Italian Citizenship by Naturalization

Aug 02, 2018

People who have legally resided in Italy for a certain number of years (this vary from case to case) may be able to acquire citizenship, depending on their birthplace, on the citizenship of their parents or grandparents, their nationality, and the length of time they have legally resided in Italy.

Normally, applications for the naturalization can be filed after ten years of legal residency in Italy, provided that the applicant has remained compliant with immigration and Italian taxation throughout all this period. The general requirements are outlined below.

Applications for the naturalization can be filed after ten years of legal residence in Italy, which can be reduced to:

  • 3 years of legal residence, for those who were born in Italy or who have parents or grandparents that were Italian citizens;
    Example. Ettore’s grandfather was an Italian citizen. Ettore has now been living in Pisa, Italy for 3 years.  Ettore can apply for Italian citizenship at the relevant Town Hall where he has established his residency.
  • 4 years of legal residence for EU citizens
    Ex. Isabelle is a Belgian citizen and has been living in Florence, Italy for four and a half years. Isabelle can apply for Italian citizenship at the relevant Town Hall where she has established her residency.
  • 5 years of legal residence for stateless persons or refugees, as well as for legal-age foreigners adopted by Italian citizens;
  • No period of residence is required for foreigners who have worked for the Italian State for a period of at least 5 years, even abroad.


Questions Answers Explanations
Can I apply even if I am resident abroad? NO The request of Italian citizenship is based on being currently resident in Italy. The applicant should have been resident in Italy for a certain number of years and have maintained his/her residency throughout the whole process.
Can I count the years of residency in Italy, even if I spent periods abroad? NO The required number of years should be uninterrupted.
Is residency the only requirement? NO Requirements are based on the number of years of residency, an absence of criminal records, payment of tax in Italy and knowledge of the Italian language. Please contact us for further details.
Do I have an expedited process if I own a property in Italy? NO You should declare if you have a house or property in Italy, but this won’t expedite the process.
Can I apply after a reduced period of time? In which case? YES Non-EU applicants can apply after 10 years of residency and EU citizens after 4 years of residency. Reduced periods of just 3 years of residency are allowed if the applicant has an ancestor born in Italy or who has parents/grandparentswho are Italian citizens.
Will past criminal charges have an impact on my citizenship application? YES Applicants should produce criminal records for all countries of past and present residencies in order to prove they have no criminal charges.
Should I also procure Italian criminal records? NO Italian criminal records won’t be necessary because Italian authorities will make these checks with the local Procura.
Am I eligible to apply even if my income is produced abroad? NO One of the basic requirements is proving a salary is produced and taxed in Italy.
Is it necessary to show the income and taxation for the whole period of residency in Italy? NO Italian authorities only request tax forms for the last 3 years of residency, even if all requirements should remain valid until the end of the process.
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 Institution listed by the Italian Ministry for citizenship applications.
In there any exemption for the language certificate? YES If you have an EU long-term residence permit, you comply with the Integration Agreement provisions or you own a qualification issued by Italian public schools or state-recognised private ones, you are exempt from procuring a language certificate.
Do I need to have all the 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 change my residency while the application is pending? YES It is advisable to change your residency only after the issuance of the file number K/10… Then, you should immediately inform the authorities involved with your application.
Will the Prefettura interview me? YES During the process the applicant should attend an appointment at the local Prefettura and submit all originals certificates.
Should I also submit original certificates? YES Applicants should submit all original certificates during the appointment at the Prefettura.
Can the process take years? YES Italian authorities should make a decision within 4 years of the online application.
Is there a way to expedite the process? NO There is no way to expedite the process. It is advisable to prepare all necessary documents in order to avoid possible delays during the process.

Do you think you may qualify for Italian citizenship by Naturalization? Contact us for an initial assessment by filling out an online form, or send us via email to .

Book a call with one of our consultants if you want to know if your eligible or not to apply for citizenship at the following link:

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