Wednesday, 1 September 2010

British citizens getting married in Italy

Civil ceremony in Italy

Couples getting legally married in Italy are amazed at the stateliness of the civil ceremony. The Representative of the state wearing the traditional Italian red, white and green sash reads the articles of law governing the rights and responsibilities of married couples in Italian and is simultaneously translated into English.

The ceremony lasts approximately 20 minutes in its pure form but you can personalise the ceremony with your own vows and readings if the town hall agrees to the additions.

You are legally obliged to have an interpreter present throughout the ceremony, even if you or your partner can speak Italian. The interpreter must be a professional who will sign and make an oath to translate accordingly.

Paperwork requirements focus on certification of no-impediment. All paperwork is submitted to the town hall wedding office when you go to sign your wedding promise two or three days before your wedding date. Please note some town halls are happy for you to sign the promise on the morning of your wedding.
Two witnesses are required to be present during the ceremony and sign the official register alongside the bride, the groom and the translator. All must be at least 18 years old and have a valid passport or ID.

Basic Documentation

Paperwork required for British Citizens to marry in Italy:

• A full birth certificate.

• A valid passport.

• Notice of no impediment issued at your local registry office.

• If divorced Decree of Absolute

• If widowed a spouses death certificate and your previous marriage certificate.

• In cases where the name on the birth certificate differs from the one on the passport (except following marriage), deed-poll showing change of name.

You must give notice of marriage to your local Superintending Registrar in the UK. After 23 days of the publications of banns, the registry office releases a document called a "Certificate of No Impediment" this document must be presented to the appropriate regional Consular office in Italy.

Once both your notice of no impediments have been issued they need to be presented to the nearest British consulate or embasy to where you will be married in Italy. (Find here the full list of consulates).

A Statutory Declaration (Nulla Osta) will be issued at the British Consulate in the area closest to where you are to be married (find here the full list of consulates). This Statutory Declaration (Nulla Osta) literally states that "there are no impediments," or that one is free to marry. The Nulla Osta (Statutory Declaration) is valid for six months.
Consular Fees

You should allow plenty of time for your paperwork to be processed in Italy, in case there are any complications. Please be aware that the processing of your documents is subject to consular fees.

Visit the British Embassy, Italy website for a list of the consular fees.

Please consider to be in the city where you will get married to swear a declaration in front of the authorities with a simultaneous translator a couple of days before the wedding.

Residency Stay:

Where both parties to the marriage are British nationals and living in Italy you will require residence in the Consular district for the 21 days immediately prior to giving the notice of marriage, and the posting of this notice of marriage in the Consulate for a further 21 clear days.

Where both parties are British nationals and both are resident in the United Kingdom there is no requirement for a residency stay in Italy for getting married there. As long as they are there to do the necessary pre-wedding declaration (compulsory) for civil marriages. You should contact your Registrar, in the town where you wish to marry, in advance of your wedding day, for further information.

Civil weddings in Italy:

Your Nulla Osta is then taken to the Anagrafe (Registry office) in order to book a date for the wedding (this applies to Rome). Some rural areas may allow a wedding date to be reserved and then finalised on presentation of the Nulla Osta.

Once the paperwork has been inspected along with a receipt to prove the fee for the town hall has been paid. You must both be present for the sworn declaration with all original documents and passports.
The sworn declaration before the Registrar, is to the effect that none of the impediments stated in the following articles (85, 86, 87, 88, 89 of the Italian Civil Code, apply in the matter of the marriage of you and your fiancé. That you are free to marry not in violation of the following civil code:
1. No known mental illness of either party that may constitute an impediment to the marriage;
2. Neither Party is presently married;
3. The Parties are not blood relations in the first of second degree;
4. No conviction for murder or attempted murder on the spouse of the other contracting party;
5. Neither party to this marriage has lived with his or her divorced partner during the last 300 days.
A woman whose previous marriage was terminated within the last 300 days must obtain a waiver from the Procura della Republica (District Attorney), which is issued on presentation of a medical certificate that she is not pregnant.
You can finally get married!
After your marriage you will be issued with a marriage certificate in accordance with European law it will be written in Italian and English. You have to deliver a copy of this to your local registry office in the UK. Please note your marriage will not be registered in the UK, your marriage certificate will merely be deposited for their records, and consequently your original marriage certificate will not be returned to you, therefore I recommend you ask for several copies at the time of marriage as to request copies in the future can work out very expensive.
For further information:

14, Three Kings Yard



Tel: 0207 3122200

Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London

Tel: 0207 270 1500

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