Delays in Italian Citizenship Application: A quick guideline when there is a delay

May 03, 2023

Things you should know about when your Italian citizenship application is pending for months

Delays in Italian citizenship application may occure. Processing times are getting longer and sometimes applications for Italian citizenship by marriage and/or residency remain pending even for some years before any progress on the status of the application is seen.

In order to minimize the possibility of prolonged process, you may take into account the following guidelines.

Guidelines: Things you should know about when applying for Italian Citizenship 

Are you applying for Italian Citizenship? In that case, keep in mind the following points:


When applying for Italian Citizenship, it is important to submit a set of documents as precisely and consistently as possible. It is very likely to omit a document necessary for citizenship purposes or to stumble over a detail that does not match the certificates. Even a minor discrepancy should be avoided.The fewer discrepancies, the quicker the procedure. Incorrect certificates may delay the processing of your application or affect your eligibility for Italian citizenship.


In case you have submitted your application before Dec. 19th, 2020, the processing time for acquiring Italian citizenship is, by law, 4 years from the day of application. 

In case you have submitted your application after that date, Italian authorities have 24 months extendable to 36 to provide an outcome. 

* Please be informed that due to the pandemic 82 days need to be added to the above timeframe. These days correspond to the suspension of time limits that occurred during that period. 

Applying for Italian Citizenship: What are the different phases of the process? What does each phase mean?

Phase 1 and 2: “Inquiry checks are underway on the elements acquired related to clarifications and integrations with other offices involved in the proceeding

Phase 3: “Preliminary and cognitive elements have been acquired, which are now subject to necessary investigations useful for the definition of the proceeding”

Phase 4: “All the necessary information has been acquired, and the application is being evaluated”

Phase 5: “The procedure related to the file in question is concluded and the relevant order has been sent to the competent bodies for the consequent fulfilments and determinations”

Phase 6: “The investigation was favourably concluded and the concession decree is being sent to the Prefecture which will take care of its notification. If the applicant resides abroad, the decree will be sent to the Consular Authority”

Phase 7: “Application file defined. You will receive a communication from the Prefecture/Consulate”

*Note: Italian authorities may use wordings slightly different from the above and they may combine some phasis.

Some useful tips you should take into account when applying for Italian Citizenship

  • Be sure to file the documentation in the right order and with no discrepancies. 
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day, so please be patient for a few months!
  • During the first phase, if you do not see any progress, you may send a gentle follow-up message to Italian authorities informing them that you make yourself available and cooperative for any needs they may have.
  • Once you reach the 5th phase, we suggest you send a formal request to know the outcome of the application.
  • During the 6th stage, you may try to put some pressure on the authorities by sending a tougher and more direct follow-up message to speed up the process. 
  • Once the final stage has been reached, it is possible for the successful applicant to contact the consular authorities or the Prefecture to assert his or her right and request an appointment to be provided at the earliest opportunity. 

What happens if the time limit runs out?

There are various ways that the applicant can take to ensure that he or she receives an outcome on the submitted citizenship application. Depending on the stage at which the application is pending, the applicant may take specific formal requests directed to the Consular authorities or Prefecture. Usually, a 30-day limit is left for them to provide an outcome. 

How can we  help you? 
Does bureaucracy put you on the spot? Does legal terminology get you in trouble?

We are delighted to let you know that Mazzeschi srl provides assistance and supports in the compilation of formal requests addressed to the Public Administration and any other interested body. 

If you are having problems with long processing time of your Italian Citizenship application, you can contact us. Our staff of the Italian citizenship department will do their best to help you.

When the Italian Citizenship will be GRANTED, you will be an Italian citizen. What should you do after obtaining the Italian citizenship?

If a decree has been issued awarding Italian citizenship, first congratulations!

The Italian Consulate or the territorial Prefecture will notify the applicant, who will book an appointment at the Italian Town Hall or at the competent consulateto take the official oath.

Remember, the newly became Italian citizen must take the oath within six months from the date of notification of the decree granting Italian nationality.

This article was written by Giuditta De Ricco & Greis Muca

With our Multilingual Service Desks with native English, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic speaking associates serving as a contact point, we offer a dense network of lawyers specialized in Italian Immigration and Citizenship law.

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