So, if you want to apply for citizenship in Italy you’ll need to figure out where to go.
Given the vast number of choices, it can be hard to pinpoint where you’ll apply. That said, there are generally three types of options. You can either apply in
- your ancestral hometown
- a large city, or
- a small town.
So how do you know where to go? When applying in Italy, different options work best for those with different needs. Here are the pros and cons of each.
Your ancestor’s hometown
First, let’s disprove a common myth. You don’t need to apply in your ancestor’s hometown. In fact, Italian law allows you to apply anywhere you declare residence. That said, sometimes it’s a great idea to apply where your ancestor was born. I’ll tell you why:
Many towns are happy to welcome their ancestral sons and daughters back home! Though the town might be smaller and might have fewer (or lower quality) apartments available for rent, you might find the experience to be overall better. People will be interested in what you are doing. Some townspeople may even want to get to know you. And, as I’ve experienced with clients more than once, you might find long lost relatives!
Also, if you apply in your ancestral hometown clerks will never question your ties to the area.
The second myth I want to disprove involves large cities. Lots of people think that large cities like Rome all have long lines and wait times. However, that’s not always the case! Rome is the largest city in Italy, yet I have seen people obtain citizenship in as little as one month from Rome.
There are often factors that affect how long your citizenship application takes, but they usually don’t have to do with the size of the city where you apply.
That said, there are some larger or well-known cities I would avoid. I have heard many bad experiences out of Florence. Supposedly, the clerks in Florence are very exacting and will not accept a single document discrepancy. So, if you want to apply in Florence… be prepared!
When you apply for Italian citizenship in a small town, there are basically two things that can happen:
- They might not know anything about dual citizenship at all. The comune may have never done an application, doesn’t know circolare k. 28 del 1991, and doesn’t know what documents you need. You’ll have to explain everything to them yourself and depend on their willingness to help. This may prove to be slow and difficult.
- They might know the procedure, know the laws, or have even done it before. In these cases it’s much quicker because in smaller towns everyone knows one another, they can be more willing to help, and without having any other pending cases they can dedicate all their time to you.
Finding a place to apply
Once you figure out the general area where you’d like to apply, you’ll want to find the comune’s e-mail address or contact information. Wrangle an Italian friend for a favor and contact the comune in Italian to see what they say!
It’s better to always be prepared before you go. This way, you avoid all surprises.
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