Securing residency in Italy requires a strategic approach, especially for family members. The main requirement is to reside at the same address with the Italian citizen. Sometimes this is easy, especially for spouses or young children. In some other cases it may result more complicated in practice, for example for older children, parents, grandparents, siblings…
Keeping the same residence for long time when you are many in the family can result in feeling caged by bureacracy.

Drawing from 25 years of experience in immigration and citizenship law, my advice is designed for 100% success in securing residency to all family members.  Follow these expert tips with confidence: you will avoid risks and common mistakes. You will keep your freedom while fully meeting all legal requirements to secure your residency for all the time you wish to stay in Italy.

You will get your residency documents like a 5-year Residence Card, a FAMIT, or a 2-year Residence Permit and still feel free to move if you don’t desire to share the same home all the time with your Italian family member.

Key Requirement: “Same Address”

Italian law does not require you to live continuously at the same address as the Italian citizen, but you must be reachable there. You must be officially registered there. This is especially critical during the initial stages of applying for your Residence Card, FAMIT, or Residence Permit. What does this mean in practice?

Initial Registration Phase

The initial phase of residency registration should legally take no more than 45 days. For non -EU citizens it may take three months, although it often stretches to eight or even more time due to administrative delays. During this time, it’s essential that you take 2 essential steps:

  • Apply for residency with the Immigration Police (Questura) and mark your common address with the Italian Citizen on all the required papers (this step is mandatory only for non-EU citizens);
  • Complete Municipal Registration (Anagrafe): register your residence at the local office.

Your commitment to maintaining this address as your primary contact point with local authorities is vital during this phase.

Maintain Connection with the Registered Address

All along your stay in Italy, even after the initial registration, you must be reacheable at that address. That means that you keep your official ties to the registered address. This includes:

  • Check Your Mail: Continue to receive all governamental communications at your registered address.
  • Handling Renewals and Official Registrations: Keep all your official documents and registrations linked to your registered address (Questura, Comune, ASL for health care, employment agency, Chamber of Commerce, etc…)


Movement Flexibility

You are allowed to move around. However, make sure you are present for critical appointments and during the 45-day registration period with the municipality. This is the KEY to balance your freedom of movement with securing your residency by respecting the law.

Is this completely legal?

Yes. Keeping your official address and staying somewhere else is legal in Italy. You can work, study and travel somewhere else even for extended periods (let’s say six months or more). You can stay outside of Italy. That is because “Residence” (Residenza), according to Italian law, is just your main address, the one you return regularly, where you receive the important mail, where you stay when you are not traveling elsewhere. It’s called habitual abode (Dimora abituale).

Article 43 of the Italian Civil Code marks a distinction between Residenza and Domicilio. The former is your official address as explained above. The latter is contingent: it’s the address where you find yourself during an extended trip, or during a period of work, or study, even for long periods of one year or more.

If you stay outside of the Schengen area, make sure that your stay does not exceed 6 months each year. Otherwise you may lose your right to stay in Italy, especially if you hold the passport of a non-EU country. Find out more about how to keep your right to residency as a non-EU family member.


Follow this clear and proven advice to streamline your Italian residency registration process, avoiding any unnecessary complications. This method doesn’t just meet legal requirements—it enhances your chances for a successful residency, ensuring that you and your family can flourish in Italy. Embrace this expert guidance to intelligently manage your residency affairs and firmly establish your family’s future in Italy.

Taking up Residency: the Steps to take

As a non-EU national, you will need a permission to stay in Italy long-term, even if you are family of an Italian citizen. But which steps should you take exactly?

Download the Free “4-Step Strategy” to obtain a residence permit for family members, complete with the official forms: Invitation statement by the Italian citizen for the family member to show at the border (or to obtain an entry visa, where applicable): Dichiarazione di alloggio e garanzia

  • “Dichiarazione di ospitalità” to be submitted to the immigration police within 48 hours
  • “Dichiarazione di presenza” to be submitted to the immigration police within 8 days

+ the list of documents required by the police for the application.

Download the Free “4-Step Strategy” HERE

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