued by the Alto Commissariato of the United Nations.

Furthermore, what happens with 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) Italian law requires the Juvenile Court (Tribunale dei Minori) a marriage between foreign minors. 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.

A Wedding in Tuscany inside a vineyard.

How to get Italian citizenship by marrying an Italian?

The process is not complex if you can wait two years with a residency in Italy or three years living abroad. Also, you will have asked to learn Italian, obtaining at least level B1. To get further detail about the legal procedure, please check out the guide on how to get Italian citizenship after the wedding.

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

To understand the complexity of the international convention and Italian rules to get married in Italy for foreigners we strongly suggest you read our article about marriage requirements for foreigners in Italy and the one about legal marriage in Italy  case your country of provenance were one of the following:

If you are a US citizen, please read our post about how an American citizen can get married in Italy. If you are Australian, please read our article about how an Australian citizen can get married in Italy.

Wedding agreement signed by a foreign couple.

How to get married in Italy if my partner is an Italian living abroad?

Well, in that case, your future spouse may be registered in the AIRE that is the register where every Italian citizens living abroad is registered in.

Therefore to get married in Italy, mandatory banns of marriage will be performed at the competent Italian Consulate abroad where the Italian spouse resides.

Once the time of the banns of marriage has expired, the Italian Consulate abroad will send permission to the selected town hall in Italy to proceed with the civil marriage ceremony.

A newlywed couple partying after the ceremony