What is the change? The Italian Parliament has moved to recognize same-sex civil unions, a vote expected to pave the way for same-sex partners legally married in foreign countries to qualify as dependents for immigration purposes and obtain residence permits.

What does the change mean? While experts anticipate that Italy will eventually recognize same-sex partners as dependents, the Italian government is still working through the processes that will enable this to happen. No change has yet been implemented.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU/EEA partners in same-sex marriages or civil unions.
  • Business impact: Once implemented, the changes should make it easier for partners in same-sex relationships to relocate to Italy.
  • Next steps: The law on same-sex civil unions must be published in the Official Gazette before it can take effect. After that, the Italian government will begin issuing implementation decrees to harmonize federal regulations, including regulations on immigration, with the new law.

Background: The vote was the result of extensive political negotiations, and while it grants new rights to same-sex couples, it does not provide full marriage rights. Nevertheless, same-sex marriages or civil unions in foreign countries are expected to be recognized for immigration purposes under the new law once the relevant decrees are issued.

BAL Analysis: The vote is welcome news for same-sex partners who may be considering relocating to Italy. No changes have yet taken effect, however. BAL will continue to monitor events in Italy and will provide update clients with any important new information.

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.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact