What is the change? Italy has officially extended the right of family reunion to foreign nationals in same-sex marriages and civil unions.

What does the change mean? The change will allow same-sex partners who are legally married or in civil unions in foreign countries to qualify as dependents for immigration purposes and obtain residence permits.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected:Residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Partners in same-sex marriages or civil unions planning to relocate to Italy.
  • Business impact: The change will make it easier for partners in same-sex relationships to move to and remain in Italy.
  • Next steps: Foreign nationals in same-sex marriages or civil unions are now eligible to obtain residence permits through the same process as opposite-sex spouses or partners. Documentary evidence of the marriage or civil union, whether in Italy or abroad, will be required to ensure that the marriage or civil union is properly registered.

Background: On Aug. 5 Ministry of Internal Affairs circular made it clear that, for immigration purposes, Italy would recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions the same way it recognizes opposite-sex marriages and unions. The ministerial circular was widely anticipated after the Italian Parliament voted in May to recognize same-sex civil unions.

BAL Analysis: The new regulations will benefit same-sex partners who may be considering relocating to Italy, as they now have the same family reunion rights as opposite-sex partners.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Italy. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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