June 5, 2021 /
Legal Marriage in Italy for Foreigners
You’re searching a lot online and you’re getting nowhere?And maybe you heard about a so called nulla osta?
And yes maybe you’re quite in the ballpark!
What is the “nulla osta”?
It is a document that states that in respect of the law of your country of provenance there are no impediments to your marriage on the Italian soil.
This authorization must contain the following data:
The indication that there are no impediments to marriage according to the laws of the country of origin;
Surname and name;
Place and date of birth;
generality of the father;
generality of the mother;
Residence (if the citizen is registered in the Registry of an Italian Municipality, the Municipality must be indicated as residence; if the citizen is not registered in any Italian Registry, the foreign Municipality of residence must be indicated);
In regards to the marital status (single, widowed or divorced): for the divorced woman, the date of dissolution of the marriage is required, for the widowed woman the date of death of the previous husband is required.
For the woman who is divorced or widowed less than 300 days, the AUTHORIZATION OF THE COURT (art.116 and 89 of the Civil Code) is required.
The divorced woman must still contact the Municipality in order to determine whether or not she needs the authorization of the Court.
Note: if the authorization does not include the particulars of the parents, the birth certificate must be presented.
In conclusion take into account that if you are a citizen of a country that does not belong to the European Union and you are not resident in Italy, in addition to the authorization, you must also submit the remaining documentation proving the requirements of art. 51 of Presidential Decree 396/2000, since these are documents formed abroad not registered in Italy or with an Italian consular authority.
Likewise, married couples, in the cases provided for by art. 52 of Presidential Decree 396/2000, may submit a copy of the marriage authorization provision granted by the court in the presence of an impediment at the time of the request for publications or send it subsequently by ordinary mail.
However, take into account that for each country there could be specific convention that have been signed by your country and the Italian government. Alternatively, it could be possible that your country of provenance signed a convention that Italy has signed too.
Where can I request the Nulla Osta?
The authorization is issued by the competent authority of one’s country of origin which can be (depending on the legislation of the country of origin):
1. 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 and legalized by the Italian Embassy or Consulate, except in the event that this requirement is eliminated by specific Conventions.
2. Diplomatic or Consular Authority in Italy:
The authorization is issued by the Consulate or the foreign Embassy in Italy and, usually, it is already drawn up in Italian. It must be legalized by the competent Italian Prefecture.
*Please note that the procedure that concerns the request of nulla osta may change in relation to convention applicable. Therefore, you should check to which convention your country belong and then see the right procedure. In some cases you need a nulla osta, in other cases you would need a certificate of marriage capacity. In other cases you can present the nulla osta with no need of legalization (Hague convention, Munich Convention).
Let’ see the most important international convention.
In the countries that have adhered the Hague convention you have to present a request to your foreign ministry asking for a document that states the in respect of the local rules there are no impediments to the marriage abroad.On this document the official will place an Apostille. So the document can be used in another country that have adhered to the above-mentioned convention in order to get married.
Using the Apostille you don’t need to legalize the Nulla Osta in an Italian Embassy or in the Italian Prefettura.
However, this document need to be translated into Italian (at the Consulate or consular chancellery of the Embassy of Italy or with the assistance of a sworn translator if your legislation provide for it) . Also in this case the apostille need to be placed on the translation.
Countries adhering to The Hague Convention signed on 5 October 196 are1:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Federation Russia, Fiji, Finland, Georgia, Japan, Great Britain (extended to Mann Island), Greece, Grenada, Honduras, India, Iceland, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Israel, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Lithuania, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia , Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Niue, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Principality of Monaco, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea (formerly South Korea), Dominican Republic, Romania, Saint Christopher and Nevis, San Marino, Samoa, Santa Lucia, Sant’Elena, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Swaziland, United States of America, South Africa, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Hungary, Vanuatu, Venezuela, British Virgins.
Please note that the Apostille applies only to documents issued abroad in the countries adhering to the Hague Convention, while for any documents issued in Italy by the consular authorities of the same countries it is necessary to legalize them at the Prefettura.
Rules that concern marriage of US citizen in Italy require a sworn declaration made before the Consul of the United States of America in Italy, showing that, according to the laws to which he is subject in the United States, there is no impediment to the marriage he intends to contract in Italy. The Consul’s signature must be legalized at the Prefecture;
deed of notoriety (which must also indicate that the citizen can marry according to the law of the country of origin) drawn up before the competent Italian Authority: Italian Consul abroad, Court of Florence, Notary.
Rules that concern marriage of Australian citizens in Italy require a sworn declaration made in front of the Consul of Australia in Italy, showing that, in accordance with the laws to which he is subject in Australia, there is no impediment to the marriage he intends to contract in Italy. The Consul’s signature must be legalized at the Prefecture;
deed of notoriety (which must also indicate that the citizen can marry according to the law of the country of origin) drawn up before the competent Italian Authority (Italian Consul abroad), with four witnesses.
Citizens of Austrian, Swiss and German nationality must produce the certificate of marriage capacity, issued by the Civil Status Office of the Municipality of residence (belonging) in the State of origin (exempt from legalization).
Citizens of Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish and Luxembourg nationality must produce the certificate of marriage capacity (inquire at the respective Consulate about the competent authority for issuing it).
Norwegian citizens: they must apply for clearance directly to the Registry of the Municipality of residence in Norway. The CLEARANCE will be issued, complete with Apostille, in Italian or Norwegian with translation carried out by a sworn translator in Norway (Circ. 65/2004).
Polish citizens: (Circ. 33/2005) must request clearance from the Head of the Polish Civil Status Office or the Consul if the Polish citizen:
– did not have a residence in Poland
– is unable to trace his place of last residence in Poland
– left Poland before the age of 16 and permanently resides abroad
Brazilian citizens: submit a declaration for the purposes of marriage in Italy, issued by their consular authorities in accordance with the model agreed by our Ministry AA.EE. and by the Embassy of Brazil (Circ. 1/2009)
Swedish citizens: residents of SWEDEN must apply for the permit from the Registry of the Municipality of residence in Sweden which issues it in Swedish with translation carried out by a sworn translator who will certify the conformity to the original;
if resident in ITALY, they must request clearance from the Swedish Diplomatic Authority (Circ. 2/2010)
Slovak citizens: a CERTIFICATE certifying the absence of impediments to marriage issued by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic of ROME replaces the nulla osta (Article 116 of the Civil Code) (Circ. 29/2011).
BRITISH RESIDENTS in WALES and ENGLAND, who intend to marry an Irish citizen in Italy or BRITISH RESIDENTS in a THIRD COUNTRY (circ. 10/2015), can present the usual NULLA OSTA (art.116 cc) issued by the consular authority or the certificate of non-impediment and the bilingual affidavit made by a British lawyer or notary.
The UK citizen has the right to choose:
publish in the United Kingdom according to the procedure provided for by the ministerial circular 6/2013 (attached) and obtain a “Certificate of non-impediment”, issued by the local authority of the country of origin, and a “Bilingual sworn declaration” issued by (s) concerned with a British lawyer or notary. This certificate of non-impediment, apostilled and duly translated, will be presented, together with the bilingual sworn declaration, also legalized, to the competent civil status office for the purpose of celebrating the marriage.
contact the UK Consulate in Italy to obtain consular clearance
Hungarian citizens: the replacement certification of the authorization to marry is issued to Hungarian citizens wishing to marry in Italy by the Embassy of Hungary (Circ. 11/2013)
Filandesi citizens: the Nulla osta for Finnish citizens who intend to marry in Italy is issued by their local authority and complies with the model attached to Circular 1/2014
Lithuanian citizens: Lithuanian citizens residing in Italy who intend to marry in Italy must apply for the CLEARANCE from the Municipal Offices of their country (facsimile attached to Circ. 2/2014)
Danish citizens: The Nulla Osta, equipped with an Apostille, will be issued by the Registry of the Municipality of residence in Denmark in Danish, English and German with translation into Italian by a sworn translator in Denmark. The certificate is valid for 4 months. (facsimile attached to Circ. 18/2014)
Mexican citizens: from 14.05.2015 the new certificate of “Constancia de inexistencia de Registro” is the suitable document for the celebration of the marriage of Mexican citizens in Italy (Circ. 11/2015).
In Italy there is no Syrian diplomatic authority. The reference is the Syrian Embassy in Vienna. This will be the diplomatic authority responsible for issuing the authorization to marry the Syrian citizen who intends to marry in Italy (Circ. 3/2014)
Pay attention to the legalization of the document! The signature of the Syrian Embassy official must be legalized by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and this signature will in turn be legalized by the Italian Consulate in Vienna.
Only in this way can the document be implemented in Italy.
If of the foreigner future spouse is resident or domiciled in Italy, marriage banns are required.
If the spouses are both foreigners, neither resident nor domiciled in Italy, instead of requesting the marriage banns, they must sign a report in which they declare that there are no impediments to kinship, affinity, adoption or affiliation, or other impediments between them. pursuant to art. 85, 86, 87 and 88 of the Civil Code. The report is signed, after making an appointment with the Civil Status Office, at least three days before the wedding by presenting the necessary documents (marriage clearance or certification in lieu of the authorization provided for by specific conventions / agreements between states)
If the foreign citizen does not know the Italian language perfectly, he must be assisted by a translator – interpreter, both at the request for publications and during the celebration, with a suitable identification document.