If you are married to or are thinking of marrying an Italian citizen, you may also be considering becoming an Italian citizen yourself. Dual nationality has many incredible benefits, even more so following Brexit. Knowing exactly how to tackle an application for Italian citizenship can make the entire process a lot easier for everyone involved.
We will guide you through the steps you need to take in order to qualify for Italian citizenship through marriage, including the documents you will be required to produce, the process of applying and who can assist you with the process.
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If you are a non-Italian married to an Italian citizen and residing in Italy, you will be able to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage if you have been married for two years. This includes same-sex civil unions.
However, if you are a foreign national who has been residing outside of Italy, you are still eligible for citizenship due to your marriage. You are not eligible as quickly though, and may only apply three years after the date of your marriage or civil union to an Italian citizen.
When applying for Italian citizenship, you will be required to produce certain documents under Italian law. You will need to have a copy of your marriage certificate transcript, which has to be obtained from the Italian municipality where the Italian spouse is registered with AIRE (Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad). In addition to this, you will undergo criminal background checks and will need a certified copy of the foreign birth certificate, and the ID card of the Italian spouse. As someone applying for citizenship, you also need to produce Italian language certification attesting you B1 (intermediate level) proficiency. There is a fee of 250.00 Euros in order to apply for your citizenship through marriage, which can be paid via bank transfer payable to the Ministero dell’Interno. You will also need proof of this later, so make sure to gather a copy of your bank transfer.
You can find out more about taking a B1 language test for Italian citizenship here.
There is both an online and in-person element to your application. The online element of an application for Italian citizenship is always available, however insofar as the in-person element, this differs based on where you are living. If you are residing abroad, your application for Italian citizenship must be filed at the local Italian consulate, the same one as the Italian spouse is registered with the AIRE. However, if you are residing in Italy, your application will need to be filed with the local “Prefettura”.
There are multiple steps in the process of applying for Italian citizenship.
To begin with, you will need to gather your documents. Your application form needs to be printed and filled out, signed by yourself and the relevant authorities. You will be required to produce a valid passport and driver’s license (if relevant), with both originals and certified translated copies. Your marriage certificate must also be produced in the original form. A recent utility bill is required to prove the residency in Italy of the foreign spouse (if you are based in Italy).
The birth certificate of the applicant needs to be produced in its original form, but you will also need to produce a certified copy in translation. You must bring a copy of your (the applicant’s) criminal record, which must be clean. If you or your spouse has been divorced, a decree absolute (or similar) or a no divorce declaration must also be shown.
You must submit your application via an online portal, with all documents in one PDF. In order to prevent rejection from the Italian authorities, you need to make sure that your documentation is acceptable to the Italian consulate in your area.
The consulate may require you to provide more or different documentation, which makes it vital to visit your consulate to finalise the application process. You will be called for an interview to hand in your documents. They will view your application and either accept it, deny it, or accept it with reservations. This may happen if you submit your documents incorrectly. It can take up to a month or more to even get your initial appointment with the consulate.
You will receive an answer in a maximum of four months, making it quite a short waiting time.
When applying for citizenship, it can be tempting to try and take the task on by yourself. However, there is a lot of preparation and documentation that goes into applying for citizenship through marriage, and there are many legal issues that may not be immediately apparent to a person unfamiliar with the legal process of obtaining Italian citizenship. Using expert immigration lawyers will help to make sure that you know your application has no obvious errors or omissions and has the best chance of success.
You can read more about the benefits of using an Italian dual citizenship service here.
Giambrone is an internationally known law firm that can help you with your citizenship application. We can help you with documents that are unfamiliar to you, which may also be in a language you aren’t confident with. We will support you through completing and submitting any paperwork you need to provide. This ensures that there are no unnecessary delays during your application process. This also means you are less likely to be rejected. We can also advise you on other ways to apply for citizenship in Italy if the marriage route is not the best method for you.
From submitting all your information, it can take up to a year for the consulate to review the documentation. However, it can take several weeks to get your initial appointment with the local officials.
An initial fee of 250-300 euros is payable to the authorities to begin the process to begin the process to obtain dual citizenship in Italy.
As an Italian citizen, you will be able to live, work and be educated in Italy, taking advantage of the culture and heritage of this country. You are also permitted to live and work in any other EU member state.
Any certificates and any paperwork you submit must be translated from English into Italian. These must be certified translated copies.
Permanent citizenship means that you are legally a citizen of Italy – you will gain an Italian passport and will be entitled to all the benefits of being a full citizen. This includes the right to vote in Italian elections, and apply for jobs open to only full citizens.
You may move to Italy without a job, as long as you have sufficient financial weight to support yourself whilst you are living in Italy.
Yes, if you have an Italian parent, you can apply for Italian citizenship through descent. You can read more about applying for Italian citizenship through descent here.