Canadians entering into Common law in Italy
The Italian legal system recognizes common law between persons of the opposite sex and same sex.
In order to formalize common law in Italy as a Canadian citizen, you need to obtain a Common Law Nulla Osta (Statement in lieu of Certificate of Non-impediment to Common Law Abroad). If you and your partner are both Canadian citizens, each of you will need a Common Law Nulla Osta.
The Common Law Nulla Osta can only be issued by the Embassy of Canada in Rome, Italy. The document is valid for 6 months from the date of issuance and is written in the Italian language.
Requests for the Common Law Nulla Osta can be made by mail or in person (by appointment only).
The delivery service standards are normally 5 business days from the time the Embassy receives a complete application.
How to obtain a Common Law Nulla Osta
To obtain a Common Law Nulla Osta you’ll need:
- a sworn common law affidavit
- supporting documents
- consular processing fees
Common law affidavit
Each Canadian Citizen must complete and swear the common law affidavit.
Where to swear the Common law affidavit
- in Canada in front of a notary public, if you are in Canada
- in Italy at the Embassy of Canada in Rome (by appointment only; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are in Italy
- in Italy the Consulate of Canada in Milan, if you are in Italy (by appointment only; send an email to Milan@international.gc.ca)
- abroad at any Embassy or Consulate of Canada, if you are abroad
The following supporting documents are required and may be submitted in original format or certified true copy. A certified true copy is a photocopy of an original document, produced and certified by a person authorized to do so.
- Canadian passport (biographical page only)
- Birth certificate with parental information; if you were born in Canada
- Certificate/Card of Canadian Citizenship (back and front); if you were born outside of Canada
- *Marriage record search/letter issued by the Vital Statistics Office of each Canadian Province and/or Territory where you resided since reaching the age of 16; each search/letter must cover the entire period during which you resided in that Province or Territory
- final divorce certificate/decree which indicates the date the divorce took effect (if divorced)
- spouse’s vital statistic death certificate (if widowed)
- fiancé(e)’s valid passport or ID card
- completed credit card authorization form
- mailing or pick up instructions (the Common Law Nulla Osta is sent by registered mail to a foreign or Italian address at no additional cost; courier deliveries have to be organized and paid for by the applicant
* Marriage search records are required for all applicants regardless of whether you have or have not been previously married. They are also required for divorced/widowed applicants and must cover the period from the date that the divorce/or spouse’s death took effect to the present.
Consular processing fees
Consular processing fees apply for the issuance of a Common Law Nulla Osta. Fees are payable by credit card authorization only. If you and your partner are both Canadian citizens, each of you require a Common Law Nulla Osta; therefore, each of you will pay a consular fee. The consular fee for each nulla osta is $50.00.
Consular processing fees also apply if you swear the Common Law affidavit at the Embassy of Canada in Rome or the Consulate of Canada in Milan; if you and your partner are both Canadian citizens, each of you will swear a Common Law affidavit; therefore, each of you will pay a consular fee. Fees are payable by credit card authorization only. The consular fee for the signing of each affidavit is $50.00.
Where to submit the application
By mail or courier to the following address:
Embassy of Canada
Consular Affairs (L/N)
Via Zara, 30
What to do after obtaining the Common Law Nulla Osta
- Submit the Common Law Nulla Osta to the competent Prefettura Legalization Office (legalization is required to render the Common Law Nulla Osta valid for use in Italy)
- After the Common Law Nulla Osta is legalized, present it to the relevant Common Law office of the Comune (municipality) where you plan to undergo the ceremony in Italy.
Common law validity in Canada
For information on whether your Common law union is valid in Canada, you should contact the Vital Statistics Office of your normal place of residency.
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