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How to Get Italian Citizenship by Marriage
There’s nothing more exciting than marrying into an Italian family, except the fact that you may be able to legally become an Italian citizen. If you want to learn more about getting Italian citizenship by marriage, you’ve come to the right place. Our team offers comprehensive consults so that we can help you pave the path to your Italian citizenship through civil union or marriage.
Guidelines for Italian Citizenship by Marriage
Just marrying an Italian citizen doesn’t automatically grant you jure matrimonii, or Italian citizenship by marriage. There are many documents you’ll need to provide in order to submit an application for Italian citizenship by marriage and a waiting period which will vary depending on where you reside and whether or not you have children. However, you can become an Italian citizen without immigrating to Italy if your marital partner is an Italian citizen residing in the United States.
Women Married Before April 27, 1983
If you are a woman who married an Italian citizen before April 27, 1983, you are automatically entitled to Italian citizenship by marriage under Italian law. Your process of documenting yourself as an Italian citizen is fairly simple. You will need to:
- Submit an application with a copy of your driver’s license and passport
- Include a certified (long form) copy of your birth certificate
- Provide an affidavit stating there has been no divorce or separation
- Produce documentation of the date of marriage or civil union with a marriage certificate
- Documents must be translated into Italian and include an Apostille
All Other Marriages
Based on new requirements put in place on December 4, 2018, men who entered into a marriage or civil union with an Italian woman and women who entered into a civil union or married an Italian man after April 27, 1983 will follow this application process to gain Italian citizenship by marriage:
- Demonstrate adequate knowledge of the Italian language to a level of B1 (intermediate level) under the standardized CEFR language test
- A foreign spouse can apply to be made an Italian citizen after 2 years of marriage if the couple lives in Italy, or one year if they have children together
- If the Italian spouse resides outside of Italy, the waiting period is 3 years, reduced to 18 months if the couple has children or adopts together
- There is an application fee of 250 Euro
- Processing time for Italian citizenship by marriage is 36 months (3 years)
- Your request for Italian citizenship by marriage can be denied based on your criminal history record or threats to national security
- A divorce declaration or legal separation before citizenship is granted will cause the application to be denied
Documents Required to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Marriage
Along with your application for citizenship by marriage, there are other documents you’ll need to provide during the process of becoming an Italian citizen. These documents include:
- Marriage certificate issued by an Italian comune or registered with an Italian consulate
- Italian residence permit if you reside in Italy
- Photocopies of your valid passport and driver’s license
- A valid Italian language certificate
- Divorce decree for any previous marriages
- Birth certificate in official form and a translated copy
- Records of Italian citizenship for your spouse including proof of residence if applicable
- Certificate of clean criminal records (Police clearance)
- FBI clearance after criminal record check
- Receipt for filing fees
Translation and Apostille Requirements When Applying for Italian Citizenship
Any required documents which are not in Italian will need to be translated by a certified translation service before you submit them to the Italian consulate if you live abroad, or the local prefettura (recorder office) if you live in Italy. In addition, most of these will need to be approved by Apostille services, which validate them as legal documents in Italian.
Submitting Your Application to Become an Italian Citizen by Marriage
Your application will be submitted online through the consulate or Italian embassy where your Italian spouse is registered. If you are both American citizens, living in the United States, you will apply through the Italian consulate with jurisdiction over your state of residence. Your Italian spouse must already be registered with AIRE, which is the registry of Italian citizens residing abroad.
If your Italian spouse lives in Italy and you are immigrating to Italy, you will be applying for citizenship at the local prefettura. You are entitled to Italian residency by marriage once you become an Italian citizen, until then you will need a valid residence permit to live in Italy. Processing times will vary, but you should expect to wait 2-4 years for the process to be complete.
Once you receive notice that you are officially an Italian citizen, you will need to sign up for the registry of Italian citizens residing abroad, and once registered with AIRE, you can apply for an Italian passport and spend as much time as you wish in Italy and the EU.
Let Us Help Make the Application Process Easier
Applying for an Italian American dual citizenship is a complex process. There are also other ways to become an Italian citizen, including naturalization and citizenship by descent. If you have ancestors of Italian nationality, you may not need to marry an Italian partner to apply.
With so many documents to locate, translate, and submit, along with records checks and family law requirements, it helps to have an experienced team at your side. Our staff at the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program makes getting your Italian citizenship through marriage hassle- and stress-free.
We work with each of our clients to identify their exact needs, along with a report that includes a project plan, cost analysis, and a schedule. Contact us today for help becoming an Italian citizen by the fastest possible route, and enjoy all the benefits that Italy and the EU have to offer.