Information from the government

How well has the Directive been implemented?


Other resources

If you have more information to contribute, especially links to good translations of the Italian web sites, please add them as comments below


  • Gonzalo Zavala  On August 17, 2007 at 15:57

    I recently asked the Italian consulate in London and got a negative response regarding 2004/38/EC, even though I cited their own law in my inquiry. This is their response to the last the three emails I sent them explaining the directive and including citations and links:

    Dear Mr. Zavala,

    We regret to inform you that you do need the visa.

    Please visit

    —–Messaggio originale—–
    Da: Gonzalo Zavala []
    Inviato: 17 August 2007 10:15
    Oggetto: Re: R: question regarding Italian application of directive

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    Further to my previous email, please be kind to check
    the following Italian Law:

    In article 5, paragraph 2 it says:
    “2. I familiari non aventi la cittadinanza di uno
    Stato membro sono assoggettati all’obbligo del visto
    d’ingresso, nei casi in cui e’richiesto. Il possesso
    della carta di soggiorno di cui all’articolo 10 in
    corso di validita’ esonera dall’obbligo di munirsi
    del visto”.

    Since I have a EU residence card as explained by
    article 10, I am assuming I don’t require a visa to
    enter Italian territory. Please confirm. Thank you.

    Gonzalo Zavala

  • andy  On August 18, 2007 at 09:36

    absolutely identical situation to the post before
    have quoted that law, they responed with words: ” you do need visa”
    nothing more! just “you do need visa”

  • victor  On July 15, 2008 at 20:46


    i am married to Eu spouse, and i have irish residence card, stamp 4Eufam, including 5years residence permit, i am about to visit italy, just want to know if i need a visa to visit italy.

  • Jun  On February 2, 2009 at 00:42

    PLEASE NOTE: EU Directive 2004/38/CE has been implemented in
    Italy. Therefore, family members of EU nationals who do not have
    the nationality of a Member State, but have the new residence
    permits issued by the British Home Office bearing the specific
    following indication:
    Type of Document: Residence Card of a Family Member of an
    EEA National”
    will not need a Schengen visa for a short stay in Italy.

  • Rocco  On March 27, 2009 at 22:36

    The Italian transcription of the directive 2004/38 contains some innovations which are designed to punish same-sex and unmarried couples in Italy, where of the partners is an Italian national. The government doesn’t have the authority to restrict other EU citizens this way, but they are holding Italian same-sex couples hostage.

    The facts:
    -Until now there has been no process by which an Italian can get legal status for his/her same-sex partner, no matter if they are in a UK civil partnership or married abroad. The government defines these couples as
    “inexistant”. Many Italians’ own non-EU spouses and partners are condemned to living illegally, or humiliatingly be hired as domestic helpers by their own spouses.

    -Now to comply with the free movement rule, Italy is forced to offer some path to legality for the non-EU half of a same-sex married or civil partnership or French PACS couple. But Italy itself has no such process so Italians are excluded from a right that other EU citizens enjoy in Italy, the right to sponsor their non-EU partner. To respond to this “reverse discrimination” commissioner Frattini said that among the “other beneficiaries” the case of a “partner with whom an EU citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested” [by another EU state, since Italy has no such attestation] can at least be examined. So an Italian could get an EU civil partnership and have some hope that his/her spouse will at least be considered for a visa.

    But in the Italian version this is translated as “il partner con cui il cittadino dell’Unione abbia una relazione stabile debitamente attestata dallo Stato del cittadino dell’Unione.” meaning “duly attested by the STATE OF CITIZENSHIP of the EU citizen”. This is a special condition existing only in the Italian version, a condition which automatically excludes from this definition any EU citizen coming from a state that has no civil or domestic partnerships, including all Italians.

    Italy randomly and illegally excludes any spouse they don’t like (= same-sex spouses) because gay people are against “public order”

    HOWEVER the European Parliament has pronounced itself on this issue saying:
    “provisions adopted for reasons of public order … must respect the principle of proportionality and should be adopted exclusively with reference to the individual behaviour of the citizen to whom they are applied” and “individual behaviour should represent a real, present threat sufficiently serious to prejudice one of the fundamental interests of society. Justifications not relating to individual cases or relating to reasons of general prevention should not be taken into consideration”

    This paragraph does not appear in the Italian version.
    Italy doesn’t examine your “individual case” – if you are male and have a civil partnership with an Italian male, you are deemed a threat to public order and are denied a carta di soggiorno as a blanket exclusion of that category of people.

    This is the grounds they use to exclude all same-sex and unmarried partners of Italians to this day. No matter what documentation you can produce from anywhere inside our outside the EU including a marriage certificate from Spain or Belgium, the authorities will not even consider your application. Only Italians are punished like this, other EU citizens have a process. Italians with a foreign partner are forced to leave Italy or break the law by harboring their spouse/partner

    We hope that the EU will give urgent attention on this cruel, intolerable and discriminatory situation.

  • cdr  On May 17, 2009 at 23:42

    Rocco, can you email me, I have some questions for you re: visa.


  • irelandsreversediscrimination  On April 17, 2010 at 03:01

    Click to access italy_compliance_study_en.pdf

    Conformity Study for 2004/38/EC

  • Anonymous  On October 3, 2012 at 08:07

    I am a South African living with my American husband in Germany. He is in the military, and I have a SOFA stamp in my passport allowing me to live here with him (and my two American children) for our three year stay. Can I travel to Italy with that? Or do I need to get another shengen visa??

    • EU free movement  On October 4, 2012 at 06:23

      Unless either of you also have citizenship in an EU country, this blog has no direct answer.

      I would GUESS that you should be fine but I do not know. Does your military support infrastructure not have people who arrange the original visa and so might know?

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