Decreto Salvini: What You Need to Know

The New Decreto Salvini: What You Need to Know

A lot of talk has been said lately about the new Salvini Decree (Decreto Salvini), but many people don’t know who he is or what it’s about. This blog post will hopefully clear up a few things!

Who is Matteo Salvini?

He is an Italian politician, currently serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Italian government. He is the leader of the “Lega Nord” (Northern League) party and the “Noi Con Salvini” (We’re with Salvini) parties. He is also a former member of the European Parliament.

Many describe his political views as being very far right. He is considered one of the leaders of Europe’s populist movements against globalization. He is a nativist and a protectionist.

What does the Decree say and who is it aimed at?

The Decree is mainly aimed at those seeking citizenship via residency (all those people who have lived in Italy for at least 10 years), and those who are requesting citizenship by marriage (there are many people who get married to obtain citizenship as a sort of business transaction). The Decree is not aimed at people of Italian descent obtaining citizenship jure sanguinis. It is aimed at limiting the illegal entry of people into the country.

Does it affect people getting Italian dual citizenship jure sanguinis?

This Decree does not affect people obtaining Italian citizenship jure sanguinis in any way. It makes no reference at all to jure sanguinis.

How does it affect people obtaining Italian citizenship via marriage?

It doesn’t really have an effect. Let me explain why.

In order to request citizenship via marriage, the requesting spouse must always wait for the Italian spouse’s recognition of Italian citizenship. This wait is 2 years if they reside in Italy or 3 years if they live outside Italy. The wait times are cut in half if the couple has a minor child. The Decree states that those waiting for citizenship via marriage must wait 48 months (4 years).

But this is not an issue. Why? Because as soon as one of the spouses is recognized as an Italian citizen (or, immediately, if one of the spouses is already an Italian citizen), the requesting spouse can obtain a “permesso di soggiorno per matrimonio” at the questura (police station). This permit to stay is valid for 5 years and entitles the applicant to work, travel within the European Union, leave, and come back to Italy freely. During those 4 years of waiting for citizenship, the applicant can stay legally in Italy without issue.

Want to read more? Here is the decree in Italian.

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