Italian Citizenship by Marriage or civil union

Aug 02, 2018

This post is also available in: itItaliano

People who are married, or joint in a civil union, to an Italian are entitled to acquire citizenship (cittadinanza per matrimonio) . The qualification requirements vary whether the applicant is domiciled in Italy or abroad and whether the couple have children.


Italian citizenship can be acquired by marriage or civil union (cittadinanza per matrimonio) under the following conditions:


The spouse of an Italian citizen has been legally residing in Italy for two years

The spouse or partner in a civil union of an Italian citizen who has registered residenza for at least 2 years and holding a valid permesso di soggiorno, can apply for Italian citizenship after 2 years from the date of marriage or civil union, which is reduced to 1 year if the couple has children according to Italian law.

Example 1. George (U.S. citizen) entered into a civil union with Claudia (Italian citizen) in January 2014 and they are legally residing in Italy since then. George can apply for Italian citizenship in January 2016.

Example 2. Marco (Italian citizen) married Mary (Australian citizen) in January 2014 and they are legally residing in Italy since then. They had a child in December 2014, born in Italy. Mary can therefore apply for Italian citizenship in January 2015.

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The spouse of an Italian citizen residing abroad

The spouse of an Italian citizen who resides abroad can apply for Italian citizenship after 3 years from the date of marriage or civil union, reduced to 18 months if the couple has children according to Italian law.

Example 1. Sean (Australian citizen) married Giovanna (Italian citizen) in July 2014. They are legally residing abroad and they have a child born on January 2015. Sean can apply for Italian citizenship in January 2016.

Example 2. Ken (New Zealand citizen) entered into a civil union with Claudio (Italian citizen) in July 2014. They are legally residing abroad. Ken can apply for Italian citizenship in July 2017.

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Citizenship by marriage can only be applied for if the couple is still married or joint in a civil union and the bond is still in effect at the time of adjudication. Applications by marriage can either be filed at the Italian Consulate or in Italy, provided that the applicant takes residency in Italy.

For the acquisition of Italian citizenship by marriage/civil union, an adequate knowledge of the Italian language is required.

FAQs

Questions Answers Explanations
Can I apply even if residing abroad? YES The initial application will be filed online and it will be handled by the relevant Italian Consulate linked to the applicant’s residency.
Can every Italian citizen register with AIRE? YES AIRE is the register of Italian citizens living abroad. Every Italian citizen residing out of Italy should register themselves with the AIRE registry at the local Italian Consulate.
Should I reside at the same address of my Italian spouse? YES Cohabitation of spouses is mandatory. Different residence addresses are allowed only in few cases (i.e. health, job, family reasons etc).
Is it possible to register my same-sex civil union in Italy? YES Each town hall has a Vital record register for same-sex civil unions. If you reside abroad, registration should be done through the AIRE office.
Does citizenship for same-sex civil union have a different process or list of documents? NO Citizenship for a same-sex civil union follow the same process of the citizenship by marriage for heterosexual couples. The list of documents is the same.
Can I apply even if my spouse obtained Italian citizenship by bloodline? YES If a person obtains Italian citizenship by bloodline, he/she is recognized as Italian since his/her birth. In this way, the spouse can apply for citizenship through marriage.
Can I apply if I plan to get married in the future with my Italian fiancé? NO A certain number of years of marriage is mandatory to apply. The length can vary depending on the spouse’s residency and if they have children.
Is the amount of years of marriage reduced even in the case of adopted children? YES Adopted children should be registered by the Italian authorities, as well as the adoption process.
Do I need to have all documents ready before the online application? YES Scanned copies of all documents should be uploaded during the online application, otherwise the request could be rejected.
Can I submit the application and upload the language certificate later? NO All documents should be uploaded at the moment of the online application, otherwise the request could be rejected.
Can I obtain my language certificate attending a school outside of Italy? YES You can attend a language school in Italy or abroad, however, it should be an official Institute listed by the Italian Ministry for citizenship applications.
Can I change my residence while the application is pending? YES Change of residency is allowed only after the issuance of the K/10C file number, however to transfer the application to another Consulate an additional process is necessary and delays may occur.
Will the Consulate interview me? YES During the process the applicant should attend an appointment at the local Italian authorities and submit all originals certificates. Usually also the Italian spouse should attend.
Should I also submit original certificates? YES Applicants should submit all original certificates during the appointment at the Consulate.
Will past criminal charges have an impact on my citizenship application? YES Applicants should produce criminal records for all countries of past and present residency, in order to prove no criminal charges.
Can the process take years? YES Italian authorities should make a decision in 4 years from the online application.
Is there a way to expedite the process? NO There is no way to expedite. It is advisable to prepare all documents in order to avoid possible delays during the process.

Do you think you may qualify for Italian citizenship by Marriage/Civil union? Contact us for an initial assessment by filling out an online form, or send us via email to citizenship@mazzeschi.it .

This post was written by Content Manager
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Mazzeschi S.r.l. Project co-financed under Tuscany POR FESR 2014-2020
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