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Who qualifies for Italian citizenship by marriage?

On October 21, 2020, the Italian Government amended the previous legislation enacted in December 2018. Significant adjustments have been made to the processing period for applications for citizenship by marriage, now set at 24 months or 2 years, with the possibility to extend to 36 months or 3 years.

This update means a reduction in processing time compared to the previous decree law, which required a processing period of 48 months or 4 years. Importantly, the revised requirements for Italian citizenship are applicable to applications submitted on or after October 22, 2020.

If you are married to an Italian citizen, you can apply for Italian citizenship after residing in Italy for 2 years or after 3 years if you live in the United States. Additionally, if you and your spouse have a child under 18, the period can be reduced by half.

Eligibility extends to any person, regardless of gender or citizenship of another nation, who is the spouse of an Italian citizen. Requirements include:

– The possibility of applying for Italian citizenship by marriage becomes viable after 2-3 years from the date of marriage, with certain exceptions.

– The new law applies exclusively to citizenship applications submitted after its effective date.

– A certificate of competence in the Italian language at level B1 or higher, considered intermediate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

– The language certificate must be issued by an institution endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Education or the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and certified under the Italian Language Quality Certification system.

– In cases where a couple resides abroad, the Italian spouse must register with the AIRE (Registry of Italians Resident Abroad) before the other spouse can start the application for citizenship.

– Since 2016, the Italian government recognizes same-sex civil unions, and marriages documented abroad may qualify. Specifically, under the regulations for same-sex marriages where one of the spouses is an Italian citizen, the non-Italian spouse can explore the option of applying for citizenship.

For women married before April 27, 1983

Women who married an Italian man before April 27, 1983 enjoy a simplified route to obtaining Italian citizenship by marriage. This particular citizenship provision was automatically granted on the day of marriage, a privilege that ceased with the amendment of the law on the aforementioned date. The simplified process involves the direct presentation of the documentation necessary to validate the right to citizenship.

Application for Italian Citizenship by Marriage

Although obtaining Italian citizenship through marriage is a viable option, many individuals find the process difficult. Dual Citizenship Assistance is available to help you or your spouse gather the necessary documentation for a comprehensive application.

Key requirements include:

Proficiency in the Italian Language :
– Provide the documentation of the course where you have approved your B1 level course in the Italian language, certified by recognized entities such as CILS, CELI or equivalent certificates.

Apostille Authentication and Consular Requirements :
– Obtain apostilled authentication and comply with the specific documentation requirements established by the corresponding Italian Consulate.

Italian Marriage Certificate :
– Obtain an official Italian marriage certificate from the Italian vital records or from the consulate in your country of residence.

Proof of Italian Citizenship to:
– Document the existing Italian citizenship of one spouse as part of the application.

Birth Certificate :
– Obtain the birth certificate of the person applying for citizenship.

Background Check :
– Submit FBI and police background checks for the applicant, including criminal history of the non-Italian spouse since age 14.

Document Translation :
– Ensure that the required documents are translated into Italian by a professional translator.

Presentation :
– Have the necessary documents for the presentation of the records that must be presented in physical format.

Valid Passport :
– Obtain and present a valid passport for the applicant as part of the application process.

At DOKUMENTOS we can help you with the process of collecting documents, requesting Italian records and in case of missing documentation, we will work together with you to locate them or present documents that are accepted by the Italian consulate or court.