My wife is currently awaiting a uk visa but she is living in Italy.

My wife is a Peruvian Citizen but she has permanent leave to remain in italy. I am a British Citizen since birth.

I myself have reached 90 days out of the last 180 in Italy so as a UK resident I am not supposed to go back to Italy until December. The problem is my wife is pregnant and I am in distress about her being alone there. My question is if I go back to Italy for a while waiting for the uk visa to be accepted is it likely i will be refused entry or will that only happen if they check all the stamps on my passport?

  • 1
    What status does your wife have in Italy? Are you a British citizen?
    – xngtng
    Oct 10, 2022 at 12:19
  • The whole purpose of the entry/exit stamps is to record the time spent in the Schengen Area. Schengen Border Code Article 8 Border checks on persons 3: (iii) examination of the entry and exit stamps on the travel document of the third-country national concerned, in order to verify, by comparing the dates of entry and exit, that the person has not already exceeded the maximum duration of authorised stay in the territory of the Member States; Oct 10, 2022 at 13:12
  • Only if your wife is an EU citizen can an exception be made: You would then be joining your wife. In such cases the 90/180 days rule does not apply. Oct 10, 2022 at 13:19
  • My wife is a Peruvian Citizen but she has permanent leave to remain in italy. I myself am a British Citizen since birth
    – Mark
    Oct 10, 2022 at 14:36
  • @Mark - If you have a parent or grandparent who was born on the island of Ireland, you can obtain an Irish passport. 'Island' means either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Oct 13, 2022 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


You may want to ask the prefecture or a properly accredited immigration lawyer about a family cohesion (coesione familiare) residence permit in Italy.

By way of derogation from the regular entry visa requirements, family members of legal residents in Italy, who entered and are staying Italian territory by regular and legal means, may apply for a residence permit without prior authorization, assuming all requirements are met (minimum financial resources, health insurance, Italian translations of documents etc.; the exact requirements will depend on the region, so you should ask ahead).

This should be definitely possible if you have even one day left on your Schengen allowance. Exceptionally, the conversion can be made even within one year after your legal stay expired. If you really exhausted all allowed days in the Schengen area, it probably won't be a problem if the immigration official does not check your passport closely and let you enter Italy. But if by whatever reason the official checks, you may be denied entry and have to declare such denial when e.g. going to the USA or Canada. This is a risk that you will have to decide about.

Once the application is submitted, you are allowed to stay legally until the decision.

The proper legal course when having exhausted allowance in Schengen is for your spouse to apply for an approval letter of family reunification (ricongiungimento familiare, not cohesion) and then for you to apply for an entry visa at the Italian respresentation in the UK, but this may take one month at least.

  • Thanks friend, do you have any idea how i would do this (must it be done in italy) and the time frame involved. I am in the UK now and i don't want to leave her alone to long. Uk visa applications are currently taking up to 6 months to process. Thank you so much for your help
    – Mark
    Oct 10, 2022 at 16:39
  • Asking at the Italian consulate, togeather with a copy of the marriage certificate and a doctors attest that she is pregnant and presently in Italy might speed up the issue of a national visa: General Information and VFS centres ---> National Visa Oct 10, 2022 at 16:59
  • thank you i have been trying to get to speak to someone at the consulate since thursday but it seems impossible to speak to a human
    – Mark
    Oct 10, 2022 at 17:43
  • @Mark For family cohesion, you can enter Italy as a tourist and apply in your wife's place of residence. It can take a somewhat longer time (a few months), but your stay is authorized in Italy while they are processing your application. The only risk here is that if you have completely run out of the 90 days allowance, you might be turned away at the border if the official decides to check the stamps.
    – xngtng
    Oct 10, 2022 at 17:47
  • @Mark For family reunification where you must do it outside Italy, your wife has to apply with her local government office for a “Nulla osta al ricongiungimento familiare” before you can apply for a visa in the UK. It can take anywhere from two weeks to three months depending on the region in Italy. Once you have the nulla osta, the visa issuance should take less than 30 days.
    – xngtng
    Oct 10, 2022 at 17:49

My question is if I go back to Italy for a while waiting for the uk visa to be accepted is it likely I will be refused entry or will that only happen if they check all the stamps on my passport?

There are no Schengen-wide records of entries and exits at the moment but if you always went through Italian airports, it's entirely possible that border guards would see your travel history upon scanning your passport. If you did not enter through Italy during your previous trip, it seems less likely that they would notice without examining the stamps but there is always the possibility that something (your demeanor, the stuff you carry) will prompt them to do that. Do note that you would be staying illegally either way and expose yourself to some sanctions (from a fine up to a multi-year ban, depending on how long you decide to stay).

  • Checking stamps at entry for e.g. British or Canadian or Japanese citizens is rare for Schengen, but at exit I'd say there is a small but non-negligible chance of overstay check.
    – xngtng
    Oct 10, 2022 at 14:49

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