Do I Have to Speak Italian to Become an Italian Citizen?
Are you ready to claim your Italian heritage by getting dual citizenship with Italy? Auguri! You will love it here. But you may be wondering if you have to speak Italian to become a citizen.
The good news is that you don’t need to lose sleep over becoming perfectly fluent before applying. Our expert team at Get Italian Citizenship is here to help you with each step of your citizenship application.
From genealogical research to professional translations, we do the heavy lifting for you. Reach out today to get started on living la bella vita.
Italian Citizenship Overview
For those who are new to the process of gaining Italian dual citizenship, it can feel confusing. Here is a quick outline of how it works and the paths to get there.
- Through the Italian Consulate – To obtain national citizenship by descent, jus sanguinis, most applicants go through the Italian consulate. After gathering the required documents and translations, you submit your application to the consulate and wait for your turn to become a citizen. This process can be a lengthy journey, but it doesn’t require you to go to Italy to apply.
- Through Direct Application in Italy – A quicker way to get your Italian passport is to apply directly in Italy. Once you establish yourself as a resident there, you can apply for citizenship. This process requires fewer documents than you need at the consulate and can finish in a fraction of the time.
- Through the Italian Courts – A few legal hiccups exist in the citizenship process because of how Italian law used to treat women. 1948 cases are situations in which you may have to apply for citizenship through the court rather than the consulate.
- Through Marriage – Italian law allows for citizenship by marriage if you have been married for at least two years. If you do not live in Italy, then the waiting period is three years.
Do I Have To Speak Italian when I Apply?
A potential language requirement might create some anxiety for those who want to claim their citizenship. But the good news is that you do not have to speak Italian or prove language proficiency in most cases.
If you are pursuing citizenship by right of blood, there is no requirement that you speak Italian. You do not need to pass a language test or prove any level of expertise. This is true whether you apply at a consulate, through the court, or directly in Italy.
Technically, if your lineage is provable, your citizenship already exists. But it has to be proven and codified through the application process.
Even though language proficiency isn’t a requirement, it’s an excellent idea to start learning basic Italian. You will be meeting with an Italian at your consular appointment. Although these officials speak English, you may feel more comfortable if you have learned some Italian.
If you are applying for dual citizenship directly in Italy, you will have to be living there. In that case, learning Italian is likely to happen by default through being a resident. And it will make your experience there much more pleasant.
Citizenship by Marriage
To attain Italian dual citizenship through marriage, you do have to speak Italian at a functional level. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) provides a framework for testing language proficiency based on use and context.
Each nation can set its required CEFRL level for citizenship, but a B1 certification is a common expectation. This level of proficiency generally relates to an intermediate capability in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing the language.
The B1 certification demonstrates that you can understand and respond to typical conversations at work, school, or in the marketplace. It also includes a written component in which you need to demonstrate the ability to produce simple text on familiar topics.
To take an exam, reach out to your Italian consulate. Tests typically happen a couple of times each year, and you need to register in advance.
How Do I Fill Out a Citizenship Application If I Don’t Speak Italian?
Not speaking the language doesn’t need to stop you from completing your dual citizenship application. By using a professional service, you will have access to translators for your non-Italian documents. You will also have experts to help fill out the application correctly.
It is crucial that you rely on professional translators for these pieces of work. Even if your grandmother speaks fluent Italian, she shouldn’t be the one tackling this for you. Small errors in translation or on your documents can significantly slow down your application.
When you hire an expert service, they accurately translate and format your non-Italian records. This step saves you tremendous amounts of time and confusion. And then you will be on your way to claiming Italian citizenship.
Are You Ready to Learn Italian?
There are endless options online for learning languages. The trick is finding a reputable program that supports your goals. If you are seeking a CEFRL certification, then be sure any teacher or school you choose works toward that plan.
Also, consider finding online conversation groups where you can practice with native speakers. As with any language learning, consistent practice is essential as you work to master Italian.
Many Italians speak English, especially in big towns and tourist areas. So you do not have to speak Italian to enjoy traveling the country. But as any world traveler learns, speaking the local language always enhances your experience.
And if you intend to live in Italy once you claim your citizenship, then there’s no time like the present to start learning. You’ll fall in love with the language and the country all at once.
Are you ready to get started on your dual Italian citizenship? Are you wondering if you qualify? Connect with an expert at Get Italian Citizenship today to talk about all of your options. You might be surprised at how soon you can be gliding through the canals of Venice as a citizen.