HOW TO BECOME AN ITALIAN CITIZEN
YOUR 3 PATHS TO ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP WITH PROS & CONS
Wondering how to become an Italian citizen to make your dream of living in Italy finally come true? While your passport can secure you a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Italy, it can’t give you a lifetime of living in the Italian countryside. What can? Becoming an Italian citizen.
Of course, the task of becoming a citizen can be daunting. Luckily, with our IDC team you can become an Italian citizen as quickly as possible. The first step is to understand your options.
How to Become an Italian Citizen?
There are 3 primary methods for becoming an Italian citizen: Italian citizenship by descent (Jure Sanguinis), Italian citizenship by marriage, and naturalization. Each of these methods are discussed here in detail along with the pros and cons associated with each method of applying for Italian citizenship. Obtaining Italian citizenship by descent or marriage are typically much faster where as the naturalization method normally takes over 10 years.
Let’s examine how to become an Italian citizen through these methods along with the pros and cons of each.
METHOD 1: Securing Italian Citizenship by Descent (Jure Sanguinis)
Jure Sanguinis, also known as citizenship by descent, is one of the fastest and easiest ways to guarantee Italian citizenship. There is no limit to the number of descendants who can claim Italian heritage under their paternal or maternal line.
Individuals born in any country where citizenship is granted by birth, can apply for recognition of their Italian bloodline if at the time of their birth, their mother or father was an Italian citizen, if their paternal or maternal grandfather was an Italian citizen, or if their paternal or maternal great-grand father was a citizen at the time of their birth.
To get citizenship through these blood lines, you’ll have to locate official documents in your family member’s home town or city. Reach out to your local Italian consulate or embassy to claim citizenship.
Pros: It’s relatively straightforward if you can find the proper paperwork.
Cons: If your Italian relative was a woman born before 1/1/1948 citizenship can only be transferred to children born after that date. Also, your relative cannot have become a naturalized citizen in any other country before your birth.
METHOD 2: Securing Italian Citizenship by Marriage
Fall in love with an Italian? Then you’re in luck! You can also secure Italian citizenship by marriage to your Romo or Juliet.
If this is your situation, you can gain citizenship after two years of marriage while living in Italy, or you can wait three years if you’re living outside of the country. You’ll have to apply for citizenship either way, however.
Pros: A bit of time and an application are all you need to secure your place among the Italians. You also don’t have to speak Italian to be accepted.
Cons: This only works if you can meet and fall in love with a natural Italian.
METHOD 3: Securing Italian Citizenship by Naturalization
Perhaps the most complex way to gain Italian citizenship is through naturalization. You’ll have to be living in Italy with a visa to go to the next step.
And you’ll have to live there for at least 10 years to apply. It can be a difficult and long road, but if it’s what you want it is worth it.
If you have some Italian heritage, you can wait less than the full 10 years for non-descendant residents, possibly only four years.
Pros: All you need is time and an understanding of visa laws to gain naturalization status.
Cons: It takes at least a decade of legally working and living in Italy under a visa to gain citizenship. The Italian government can also reject your application if they deem you a security risk of any kind.
Applying for Italian Citizenship
Depending on your circumstance and the method you choose, different documentation may be necessary. Be sure to do your research and see what type of documentation is required for you to apply.
A good place to start is this page on the Italian government’s website.
The list of application is generally long, so get ready to wait. If your documents aren’t in Italian, they’ll have to be certified and translated
Your application must be addressed to the President of the Republic and be made to the prefecture. For adults, Italian citizenship applications are EUR 300. No matter what route you take to citizenship, certain fees will apply, so keep that in mind.
Pros: As long as you have the correct paperwork and some patience, this is a great method for applying.
Cons: It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to complete your application process, so be prepared to be patient. Ask your local prefecture will give you a better estimate once you submit your application.
Consider Dual Citizenship
Italian Dual citizenship is yet another option for Italian citizenship. Depending on where you are moving from, dual citizenship may or may not be an option for you. Some countries do not allow this.
Italian law will not require you to renounce your former country of origin citizenship, but your country might not allow you to be an Italian citizen as well. Do a bit of research to see if your country requires this.
Contact our Immigration specialists to know the rules regarding dual citizenship and if it is an option for you.
Pros: Dual citizenship allows you to get an Italian passport and you won’t have to pay taxes on any income you earn outside of the country.
Cons: If your parents became US citizens before 1992, they lost their rights to dual citizenship and you would have lost yours in the process as well. Paperwork is needed to prove you have a right to be considered a dual citizen.
Enjoy Your Italian Citizenship!
Whatever path to citizenship you choose, becoming a citizen of Italy has numerous benefits. However, like any government process, time and patience are often required to secure your citizenship.
If you stick with it, you may qualify for Italian citizenship and have access to all the benefits of being an Italian citizen.
If you have further questions, please reach out to our team to discuss our citizenship services that can help you obtain Italian citizenship.
This page was last updated by Marco Permunian