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How to get an Italian Citizenship

Let us guide you through the complex process of getting italian nationality and help you achieve your goals

Italy is calling you…

Whether you are looking to move to Italy for work, study, or to be with family, an immigration lawyer can help you understand your options and choose the best path forward. They can advise you on the necessary documentation and requirements, and represent you in any legal proceedings related to your immigration case.

How can a lawyer help me?

The process of obtaining nationality in Italy can be complex and time-consuming, and it is important to ensure that your application is complete and accurate to avoid delays or rejections.

Our lawyer with experience in Italian immigration law can provide valuable assistance in navigating the nationality process. They can advise you on the necessary documentation and requirements, and ensure that your application meets all necessary criteria.

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Don’t try to go through the immigration process on your own. Seek the help of an experienced immigration lawyer to increase your chances of success and make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

How to obtain an Italian citizenship in Italy?

After collecting the correct paperwork, Italian citizenship can be obtained handful of ways. Applicants can apply online or within the country with legal help.

The process to qualify this Italian citizenship can take between one and ten years depending on your route. However, it can be much, much quicker if you’re an Italian descedent or getting married. 


The application process can take anywhere between a few months up to two years. If you receive a favourable outcome, you can apply for a national identity card and an Italian passport.

Can be obtained by: 

  • “right of blood” (jure sanguinis) if the applicant is the son/dougter of an Italian parent; 
  • “right of soil” (jure solis) if the applicant parents’ are unknown or Stateless, or if the foreing parents doesn’t transmit their citizenship to their child by the laws of their country, or if the child was found in a condition of abandonment in Italy;
  • late paternity or maternity recognition (even by a court of law) until the completion of the age 18;
  • adoption;
  • voluntary acquisition (residence, marriage, and other specific cases);
  • Rendered extraordinary services to the Italian State;
  • Being considered a person of recognised strategic value for the Italian State;

Once all the necessary documentation has been gathered and all the conditions are met, you can apply for Italian citizenship.

What's the process of getting Italian Citizenship through descent?

1. Gather the paperwork

Italy requires the applicant to prove that they descend from one Italian citizen and that the transmission of the citizenship was never interrupted. None of the relatives in the pipeline should have lost or renounced their Italian citizenship. That must be proved by birth, marriage and eventually death certificates.

2. Submit your application

Generally, the application is submitted before the consulate within the applicant’s country and region of residence.

Citizenship by descent applications can also be requested before the municipality of the applicant’s residence in Italy.

When all requirements are met and the applicant entered the country with a valid Visa, Italy allows the applicants to request legal residence in the country in order to present the application directly in the town of residence.

3. Analysis of the application and citizenship recognition decree

When all the documents are submitted the public administration will evaluate whether they meet the criteria. After the positive review, the competent authorities will release the citizenship recognition decree.

4.Identity card and Passport

Once the citizenship recognition decree is released, the applicant can apply for the National Identity Card and Passport.

What are the most common citizenship requests?

Citizenship by residence

Request citizenship after a certain period of legal residence in Italy. This is usually after 10 years.

Citizenship by Marriage (post-1983)

Request citizenship by naturalization after being married to an Italian citizen for one to three.

Citizenship by Marriage (pre-1983)

Request citizenship if you married an Italian citizen before 1983.

Citizenship by descent

Request citizenship proving that you descend from an Italian Citizen.

What documentation do I need to have?

Qualifying for Italian citizenship can be done in many ways. However, the visa applicant needs to provide appropriate documentation as listed below:

Italian Citizenship by Residence:

  • Certificate of Residence in Italy. This is usually for a 10-year period
  • Family State certificate
  • B1 level of knowledge of the Italian language
  • Valid Passport from your country
  • Valid Italian Residence Permit
  • Clean criminal record in Italy or other countries of previous residence
  • Three years of tax declarations
  • Proof of income. This must be at least €6,041.70 annually for the main applicant and €3,020.85 for each dependent family member

Italian Citizenship by Marriage:

  • Certificate of Residence in Italy. This must show at least two years of residence
  • Family State certificate;
  • B1 level of knowledge of the Italian language
  • Valid Passport from your country
  • Valid Italian Residence Permit
  • Clean criminal record in Italy or other countries of previous residence
  • Marriage Certificate in long-version
  • “Proof Of Life” for the spouse

The above applies to those married after April 27, 1983. If you married before then, you must show the following.

  • Valid Passport of your country;
  • Marriage Certificate in long-version. This must be registered in Italy

Italian Citizenship by descent, or Jure Sanguinis:

  • Italian Certificate of Birth of the applicant’s Italian Ancestor. This is called “Estratto per Riassunto dell’Atto di Nascita”
  • Marriage and death certificates (in long-form) of applicant’s Italian Ancestor
  • Certificates of birth, marriage and death of the members of the direct lineage. This must be in long-form
  • The applicant’s certification of birth – and marriage if married. This must be in long-form
  • A Negative Naturalization certificate from the authority of where the ancestor resided
  • A scanned copy of the applicant passport
  • Certificate of legal residence in Italy if applying from within Italy

All of these, except the passport, must be translated into Italian by a sworn translator. Both the original document and the translation must be legalized.

What’s the timeline for the acquisition of the Citizenship?

The timeline differs depending on which way the citizenship is acquired.

They can be divided into the following steps:

  • Understand what’s needed: one day
  • Collect and prepare the documents: One to two weeks. However, when requesting citizenship by descent, it can take up to two years to gather the correct paperwork as it depends on each case and country
  • File the request: one day
  • Decision for the request: Typically up to 24 months
  • Schedule swearing ceremony: Usually 30 to 60 days but can be as longer depending on the competent authority
  • Release of ID Card: One to two weeks
  • Release of ID passport: 30 to 45 days

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, in Italy it is possible to have dual citizenship or even three citizenships. Furthermore, Italy law does not require those acquiring Italian citizenship to renounce their original citizenship.

When submitting the application for Italian citizenship by descent you can choose what surname you would like to keep. You cannot add any surname that you doesn’t have.

In some cases, in order to apply for Italian citizenship, you must prove to have lived regularly and legally in Italy for a certain number of years. This means that you must be holding a valid residence permit at the time of the submission of the application and to have an Anagrafic Certification stanting that your residence wasn’t interrupted during the residence period.

Yes, for most cases foreing documents are valid in Italy for 6 months after their release date. In special cases and for Italian documents the validity is illimited.

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