What is the family cohesion?

The family cohesion is a procedure similar to the family reunification procedure but can be requested directly in Italy without applying for a Security Clearance to the competent Immigration Desk and allows the family member to obtain an Italian residence permit for family reasons.

It can be requested only if the family member for which the cohesion is demanded is already legally residing in Italy or is already in Italy with a short-term visa, although this last case may not be accepted by all the Police Headquarters.

Who is eligible for the cohesion?

The family member for which the cohesion is requested may be:

  • Spouse, not legally separated;
  • minor children, including those of the spouse or children born out of the marriage, who are unmarried, provided that the other parent, if any, has given his or her consent;
  • dependent children of full age, where for objective reasons they cannot provide for their own essential living needs because of their state of health leading to total disability;
  • dependent parents, if they have no other children in the country of origin or provenance, or parents over the age of 65, if the other children are unable to support them due to documents, serious health reasons.

Which benefits does it have?

The family cohesion allows those who cannot return to their country of origin or cannot, for any reason, renew their actual residence permits obtain a permit for family reasons, which in any event allows the conduct of working activities.

How can I apply for it?

The person which requires the cohesion for his family member has to submit the request to the competent Police Headquarters.

Which documents do I need to apply?

In order to apply for the family cohesion, the necessary documents are the following:

  • valid passport;
  • valid residence permit and copy of the residence permit of the family member for which the cohesion is required (the permit must be within one of the following types: work permit for employment or self-employment, study permit, permit for family reasons, permit for religious reasons or for refugee status);
  • proof of a suitable accommodation;
  • copy of the certificates attesting the family relationship between the applicant and the family member (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate);
  • certification of residence in Italy;
  • documents attesting the availability of a sufficient income, amounting at least around euros 5.977,79 for 2020, plus half of the amount for each family member.

How long will my first Residence Permit be valid?

It has the same duration of the main applicant’s residence permit.

Can I renew my Residence Permit?

Yes, you can for five years. Then you can ask for your permanent residency card.

How can I apply for a permanent Residence Permit?

As for the current law provisions, after 5 years of legal stay in Italy, you can request a permanent residence permit (i.e. EC residence permit for long term residents).

The permanent residence permit has no expiry date, it must not be renewed but only updated. It assigns the third-country nationals the right to enter Italy without a visa, and it is not related to any investment or donation made in the past. You can apply for the permanent resident permit if you are a third-country national who:

  • are legally staying in Italy for at least 5 years;
  • are holder of a valid temporary residence permit;
  • have an annual income from legitimate sources equal, at least, to the amount established yearly by governmental authorities (€ 5.977,79 for 2020);
  • pass an Italian language test for a minimum level of A2.
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