Italian citizenship by marriage
At Tramite Italia we help you to obtain Italian citizenship by marriage. Although the procedure seems quite simple, it is necessary to follow some steps for which we advise you to ask for help from our office in order to process it correctly and not lose important time for the granting of Italian citizenship.
Who is entitled to Italian citizenship by marriage?
Italian law grants the right to obtain Italian citizenship to those married to an Italian citizen. The terms of application vary depending on whether the couple lives abroad or in Italy and whether they have children or not.
If the family nucleus resides abroad
In case the couple resides abroad, Italian citizenship can be obtained after three years from the date of marriage.
If the couple has children born or adopted by the spouses, the delay for applying for Italian citizenship is reduced to 1 year and a half, i.e. 18 months from the date of marriage.
If the family nucleus resides in Italy
In case the couple resides in Italian territory, Italian citizenship can be obtained after two years from the date of marriage.
If, in addition to being married, the couple has children born or adopted by the spouses, the delay for applying for Italian citizenship is reduced to 1 year from the date of marriage.
In short, the fact that children have been granted reduces by half the waiting time to be able to apply for Italian citizenship.
Other requirements to be met
Of course, apart from the primary condition of being married in order to obtain Italian citizenship by marriage, other conditions must be respected in order to be entitled to an Italian passport.
The first condition is, of course, that the marriage is still in force and that no dissolution, annulment or cessation of civil effects has taken place. In other words, the separation or divorce proceedings must not have been initiated prior to the granting of Italian citizenship.
The second fundamental condition is the lack of a criminal record.
How to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage abroad
First of all, if the Italian citizen who is getting married resides abroad, he/she must be registered at the AIRE. In addition, the personal file at the consulate with your data must be up to date in this civil registry of the commune of residence. This will allow the Italian authorities to be up to date on your situation. This is essential in order to be able to proceed with the application and in most cases is one of the causes of delay in the application for citizenship by marriage.
The other documents to be obtained for the application are the marriage certificate. Our office is responsible for obtaining the marriage certificate and making sure that it is properly transcribed at the competent municipality.
When the marriage is celebrated outside Italy, the marriage certificate has to be sent to the commune where the Italian spouse is registered. In this way the union is registered and the marriage is valid in Italy. After obtaining this certificate, you can proceed to collect the rest of the documents.
In order to submit the application, both spouses must present themselves at the Italian consulate when they have an appointment. More information on this particular aspect can be found on the website of the relevant consulate.
Applications for citizenship by marriage are processed directly through the website of the Italian Ministry of the Interior on the ALI Portal.
Italian consulates are limited to checking the correct submission of applications and receiving the original documentation. The procedure is the exclusive competence of the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
Citizens from federal states must present certificates issued by the federal authorities and in some cases also by the federal state itself.
Applicants should note that if a criminal record certificate (maximum validity: 6 months) expires before the application is accepted for processing (in case of rejected or accepted/re-accepted with reservation), they will have to attach a new recent and valid criminal record certificate.
It is therefore advisable to process the application as soon as possible after the date of issue of the criminal certificate(s).
How to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage in Italy
If the foreign spouse resides in Italy, he/she must have a residence permit in Italy. If he/she is an EU citizen, he/she must have a residence certificate. They must also be registered in the register of the Commune. The application is submitted directly to the prefecture.
How long does the procedure take?
Once the application has been made to the Italian authorities, the law stipulated that the whole procedure should take 730 days. The time started to run from the moment the application was made. If after two years there was still no response, it was possible to go to the civil court to have the application recognised.
As of 5 October 2018, the new rules provide that the time limit for the completion of formalities for applications submitted under Articles 5 and 9 is 48 months from the date of submission of each application.
Final considerations on the citizenship of marriage
Although this is one way to obtain Italian citizenship quickly, there are many questions that may arise along the way. Here are answers to some questions that may arise during this process.
Is it possible for the application to be denied?
Being married to an Italian does not guarantee that your spouse will obtain citizenship. They must first prove that they are indeed cohabiting as a couple in order for the application to be executed.
On what grounds can citizenship by marriage be denied?
Applications can be rejected when serious crimes have been committed or when the Italian authorities consider that they endanger the security of the country.
Do I have to know Italian to obtain citizenship by marriage?
Not yet but as in other countries one of the requirements for citizenship is to speak the language, things could change very quickly with the new government and the new law from 2018.
What happens in case of divorce or annulment?
When the separation occurs before the statutory time for making the application, the application does not proceed. However, if the separation occurs after the foreign national has been granted Italian citizenship, he/she does not lose his/her citizenship. In the case of the children of the couple, if they also have Italian citizenship, they do not lose it after the separation.
Will I lose the citizenship of my home country?
Italian law provides for the possibility of dual citizenship. So, by obtaining Italian citizenship, the foreigner can keep his or her nationality of origin. The only way he/she would have to renounce it is if the country of origin itself does not allow dual citizenship.