- Regulatory hints
1. Phase 1 registration
2. Phase 2 instance insertion
3. Phase 3 consular verification
4. Phase 4 evaluation of the Ministry of the Interior
5. Phase 5 decree, notification, oath (conclusion)
- Administrative simplification and costs
- Useful contacts and links
1. Regulatory outline
In accordance with current legislation, which requires knowledge of the Italian language, information relating to citizenship by marriage is provided in Italian.
Those who apply for Italian citizenship by marriage or civil union must be aware of their duties towards the Italian Republic, first of all the adherence to national values and the irreproachability of conduct.
The acquisition of Italian citizenship by a foreign or stateless spouse who married an Italian citizen starting from 27 April 1983 is currently regulated by Law 5 February 1992 n. 91 (articles 5, 6, 7 and 8) and subsequent amendments.
Applications for Italian citizenship can also be submitted by foreign citizens who have formed a civil union with an Italian citizen registered in the civil status registers of the Italian municipality (Legislative Decrees 5, 6 and 7 / 2017).
The foreign spouse/part of the civil union can acquire Italian citizenship upon application, in the presence of the requirements established by current legislation, as explained in the following sections.
Law N.123 of 21 April 1983
Law No. 91 of February 5, 1992
Legislative decrees No. 5, 6 and 7 of 19 January 2017
Decree Law No. 113 of 4 October 2018 (security decree), converted by Law No. 132 of 1 December 2018
Decree Law No. 130 of 21 October 2020, converted by Law No. 173 of 18 December 2020
2. Requirements for applying for citizenship
Residence in the consular district:
- The applicant must address the application to the competent diplomatic-consular mission for her residence;
- The spouse/part of the civil union of Italian nationality must be resident and duly registered in the registry of Italians residing abroad (A.I.R.E.) of the consular district of competence and cohabiting at the same address as the applicant for citizenship. Otherwise, you must provide documentation proving the reason (e.g. work, children’s schooling, medical treatment or other), which determines or has determined the need for separate domicile;
Deadlines for submission: the application can be submitted three years after the marriage/civil union if the spouse is an Italian citizen iure sanguinis; in the case of naturalization after marriage, the three years start from the date of naturalization of the spouse. The three years are reduced to one and a half years in the presence of minor children born or adopted by the spouses;
Marriage/civil union transcription: if they took place abroad, they must have been registered at the Municipality in Italy;
Validity of the marriage/civil union and stability of the marriage bond/civil union until the adoption of the measure granting citizenship. For the purpose of conferring Italian citizenship, at the date of adoption of the decree, the dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil union must not have occurred (personal separation, divorce, death of the spouse or part of the civil union );
Absence of convictions by the Italian judicial authorities for crimes for which a penalty of more than three years’ imprisonment is envisaged;
Absence of convictions by foreign judicial authorities to a sentence exceeding one year for non-political crimes;
Absence of convictions for crimes against the personality of the State;
Absence of impediments to the security of the Republic;
Knowledge of the Italian language not lower than level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
Payment of fees and receipts indicated in the documents and costs section.
3. DOCUMENTS needed to apply for citizenship
- Extract from the birth certificate or equivalent: in the original, possibly issued no later than six months ago by the country of birth, complete with all personal details (including paternity and maternity), duly apostilled and translated into Italian.
The translation into Italian must be certified as conforming to the original by the competent Embassy/Consulate.
It is recommended to check the relative instructions at the Italian consular offices in the country of issue of the certificate.
The US birth certificate must be in “Long Form” or “Extended Form” and the relative Apostille must be issued by the same State in which it was issued.
- Penal Certificate of the country of origin and of any third countries of residence (starting from the age of 14) – except Italy – and of the countries of which possesses citizenship, in original, issued no later than six months before submitting the application, duly legalized/apostilled and translated into Italian. The applicant is exempt from presenting the penal certificate of the country of origin only if he left it before the age of 14 and has not kept his citizenship. Persons who have taken the surname of their spouse or have changed their name, must request the penal certificates from the competent offices with the current name and with the name resulting from the birth certificate. Any other names must appear as AKA or as “formerly known as”. For US residents, plus criminal records from every U.S. State in which you resided for age 14 or older, the penal certificate issued by the FBI must also be presented, the Apostille of which must be issued by the Department of State in Washington DC.
- Receipt of the payment of the contribution of 250.00 euros in favor of the Ministry of the Interior, in the manner indicated in the “Costs” section.
- Identity document: photocopy of a valid passport (pages with personal data, photograph, dates of issue and expiry) or identity card.
- Summary extract from the marriage register, to be requested from the competent Italian Municipality in which the deed is transcribed, possibly issued no later than six months before the application. This document can be entered at the time of submitting the application under the heading “generic document” and will be presented at the time of the summons to the Consular Offices.
PLEASE NOTE: If the applicant is an EU citizen, he can use the self-certification instead of the marriage certificate, family record and certificate of citizenship of the spouse / part of the civil union (DPR 445/2000)
- Certificate of knowledge of the Italian language at least level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) or qualification issued by a public or equivalent educational institution recognized by the Ministry of Education, University and Research and by the Ministry of Foreign affairs and international cooperation. The CLIQ certification bodies (Italian Language Quality Certification) – possibly in collaboration with the local Italian cultural institutes – are exclusively:
1. the University for foreigners of Siena (NEW CILS CENTER in Houston Bellaire High School offers CISL certification suitable for the required certificate recognized by the aforementioned University);
2. the University for Foreigners of Perugia;
3. Roma Tre University;
4. the Dante Alighieri Society.
The following are not required to present the certificate of knowledge of the Italian language:
- Foreigners (even if residing abroad) who have signed the integration agreement pursuant to art. 4 bis of Legislative Decree no. 286/1998 Immigration Consolidation Act;
- Holders of EU (or EC) residence permits for long-term residents referred to in article 9 of the same consolidated text.
PHASE 1 – REGISTRATION
The applicant must register on the portal of the Ministry of the Interior:
It should be noted that the email address declared on the portal when submitting the online application constitutes an elected domicile (art. 47 of the civil code), frequent consultation of one’s email is therefore necessary as all communications relating to the citizenship application, therein including requests for document integration, summons, notifications of measures, etc. will ONLY take place through an IT channel.
Please note that any changes of residence (even in the same State) must be promptly communicated to this Consulate General by sending an email email@example.com to allow the transfer of the file to the competent Consular Representation.
PHASE 2 – INSTANCE INSERTION (Model AE)
Once registered, the applicant will be able to proceed with completing the “online” application and inserting all the required documents on the appropriate portal of the Ministry of the Interior: (https://portaleserviziapp.dlci.interno.it).
Any question of a technical nature or content relating to the online application must be resolved by contacting the Ministry of the Interior directly, which has set up an assistance service with dedicated FAQs and HelpDesks.
Attention: NOTES FOR COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION:
- the DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH as indicated in the birth certificate must be entered in the registration form.
- The GENERALITIES indicated in deeds and documents formed abroad by the competent foreign authorities must be reported.
In case of discrepancies, provide supporting documentation.
- specify in the application the possible presence of minor children of the applicant, born from a previous relationship.
- the legalizations of the translations of the penal and/or birth certificates in the United States and of the certified copy of the linguistic certification must be carried out by this Consulate General before proceeding with the upload of the documentation. Therefore, please contact this office by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHASE 3 – CONSULAR CHECK
The Consular Office will be automatically informed of the presentation of the application and will proceed with the necessary CHECKS. The applicant will then receive, electronically via the portal of the Ministry of the Interior, a communication relating to the acceptance or the reason for the inadmissibility. In case of acceptance of the application, the applicant will be summoned, electronically, to the diplomatic-consular representation for the authentication of the signature affixed to the citizenship application, for the delivery of all the ORIGINAL paper documentation, including that already sent electronically via the Portal, for the collection or verification of payment of the envisaged consular fees. All the above documentation will be kept in original by the diplomatic-consular mission, with the exception of the passport and the linguistic certificate, for which a certified copy will be made with the relative payments.
PHASE 4 – EVALUATION and TERMS OF THE PROCEDURE
The evaluation of the application and the definition of the procedure are the exclusive competence of the Ministry of the Interior: 24 months from the date of submission of the application – which can be extended up to a maximum of 36 months – for citizenship applications presented starting from 20 December 2020 (date of entry into force of Law 18 December 2020 n. 173). If at the end of the evaluation of the file the procedure is concluded positively, the Ministry of the Interior will send the Decree conferring Italian citizenship to the diplomatic-consular representation competent for the residence of the interested party.
PHASE 5 – DECREE, NOTIFICATION AND OATH
The Decree conferring Italian citizenship will be notified – via the portal – by communication addressed to the email indicated by the applicant during registration. At the time of the notification, documents will also be requested – required by national legislation – aimed at verifying the permanence of the marital bond.
These documents must be dated after the adoption of the decree:
- complete marriage certificate (and NOT a summary summary of the marriage certificate) issued by the competent Italian municipality;
- criminal certificate of the State of current residence and criminal certificate issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), duly legalized and translated (see documents section).
At the date of adoption of the decree, therefore, the dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage or civil union or personal separation (separation sentence) must not have occurred.
Within and no later than six months from the notification, the interested party will be summoned to the consular offices, to swear an oath of loyalty to the Republic and its laws. The payment of the revenue stamp is foreseen on the decree.
The integral marriage deed must be requested from the Italian municipality in whose registers the deed is transcribed; the penal certificate is requested from the competent authorities in the country of residence and must comply with the provisions on legalisation/apostille and translation, as explained in the “documents” section.
The person concerned will swear an oath of allegiance to the Italian Republic by pronouncing the words:
“GIURO DI ESSERE FEDELE ALLA REPUBBLICA ITALIANA E DI OSSERVARE LA COSTITUZIONE E LE LEGGI DELLO STATO”
The effects of the oath, i.e. the acquisition of Italian citizenship, will be effective starting from the day following that of the oath.
The original birth certificate will be sent for transcription to the Italian Municipality of reference together with the request for registration in the AIRE and the record of the oath.
5. Administrative simplification and costs
If the applicant is a citizen of an EU country, he/she can avail himself of the self-certification for the possession of the Italian citizenship of the spouse/part of the civil union, for the bond of marriage/civil union with an Italian citizen and the composition of the family nucleus . The information, data and documents already in the possession of the Public Administration are acquired automatically, subject to indication by the interested party of the essential elements for retrieving the requested information (Presidential Decree 445/2000).
Contribution of 250.00 euros in favor of the Ministry of the Interior, to be made exclusively on the current account indicated by the Ministry of the Interior (receipt to be included in the online application) “Ministero dell’Interno D.L.C.I Cittadinanza”
Name of the Bank: Poste Italiane S.p.A.
IBAN code: IT54D0760103200000000809020
Reason for the payment: Request for citizenship by marriage pursuant to art. 5 L. 91/1992 and name and surname of the applicant
Poste Italiane BIC/SWIFT code: BPPIITRRXXX (for foreign transfers);
BIC/SWIFT code: PIBPITRA (for transactions on the EUROGIRO circuit)
It is possible to pay the stamp duty and/or the contribution of 250 euros via PagoPA directly from the portal at the same time as submitting the application. The contribution of 250.00 euros is valid in the calendar year (1 January/31 December) in which it was paid. The payment of the stamp duty, on the other hand, is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Both can be reused in case of rejection of the application depending on the single validity.
Articles of the consular table to apply
Authentication of signature on the application: art. 24
Revenue stamp on the application: art. N/A
Certified copy of a valid identity document: art 71. (If the document is not in Latin characters, a translation is also required)
Certified copy of the linguistic certification: art. 71
Conformity of the translation of civil status documents and criminal records: art 72A
Revenue stamp on the citizenship decree: art N/A
6. Useful contacts and links
FIND YOUR CONSULATE
WEBSITE OF THE FOREIGN MINISTRY