The family members of Italian citizens, irrespective of their nationality, have a full right to reside in Italy in the long term.

Starting from August 11, 2023, Italy has introduced a dedicated type of residence permit that affects how family members of Italian citizens get their residence status, depending on where they lived before coming to Italy. It is called “Permesso di soggiorno per familiari di cittadini italiani” or FAMIT.

Here’s the deal:

Did you live in Europe before?
If you’re a family member of an Italian citizen and you lived in another EU country before moving to Italy, you’re eligible for a Residence Card (Carta di Soggiorno). This is the same type of card that all family members of EU citizens in Italy receive. It’s a nice perk because it recognizes your EU residency history and simplifies your status in Italy.

Are you coming directly from outside the EU?

For those who didn’t live in an EU country before coming to Italy, there’s a new type of residence permit called “FAMIT.” This is specifically designed for family members of Italian citizens. Whether you’re coming directly to Italy or from a non-EU country, the FAMIT is your key to establishing residency here.

Both the Carta di Soggiorno and the FAMIT are valid for 5 years. They’re renewable, which means you won’t have to worry about your status year after year. Plus, if you find yourself working and wanting to stay in Italy based on your job, both can be converted into an independent work-based residence permit.

This change aims to streamline the process and make sure everyone who moves to Italy as a family member of an Italian citizen has a clear path to residency, whether they’re coming from within the EU or beyond.

Long-Term Residency vs. Short-Term

Beware that long-term residency is not self-evident for family members in Italy. The general rule is that non-EU nationals are only temporarily admitted to stay in Italy, depending on the grounds for their stay. Even the family members of Italian citizens are often granted residency for a period up to 2 years. Their right to stay depends on the residence of the Italian citizen. If the family splits, or the Italian citizen leaves the country or dies, the family member may lose their residency, especially if they have no job or substantial means for their maintenance.

Security of residence

For the sake of security of residence it is important to obtain a 5-year residence permit or card. Also, during your stay in Italy as a spouse or same-sex registered partner of an Italian citizen,  you may apply for Italian citizenship after 3 years of marriage/partnership.

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