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ITALY – Family Reunion Extended to Same-Sex Spouses

, 22/08/2016

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has finally provided clarity on the impact of the recent law recognising same-sex unions on immigration provisions.

On 5 August 2016 the Ministry issued a circular confirming that, under Law no. 76/2016, which took effect on 5 June 2016, the foreign national same-sex spouse (legally registered as such) of a foreign national living in Italy is now eligible to obtain a work permit for family reasons under the same conditions as different-sex spouses.

Documentary evidence of the civil union - in Italy or abroad - will be required to ascertain that the civil union is effectively and legally registered.


Clause 20 of the new law establishes that - whenever in legislation, administrative acts and collective agreements there is any reference to marriage, or the words “coinage” (spouse) “coniugi” (spouses), or equivalent terms - the provisions are to be applied to same-sex civil unions as well.

As a consequence, whenever there is reference to “coinage” (spouse), “moglie” (wife), “marito” (husband), and “sposo” (husband) in immigration law, the provisions are extended to same-sex couples who have entered into a legally registered civil union.

Action Items

  • Foreign nationals intending to live in Italy with their same-sex spouse should be prepared to submit documentary evidence of their legally registered civil union.