For a foreigner to become an Italian citizen it
gives rise to a series of duties, contextually, to acquire
political and civil rights otherwise denied.
Law No 94 of July 15, 2009 has introduced new requirements to
obtain Italian citizenship. As a result of these
provisions, there has been an increase in the time required for the
acquisition of the right to be called Italian
citizen. The possibility to resort to self-certification
has been pretty much zeroed out, except in the case of stateless
persons and refugees. The result has been a drastic decline in the
proportion of applications accepted, due to the increased
The titles to achieve citizenship differ by status of
the applicant. Those born in Italy are not automatically
Italian, unless one of the parents is Italian, but may become so at
the age of 18 years old. Similarly, a child adopted by a couple
living in Italy, may be recognized as Italian if it is one of the
parents, or become an Italian citizen to coming of age. If a parent
living acquires Italian citizenship, the child
will automatically be entitled, in accordance with the principle of
The descendants of Italian citizens can obtain
citizenship as long as the blood bond does not exceed four
generations, and that the blood relation, who was born and lived in
Italy, despite having moved abroad, never renounced the nationality
Another option for anyone who is a foreigner, or a stateless
person, to become an Italian for all purposes of law, is to be
married to an Italian citizen. The request may be made if, after
marriage, of at least 24 months of residence in our country and in
the absence of a criminal record. Twelve months will suffice if
there are children, also if they are adopted, with the spouse. If
the couple is residing abroad there must be at least 36 months from
the date of marriage (and in any case the marriage bond must
remain). The terms are halved in the presence of children born or
adopted by the spouses.
It can be considered a requirement to obtain Italian
citizenship, to live with continuity in our country for a
number of years and that it can be shown that they have permanent
employment. After the first step, that is the obtaining of
residence permits, after 10 years, you will acquire the automatic
right to become Italian citizen. For the descendants of Italian
citizens, up to the second degree, and for foreign citizens born in
Italy, the terms go down to three years. For EU citizens it will
take four years, while Community nationals to stateless persons,
refugees or adopted adults need five. The privilege of citizenship
is also for Italian State employees after at least 5 years of
service, even if done abroad.
Can I get help in any of these cases by lawyers of the
law firm Boccadutri? They will help you to fill in your
questions and find the necessary documentation even in problematic
situations or contingencies. The documentation to be submitted must
be absolutely accurate, under penalty of rejection of the
application. You will need a birth certificate, police certificate
from the country of origin and other countries of residence, copies
of permits/identity cards (for non-EU citizens), or claims of
residence issued by the municipality of residence (for citizens),
tax models received in the past three years, if it is declared to
be able to rely on income produced by themselves or by members of
For those categories of political refugee and Stateless you need a
copy of certificate of recognition. Being unable to produce the
same required certificates to others, for obvious reasons, may
submit an affidavit in lieu of that of birth and a statement in
lieu of the certificate of good conduct.
If over the years there have been changes in documents they should
also be documented and justified. As an example, when foreign women
change their surname after marriage, this involves the presentation
of the marriage certificate.
All documents require translation in Italian.
Foreigners of Italian origin, who wish to move to Italy, must
apply to the Italian Consulate in their country of residence. In
case you are in Italy, you must apply at the municipal authorities
of the city in which they are resident and prove they are residents
and certify their Italian heritage.
You can speed up the process by using the online
service, managed by the Department for immigration, but
even then it is recommended the support of a legal
expert and qualified personnel, who, as in the case of our
attorneys, can assist even while he is abroad.
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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