Ciao a tutti!
Today, we’re going to talk about different ways to obtain Italian citizenship. These are not the only ways to obtain an Italian passport, but they’re usually the easiest. However, the word “easy” is relative. Italy did invent bureaucracy, after all!
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Until April 27, 1983, foreign women automatically became Italian citizens if they married an Italian man.
Women marrying Italian men after this date can no longer obtain automatic citizenship as a result of that marriage. Note, however, that foreign men marrying Italian women never received automatic citizenship no matter the date.
Today, people married to citizens must file a formal request. Foreign spouses can start the citizenship process after 2 years of marriage if the couple live in Italy. Alternatively, they can start after 3 years if the couple lives abroad.
If the marriage was dissolved or annulled, the foreign spouse may not request citizenship. Additionally, a divorce nullifies the ability to request citizenship. Finally, foreign spouse cannot request citizenship if the citizen spouse has passed away.
If you would like more information specifically about marriage applications (jure matrimonii), click here.
In order to request citizenship by marriage, the couple must register said marriage in Italy. If the couple lives abroad, the Italian spouse must also register in AIRE (Registry of Italians Abroad) at the consulate or embassy with jurisdiction over where he lives.
The non-Italian spouse must register at this link and fill out Form AE (Modello AE). The website is in Italian.
After, the non-Italian spouse must upload a series of documents including their birth certificate, police record/background check, FBI clearance, copy of passport, and proof of payment to the Italian Ministry of the Interior. The couple must also obtain but not upload their transcribed marriage certificate, the Italian spouse’s certificate of citizenship, and the “certificate di stato di famiglia.” Then, the foreign spouse must make an appointment with the local consulate and hand everything in.
They will issue a receipt and the wait begins. It takes 4 years for a non-Italian spouse to receive citizenship after handing in documents.
For another overview of this process, click here to see the Italian Embassy’s website on citizenship via marriage.
The second way of obtaining Italian citizenship is by living in Italy and naturalizing as an citizen. Just like marriage applications, you do not need to be of Italian descent to naturalize as a citizen.
Any person living in Italy legally for at least ten years may apply for Italian citizenship. All applicants must have a clean criminal record and sufficient financial resources.
This residence requirement is reduced to three years for descendants of citizens and grandparents who otherwise do not qualify for Italian dual citizenship jure sanguinis because of a naturalization before the birth of a child, thus “breaking” the chain of citizenship. The residence requirement is four years for EU nationals, five years for stateless persons or refugees, and seven years for someone adopted by an Italian citizen.
If you meet the basic conditions for jure sanguinis, you’ve actually been an Italian citizen since birth. Obtaining Italian citizenship this way is time consuming but can be relatively easy.
In order for a person to successfully obtain Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, all of the above conditions must be met.
Do you have Italian citizenship? Do you want Italian citizenship? If you could, which way would you apply?
Sound off in the comments below and let us know!