Friday, December 07, 2007


Non-Italians wishing to marry an Italian citizen in Italy used to have to present only a passport or an equivalent issued by a consulate. Now, however, the Mayor of Caravaggio [a leghista stronghold in Bergamo province] has issued a bye-law requiring them to present a residence permit. Obviously, you have to be in the country legally to obtain one so this law primarily targets illegal immigrants who may be marrying an Italian in order to acquire citizenship. "If a non-Italian applies for residence, we send the municipal police to check that all installations in the house meet legal requirements", stated the Mayor. A visit from the municipal police is standard practice in Italy when you apply for residenza [and without residenza you can do nothing, believe me] and I don't think it's a bad idea. My own police visit lasted about 30 seconds, long enough for the policeman to observe that I had furniture in the house and did not appear to be destitute but no one checked the installations! You can read the relevant articles in English here and in Italian here.

Meanwhile, the woman Mayor of Romano d'Ezzolino [Vicenza] has said that if a non-EU citizen applies to marry and she has any doubts as to the purpose of the intended wedding, she will call the police. She has also ensured that certain grants and benefits available in her town will be paid only to Italians and EU citizens. She enjoys enormous support.

What do you think?

Peace on earth and goodwill to all men.


jmb said...

I think these are both awful policies. So my daughter's Italian friend who married an American in Italy and then returned to the States would now not be able to get married in Italy with her family present (assuming she was from Bergamo)? And what about people who wanted to come to Italy to get married because it is such a beautiful place and then have a honeymoon there?

I am quite shocked that you have to have a residence inspection before getting a residenza permit. What are the criteria for heaven's sake?

Regarding the grants and benefits of Vicenza, if Canada followed suit I would not have been able to much because I was not a citizen for over 40 years of living in this country.

As usual ex-communitario in Italy has a sense racial connotation for I'm sure that's what they are trying to prevent. But I'm sure they are only too happy to collect taxes from them.

Leslie: said...

That sounds like it would be hard for a Canadian, American (North & South), or Australian to immigrate there. Also anyone from Asia or Africa. What is the rationale behind all this? Our immigration laws are so lax now that I almost think it'd be a good idea to go elsewhere for retirement, as long as it's nice and warm. It has become so bad that in the newspaper today there was a letter to the editor about a local woman returning to Vancouver from a trip abroad. Apparently, the customs agent did not speak ANY English! Now the ridiculous has become the sublime!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Jmb, totally agree. I think the criteria for the inspection are to look, well, solvent. I do see the point of the inspections for at least that way the Italians have an idea who is in their country. [I posted on this in the early days of my blog.] Good points you make in your last 2 paragraphs. Hi, Leslie. I don't think so as we all know who the laws are aimed at. That is an amazing story that you tell here. Thank you for the information.

Sean Jeating said...

Additional to what has been said before, and trying to cut it short:

Isn't it a ("multitask")-tragedy when you feel the need of offering money to "get married" in order to find a "safe haven"? [not to ask where the money comes from)

And isn't a tragedy you do fall in love with a "foreigner" only to learn after the marriage you have been a means to an end?

As mostly, this very specific matter, too, is very a complex one.

Ah, as always when I do "feel" my mistakes without being able to avoid them I do hope that nevertheless you will be able to understand what I am trying to say. :)

James Higham said...

I'm wondering about your interest in the marriage issue, Welshcakes. Just my suspicious mind, I think.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Sean. You are right - both are awfully sad positions to be in.
James, I assure you I have no personal interest!


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