Case: Akira is a Japanese project engineer, employed by an automotive enterprise based in Nagoya with several subsidiaries around the globe. In order to develop a new project, crucial for the international expansion of the company, Akira has been recently transferred to an Italian subsidiary, for an expected initial period of 2 years. Akira is married with Nachi and they have a 5-year old son, Susuke. Although Akira is enthusiast about the Italian project he is supervising, he does not intend to live abroad without his wife and little son and want them to join him as soon as possible.
Question: what are the options for Akira’s family members to obtain a visa and a residence permit that would allow them to live in Italy with him?
Solution: considering that Akira now resides and works in Italy, in force of a valid Italian residence permit that has a duration of more than 1 year, he might decide to proceed with the “family cohesion” procedure in order to allow Nachi and Susuke to move to Italy with him.
Italian immigration law expressly provides, under Article 30, paragraph 1, letter C of Legislative Decree no. 286/1998, that third-country nationals are allowed to move to Italy in order to join their family members who already reside in the Italian territory, for either study or work purposes, and hold a valid Italian residence permit.
If the family member is either the spouse or the child under the age of 18 of a third-country national residing in Italy, according to the above-mentioned Article 30, the following requirements shall be met in order for the family cohesion procedure to be duly carried out:
- the family member who already resides in Italy shall hold a valid Italian residence permit with duration of no less than 1 year (unless in case of EU Blue Card or EU ICT holders, for whom there is no minimum time limit); and
- the family member who already resides in Italy shall generate an annual income for an amount not lower than 9.000,00 (nine thousand) Euros.
If the above-mentioned requirements are duly met, the procedure for the completion of the afore-mentioned family cohesion procedure entails different authorities and involves several steps.
First of all, Arika’s wife and son will have to travel to Italy for tourist purposes and, since they both are Japanese citizens, they will be entitled to do so without previously applying for any entry visa, in light of the fact that Japanese citizens are visa exempted in case of short-term stays.
Unlike the family reunification procedure (ricongiungimento familiare), according to which third-country nationals shall obtain a specific authorization (nulla osta) from the competent Italian immigration authorities before being entitled to travel to Italy and join their family member, the family cohesion procedure can be directly commenced in Italy, without any previous authorization from the authorities.
Once in Italy, within 90 days from their arrival, Nachi shall file the nominative request for the issuance of an Italian residence permit for family purposes, for Susuke and herself, to the competent Police station (Questura), by sending the so-called postal kit, along with all the necessary supporting documents, among which the most crucial are:
- marriage certificate and Susuke’s birth certificate, both translated into Italian and duly legalized by the competent authorities in Japan;
- Akira’s valid Italian residence permit, with at least 1-year validity;
- proof of Akira’s availability of accommodation in Italy, where he and his family members can reside; and
- copy of the so-called House Suitability certificate (certificato di idoneità alloggiativa) issued by the Italian Municipality in which Akira and his family intend to reside.
Once the postal kit has been duly submitted, Nachi and Susuke will be legally entitled to live in Italy while waiting for the issuance of their final stay permit. Nachi will also have the right to work, both as an employee or as an autonomous worker/entrepreneur.
Nachi and Susuke’s residence permit will have the same duration as Akira’s residence permit, renewable for further periods, provided that Akira’s residence permit is renewed as well upon expiration.