The Italian citizenship bestows the status of Italian citizen, so that people may be entitled with the rights and the duties of the Italian Government.
Currently, Italian citizenship is governed by law n. 91 of 5th February 1992 that, unlike the previous law, gives importance to individual’s voluntary will in acquiring or losing citizenships and allows multiple citizenships concurrently, as long as there is no impediment by international agreements.
This law on citizenship is addressed to:
- Italians who lost their citizenship and want to reacquire it;
- descendants of Italian citizens who want their citizenship to be recognized;
- foreigners who want to acquire Italian citizenship.
For further information refer to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
WAYS TO OTBAIN THE ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP
1. AUTOMATIC ACQUISITION
BY BIRTH/DESCENT (‘iure sanguinis’)
The child of Italian citizens (father or mother) is Italian. The citizenship is transmitted from the parent to the child with no limit to then number of generations one goes back to, unless one of the ancestors has never renounced his/her citizenship.
Italian citizenship can be bestowed through maternal line only to children born after 1st January 1948.
Moreover, the minor child who lives together with his/her parent, is bestowed the Italian citizenship when the parent acquires or reacquires Italian citizenship.
Today, the law in force allows multiple citizenships, unlike the previous law.
Recognition of citizenship. If the descent from an Italian parent or ancestor is not registered in the Italian Civil Registry, it is necessary to ascertain it, and to confirm that all the ancestors maintained and transmitted their Italian citizenship. The competent authority who may ascertain the citizenship is within the jurisdiction of residence: residents in the Republic of Ireland may contact this Embassy; while those who reside in Italy may contact the Registrar of the municipality of residence.
BY BIRTH IN THE ITALIAN NATIONAL TERRITORY (‘iure soli’)
People who may acquire Italian citizenship are:
- people whose parents are unknown, stateless or that do not transmit their citizenship to their child in accordance with their national legislation;
- children of unknown parents who are found abandoned in the Italian territory and it is impossible to determine his/her citizenship.
FOLLOWING THE PATERNITY/MATERNITY RECOGNITION OR LEGAL RECOGNITION
The child who is recognized or legally recognized when he/she is still a minor is an Italian citizen. If the child being recognized is over 18 years of age, he/she must opt to be a citizen no later than one year after the date of such deed. Furthermore, it is necessary to send the required documents together with the statement of recognition.
The foreign minor adopted by Italian citizens through an order of the Italian Authority, may acquire Italian citizenship, that is to say in case of adoption pronounced abroad and endorsed in Italy by means of an order (issued by the Juvenile Court) requesting that it be registered in the Civil Registry. If the adoptee is over 18 years of age, he/she may acquire Italian citizenship by naturalization, provided he/she has lawfully resided for 5 years in Italy after the date of adoption (see paragraph 3. NATURALIZATION).
2. ACQUISITION UPON REQUEST
FOREIGN DESCENDANTS OF ITALIAN NATIONALS UP TO THE SECOND DEGREE OR WHO WERE BORN IN ITALY
The foreign or stateless descendant of Italian citizens by birth (up to the second degree) may acquire the citizenship after he/she has submitted a declaration of intent.
These are the following requirements which may be requested:
- military duty service in the Italian Armed Forces;
- having been employed in the public sector by the Italian Government, also abroad;
- lawful and uninterrupted residence in Italy for 2 years before becoming 18 years of age.
The required documents must be included in the declaration.
The foreigner who was born in the Italian territory (he/she may also not descend from Italian citizens) may acquire Italian citizenship upon request, if he/she has lawfully and uninterruptedly resided in Italy since birth until he/she becomes of age (18).
BY MARRIAGE TO AN ITALIAN CITIZEN
Applications for Italian citizenship by virtue of marriage (art.5 law 5.2.1992, n.91, can ONLY BE SUBMITTED ONLINE by applicants legally registered as resident in IRELAND, whose Italian spouse is registered with AIRE in this Consular area through a dedicated web portal managed by Ministero dell’Interno
It is necessary to register on the website, fill an application form and upload the relevant documentation, as per the list available in this Consulate website.
HOW TO PAY THE CITIZENSHIP FEE:
Ecco i dati per il pagamento tramite IBAN del contributo di 250 € per la richiesta di Cittadinanza all'estero:
- Beneficiario: "Ministero dell'Interno D.L.C.I. " Cittadinanza - Via Cavour 6 - 00184 Roma- ITALY - Nome della banca: Poste Italiane, - Indirizzo della banca: 175 Viale Europa - Roma, - CAUSALE: contributo cittadinanza (specificare tra (a) matrimonio (b) riacquisizione (c) rinuncia) + cognome e nome del richiedente, - IBAN: IT54D0760103200000000809020,- BIC/SWIFT Code: BPPIITRRXXX.
Please note: the website is in Italian. This Consulate cannot provide assistance or translations.
The applicant’s details FAMILY NAME – NAME - DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH need to be consistent with the details on the birth certificate. In case of a mistake you need to cancel the registration, after logging in by using the function “Cancella la registrazione dal portale” and register again.
To apply please use “funzione 1 – Gestione domanda” and select the modello AE.
The application must be completed in all its parts. The different pages of the documents must be clearly visible in a multiple pages single pdf file
The foreign spouse of an Italian citizen may acquire Italian citizenship upon request by matching the following requirements:
a) In Italy: 2 years of lawful residence (residence permit and registration in the ‘Anagrafe’, Registry of Italian citizens) after the wedding; abroad: 3 years of residence after the wedding. These requirements may be reduced to half of the time requested, if the couple has natural or adopted children;
b) the matrimonial tie must be maintained and must be valid until the decree is endorsed;
c) absence of criminal records that imply a punishment not inferior to 3 years of prison or of criminal records pronounced by the foreign Authority with a punishment not inferior to one year for non-political crimes;
d) absence of criminal records for the crimes enlisted in the second book, title I, chapters I, II and III of the Italian penal code section titled: ‘Delitti contro la personalità dello Stato’, (Crimes against the Government);
e) absence of threats to the safety of the Republic.
The final decision is implemented with a decree of the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
Attention! With effect from 4th December 2018, law no. 132, in order to be recognised as an Italian citizen, according to articles 5 (Italian citizenship by virtue of being married to an italian citizen) and 9 (in case of employment by the Italian Government, in Italy or abroad, for at least 5 years) of law no. 91/92, the applicant must possess an adequate knowledge of the Italian language (B1 level and above of CEFR - Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
The knowledge of the Italian language has to be certified:
either with a certificate or diploma issued by an Italian state school or recognized private school (scuola pubblica o paritaria);
or with a certificate of Italian as a foreign language issued by an approved institute.
Currently these istitutions, belonging to the CLIQ system (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità), are:
· Siena University for foreigners;
· Perugia University for foreigners;
· University of Roma Tre;
· Dante Alighieri Society.
The level of the knowledge of the italian language has to be not less than B1.
Please click on the following link Italian Language Courses Abroad for the list of institutes that can issue the requested certificate.
The length of the application process, according to articles 5 and 9 of law 91/92, has been increased to 48 months from the date of application.
The main requirement is the lawful residence in Italy for:
- 3 years for descendants by birth of former Italian citizens up to the second degree and for the foreigners born in the Italian territory;
- 4 years for the citizens of a member State of the EU;
- 5 years for foreigners over 18 years of age adopted by Italian citizens, for stateless and refugees;
- 7 years for people who were in foster care with an Italian citizen before law 184/1983 was endorsed;
- 10 years for non EU citizens. Foreigners who have been employed by the Italian Government for 5 years, also abroad, do not have to reside in Italy to acquire Italian citizenship.
The request must be addressed to the President of the Republic and lodged at the Prefettura of the Province of residence.
- DUAL CITIZENSHIP
Starting from 16th August 1992, Italian nationals may acquire another citizenship without losing the Italian citizenship, unless they formally renounce it, as long as there is no impediment by international agreements.
Given that Italy did not sign the Convention of Strasbourg of 1963, Italian citizens who are naturalized in the States who signed the Convention will not lose the Italian citizenship, from 4th June 2010 on.
- LOSS OF ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP
The Italian citizen can lose his/her citizenship automatically, that is to say, through formal renunciation.
Those who automatically lose Italian citizenship are:
• Italian citizens who willingly enrol in the army of a foreign State or accept to work for a foreign Government even though it is forbidden by the Italian Government;
• Italian citizens who, during a conflict with a foreign State, have performed military duty service or have been employed by the government of the foe and therefore, have acquired the citizenship of the adversary;
• adopted children responsible for the cancellation of their adoption, unless they hold or acquire another citizenship.
Those who lose their citizenship by formal renunciation are:
• adopted children over 18 years of age whose parent’s are responsible for the cancellation of their adoption, provided that they hold or reacquire another citizenship;
• Italian citizens who hold, acquire or reacquire another citizenship, if they reside or move abroad;
• a person over 18 years of age who acquired Italian citizenship when they were still minor, after one of their parents had acquired or reacquired Italian citizenship, if the minor had already another citizenship.
The statement declaring the renunciation is submitted to the Registrar of the municipality where the applicant resides. If applicants reside in the Republic of Ireland, the statement must be lodged at this Embassy. The statement must be submitted together with the required documents .
If one or both parents lose Italian citizenship or reacquire a foreign citizenship, minor children DO NOT lose Italian citizenship.
Women who married foreign citizens after 1st January 1948, who automatically acquired the foreign citizenship, HAVE NOT lost their Italian citizenship. In order to maintain the marginal notes at the borders of the Civil Status acts, it is necessary that the applicant women (or they descendants) notify the competent authorities (municipalities or Consular Offices) that they wish to maintain Italian citizenship.
Starting from 1st January 1948, women do not lose their Italian citizenship, not even if their Italian husband acquires a foreign citizenship by naturalization.
• REACQUISITION OF ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP
An Italian citizen who has lost his citizenship may reacquire it:
Automatically, 1 year after he/she moved to Italy, unless he/she renounces the citizenship within one year.
• if he/she is performs military duty service in the Italian Armed Forces;
• if he/she is or has been working as a public employee for the Italian Government, also abroad;
• if he/she moves his/her residence from abroad to Italy one year after the lodging of the declaration to reacquire Italian citizenship at the Italian Consular Authority;
• if he/she has been residing in Italy for 2 years and has left/quit public employment or the military duty service performed even if forbidden by the Italian Government.
Women who married foreigners before 1st January 1948 that automatically acquired the citizenship of their husband by marriage, may reacquire Italian citizenship, even if they reside abroad, by submitting a statement.
The statement of reacquisition of Italian citizenship is submitted to the Registrar of the municipality where the applicant resides. If he/she resides in the Republic of Ireland, the statement must be lodged at this Embassy, together with the required documents
Starting from 5th October 2018, a fee of 250 Euros has been introduced for the elections statements of vote, and for acceptance, reacquisition and renunciation of Italian citizenship.
talian citizenship by descent (jure sanguinis)
An individual born to Italian parents is Italian, regardless of place of birth. An individual born in Italy to non-Italian parents, however, is not Italian.
Women have been allowed to transfer citizenship to their offspring only beginning January 1, 1948. Consequently, prior to this date. an individual could be Italian only if born an Italian father. From January 1, 1948, either parent can transmit Italian citizenship.
The minor child of an Italian citizen is automatically Italian, as soon as his birth is registered in Italy. No procedure for recognition of citizenship needs apply in these cases. Please consult the page on Vital Records > Registration of Birth.
There are no generational limits to the transfer of citizenship by virtue of blood relation, however, generational skipping is not possible (i.e. the grandfather must transfer citizenship to the father, so that the father can transfer it to his son). More specifically, someone who is born in Canada is Italian if the parents were Italian at the time of his birth and he/she has not acquired any other citizenship before August 16, 1992 (see Loss of Citizenship), or has not formally renounced Italian citizenship.
Please be informed that applications for recognition of Italian citizenship by birth are accepted by mail. Applications submitted in person will not be accepted.
The application to be recognized as an Italian citizen can be accepted if:
- the applicant's Italian ancestor, born in Italy, did not naturalize Canadian (British subject prior to January 1st, 1947)
- the applicant's Italian ancestor, born in Italy, did not acquire Canadian or other citizenship (thus losing the Italian one) before the applicant’s birth, or the birth abroad of the first generation of Italian offspring.
Please note that Canadian citizenship exists as such since January 1st 1947, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada may not have earlier emigration records. Enquiries regarding such particular cases should be directed to Library and Archives Canada. If your Italian ancestor went to a country other than Canada, it is necessary to present the naturalization record also from that country. For more information see the website of the competent Italian Consulate/Embassy. A list of all Italian Consulate/Embassies abroad is available here.
Although Italian citizenship is transferred automatically, it must be formally recognized through registration in Italy. A parent who acquires Italian citizenship automatically transfers it to their child if the latter is under 18 and living in the same residence.
Please be informed that Law n. 89 dated June 23, 2014 has introduced, beginning July 8, 2014, a fee of Euro 300 for each application for recognition of Italian citizenship presented by applicants 18 years and older. The payment is required in Canadian dollars at the time of application, in cash or money order/bank draft, and is irrespective of the outcome of the application. For current fees in Canadian dollars, please visit the "Forms" page of this website.
Application for recognition of Italian citizenship
I know, I know. It's a long, time-consuming, nerve-wrecking process.
But getting your Italian citizenship is so worth it.
Let's see the main benefits of becoming an Italian citizen together:
1) full right to healthcare
2) possibility to work and live freely in any other EU member State (as from 2021, British people will no longer be considered European citizens)
3) you keep your passport and nationality
Sounds good! Can I apply then?
If you want to know if you're eligible, check out this posts.
Basically, you need to prove that you have an Italian ancestor and that no one, in the lin up to you, renounced their Italian citizenship (more info here, here and here).
Another option is applying for Italian citizenship through marriage: you must have been living in Italy for 2 years. If ou have children, it's 1 year. See here for a longer blog post on precisely this topic.
The last option is naturalization.
This is for people who have lived in Italy continuously for at least 3 to 10 years, depending on several factors. If you're a EU national, for example, it's 4 years. If you're not, it's 10.
Of course, in all these cases you'll need your documents to be translated and certified in court. If you need help with this, just reach out!
Get Your Italian Dual Citizenship in 2020: Fill out forms for you and your ancestors indicating that you have never renounced your Italian citizenship.
One way that an Italian citizen could lose that citizenship, as provided for in Law 555 of 1912, was by renouncing that citizenship at an Italian consulate while residing abroad or alternatively by formally stating the intention to renounce that citizenship while residing in Italy and then moving abroad within a year. This was distinct from losing citizenship via a foreign naturalization, as this renunciation was required to have taken place in front of an Italian governmental official, not a foreign one.
Thus if a person claims to have Italian citizenship by birth, or that an ancestor had been an Italian citizen, the consulate at which that person is applying will want to contact other consulates covering the areas where that claimant and his or her ancestors resided to verify that none of these people every formally renounced Italian citizenship.
This is generally a formality, as cases of Italians actually renouncing their citizenship this way were very rare.
To facilitate this verification, some consulates require that jure sanguinis applicants fill out declaration forms that state that the applicant and his or her ancestors in the applicant's direct line never renounced Italian citizenship and furthermore list all the places where those ancestors lived as an adult. (Since minors could not renounce, it doesn't matter where such people resided as children.) Whether consulates really contact all the other consulates that cover the places on these lists is unknown, although in a few cases at least it seems that the consulate did so.
Need help with translations for Dual citizenship in-italy applications? I'm here ;)
Click here to edit.
An apostille is an authentication of an official document that allows it to be used in a different country, provided both countries have signed the Hague convention on apostilles (technically, the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents).
Any document that will be submitted to Italy during the jure sanguinis application process that comes from a Hague convention signatory will generally need an apostille. What is actually being authenticated by the apostille is the signature of the official who signed the underlying document.
The apostille is a separate piece of paper that is added to the document, usually with staples. On this piece of paper is written the country for which the document will be used (Italy) and the name of the person whose signature is being verified. The signatures of local officials are kept on file at the department that issues the apostille.
In the US, each state issues its own apostilles for documents from that state, the apostilles being issued by the Secretary of State's office for that state. The US Department of State issues apostilles for federal documents. At the state level, the signatures of only some public officials, such as county clerks, the state registrar, or Superior Court judges, and public notaries are kept on file by the Secretary of State, so a document issued by a municipality would need to first be certified by a county clerk or state registrar (depending on the state) before it could then be apostilled.
Look at this topic for more detailed information about apostilles and how to obtain them in the US: requesting-apostilles-for-u-s-documents-t267.html
Apostilles are required for vital records issued by Hague convention countries (such as the US, but not Canada), except for some documents from select European countries that have an agreement with Italy obviating apostilles. Exactly which submitted documents will require an apostille varies from consulate to consulate, but as a rule of thumb birth, marriage, and death certificates for anyone in your line with require them and sometimes such documents for people not in your line as well. Court records, including official name changes, divorce decrees, certificates of no appeal for divorces, and declaratory judgments, all usually require apostilles. A church-issued marriage or baptismal certificate, when used as a substitute for a missing government-issued vital record, sometimes requires an apostille, and if this is the case, one would first have the document notarized, by the diocese or a public notary, and then have that notary's signature authenticated with an apostille. Sometimes a translator's certification of accuracy is required to be apostilled, especially if it is for a translation of a court record (the NY consulate is known to ask for this). (Note that for a single divorce often 2 or more documents will have to be apostilled - the divorce decree or judgment and the certificate of no appeal, and sometimes the translator's certification as well.) Naturalization-related documents from the US are not required to be apostilled if they are being submitted to a consulate in the US, but consulates in other countries, as well as comuni in Italy, may ask for them for US-issued documents and conversely consulates in the US require apostilles on naturalization documents from outside the US. If necessary, just about any document can be apostilled by having it notarized first, which is sometimes necessary when using older copies of documents that were issued long ago. However, no records letters and the like don't require apostilles.
For a compilation of what was and was not required to be apostilled at various consulates, look at this topic:
Apostilles can be obtained for documents by walking them into the proper office, without an appointment, and getting them back the same day or by mailing them to the proper office and having them mailed back, generally in a few weeks. The costs is typically several dollars per document. The topic linked to above as well as the following one (particular to NY State) have more information on how and where to obtain them:
Be careful not to remove the staples that attach an apostille to the underlying document. If you have a document amended, you should obtain a new apostille for it, so it is probably a good idea to make sure all corrections are completed before obtaining apostilles. When a document has to be authenticated by a consulate, the apostille will have to be done beforehand, since one of the things they will be verifying is the apostille.
Since an apostille is an authentication of a signature, some offices will not apostille documents more than a few years old, or those signed by someone no longer in office. Exactly where the cut-off is varies by state or country, but if you have a very old copy of a document, it is usually necessary to order a new one. Also keep in mind that since it is the county clerk's signature that in most cases (in the US) is being authenticated, even an older document that was issued locally could theoretically be certified now by a county clerk and then apostilled with no difficulty.
If a country, such as Canada, Brazil, or most African countries, does not issue apostilles, there still may be some sort of governmental legalization process required for a document in order for it to be used in another country. The topic linked to above on documents that require apostille also discusses these sort of legalizations when they have arisen. In general, when using a document from a foreign country (other than Italy of course) for your application, ask the consulate in the issuing country, which will have to authenticate the document, what sort of legalization will be required from that country's government.
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Check out these blog posts as well: write me an email!
I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.