It’s a procedure that allows family members to arrive in Italy safely and legally
The following family members are eligible for the reunification program:
If you are less than 18 years old and alone, separated from parents or other relatives able to take care of you, and have been granted refugee status in Italy, you have the right to be reunited with your parents, no matter what their age or condition is.
Those who are recognized as refugee or are beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, and wish to apply for family reunification, need:
Those individuals who fall under different residence permits, and are legal residents in Italy, must meet established income and housing requirements. For further information on the different residence permits that allow you to apply for family reunification and their requirements, see fact sheet published at Melting pot Europa.
It’s a two-step procedure: first apply for Entry Clearance at your area Prefecture’s Unified Immigration Desk. Subsequently a visa must be applied for at the Italian embassy in the country of origin.
To ask for Entry Clearance, you must:
Consequently, you will be contacted for an appointment by the local Unified Immigration Desk. You will have to bring the following papers with you:
To verify family ties, bring a family status certificate and proof of residence. This can be done via self-certification.
Once you have obtained the Entry Clearance, it must be sent to the family relative seeking reunification. He/she must go to the local Italian diplomatic mission and collect the visa that in the meantime the Unified Immigration Desk will have sent electronically.
Furthermore you will receive a written communication with the number of the Unified Immigration Desk where an appointment must be set for the relative who is joining you in Italy. From the moment your relative arrives in Italy, you will have just 8 days to contact the Unified Immigration Desk and set an appointment to get a residence permit.
If the procedure is followed, and the application is approved, the Entry Clearance will be issued within 90 days and family reunification can proceed. If for any reason the Entry Clearance application is turned down, but you believe that you are eligible, you can file an appeal at the local territorial court, immigration division.
According to Italian law a visa must be granted within 30 days of the application date, but do not be surprised if delays occur.
Entry Clearance lasts six months from date it is issued. Therefore it must be delivered to the appropriate embassy with the six months. Make sure that all papers necessary to request the visa are ready, and if the appointment at the embassy is delayed, consult Numero Verde Arci (Free Number,) local organizations or a lawyer.
What are the papers needed? See fact sheet on Italian embassies abroad
After gaining Entry Clearance, you must send the original document to your relatives. Once they have received it, your family must make an appointment with an Italian Diplomatic Mission to request the visa.
Whom can I turn to get further information or to get help to fill out the application?
Contact the Free Number for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (ARCI) at 800905570 or (+39) 3544376335
Or write an e-mail at
For further information, assistance or counseling, turn to local organizations that operate in Italy or hire a lawyer.
They can also assist you in resolving instances of rights being violated or authority being abused.
Within 48 hours of your relative’s arrival in Italy, you must bring to the Questura (police station,) a declaration of hospitality.
Within 8 working days from the date of entry, your relatives must go to the Unified Immigration Desk to receive the kit with the application for a Residence Permit for family reasons (permesso di soggiorno per motivi familiari.)