Family Reunification: definition and procedure
The Family Reunification procedure is designed for non-EU citizens who wish to relocate to Italy to live with a close family member who is also a non-EU citizen but he/she is already legally residing in Italy.
The family Reunification procedure entails 3 subsequent steps:
- Application for the Certificate of No Impediment (also called “Nulla Osta”) to the competent Immigration Desk (a territorial branch of the Ministry of Interior) by the person already legally residing in Italy;
- Application for the Visa at the Italian Consulate of the place of residency by the family member still living outside of Italy;
- Application for the Residence Permit at the competent Italian Police Headquarter.
Family Cohesion: definition and differences with family reunification
Family Cohesion is a procedure designed for non-EU citizens who wish to relocate to Italy to live with a close family member who is already legally residing in Italy (EU citizen or non-EU citizen)
The family cohesion procedure is slimmer than the one for family reunification: the applicant applies directly for the residence permit in Italy, with no previous visa and “Nulla Osta” application.
Only non-EU citizens already holding a Schengen Visa (short-term visa) or entitled to travel to the Schengen area with their sole passport can apply for family cohesion.
Similarities between family reunification and cohesion
In both cases, the applicant obtains a residence permit based on his/her family relationship with the other person already legally residing in Italy.
The residence permit for family reasons entitles its holder to work in Italy and access national health care and is renewable without any time restrictions.
In general terms, this residence permit is granted to close family members, such us, for instance, minor children and spouses.
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