8 Benefits of Italian Citizenship

May 26, 2023

Are you considering applying for Italian Citizenship? Have you already started with the Italian Citizenship Application process?

Here are the benefits of obtaining Italian dual citizenship:

No tax obligations unless you take residency in Italy

The acquisition of Italian citizenship does not — per se — bring any tax liability. According to Italian Law, in fact, a person is considered to be resident in Italy for income tax purposes only if, for the majority of the year (at least 183 days a year, 184 for leap years):

  • they are entered in the National Registry of the Resident Population in Italy; or
  • they have their habitual abode in Italy; or
  • They have their main centre of affairs and interests in Italy.

Individuals — Personal Income Tax — Irpef — Residence for tax purposes — Agenzia delle Entrate (agenziaentrate.gov.it)

Right to settle and work in Italy and all European Union countries

All EU citizens and their family members have the right to move and reside freely within the EU. The conditions for the exercise of the right of free movement and residence within the territory of the Member States by EU citizens and their family members are set out in the Free Movement Directive 2004/38/EC:

  • EU citizens can live in another EU country for up to three months without any requirements other than holding a valid identity card or passport.
  • In order to stay in another EU country for more than three months, EU citizens have to meet certain conditions depending on their status (for example worker, self-employed, student, etc.) and may be asked to comply with administrative formalities.
  • EU citizens have the right to permanent residence in another EU country after legally residing there continuously for five years. They may be temporarily absent (for example due to an illness, to study, or because of a posting).
  • Family members of EU citizens, either EU citizens or nationals of a non-EU country, have the right to accompany or join EU citizens in another EU Member State. They may be asked to comply with certain conditions or formalities.

Movement and residence (europa.eu)

Automatic acquisition of EU citizenship

Every person holding the nationality of a Member State is a citizen of the European. Citizenship of the Union is complementary to but does not replace national citizenship. EU citizenship comprises a number of rights and duties in addition to those stemming from the citizenship of a Member State. For all EU citizens, citizenship implies:

  • The right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (Article 21 TFEU);
  • The right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections (Article 22(1) TFEU) in the Member State in which they reside, under the same conditions as nationals of that State;
  • The right to diplomatic protection in the territory of a third country (non-EU state) by the diplomatic or consular authorities of another Member State, if their own country does not have diplomatic representation there, to the same extent as that provided for nationals of that Member State;
  • The right to petition the European Parliament and the right to apply to the Ombudsman (both Article 24 TFEU) appointed by the European Parliament concerning instances of maladministration in the activities of the EU institutions or bodies;
  • The right to write to any EU institution or body in one of the languages of the Member States and to receive a response in the same language (Article 24(4) TFEU);
  • The right to access European Parliament, Council, and Commission documents, subject to certain conditions (Article 15(3) TFEU).

The citizens of the Union and their rights | Fact Sheets on the European Union | European Parliament (europa.eu)

If you choose to reside in Italy, you can register with the Health National System (HNS)

In Italy, healthcare is guaranteed by the National Health Service (SSN) to which all residents in one of the situations indicated by national regulation are obligatorily signed up. Healthcare services (medical care) are provided to those signed up by Local Healthcare Authorities (LHA) and Hospital agencies which constitute organs of the SSN. Services can also be provided by private healthcare bodies which have signed the relevant contracts with the LHAs. To sign up for the SSN and receive an SSN number, consult the LHA in your place of residence. When signing up, the person can choose their GP from a list of doctors registered with the SSN. General assistance is provided directly through the office of the pre-selected or local doctor.

Italy — Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion — European Commission (europa.eu)

The right to emergency healthcare in all EU countries

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland or the United Kingdom under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country. The benefits covered include, for example, benefits provided in conjunction with chronic or existing illnesses as well as in conjunction with pregnancy and childbirth.

European Health Insurance Card — Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion — European Commission (europa.eu)

Right to pass on automatically citizenship to any of your children under the age of 18

Italian citizenship is based upon the principle of “jure sanguinis”. This means that a child who is born to an Italian father or mother, is also an Italian citizen, no matter where the child is born. Children under the age of 18 are automatically Italian if one of the parents is an Italian citizen, and their birth certificate is registered with the Italian authorities. Italian citizens resident abroad must send the documentation to register the minor’s birth certificate to the Registry Office (Ufficio di Stato Civile) of the Italian Consulate before the child turns 18.

Citizenship by descent (iure sanguinis) — Consolato Generale d’Italia Londra (esteri.it)

Right to vote for Italian and European Parliament elections

Italian citizens living abroad and regularly registered with AIRE may exercise their right to vote abroad in their place of residence for national elections, for abrogative and constitutional referendums under Articles 75 and 138 of the Constitution, and for European Parliament elections.

Voting abroad — Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale

Consular protection from the embassy of any other EU country in a country outside the EU

The right to diplomatic protection in the territory of a third country (non-EU state) by the diplomatic or consular authorities of another Member State, if their own country does not have diplomatic representation there, to the same extent as that provided for nationals of that Member State;

Diplomatic and consular protection (europa.eu)

Do you think you may qualify for Italian citizenship by Naturalization? Contact us for an initial assessment or send us via email to citizenship@mazzeschi.it .

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