Citizenship Newsletter

Italian Naturalization through Marriage

One of the ways that it is possible to become a citizen of Italy is through marriage.However, obtaining the Italian Citizenship through marriage can be challenging given the time sensitivity of the documents required.

In recent years, there has been a rise of immigrants coming into Europe, and politicians are trying to handle the increased immigration while taking care of the needs of the italian citizens and the country and have been increasing restrictions on the immigration system in Italy

On October 4, 2018, the Italian office of the Ministry of the Interior put forth a new law that outlined the new rules for immigration. The decree included information on citizenship by naturalization including residency and marriage, with a new linguistic requirement.

In addition to the several changes put forward, there is also a new requirement for linguistics. Now, you will need to have a B1 Level Certificate or higher. The B1 is considered to be a lower-intermediate level of proficiency in Italian. This was not required in the past, and it could be looked at as a good chance to feel like you belong to the community and to communicate with other people easily. Knowing the language helps make interactions easier, it ensures that you can find your way through the city and that you know what you are buying at the store or ordering while you are out. We, at the Italian Institute, offer a specific course, defined to get you prepared for the exam. The exam can be taken in few places in the States (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, …) or in Siena.

As of August 1, 2015, new regulations have been promulgated in connection with the spousal citizenship application process. All applications must be submitted online with digital copies of required documents to the Minestero dell’Interno. Applicants will then be contacted by the relevant consulate jurisdiction of an appointment date in which to appear at the consulate with the original documents.

An individual must apply through the Italian Consulate where the Italian spouse is registered with current residence. Although the naturalization law for spouses of Italian citizens applies regardless of place of legal residence, each consulate has slightly different procedures regarding application procedures.

Please note that women who married before April 27, 1983 are eligible for automatic citizenship through their Italian husband.

Below are the public guidelines for applying for Italian citizenship through marriage:

A male or female (foreign or stateless) spouse of an Italian citizen may apply for Italian citizenship after being married for two years if residing in Italy, or after three years from the date of marriage if he/she resides abroad, by presenting a request for naturalization accompanied by the following documents:

  • CILS certificate issued by: Universita’ per stranieri di Siena; Universita’ per gli stranieri di Perugia; Universita’ Roma Tre; Societa’ Dante Alighieri.
  • ITALIAN SPOUSE, if residing outside of Italy, must be registered at the A.I.R.E. department at the Italian Consulate or Embassy that has jurisdiction over the person’s place of legal residence.
  • Marriage certificate issued by the Italian Comune. Parties married outside of Italy who have not had their marriage certificate recorded in Italy by the Italian Consulate with territorial jurisdiction over their place of marriage, must present their certificate to the competent consular authority, requesting its registration in Italy, and subsequently obtain the “estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio” from the Comune, before presenting their application (please be aware that this may take a varying number of months, depending on the Consulate and on the Comune).
  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE of the applying spouse. If the applicant was born in the United States this must be a “certified copy” or “long form” or “full form”, with an “APOSTILLE”, accompanied by a translation into Italian
  • CERTIFICATE OF CITIZENSHIP OF THE ITALIAN SPOUSE. In the US the Italian Spouse accomplishes this by being registered at the Italian Consulate of legal residence.

- “POLICE CLEARANCE” or “Certificate of criminal records,” issued by the central Authority of each State and Country of which the applicant has been a resident since the age of 14. The certificates must be originals, with APOSTILLES, accompanied by Translation into Italian.

- FBI CLEARANCE (with required finger prints) with Translation into Italian. This document must be obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

  • An applicant who has resided in Italy for six months or more also need to provide background clearances from Italy

All background clearances must be dated no more than six months before application.

  •  Applicant’s VALID PASSPORT and photocopy (The copy will be certified by the Consulate).

Overwhelmed? Talk with the Professionals

It is important to keep up with any and all immigration updates when you are trying to become an Italian citizen. Trying to understand immigration and citizenship in Italy can be difficult for anyone even before these laws were in effect. Now that the new laws are in place, it can make it even more difficult to know how to navigate the waters of immigration.

Whether you are looking for citizenship by blood, citizenship by marriage, or citizenship by naturalization, it is important to get in touch with professionals, who understand how to understand the law and the requirements. Our team of Italian citizenship professionals can help guide you and keep you well informed of what the necessary steps are to become an Italian Citizen.

Italy’s healthcare system is routinely ranked among the best in the world

Based on its overall quality, equity of access, and the general health and life expectancy of the Italian population.

National Health System

National Health System

The national health plan (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) provides universal coverage for hospital and medical benefits. The Italian public healthcare system is decentralised and is based on three levels: the State, region and local health boards. The State is responsible for issuing general system guidelines, establishing work contracts, handling international relations and financing research hospitals. The 20 regions of Italy control the functioning of the health services within their areas of jurisdiction and finance independent hospitals. Finally, the local healthcare units provide daily management of services and finance public and private hospitals under contract with the regions. The remaining private hospitals are financed by their patients.

Every legal resident (Italian or non-) of Italy can access the system either for free or at a relatively limited cost and  As dual citizen  residing in Italy, you can apply for your Tessera Sanitaria to receive Italian healthcare

National Health Card

National Health Card

Is there a Generational Limit to Apply?

(Photo courtesy of  Cathy Strode)

A common misconception about Italian Citizenship by descent is that there is a generational limit. This is not true, in fact there are absolutely zero generational limits for Italian citizenship by descent. There are, however, numerous laws, regulations to follow and requirements to meet when determining eligibility for Italian citizenship by descent, that could determine some restrictions.

The initial step to take is to decide which ancestor of yours you would need to make your claim through. Though, the gender of your ancestor can make a difference. The process differs greatly, contingent upon whether you are proceeding through a family line starting with male or a line that includes a female ancestor. Where the two process may share similarities is that your ancestors in both cases must have been alive and a citizen of Italy after the formation and unification of Italy in 1861 (with the exception of few pre-unitary states that became part of the Italian nation at a later date).

If it would be necessary to go through a female ancestor who gave birth to her child (another part of your direct family line back to Italy), and gave birth 

before January 1st 1948, then you would not be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship under Italian law. In fact, prior to the promulgation of the 1948 Italian constitution, Italian-born women and women of Italian descent (who had the right to Italian citizenship) did not have the same rights as men and were unable to transfer their citizenship onto their children. This is why, if you have a female Italian ancestor in your Italian line going back to Italy, who gave birth to her child before 1948, you would not be considered as an Italian citizen by birth. Though, in these cases, it is still possible to pursue Italian citizenship via the court system, based on several legal precedents and a 2009 ruling of the Italian Supreme Court, which declared retroactively that citizenship could be transferred by a female ancestor even to children born before 1948. It would be necessary to go through a judicial process to make your claim for Italian citizenship because, as it currently stands, the law discriminating against women has not been repealed by the Italian parliament. 

However, if your ancestry goes through a female who gave birth 

on or after January 1, 1948, or through a male regardless of what year it was, these processes will be alike and both go through an administrative process through a consulate or comune (Italian municipality) in order to make your claim to petition for recognition of Italian citizenship by descent.

US - Italian Dual Citizenship

What are the main reasons more and more people are claiming back the Italian Citizenship?

In our (several) years of assisting our clients to get the Italian citizenships, we have identified these main areas, why people want to obtain the Italian Citizenship.

  • Reconnect to the Ancestors' Homeland
  • Being a European Union Citizen
  • Being allowed to work, study and live in the EU Countries without a visa
  • Transferring to their children the Italian Citizenship
  • Having easier access to public health.

There are two main ways to get the Italian citizenship back: either through blood (descendant) or through marriage.

How to apply through jus sanguinis (discendent):

  • Determine your last Italian born ancestor
  • Obtain naturalization records
  • Obtain Italian and American vital records
  • Apostille your American vital records 
  • Professionally Translate your American documents into Italian
  • Apply at the Italian consulate of your jurisdiction
  • Schedule your passport appointment

How to apply through jus matrimonii (marriage):

  • Obtain the Italian marriage certificate
  • Obtain the  birth certificate of applicant
  • Obtain the FBI criminal records
  • Obtain the Police background checks
  • Obtain the Authentication of documents 
  • Obtain the Professional translation with Certification
  • Obtain the Verification of Italian language knowledge - Level B1

Interested? Curious? Join us for a Seminar on January 9, 2020. We will be happy to explain in more details the process and help you obtaining your Italian Citizenship.