get dual citizenship blog
English to Italian Legal Translation Blog
Do you want to know everything and anything you need to get your Italian dual citizenship as a Canadian?
In this post we'll cover all the Frequently Asked Questions regarding citizenship by descent, by marriage, citizenship for same-sex partners, for descendants of women, cost of citizenship and more, for Canadian citizens!
Where do I apply for citizenship?
You must apply for citizenship through the Italian Authority in whose jurisdiction you legally reside for the majority of the calendar year. If you live half the year in one jurisdiction, and the other half of the year in another, you must declare ONE of your residences are your permanent residence and submit proof of that residence at your appointment.
Descendants of Italian citizens born in Canada or other foreign country and residing in this consular jurisdiction (Ontario, Manitoba and NW Territories) may apply for recognition of Italian Citizenship at the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto.
I have a Canadian temporary visa OR I'm in Canada as an undocumented immigrant. Can I apply for Italian citizenship at the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto?
No. This Consulate General can only accept citizenship applications from those who are permanent residents in this consular jurisdiction. Holders of temporary visas and undocumented immigrants must apply for citizenship through the Italian Consulate in the country where they are considered legal permanent residents.
Can I submit my application to another Consulate or Italian Authority if they have an earlier appointment, even if I don’t have my residence in that jurisdiction?
No. You must apply through the Consulate/Italian Authority in whose jurisdiction you reside.
Does the consulate provide assistance in obtaining documentation?
No. Applicants are responsible for requesting all required documentation.
Do I have to speak Italian to be able to apply?
Only if you’re applying for Citizenship by marriage
PLEASE NOTE: Consular fees are updated every 3 months (quarterly) to reflect any changes in the Euro/Dollar exchange rate. As such, please ensure that the paid fees be delivered to the Consulate at least 10 days before the end of each trimester. As general rule, we recommend the following deadlines: 15 March (first trimester), 15 June (second trimester), 15 September (third trimester), 15 December (fourth trimester).
All consular fees are posted on this page of our website
Each applicant must include in their application a MONEY ORDER made out the CONSULATE GENERAL OF ITALY – TORONTO for the amount posted on the Consular fees page. Fees are NOT transferrable and CANNOT be used for any application other than that of the applicant.
Citizenship by descent
When a person claims to be of Italian parentage or ancestry but no proof of the fact can be found in Italian registers, it is necessary to provide proof that all ancestors have maintained, and thereby passed on, their Italian citizenship. The authority legally valid to ascertain these facts depends on the person’s place of residence: for foreign residents, the diplomatic-consular mission in the country of residence; for residents in Italy the Ufficio di Stato Civile of the city of residence.
To determine if you are eligible for Italian citizenship, the Italian Consulate must look at the law that was in effect in Italy at the time of your birth. Individuals can become citizens under several very different sections of law or can automatically lose the citizenship through the naturalization of either of the parents.
If you are claiming citizenship through an Italian citizen mother or grandmother, you must also provide information about your father or grandfather, because Italian citizenship may be affected by the naturalization of their respective spouses.
Who is eligible for Italian citizenship?
Citizenship by descent: descendants of Italian citizens who never renounced/lost their Italian citizenship;
Citizenship by marriage: spouses of Italian citizens whose marriage has been correctly registered in ITALY.
If applicant does NOT have minor children with the Italian citizen: must be married to Italian spouse for at least 3 years (36 months)
If applicant DOES have minor children with the Italian citizen: must be married to the Italian spouse for at least 1-1/2 years (18 months)
How do I determine my eligibility?
Descent: You must obtain all naturalization records for your Italian ancestor(s) and prove through those records that their direct descendants maintained their right to Italian citizenship (aka never renounced Italian citizenship) and, in the event that their Italian parent was a naturalized citizen, were born before that parent renounced Italian citizenship via naturalization.
Marriage: see Citizenship through marriage page for all eligibility requirements:
How many generations back can I pursue citizenship?
Applicants can apply for citizenship starting with their most recent ancestor born In Italy after 17 March 1861, or with their most recent ancestor born BEFORE the formation of Italy who died AFTER 17 March 1861.
Can I apply for Italian citizenship through my mother's side of the family?
Italian citizenship by descent through MATERNAL ascendants was only possible starting 01 January 1948. As such, the right to citizenship can be passed from a mother to her child AFTER that date.
My father (or grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather) was born in Italy. Can I apply?
You may apply through your paternal ancestor if you can prove that your right to Italian citizenship was maintained, and that it was not broken (naturalization or renunciation) by your ascendants.
I’m likely not eligible for citizenship. Is there anything else can I do?
There are a few cases in which a descendant of an Italian citizen who lost his/her Italian citizenship after naturalization might still be eligible, and in such cases the application for citizenship may be submitted IN ITALY after having established residency there for a specific number of years. Please refer to Italian law 05 February 1992, Art. 9, Paragraph 1, letter A for details.
My I have information regarding appointments (how to schedule an appointment, availability, and cancellations)?
The Citizenship Office receives exclusively by appointment through the booking system Prenot@mi.
Due to many requests, the calendar is currently booked until the end of 2024.However, new procedures are being studied and will soon be implemented to create additional methods for applying for recognition of citizenship by descent.
Therefore, we invite users who have not yet been able to book an appointment with Prenot@mi, to regularly check the website's citizenship section and the "News" section, where the news regarding this aspect will be published.
5. PROCESSING TIMES AND STATUS OF MY APPLICATION
CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT: How long does it take to process my application?
Processing times vary from case to case, and can take more or less time depending on a number of factors pertaining to the application itself. As such it is not possible to determine how long each application’s processing time will take. Applicants will be notified via email as soon as processing is complete.
How do I check the status of my application? This Consulate General is unfortunately unable to provide status updates regarding citizenship applications due to the fact that there are thousands of applications currently being processed in the Consular network, and processing times can vary from case to case.
Applicants will be notified via email as soon as their citizenship application has been completed and processed. However, if it has been more than 2 years since your complete application for citizenship by descent was accepted, or more than 4 years for citizenship by marriage, please send an email to email@example.com and include your full first and last name at birth, date of birth, when you submitted the application.
CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE: How long does it take to process the application? Per article 14 of Legislative Decree of 4 ottobre 2018, n. 113 - the processing time for applications for Italian citizenship by marriage is 48 (forty eight) months from the day that the application is accepted. This processing time also applies to any applications in progress that were accepted prior to that date.
How do I check the status of my application?
Login to your account on the website of the Ministero dell'Interno and search for "STATO DELLA PRATICA".
What is naturalization?
Naturalization is the act of VOLUNTARILY acquiring the citizenship of another country, either as an adult OR as a child when your parents were naturalized.
Where do I obtain naturalization records?
In such case(s) you must provide the following: Permanent Resident Card or equivalent document confirming that your Italian ancestor never acquired Canadian citizenship, to be requested from Citizenship and Immigration Canada through a “Search of Citizenship Records”.
When requesting documents which relate to females please ensure the request is made both under the maiden and married last names.
7. VITAL RECORDS
How/where do I request a vital record?
Please obtain a written statement from the vital records office where you requested the record stating that the document does not exist. This statement must also clearly explain WHY the record does not exist. In such a case, please forward a scanned copy of that written statement to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can determine if/how you should proceed.
Can I submit a baptismal certificate?
Citizenship by DESCENT – Please check the dedicated webpage.
Citizenship by MARRIAGE – Please check the dedicated webpage.
8. ERRORS OR DISCREPANCIES ON DOCUMENTS
all vital records (certificates of birth, marriage, divorce and death) submitted to this Consulate for processing must be accompanied by their full translation into Italian done by one of the translators listed with this Consulate, just as required for any other document submitted in languages other than Italian.
A Consular fee for the legalization of the translator’s signature will apply. Click here for current fee schedule and list of translators ("Legalizzazione atti" – art. 69).
10. CITIZENSHIP FOR CHILDREN
If you are applying for Italian citizenship: citizenship for your children under 18 years old listed in your application will be recognized at the same time as you. You must provide all birth records for those children as specified in the vital record requirements for Italian citizenship by descent.
If You Already Have Been Granted Citizenship: Children UNDER 18 YEARS OLD - citizenship and AIRE registration for children that weren’t included in the Italian parent’s citizenship application will be processed when you register his/her birth certificate. You do NOT have to submit a separate citizenship application for him/her.
Children Over 18 Years Old: children over 18 years old whose births were NOT registered in Italy by their Italian parent before they turned 18 must schedule an appointment for recognition of Italian citizenship through the Italian Authority in whose jurisdiction they reside.
11. CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
Can I apply for Italian citizenship if I’m married to an Italian citizen?
YES – Please refer to the Citizenship by Marriage page for all information, requirements, and instructions on how to apply
I’m in a same-sex marriage. Can I apply for Italian citizenship by marriage?
YES – Same-sex spouses of Italian citizens can apply for citizenship by marriage. Please refer to the Citizenship by Marriage page for all information, requirements, and instructions on how to apply
12. PASSPORTS VS. CITIZENSHIP
An Italian passport is a TRAVEL DOCUMENT and can be issued to a person who is ALREADY IS AN ITALIAN CITIZEN. As such, any passport requests and appointments must be submitted/scheduled AFTER you receive confirmation that your Italian citizenship has been processed AND confirmed. (For more passport information please visit the passport page of our website AFTER your citizenship has been confirmed:
Are male citizens of Italy required to serve in the Italian military? No.
14. NEW CITIZENS - NEXT STEPS, RIGHTS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Please note that once a citizenship application has been processed and completed, this citizenship department is unable to reply to requests concerning other consular services. New citizens with questions regarding items listed below and/or other consular services should contact the appropriate consular department directly.
CREATE YOUR ONLINE CONSULAR ACCOUNT IN THE FAST-IT ONLINE PORTAL
Through this account you will be able to access your information on file at the Consulate to verify that all your information is correct and/or up-to-date. To set up your Fast-It account visit https://serviziconsolarionline.esteri.it/ScoFE/index.sco
First and middle names must be entered in to the “NOME” field and be EXACTLY AS THEY APPEAR ON THE PERSON’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
Last name(s) must be entered in the corresponding “COGNOME” field and should be EXACTLY AS THEY APPEAR ON THE PERSON’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
DATES must be entered in the DAY / MONTH / YEAR format
Any technical issues must be addressed IN ITALIAN to the service support: email@example.com
AIRE (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero – Registry of Italians Residing Abroad)
All Italian citizens residing outside of Italy for at least 1 year are REQUIRED to be registered in AIRE.New citizens do NOT need to submit an AIRE registration to this Consulate in Toronto because the initial AIRE registration request was submitted by the Consulate when their citizenship was processed.
IF YOU MOVE/CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS: any changes in address, however, must be promptly submitted to the Consulate via the Fast-It online portal within 90 days of the move. Please refer to the Anagrafe/AIRE page for information regarding AIRE:
VITAL RECORDS / STATO CIVILE
By law Italian citizens must record the following with the Italian Consulate in whose jurisdiction they reside: Any and all changes in marital status (marriages, divorces, or being widowed);Any and all births of children under 18 years old who were NOT included in the original citizenship application;Any and all deaths of any family member who hold Italian citizenship whose death has not been recorded in Italy;
Visit the vital records page for more information:
NAME CHANGES BY MARRIAGE – if you marry and take your spouse’s last name, your Italian documents will NOT show your married name and will continue to show your MADIEN NAME AT BIRTH. Please note: Passports will show maiden last name/birth last name on the main page, however it is possible to add the married name to a separate page of the passport. Please contact the passport office for clarification on this procedure.
BY WAY OF JUDICIAL ORDER – if you legally changed your name via a court order AFTER your citizenship was recognized, and you wish for your new name to be recorded and used in Italy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
When can I schedule an appointment to apply for a passport? AFTER you receive the email from the citizenship confirming that your citizenship was processed and recognized AND after you have created your account in Fast-It.
IMPORTANT: Voter eligibility is determined by the electoral offices of each citizen’s Comune where they are registered in AIRE. Please note that if you received confirmation of your citizenship in the past 6-12 months, it is possible that the Electoral office of your Comune has not yet updated their voter lists with new citizens.
If there are any upcoming elections and you do not receive your electoral materials in the mail, please contact the elections office of this Consulate so we can verify your voter status.
Any citizens whose names are not yet enrolled in the voter lists can only vote in an election following authorization from elections office of their Comune AIREGeneral elections and referendum – citizens registered in AIRE and enrolled in the voter lists will be able to vote by mail.
All electoral materials will be sent to eligible citizens to the address that is recorded in the electoral offices of his/her Comune AIRE.
Information regarding any elections will be posted on the home-page of this Consulate General of Italy in TorontoRegional, communal, and European elections – Citizens who reside in Canada and wish to participate in these elections can only do so by voting in person at designated polling places in their Comune AIRE in Italy.
Citizens will typically be notified via a letter or a postcard sent directly from the Elections office of the Comune where they are registered in AIRE.
OTHER CONSULAR SERVICES See the complete list of consular services on the following page: https://constoronto.esteri.it/consolato_toronto/en/i_servizi/per_i_cittadini/
Are dual citizens subject to any taxes in Italy? Italian Citizens residing abroad and correctly registered in AIRE do NOT have to pay taxes in Italy on income earned outside of Italy, but may still be required to pay taxes on income generated within Italy. Please refer to the website of the Agenzia delle Entrate (www.agenziaentrate.gov.it) for more information about taxation in Italy and/or contact a tax professional in Italy. Citizens must comply, however, with taxation laws in their State and Country of residence.
Applying in Italy and need help with your translations? Let's chat!
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.