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Getting Italian Citizenship Faster: Applying in Italy vs. the US
The process of getting Italian dual citizenship can be long and tedious, especially if you apply in the U.S. It can take from one to six years just to get an appointment at your regional consulate office.
Isn’t there an easier way? Possibly. First, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for dual Italian American citizenship. Then read on to learn more.
Applying for Dual Citizenship in Italy
Unlike in the U.S, there are usually no wait times at Italian town halls where you apply for citizenship. This can save you a year of time or more.
But you still must gather all the same documentation proving your right to Italian citizenship. This includes Italian and U.S. vital records, naturalization records, apostilles, translations, and amendments if applicable. This process takes considerable time and effort whether you live in the U.S. or Italy.
Here are some more important things to know about applying for citizenship in Italy:
- You will have to establish permanent residency in Italy. Usually, this is for the duration of the application process, which takes 4-12 months. Permanent residency means you’ve been granted the right to live in Italy but are not a citizen. You’re eligible to apply for residency if you’ve bought a house, are renting a house or apartment, or are living with an Italian relative. Your local town hall will require you to show proof of residency for at least 12 months. Note: Check with an accountant to find out the financial and tax implications of establishing permanent residency.
- You must apply for citizenship at the Italian town hall in the Comune where you plan to live. A comune is an administrative division like a municipality in the U.S. For example, you can’t buy a house in one town and apply for Italian citizenship in another town.
- The Italian town hall may require you to have your non-Italian document translations notarized by an Italian Consulate in the U.S., or in a court in Italy. Also, to finalize the process, the town hall may contact your Italian consulate office in the U.S. to confirm that you and your ascendants have never renounced their Italian citizenship.
Important Things to Know
Sometime after you apply for citizenship, you can expect a visit from a police officer to confirm you are, in fact, living in Italy—this is standard procedure. You’ll need to have lived in your Italian residence for at least a few weeks before you apply for citizenship.
Once you’ve applied, you’re technically allowed to travel, but it’s wise to stick around for at least a few months after you apply to make sure you’re available for appointments at your town hall on short notice.
You’ll need to prove that your physical presence in Italy is continuous and not occasional. In other words, that you’re not simply flying to Italy when you have an appointment at your town hall office and then immediately going back to the U.S.
Official decision-makers will also use more subjective information to determine your intent to live in Italy. This includes things like your personal and social habits, family relationships, business activities, and other factors. They want to know you’re serious about becoming a citizen and living in Italy.
Get Help Understanding Italian Dual Citizenship Requirements
The experts at the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program can help you determine if you qualify for Italian citizenship, and we can guide you on how to become an Italian citizen as quickly as possible.
We can help you understand the requirements, gather the necessary documents, and more. Our program has helped hundreds of people discover whether they are eligible for Italian citizenship! Contact us today to learn more.