Italian citizenship and residency rights to same-sex partners

Jun 01, 2021

Since 2016 Italy has allowed civil partnerships “Formazioni Sociali Specifiche” between same-sex couples. The rights and obligations for such partnerships are very similar to those of marriage, with the exception of adoption (stepchild adoption) which is prohibited.

Same-sex spouses of foreign national have residency rights in Italy

The foreign same-sex spouse of a foreign national normally resident in Italy is entitled to obtain a residence permit for family reasons as long as the relationship is well-established and registered.

Non-EU same-sex spouse of an Italian citizen has the right to obtain Italian citizenship

Non-EU nationals who have entered into a legally registered civil partnership with an Italian national can also apply for Italian Citizenship. An application can be made 2 years after the marriage if residing in Italy or 3 years after if residing abroad. The law also requires knowledge of Italian to at least B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Those who have a long-term EU residence permit, those who comply with the Integration Agreement provisions or those who have a qualification from an Italian state school or state-recognized private school, are exempt from this requirement.

Same-sex marriages celebrated abroad

Civil unions/partnerships/marriages celebrated abroad can be registered with the Italian authorities and are considered valid as long as they are legally recognized in the country where they have been celebrated.

Same-sex domestic partnerships

Couples (including same-sex couples) in a “marriage-like relationship”, who currently live together and support each other personally and materially, are considered domestic partners. To formalize the relationship, one of the partners needs to send a declaration form to the Office for National Statistics in the district in which they wish to establish joint residence, specifying that they wish to apply for a “Convivenza per vincoli affettivi” (common law partnership). Domestic partners are not able to get a family permit or citizenship. However, domestic partners of EU/Italian citizens may, under certain circumstances, obtain a family permit.

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