What you can expect at an Italian citizenship appointment
So, you’ve made it to the big day and you’re ready to hand in your paperwork to become an Italian citizen.
But what can you expect? Before going in blind, consider the following:
- You can’t submit your materials by mail, and you can’t hire someone to stand in for you at your appointment.
- A consular official will review your application with you in person. Some consulates will do this at a window behind glass, and others will not.
- The consular worker will make sure that there is an unbroken chain of Italian citizenship between you and your last Italian-born ancestor.
- The Italian consulate will keep your original documents. So if you want to keep your own personal records, order extra copies.
- The Italian consular officers can tell you to come back with further documentation if your records contain name or date discrepancies that they feel need addressing or amending.
- You must fill out the appropriate consular forms 1-4 for your application. These forms are available on all of the consulate websites. You/your living ancestors will sign these forms at the consulate or before a notary before your Italian dual citizenship appointment.
You’ll need to bring the following with you to your appointment:
- Your U.S. passport
- Your driver’s license
- A current utility bill listing your mailing address (no more than 60 days old from the date of your application)
- A money order in the amount of 300 euros or the U.S. dollar equivalent
Once you’re approved, the consulate will let you know that your citizenship is conditionally granted and will be made official via letter once your vital records have successfully been registered by the consulate in the town of your Italian ancestor’s birth.
You won’t receive an Italian passport on the day your application for Italian dual citizenship is approved. Once you receive official written confirmation of citizenship, you can apply for your passport with proof of citizenship, two passport-sized photos and payment for the passport. It will be issued that day. It can also be mailed to you.
Becoming an Italian citizen: some things to consider
When you become an Italian citizen, you get to enjoy all the privileges and responsibilities of Italian citizens born in Italy. Holding an Italian passport is only one of these privileges!
Remember the following:
- You won’t have to give up your U.S. citizenship when you gain Italian citizenship. Not only do the laws of both countries allow for dual citizenship, but Italian citizenship jure sanguinis passed on to you automatically at birth.
- Since 1995, Italy has abolished the mandatory draft. If that changes, however, you won’t be exempt from mandatory service if you otherwise meet the requirements.
- Italy does not tax its citizens who live abroad. If you live in Italy for more than 180 days in a caldendar year, you’ll be subject to Italian taxation. There is a treaty between the United States and Italy which protects you from double taxation up to a certain threshold. If you have any questions, please consult a tax professional.
- You don’t need to speak Italian in order to have your citizenship recognized. However, we definitely recommend learning Italian!
- Italian citizenship is not a quick solution to not having a desired work or student visa. Wait lists at many of the consulates exceed 24 months (with some longer than 3-5 years), and it may take a year or more for recognition after your appointment if you apply through a consulate. The only way to get Italian citizenship quickly is to move to Italy and apply while living there at the same time.