Italian Citizenship by Marriage—the Guide You Need to Read
Many people who fall in love with an Italian national end up falling in love with Italy as well. It’s actually not surprising! Italy has an attractive blend of modern class and ancient culture, not to mention some of the world’s most delicious food, recognizable fashion brands, beautiful architecture, and stunning natural beauty.
What’s more, Italian spouses can “pass on” Italian citizenship to their partners. So if you’re married to an Italian, you’re probably contemplating getting Italian citizenship by marriage.
That’s why you’re reading this post after all, isn’t it?
Well, you certainly won’t regret taking the step towards your Italian passport. So, how does one get Italian citizenship by marriage?
You’re in luck as that’s exactly what this post seeks to clarify. So sit back (vinohand, of course) and read on to find out how.
Start Processing Your Application for Italian Citizenship by Marriage
Before rushing off to your nearest consulate or Italian comune (town hall) to process your citizenship application, here are a few important points you need to note:
- You’ll pay an application fee of 250 euros.
- In late 2018, the government increased wait times for recognition from 24 months to 48 months.
- You now must pass a B1 Italian exam (lower intermediate). You must show proof (a diploma from an accredited school).
- If your spouse is an Italian citizen jure sanguinis, you need to wait until their recognition to apply.
- Some of your documents need to be less than 6 months old at the time you apply.
- If you live in Italy, you need to wait 2 years before your application.
- If you live outside Italy, you need to wait 3 years before your application.
- The wait times are cut in half if you have children under 18.
Now that you know what to expect, let’s get to the application process itself.
The Straightforward Guide to Getting Italian Citizenship by Marriage
So, how can you get Italian citizenship by marriage?
Of course, it goes without saying that in order to process your Italian citizenship “jure matrimonii” you (as the applicant) have to marry an Italian citizen. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage your marriage to an Italian citizen to bring your dream to pass.
How Old Should Your Marriage Be (and Other Important Factors)?
To be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage, you need to have been married for a minimum of two years if you’re living in Italy. If you reside in and were married abroad, your civil union must at least be three years old. Having children younger than 18 cuts down that time by half in both instances.
You must be married when you put in your application and remain married for the consecutive 48 months after applying. Your consulate (or town hall) will require evidence (in the form of an affidavit) that you have not filed for divorce or separation, and this will be done at the time of your application.
Another important requirement you need to fulfill is to ensure that your marriage is registered with the Italian comune (town) from which your Italian partner hails.
Additionally, if you two don’t reside in Italy, your Italian partner must be registered in AIRE (Registry of Italian Citizens Abroad) at the consulate for your jurisdiction.
Documents Needed to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Marriage
To apply for Italian citizenship by marriage, you’ll need several important documents to support your citizenship application. Some of the documentation you will need includes vital records such as:
Estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio
This is your Italian marriage certificate. If you two got married outside Italy, you’ll need to send your foreign marriage certificate to your local consulate for certification, then obtain an apostille, and then send it to your spouse’s Italian comune for them to issue an “estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio.”
Full birth certificate
You will need to get your birth certificate from your issuing office. Remember to obtain a “full form,” “extended form,” or “long form” copy. Not only that, but it has to be translated into Italian, certified, and authenticated by an apostille.
Certificate of no criminal record
Another important document you need to submit with your Italian citizenship by marriage application is a certificate that states that you have no criminal record. You’ll need to get this certificate from every country or state you have lived in since you were 14. Like your birth record, you’ll need to translate and apostille this document.
This document only valid for six months, so make sure you get it a couple of months before submitting your application. Should it expire before you submit your application, you’ll be forced to get a fresh set.
FBI background check
Ditto with the above. You’ll need to get a background check from the FBI (complete with some cool fingerprint-taking) to ensure that your criminal record will not impede your right to Italian citizenship.
You’ll need to get this record translated and apostilled. It, like the certificate of no criminal record, cannot be older than 6 months when you submit your application.
Passports and proof of residence
Both spouses must supply a copy of their passports and residence permit if staying outside Italy.
However, this is not an exhaustive list. Always make sure to check with your consulate or town hall for the exact list of documents needed for you to submit as this sometimes varies from place to place.
Submitting Your Application for Italian Citizenship by Marriage
When applying for Italian citizenship outside of Italy, there are two simple stages of submitting your application:
1. Submission of Online Application
Your first step to becoming an Italian citizen by marriage is to register and create an account on the Italian Ministry of Interior’s website. Note that the portal is in Italian so you may need your spouse to help you.
Have the documents listed above handy, as you’ll need to scan them and upload them into the portal. Once you submit everything, your consulate will contact you to set up an appointment.
Important! Make sure that the e-mail you use to sign up to the portal is one you check often, as you don’t want to miss the e-mail from the consulate.
2. Consulate Visit to Finalize Citizenship Application
After submitting your application and all your documents online, you can then move on to step two which is booking an appointment with your local consulate. The purpose of the appointment is to review your application. You’ll need to bring the originals which you uploaded to the portal with you.
If everything looks good, the consulate will take your documents and give you a receipt.
After this, all you have to do is wait for a response. It takes up to 4 years, so you might be waiting for a while.
Getting Italian Citizenship by Marriage – The Easy Way
Getting Italian citizenship by marriage can be a rather complex process. To increase your chances of lodging a successful application, you’ll need to enlist the help of an Italian immigration expert. Feel free to reach out to us at Get Italian Citizenship and we’ll be more than happy to facilitate the entire process for you.
Go ahead and contact our experts for a consultation. Your Italian dream awaits.