Law Changes Affecting Italian Citizenship by Marriage

One of the ways that it is possible to become a citizen of Italy is through marriage. Those who are applying for Italian citizenship by marriage, known as Jure Matrimonii, will want to understand the updates surrounding the requirements. With some of the newer updates, many people have questions.

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 their citizens and their country. Because there are concerns in Italy over the security of the border and concerns with immigration, politicians have been tightening 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. This would increase the amount of time that it takes to process the citizenship. The decree also changed the service fee. On January 25, 2019, an official public memo called a “circolare” was released that defined the new rules even further.

Change to the Cost

It is important to note that the processing fee for the application has risen by €50. Previously, it was €200 and it is now €250. While it might not seem like a massive increase in price, it does show an increase of 25%. The government may believe that by increasing the price, it will help to cut down on or at least slow the number of applications that are coming through the immigration office.

Change to the Processing Time

The change to the processing time is even larger. Before, it would take up to 24 months for the citizenship naturalization applications to be processed. After the new rules were put into place, the maximum time has jumped all the way up to 48 months. This doubles the amount of time that it could take including those cases that are still being processed and applications that might have been delayed for one reason or another.

Change to the Linguistic Requirement

In addition to the other changes, there is also a new requirement for linguistics. Now, you will need to have a B1 Level Certificate or higher in Italian. The B1 certification is considered to be a lower-intermediate level of proficiency in the Italian language. This was not required in the past, however, it can be looked at as a good change. After all, having a good grasp of the language is going to make the transition to living in Italy easier. It will be easier to feel like you belong 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.

How Else Can the Rules Affect Immigration

Below, you will find some of the most important updates and changes to the process. It is important to keep in mind that the new rules are also going to affect people who are coming to Italy who are looking for asylum. In addition, the rules start that citizenship will be revoked for anyone who committed a felony related to terrorism. All of the changes were introduced into Italian law to help improve national security and to make sure that any new people who were becoming citizens were active members of society. They want to ensure that the immigration system was not being abused.

Only a small fraction of the mayors in Italy were opposed to the changes in the rules, and while they believe they have a case that the new laws are unconstitutional, they are currently in effect and likely will be for some time to come. It is not likely that there will be changes that reverse these decisions.

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 descent, citizenship by marriage, or citizenship by naturalization, it is important to get in touch with the team at (IDC) Italian dual citizenship. 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.

This page was last updated by Jason LoPresti

Additional Resources: