1 – Regulations
Those who apply for citizenship by marriage or civil unions must be acquainted with the duties the Italian citizenship entails, first of all adherence to national values and irreproachable conduct.
The acquisition of Italian citizenship by marriage by a foreign national or stateless person who married an Italian national on or after April 27, 1983 is currently governed by Law no. 91 of February 5, 1992 (articles 5, 6, 7 and 8) and subsequent amendments.
Italian citizenship applications may also be submitted by a foreign national who has entered into a civil union with an Italian national. The civil union must have been registered in the Civil Status Registry of the relevant Italian “Comune” – Town Hall – (Legislative Decrees 5, 6 and 7/2017).
The foreign spouse or partner in a civil union can acquire the Italian citizenship upon request, provided they meet the legal requirements, as outlined below.
Law no. 123 of April 21, 1983
Law no. 91 of February 5, 1992
Legislative decrees no. 5, 6 and 7 of January 19, 2017
Decree Law no. 113 of October 4, 2018 (so-called “Safety Decree”) converted by Law no. 132 of December 1, 2018
Decree Law no. 130 of October 21, 2020, converted by Law no. 173 of December 18, 2020
2 – Requirements for the acquisition of Italian citizenship
Residence in the consular district:
– The applicants will have to submit their application to the diplomatic/consular mission covering the area where their long term residence is located;
– The Italian spouse or partner in a civil union must be resident and legally registered in the A.I.R.E. (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero – Register of Italians residing abroad) of the relevant consular district and live at the same address of the citizenship applicant. Otherwise, they will need to provide documentation proving the reason (e.g. work, children’s schooling, medical care or other) justifying the need for separate domicile;
– Submission date: the application can be submitted three years after the marriage/civil union if the spouse is an Italian national iure sanguinis. If the Italian national was naturalized after the marriage, the three years start from the date of naturalization of the spouse. The three years are reduced to one year and a half in case of minor children born or adopted by the spouses;
– Registration of the marriage/civil union: if it occurred abroad, it must have been registered at the “comune” (town hall) in Italy;
– Validity of the marriage/civil union and stability of the marriage/civil union until the decree granting citizenship has been finalized. For the purposes of granting Italian citizenship, no dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil union (e.g. legal separation, divorce, death of the spouse or civil union partner) must have occurred when the decree comes into force;
– No convictions by the Italian judicial authorities for offences that carry a sentence of more than three years’ imprisonment;
– No convictions by the foreign judicial authorities that carry a sentence of more than one year for non-political offences;
– No convictions for offences against the State;
– No impediments related to the security of the Italian Republic;
– Knowledge of the Italian language at least at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
– Payment of taxes and fees listed in the Documents and fees section.
3 – Documents required for the citizenship application
1. Original long form birth certificate or equivalent, which must include all details such as father’s and mother’s names, duly legalized/apostilled and translated into Italian.
The translation into Italian must be certified as “complete and true to the original” by the Embassy/Consulate in the Country where the long form birth certificate was issued, or it must be certified by the translator and legalized by Apostille (please check with the Italian consular authority in the Country where the certificate was issued).
Information regarding USA birth certificates
The translations into Italian of birth certificates issued in the US must be accompanied by a certification issued by this Consulate General.
2. Criminal Record from the country of origin and from any country of residence – except Italy – and from the countries of which the applicant is a citizen, issued no more than six months before the application date, duly legalized/apostilled and translated into Italian.
Translations into Italian must be certified as true (accurate, complete) by the relevant Embassy/Consulate or legalized with Apostille.
Please note that for those who acquired their spouse’s last name or who legally changed name, the criminal records must reflect all names (a.k.a. or “formerly known as”).
Information regarding criminal records in the US
For the US, in addition to the criminal record of the State of origin/residence, it is necessary to submit also the criminal record issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, CJIS Division. The Apostille for the FBI criminal record must be issued by the Department of State in Washington DC. The Apostille must legalize the signature of the FBI official that signed the certificate.
Please note that each police certificate must be legalized with Apostille issued by the competent authority of the State where the certificate was issued.
For the certification of US criminal records’ translations into Italian, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Payment of Euro 250.00 to the Ministero dell’Interno. Beginning on May 25th 2022 the payment can be made trough PagoPA within the portal during the request submittal process.
4. ID: photocopy of a valid passport (pages with personal details, photo, issue and expiry date).
5. Copy of the full marriage certificate or “estratto per riassunto del registro dei matrimoni” (extract of an entry in the register of marriages), to be requested from the Italian “comune” (township) where it is registered, issued no more than the six months before the application date.
PLEASE NOTE: If the applicant is an EU national, they may submit a self-certification instead of the “estratto per riassunto del registro dei matrimoni (Presidential Decree 445/2000).
6. Certificate of Italian language knowledge at least at B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or a qualification issued by a public or private educational institution recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The Università per stranieri di Siena, Università per stranieri di Perugia, Università Roma Tre and Società Dante Alighieri are the only CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità – Quality Italian language Certification) certifying bodies, and they may partner with the local Italian Cultural Institutes.
The America Italy Society of Philadelphia is now offering CILS/CLIQ courses, examination, and certification required for Italian Citizenship by marriage requests. Please check the links below for detailed information, dates, and instructions.
The applicants who meet the following criteria are not required to submit the certificate of Italian language knowledge:
1. Foreign nationals (even though they reside abroad) who signed the “integration agreement” as per art. 4 bis of Legislative Decree no. 286/1998 Testo Unico Immigrazione (Consolidated Immigration Law);
2. Holders of EU (or EC) residence permit for long-term residents as per art. 9 of the above Consolidated Law.
4 – Procedure
STEP 1 – REGISTRATION
The applicant must register on the portal of the Ministry of the Interior (https://www.interno.gov.it/it/temi/cittadinanza-e-altri-diritti-civili/cittadinanza/cittadinanza-invia-tua-domanda).
Please note that the email address provided when submitting the online application is your chosen contact address (art. 47 of the Civil Code); it is therefore necessary that the applicants check their email regularly, because all communications, including requests for additional documents, appointments, notification of steps taken etc., will be sent ONLY to that email address.
STEP 2 – APPLICATION SUBMISSION (Model AE)
Once registered, the applicant can submit their application online and upload all the necessary documents on the relevant portal of the Italian Ministry of the Interior: https://portaleserviziapp.dlci.interno.it
Any technical or content-related query must be addressed directly to the Ministry of the Interior who has set up a customer service with FAQs and dedicated Help Desk.
· When registering, the applicant needs to enter the DATE and PLACE OF BIRTH as they appear on the birth certificate.
· The PERSONAL DETAILS must be the same as on documents issued abroad by the competent foreign authorities. In case of discrepancies, please provide supporting documentation to explain and clarify.
If there are discrepancies please provide either a birth certificate correctly annotated to show a change of first and/or last name, or a foreign marriage certificate correctly annotated to show any change of first and/or last name, duly legalized and translated into Italian. Alternatively, please submit a statement including all details, issued in Italy by a consular authority from the country of citizenship, and legalized by the appropriate Italian Prefecture.
· On the application form the applicant must include also any minor children from a previous relationship.
STEP 3 – CONSULAR ASSESSMENT
The Consular Office will receive an automatic notification that the application has been submitted and will conduct an assessment.
The applicant will then receive a message through the portal of the Ministry of the Interior informing them if the application has been accepted. If the application is rejected, the message will include the reason(s).
If the application is accepted, the applicant will receive an invitation via email for an appointment at the Diplomatic/Consular mission to authenticate the signature on the citizenship application, to submit all the ORIGINAL hardcopy documentation (including documents that were uploaded already), to pay the consular fees or to check they have been paid.
All the above original documentation will be kept by the Diplomatic/Consular mission, except for the passport and language certificate, for which a certified copy will be made and relevant fees collected.
STEP 4 – ASSESSMENT and TIME LIMITS OF THE PROCEDURE
The Ministry of the Interior is responsible to assess the application and finalize the procedure. For applications submitted before December 19, 2020, the expected completion date is within 48 months. For applications submitted from December 20, 2020 (date of entry into force of Law no. 173 of December 18, 2020),the expected completion date of the procedure is 24 months from the application submission date, and it can be extended to 36 months at most. If at the end of the assessment process, the procedure is successful, the Ministry of the Interior will send the Italian Citizenship Decree to the Diplomatic/Consular mission in the Consular district covering the area where the applicant resides.
STEP 5 – DECREE, NOTIFICATION AND OATH
The applicant will be notified through the portal that the Italian Citizenship Decree has been issued. At that time the Diplomatic/consular mission will request the following documents ascertaining whether the marital relationship still exists. The date on these documents must be later than the adoption date of the decree:
– Atto integrale di matrimonio (full marriage certificate) issued by the Italian “Comune” (town hall) where marriage was registered;
– Criminal record certificate of the country of current residence, duly legalized and translated;
– Certificate of esistenza in vita of the Italian spouse/partner in the civil union, if not present on the day or the oath.
On adoption date of the decree, no dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil union or legal separation (separation judgment) must have occurred.
No later than six months from notification, the applicant must perform the oath of allegiance to the Republic and its laws.
A fee (stamp duty) must be paid for the decree.
The applicant will swear an oath of allegiance by pronouncing the following words: “GIURO DI ESSERE FEDELE ALLA REPUBBLICA E DI OSSERVARE LA COSTITUZIONE E LE LEGGI DELLO STATO”.
The effects of the oath, i.e. the Italian citizenship, will commence the day after that of the oath.
The original birth certificate will be sent to the relevant Italian Comune (township) to be registered, together with an AIRE registration request and the statement of oath.
5. Administrative simplification and fees
If the applicant is an EU national, they can self-certify their spouse/civil partner’s Italian citizenship, their being married to/in civil union with an Italian national and the family composition.
Information, details and documents already in the Public Administration’s possession can be acquired ex officio, provided the applicant has given essential details to gather the necessary information (Presidential Decree 445/2000).
A fee of Euro 250 for the request in addition to a tax administrative fee of 16 euros (imposta di bollo) are required. Beginning on May 25th 2022 both payments can be made trough PagoPA within the portal during the request submittal process.
Birth certificates and background checks must be authenticated before being uploaded on the portal. For this purpose, please present or mail them to the Citizenship Office (email@example.com.), for authentication. Please note that a Consular fee will be applied.
Click here to verify the current Consular Fee Table which changes every three months.
For the above-mentioned documents please refer to Article 72A – ‘dichiarazione di conformità della traduzione in italiano’ – and multiply the related amount for each page of the original text.
This Office accepts payments ONLY in the form of USPS ‘United States Postal Money Order’. It is possible to request further information about authentications directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the event you request the documents to be returned by mail, please provide a prepaid self-addressed return envelope with a tracking number (USPS Priority or Express, UPS, or other).