October 13, 2021 /
What is the Marriage Nulla Osta?
Let’s see which are necessary paperworks to get married in Italy!
If you’re wondering how to get married in Italy you certainly ran up against the term Nulla Osta.
Today we are gonna explain what’s the meaning for it!
According to article 116 of the Italian civil code, the Nulla Osta is a document that states that there are no impediments to the marriage of foreign citizens in Italy according to the laws of:
- your country of origin
- the Italian Republic.
There are two ways to obtain the Nulla Osta for a civil marriage in Italy but only the first one will be accepted by the majority of the Italian town halls:
1. The first one (suggested) to obtain the Nulla Osta is to request it in your Consulate or Embassy in Italy.
As your legal counsel in Italy, we can faster this process since we have a long experience with civil and court weddings of foreigners in Italy.
You may need to send us some documents issued by your local authority, and your Nulla Osta will be ready soon in Italy.
Once we have the null osta, we will go to the competent Prefettura to legalize the signature of your Consul, unless specific Convention that exempt from legalization are applicable to your specific case.
The advantage of this procedure is that on the document issued by your Consulate in Italy it will be written the sentence “NULLA OSTA”. And this is exactly what the clerks of the Italian Municipalities want to read when we ask them to book a wedding!
2. The second route (rarely accepted by town halls in Italy) is going through the public administration of your country of origin.
The local clerks will provide you a document of free marital status or certificate of no impediments to the marriage that states that there are no impediments to your wedding according to the laws of your country of origin.
Once you obtain that, you can go to the Italian embassy in your country and ask to legalize and translate it.
Please note that we strongly discourage to try this route since the majority of Municipalities in Italy accept only the document issued by your foreign authority in the Italian territory with the lettering NULLA OSTA.
We went through this route only when we had to start banns of marriage in an Italian consulate abroad. This is the scenario happened when we had an Italian spouse residing abroad who was getting married with a foreign spouse.
In this case it may be possible that the Italian official in the Italian Consulate abroad could accepted the documents issued by your administration in the country of origin legalized and translated.
Please note that in countries where the legal figure of the official translator exists, acts issued by your authorities can be certified by the translator, whose signature is legalized by Italian consular offices.
In countries where this figure is not provided for by local law, it will be necessary to resort to the certification of conformity affixed by the Italian consular office in your country of provenance.
To obtain the certificate of conformity of the translation, the spouses must present themselves, by appointment, at the consular office with the original document in the foreign language and the translation.
To proceed with the legalization, the future spouses must present themselves, by appointment, at the Italian consular office with the document (in original) to be legalized.
And what about countries that adhered to the Munich Convention to get married in Italy?
If you come from one of the following countries:
AUSTRIA, GERMANY, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY and the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA,
the procedure is significantly smarter since Italy since these countries above-mentioned have signed the Munich Convention.
The Munich Convention signed on September 5th, 1980, requests the couples to produce the “Certificate of marriage capacity” issued by the office where the Marital status is registered or at the Municipality of residence in the country of origin.
In German, this certificate is called “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis“
Have you ever heard about it?
These types of certificates are exempt from legalization and translation due to this Convention and the italian Ministry of the Interior circular dated January 21st, 2005.
Therefore you do not need translation nor legalization!
Once you obtain this certificate, you will be able to book your wedding at the town hall selected.
And what about the Vienna Convention for a civil marriage in Italy?
Countries adhering to the 1976 Vienna convention can obtain a multilingual model exempt from translation and legalization from the town hall of provenance.
Your wedding planners will bring these documents to your Consulate in Italy, and your Nulla Osta will be issued quickly! Moreover, most important, the Nulla Osta will not need 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.
To get more information about other Conventions that may apply to your specific case, check out our posts about marriage requirements for foreigners in Italy, and getting married in Italy for foreigners.
So what happens If your country does not belong to any of the Conventions mentioned above?
No worries at all!
In this case, we will manage the procedure as stated above at point 1, your wedding planner will go in person at your competent Consulate in Italy requesting your Nulla Osta and proceed with legalization.
Regarding legalization, public offices may be overbooked due to the activity of agencies operating in this field.
To resolve this problem, we will start an emergency procedure that will quickly end up in the release of the legalization of your Nulla Osta.
But what to do if the authorities of your country of origin do not want to release the Nulla Osta?
Well, for this scenario, there is a way out we described in the article about how to get married in Italy without the Nulla Osta.