I have a Greencard for Italy and my Italian husband has a Greencard for the United States. Neither process is fun but it’s not as terrible as it sounds with a little planning.
Getting An Italian Spouse Visa For An American And The Carta Di Soggiorno (Greencard)
When you marry an Italian in the United States you cannot return to Italy until you register the marriage with the Italian consulate. This entire process took us 2 weeks. I did mine at the San Francisco Italian consulate. Every state has their own regulations (Utah doesn’t have an Italian consulate so we have to go to San Fran). Make sure you check with your state and the consulate you are required to use FIRST). List Of Italian Consulates USA
Apply for Spouse Visa For Italy
- Get Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate
- Have county clerk certify the signature
- Request an “apostille” from the secretary of state-Lieutenant Governor’s Office
- Obtain Translation Of All Documents Into Italian by a certified translator (the consulate you use will have a list)
- Attach copy of Husband’s/Wife’s Passport (whoever is Italian)
- 3 Passport photos
- Passport of the person asking for the visa (they take your passport and then return it with your spouse visa inside).
- Fill out Visa application forms (3) you can find them here , here, and here, from the consulate website online and attach them.
- Deliver in person to Consulate General and wait.
Greencard: When you arrive to Italy you have to apply for your Carta Di Soggiorno (your greencard) right away. You’ll need all of these documents again so keep ahold of them. For more on your Carta Di Soggiorno visit the Foreign Nationals Page.
Applying For A Greencard To The United States For Your Italian Spouse
The United States claims to be so “family oriented” but I reevaluated that whole thing after the greencard process. I get it, they don’t want people getting married just for a greencard, fine, but the process is such a pain in the ass that it can keep REAL families apart. In fact, the first time we applied we were denied. I had to get one of my state reps involved because the insane woman that worked at immigration tried to tell me that I needed to return to the US for A YEAR WITHOUT MY HUSBAND before applying. My husband is annoying but he’s also my best friend and I would leave him for a year NEVER. Over my dead body, crazy bitch. But seriously, this woman was insane, read about our immigration experience. La Migra, and La Migra Part 2
What EXACTLY had to be done? For the US Immigration Website On Immediate Relatives. If you’re currently IN Italy but you want to import your Italian spouse to the US you also need this link for Consular Processing
Well, first we had to file a I-130 form. Along with it we had to provide:
- Wedding photos
- A translated marriage certificate (ours was already in English though…so yay).
- His Birth certificate (translated)
- Letters from friends saying we are really married and that he isn’t paying me to marry him. Our friend wrote a letter talking about the first time she met Francesco, meeting his family, and coming to both of our weddings.
- We also each had to give passport photos
- Something showing we share a residence, share bills and money (a mutual bank account) (anything in Italian must be translated to English).
- Photo copies of both of our passports
- It cost us 300 euro.
Then we had to wait. When we finally heard we passed round one we were excited! Hooray! They gave us an interview date at the United States Embassy in Naples (everyone must go through the embassy in Naples for greencards) and then prepared for a TWO DAY immigration process that included a medical examination the first day, x-rays, STD check, and shots, and on the second day an interview with the immigration officer. For these appointments we needed:
- A receipt that our I-130 was approved (they email you everything).
- Medical records (translated into English) to show that he’s not diseased.
- Police records (translated into English) to show he’s not a pedophile, murderer, or otherwise criminally insane persons. Oh, it also asks if he’s a drug mule. Because, you know, if he were he would honestly check, “yes.”
- Marriage records to show we really did spend 10,000 bucks on not one but TWO weddings. Your welcome economy of America and Italy.
- A form of support with the past three years of tax information showing that you make over 125% of the poverty line. I do not because I am a writer. So my dad, who was also once an immigrant and is sympathetic to how much it sucks, had to step up and co-sponsor Francesco. This took us the longest. Honestly, start preparing this WAY in advance along with collecting all of the necessary proof like tax records, etc.
- Then I had to show proof that I am domiciled in the US. Don’t know what that means? Neither did I. Apparently it’s a fancy way of saying, “I am still American even if I live in Italy.” This is where we failed the first time. So, on the second round we added: My bank information (using a US bank account while you live in Italy and paying at least one or two bills helps keep you domiciled), a letter from my congressman saying that I am domiciled (they will write it for you, just explain your case and beg for help). You can also use residence if you still own property in the US, tax receipts to show you paid taxes in the US (I included my W2’s and proof that I filed and paid taxes that year), PLUS I added a signed letter stating that I was in Italy temporarily to study and then to get to know my husband’s family but that I intended to return permanently to the US.
Here is the files we were given to prepare AFTER our I-130 was approved. So this was for our SECOND round: INSTRUCTIONS FOR IMMIGRANTpkt3
- I-130,Petition for Alien Relative
- I-485,Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- I-864,Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act
- Green Card Based Forms