Citizenship denotes the relationship between an individual and a
state in which the individual owes allegiance to the state and in
turn is entitled to its protection.
Citizenship may normally be gained by birth within a certain
territory, descent from a parent who is a citizen, marriage to a
citizen, or naturalization.
Since the European Union has been established, citizens of all
the member countries automatically became citizens of European
Union. European citizenship is supplementary to national
citizenship and affords advantageous rights such as the right to
free movement, settlement and employment across the EU. For this
reason, Italian citizenship became more desirable for the non-EU
citizens, who would otherwise be expected to obtain a residency
permit if they want to reside anywhere in Europe. Once Italian
citizenship is obtained, no visa or residency permit is needed for
any EU country. Italian citizenship is currently regulated by Law
no. 91/1992, which, in contrast with previous laws, reassesses the
importance of an individual's intention in the acquisition or
loss of citizenship and recognises the right to hold more than one
The three main routes to obtaining Italian citizenship are
either by (1) descent, (2) marriage or (3) naturalization.
Italian citizenship is based upon the
principal of jure sanguinis (blood right), meaning the child born
of an Italian father or mother is also an Italian citizen. Up until
January 1 1948, It was not possible for an Italian mother to
transfer Italian citizenship to her child. However, the Italian
Supreme Court recently ruled that this provision was contrary to
the constitutional principles and, more precisely, to the principle
of equality between the sexes. Accordingly, children born by an
Italian mother before 1948 may also be eligible for citizenship.
However, an Italian bloodline is not in itself sufficient grounds
for claiming Italian citizenship – a foreigner with Italian
origin is eligible to apply for Italian citizenship only if he/she
was born before the naturalization of his/her father/mother.
Italian citizenship may be obtained
by marriage to an Italian. This is an actual right of all spouses
and can only be denied to those who have a criminal record for a
serious crime committed either in or outside of Italy. It can also
be denied to those who are considered a threat to the national
security and public order. After marrying an Italian citizen,
certain requirements must be met under Italian law, for instance, a
legal residency in Italy for a period of at least two years, or
three years if the spouses are living abroad. Moreover, the
marriage must subsist throughout the process of application for
citizenship. Fortunately, there is no requirement to speak Italian
or to pass any tests, unlike for instance, the UK, where a foreign
spouse must pass the "Life in the UK" and English
A non-EU citizen having legally
resided in Italy for ten years may apply for Italian citizenship
and a EU citizen after four years. A foreigner with native-born
Italian parents or grandparents who have lost their citizenship and
therefore unable to pass citizenship on, is entitled to apply after
three years of legal residency in Italy.
In short, obtaining Italian citizenship can bring significant
benefits, for example:
the ability to work, reside and study
in Italy and in the other 27 EU countries (the UK, Germany, Sweden
and etc.) without the need for a Visa;
more possibilities to further career,
as many jobs and other professional opportunities are offered first
to EU citizens;
access to medical benefits, including
access to educational benefits,
including potentially free high education;
access to financial investment rights
available only to EU citizens;
easier to complete all necessary
purchasing requirements for buying property in Italy;
ability to transfer the citizenship
(Italian and EU) to all children under 18 years old
Depending on the applicant's residency status, an
application can be submitted either at a competent Italian
consulate in the foreign country or at an authorised police office
(Prefettura) in Italy. As the procedure is complex and time
consuming, it is advised to consult an experienced Italian lawyer
before submitting the application in order to accelerate the
process and to avoid the rejection due the mistakes in
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This article aims to clarify the matters concerning Turkish citizenship acquisition in relation with Turkish Citizenship Law.
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