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How Long Does It Take to Get Italian Citizenship?
Italian citizenship can take a few months to 18 months to obtain once the folder reaches the italian consulate. There are many advantages to having citizenship in Italy, even if you do not intend to live there full time. Many Americans qualify for Italian dual citizenship and the ability to travel to Italy and other EU countries whenever they wish, to purchase land, to import their belongings, or to retire in the Tuscan sun. Yet how long does it take to get citizenship in Italy and how do you qualify?
Are You Eligible to Become an Italian Citizen?
It is quite possible that you are eligible to become an Italian citizen if:
- You have a direct ancestor who was born in Italy (citizenship by descent).
- You or your direct ancestor married an Italian citizen (Italian citizenship by marriage).
Of course, there are particular criteria that must be met, and you will need to gather required documents and vital records for your application for Italian citizenship, such as birth certificates. A simple online questionnaire can help you determine if you qualify.
How Quickly Can You Become an Italian Citizen?
There are several factors that affect how long it will take to apply for Italian citizenship. It often takes 18 months or more once your application is accepted by the Italian consulate or embassy with jurisdiction in your area.The wait time can be longer if your application is incomplete or documents need to be amended.
Once you receive notification that your citizenship is confirmed, you will be able to obtain an Italian passport. Traveling under an Italian passport offers many advantages when exploring the EU, and your citizenship allows you to live and work there without time limits.
The Process of Applying for Citizenship in Italy
Starting the process as soon as you know you are eligible will help you more efficiently manage these steps, which are essential to earning your citizenship in Italy:
- Research Italian vital records to document that your ancestor was born in Italy or was married to an Italian citizen. This might take three months.
- Obtain applicable U.S. Naturalization Records or ensure and document that no naturalization records exist, which may require contacting the U.S. Census Bureau as well. Most people spend about three months in this state of the process.
- Locate other certified U.S. vital records, as required. This might involve state, county, and township records. Any errors in names or dates on these documents must be officially corrected. can vary from 6 months to 1 year.
- Find an official translator to translate the U.S. documents in English into Italian. Plan for at least one month for this, once you locate a reliable certified translator.
- Make an appointment with the Italian Consulate . At your appointment, s
The Process of Applying for Citizenship in Italy via Italian Consulate
- Collect all of the vital records necessary for your application, and have them legalized and translated.
- Check your residency address against the list of Italian consulates in the U.S., and apply to the one closest to it by visiting and registering with the website’s Prenotami booking system.
- Log into the website and schedule a citizenship appointment.
- Expect various waiting times.
Consulates are legally allowed up to 24 months to process Italian citizenship applications by descent, but it may not take this long. If your application is not processed within the 24-month timeframe, you can take advantage of opportunities for legal action, which are supplied by the Italian government.
Applying for Citizenship via an Italian Municipality
If you do not wish to wait for an appointment or processing times, it can be faster to apply via an Italian municipality.
- A lease agreement or deed to a property located in the municipality in which you will be establishing residency will provide proof to the municipality that you are legally authorized to use it. The police in that municipality will verify this within 45 days from the day you submit your application for residency.
- After you’ve received verification of your residency status, you likely won’t need to make an appointment to file your application. Simply visit the town hall’s citizenship office to submit your vital records.
- You can expect to wait a few months for your citizenship application to be processed.
Applying for Citizenship via the Italian Court System
Those with 1948 cases can apply to an Italian court for recognition of their citizenship. Applications must be filed at courts within the municipality of your family member’s birth. You can expect the waiting time for this option to take from 2 to 18 months.
Keep in mind that this option may require more than one hearing if additional documents are required. If not, a decision will be granted on the hearing day.
Streamlining the Process of Applying for Italian Citizenship
The Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program was created to help Italian Americans obtain Italian citizenship, reconnect with their heritage, and pursue their educational, career, and retirement goals as residents in Italy. We can help you determine your eligibility, and we offer Apostille and translation services and assistance with all steps of your application.
If you are wondering if becoming an Italian dual citizen is the right choice for you and a legacy you could leave to your children, contact us today. We can schedule a free telephone consultation to get you started and help you make this life-enhancing decision.