BECOMING AN ITALIAN CITIZEN
Citizenship is a legal relationship between an individual and a country. The country provides protection and rights to the citizen, and in return the individual owes allegiance to the state. This article examines how to become an Italian citizen. Italy is one of the most recommended countries to visit, thanks to its history and nature. Italy is also a founder member of the European Union. Therefore, being an Italian citizen means to become an EU citizen as well. Hence, the Italian citizenship brings a right to be employed in another EU member state -subject to some specific circumstances- and visa-free travel across the EU. Italian citizenship is currently regulated by Law No. 91 of 5 December 1992 that has been amended by the Security Decree No. 113 of 4 October 2018.
How to become an Italian citizen?
According to the Italian law, citizenship can be obtained by one of the three options listed below.
- Jui sanguinis (right of blood) refers to acquiring citizenship or determination of it by the nationality of parents. This means that an individual can acquire the nationality of one or both of his/her parents, irrespective of the country where that person was born. The right of blood in Italian Law is differentiated based on paternal and maternal line. Italian laws recognized acquiring citizenship through the maternal line as of 1 January 1948, whereas paternal line had been included in law on 17 March 1871.
- Marriage is the second way to become an Italian citizen. In order to acquire Italian citizenship through marriage, one must reside in Italy for at least 6 months after marrying an Italian citizen or being married to an Italian citizen for at least 3 years in case the person lives abroad. For the citizenship application through marriage, applicants must have a valid marriage certificate, no criminal records, and no impediments associated with national security. Additionally, under Security Decree No. 113 of 4 October 2018, applicants who wish to become an Italian citizen must prove that they speak Italian at the B1 level as a minimum.
- Residency is the last option to acquire an Italian citizenship. In this way, the applicant has to be a non-EU citizen who is legally residing in Italy for at least 10 years for being naturalised as an Italian citizen. For an EU citizen to apply for Italian citizenship through residency s/he has to reside in Italy for at least four years. Requirements, in addition to the time limit of residency, are to have a sufficient income; to have no criminal record; and renunciation of the original citizenship.
We highly recommend you to obtain legal assistance for the application process to acquire Italian citizenship in order to avoid loss of your time and financial means. Our law firm, through its partner offices in Milan and Rome stands ready to answer your questions regarding the acquisition of Italian citizenship, investment in Italy, and business immigration. For more information and legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.