Acquiring Italian Citizenship
Italian citizenship is very valuable. Not only does it grant the holder the ability to live, work and retire in arguably the most beautiful country in the world, but it also comes with a series of legal and social guarantees, above and beyond those of a “normal” European citizenship. What are the ways in which you can obtain Italian citizenship, and how can you leverage it to your benefit?
First and foremost, what is Italian citizenship?
Italian citizenship is a legal condition which recognizes that a person has the rights and obligations towards the state of Italy. One of the advantages of an Italian passport is that Italy does not require you to renounce any other citizenship you may have in order to become Italian. The reverse is also true – as of 1992, Italian citizenship is no longer lost when the citizenship of another country is acquired.
There are three main avenues that you can pursue in order to obtain Italian Citizenship:
If you are the descendant of an Italian citizen, you yourself may be eligible for citizenship. You can apply for recognition of Italian bloodline if at the time of your birth, your mother or father was an Italian citizenship, or your grandmother or grandfather was an Italian citizen.
The application process itself is quite straightforward. First, you will have to locate and obtain the required documents (these can include marriage, birth or death certificates) that bear the necessary seal of approval from the relevant registry office. Each document needs to include an apostille – the official stamp that validates the document.
Marriage is also a common (and one of the quickest) ways that foreign born citizens can obtain Italian citizenship. The foreigner marrying the Italian citizen can obtain citizenship upon request if they have been together for at least:
- Two years of legal residence in Italy after having been married.
- Three years from the date of their marriage if they are abroad.
Both of these requirements are halved if they have children (either biological or adopted).
Another way that foreigners can obtain an Italian passport is through naturalization. This is the longest and most complex route to get citizenship. For starters, it requires that you spend many years in Italy before you’re eligible. This poses issues in and of itself: you will need to apply for a whole host of visas. Once you’re in Italy you may have to live there – as a general rule – for 10 years before you are eligible to receive citizenship.
How does one file a request for citizenship?
A foreigner wishing to apply for Italian citizenship must first register on the portal of the Minister of the Interior. On the portal, the applicant must formally file a request and upload the necessary documentation.
Whichever of the three avenues you pursue in order to obtain Italian citizenship, the process can be convoluted and confusing. The Italian bureaucracy is infamous for its lack of efficiency, and a simple spelling or punctuation mistake can make the difference between your application being accepted or being delayed or rejected. This is why we recommend that you employ the services of a legal expert that can help navigate you through the paperwork and the many requirements that are necessary for you to reap the benefits of Italian citizenship.
Benefits of Italian Citizenship
As members of the European Union and the European Community, Italian citizens enjoy social, economic, and cultural advantages. The main one is that Italian citizens are able to travel, work, and live visa-free in any European Union Member state. This means that Italian citizens enjoy unfettered access to one of the biggest common markets in the world, and have social and religious freedoms that rival those of any modern democracy.
To learn more about the process of acquiring Italian citizenship, please do not hesitate to contact our law offices. We have extensive experience in helping clients achieve their immigration related goals, and one of our professionals would be glad to assist you.