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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.
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.