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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
- 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.
1. Original long form birth certificate or equivalent: issued no more than six months before the application date by the country in which the applicant was born, 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 Birth Certificate in the US must be issued in long form (also known as ”extended form”) by the authorities of the State of birth and legalized by Apostille, issued by the relevant authority of the same State. The Apostille legalizes the signature of the official that issued the certified copy of the certificate (e.g.: County Clerk, City Clerk, Director of Vital Statistics etc). For the Apostille on certificates issued in the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, please see information regarding the Apostille for police certificates issued in the same States. For all other US States, please check the specific regulations and procedures with the local authorities, or with the competent Italian Consular Authorities.
The translations into Italian of birth certificates issued in the US must be certified by this Consulate General. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2. Criminal Record from the country of origin and from any country of residence (from age 14) – 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.
It is not necessary to submit a criminal record of the country of origin only if the applicant left it before 14 years of age and is not a citizen of that Country.
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”).
For the US, in addition to the criminal record of the State of origin/residence (from the age of 14), 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.
– New York: the criminal record valid for the State of New York will be issued by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. The Apostille for the New York Police certificate must be issued by the NY Department of State and must legalize the signature of the police officer that signed the certificate. Please note: other certificates issued by the Police of the City of New York or by the Courts have a limited validity and are not accepted for this application.
– Connecticut: the police certificate is issued by the Department of Emergencies, Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police – Bureau of ID. The signature of the police officer will be legalized by a Notary Public within the bureau. The Apostille must then be issued by the Secretary of State of Connecticut.
– New Jersey: the certificate will be issued by the New Jersey State Police. Please check details here: http://www.njsp.org/about/serv_chrc.html . The signature of the police officer will be legalized by a Notary Public inside the State Police Office. The Apostille must then be issued by the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
– All other US States: please check with the competent Italian Consulate.
Consular Districts in the US:
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 email@example.com
3. Payment receipt of Euro 250.00 to the Ministero dell’Interno (Ministry of the Interior), as specified in the please see information ;
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” (town hall) where it is registered, issued no more than the six months before the application date.
ATTENTION Marriage certificates “Certificato di matrimonio” will not be accepted.
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 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.
Where can you take the exam within the Consular district of the Consulate General of Italy in New York. Dove sostenere l’esame di lingua per la circoscrizione di New York
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 will be invited to the Consular Office to swear an 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 (town hall) to be registered, together with an AIRE registration request and the statement of oath.
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 250.00 must be paid to the Ministero dell’Interno, using only the below current account of the Ministero dell’Interno (payment receipt to be uploaded on the application portal)
“Ministero dell’Interno D.L.C.I Cittadinanza”
Name of the Bank: Poste Italiane S.p.A;
IBAN code: IT54D0760103200000000809020
Reason for payment: Richiesta cittadinanza per matrimonio ex art. 5 L. 91/1992 + applicant’s name and surname
BIC/SWIFT Code of Poste Italiane: BPPIITRRXXX (for international bank transfers);
BIC/SWIFT Code: PIBPITRA (for transactions of the EUROGIRO system)
Articles of the tabella consolare schedule to apply:
- Authentication of signature on the application: art. 24;
- Duty stamp on the application: art. N/A;
- Certified copy of valid ID: art 71. (Should the document not be in Latin characters you also need to submit a translation);
- Certified copy of the language certification: art. 71;
- Certification of this Consulate that the translation of the birth certificate and of the criminal records is true and complete : art 72;
- Duty stamp on the citizenship decree: art N/A
FIND YOUR CONSULATE –
SEND YOUR APPLICATION TO THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR – https://portaleserviziapp.dlci.interno.it
WEBSITE OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS – https://www.esteri.it/mae/it/servizi/italiani-all-estero/cittadinanza.html
Please note that until April 27, 1983, a female foreign national who married an Italian citizen acquired automatically the Italian citizenship.
However, a female foreign national who meets this requirement and wants to be registered as an Italian, must book an appointment with the citizenship office, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, in order to register the birth certificate.
The day of the appointment, the following documents will have to be provided:
- · A valid passport for both spouses;
- · Proof of address;
- · Birth certificate including all personal details (including father’s and mother’s details), issued by the authorities of the country of birth, duly legalized/apostilled and translated into Italian, with translation certified as true and complete by the competent Italian consular office or legalized with Apostille;
- · Fee of 300 Euros to be paid to the Consulate General in US dollars (please check the exact amount, based on the official exchange rate, with the citizenship office, before the date of the appointment), by money order issued to the Consulate General of Italy in New York or in cash.