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Italian citizenship by marriage or civil partnership

  1. Legislation
  2. Requirements
  3. Documents
  4. PROCEDURE
  5. Fees
  6. Useful contacts and links

 

  1. Legislation

Those who apply for citizenship by marriage or civil partnership must be acquainted with the duties towards the Italian Republic, first among them adherence to the national values and irreproachable conduct.

The acquisition of Italian citizenship by marriage by a foreign national or stateless person who married an Italian national on or after 27th April 1983 is currently governed by Law no. 91 of 5th February 1992 (articles 5,6, 7 and 8) and subsequent amendments.

Italian citizenship applications may also be submitted by a foreign national who has entered into a civil partnership with an Italian national. The civil partnership must have been registered in the Registers of Civil Status of the Italian “Comune” – Town Hall – (Legislative Decrees 5,6,and 7/2017).

The foreign spouse/civil partner can acquire Italian citizenship upon request provided they satisfy the legal requirements, as outlined below.

Relevant legislation:

    • Law no. 123 of 21st April 1983
    • Law no. 91 of 5th February 1992 and DPR no.572/1993 and 362/1994
    • Law no. 94/2009
    • Law no. 76/2016 and Legislative decrees no. 5, 6 and 7 of 19th January 2017
    • Decree Law no. 113 of 4th October 2018 (so-called “Safety Decree”) converted by Law no. 132 of 1st December 2018
    • Decree Law no. 130 of 21st October 2020, converted by Law no. 173 of 18th December 2020
  1. Requirements for the acquisition of Italian citizenship
    • Residence in the consular district:
      • The applicant will have to submit their application to the diplomatic/consular mission covering the area of their long term residence. The application can only be made online (see Section 4, Procedure, Step 1 – Registration, below.
      • The Italian spouse/civil partner must be resident and legally registered in the A.I.R.E. (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero – Register of Italians residing abroad) of the relevant consular district and cohabiting at the same address of the citizenship applicant. Conversely, both partners will need to provide documentation proving the reason (e.g. work, children’s schooling, medical care or other) justifying the need for separate domicile.
    • Submission date: the application can be submitted three years after the marriage/civil partnership if the spouse is an Italian national iure sanguinis (i.e. from birth). If the spouse acquired Italian citizenship after the marriage (e.g. by residence in Italy) then the three years start from the date of naturalisation of the spouse. The three years are reduced to one and a half years in case that there are children under 18 born or adopted by the spouse.
    • Registration of the marriage/civil partnership:
      • If it occurred abroad, it must have been registered at the “comune” (town hall) in Italy.
      • Validity of the marriage/civil partnership and stability of the marriage/civil partnership until the decree granting citizenship has been finalised. For the purposes of granting Italian citizenship, at the date of adoption of the decree no dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil partnership (legal separation, divorce) must have occurred. The death of the spouse after the submission of the citizenship application does not result in the loss of the right.
    • Criminal Record
      • Absence of convicting sentences by the Italian judicial authorities for offences that carry a sentence of more than three years’ imprisonment.
      • Absence of convictions by the foreign judicial authorities that carry a sentence of more than one year for non-political offences.
      • Absence of convictions for offences against the State.
      • Absence of impediments for the security of the Italian Republic.
    • Knowledge of the Italian language at least at B1 level of the Common European Reference Framework.
    • Payment of taxes and fees listed in the Documents and fees section.
  1. DOCUMENTS required for the citizenship application
    • Original Full birth certificate or equivalent: issued no more than six months previously by the country in which the applicant was born, which must include all the personal details (including father’s and mother’s details), duly legalised/apostilled and translated into Italian. The Italian translation must be certified by the Italian Consulate/Embassy in the country where the certificate was issued OR legalised with Apostille.

As regards British birth certificates, the applicant must request a recent copy from the Registry Office. This must be apostilled by the Legalisation Office and translated into Italian. WARNING! Only an Apostille legalising the signature of the registrar can be accepted.

    • Original Criminal Recordof the country of origin and any third countries of residence (from the age of 14) – except Italy – and of the countries of which the applicant is a citizen, issued absolutely no more than six months prior to the application date, duly legalised/apostilled and translated into Italian. The Italian translation must be certified by the Italian Consulate/Embassy in the country where the certificate was issued OR legalised with Apostille.

BRITISH CRIMINAL CERTIFICATE (“Police certificate for immigration purposes”) can be obtained by making a request to acro.policecertificates@acro.pnn.police.uk. If an unsigned certificate is issued, it is necessary to ask that the document bear the signature of the ACRO public official, which must then be legalized with an official apostille. This can be done by making a request to:

The Legalisation Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
e-mail: legalisationenquires@fcdo.gov.uk
Website: www.fco.gov.uk/legalisation

    • Payment receipt of Euro 250.00 to the Ministero dell’Interno(Ministry of the Interior) and of the stamp duty of 16 Euros, in the ways specified in the “Fees” section
    • Identity document: photocopy of valid passport (pages with personal details, photo, date of issue and expiry date).
    • Valid UK residence permit(or recent proof of address for UK citizens).
    • Copy of the full marriage certificateor “estratto per riassunto del registro dei matrimoni” (extract of marriage certificate), to be requested from the relevant Italian “comune” (town hall) in which it is registered, issued no more than the six months prior to the application date.
      PLEASE NOTE: If the applicant is an EU national, they may submit a self-certification according to Presidential Decree 445/2000).
    • Certificate of knowledgeof the Italian language at least at B1 level of the Common European Reference Framework (QCER). The certification submitted must be one of the following:
      • PLINA from Società Dante Alighieri
      • Certit from the Università Roma Tre
      • CILS from the Università per Stranieri di Siena
      • CELI from the Università per Stranieri di Perugia
      • CE.Co.L from the Università per Stranieri di Reggio Calabria

Other certifications issued by these organizations or by others cannot be accepted.

The following categories are not required to submit the certificate of Italian language knowledge:

      • Foreign nationals (even though they are resident abroad) who have signed the “integration agreement” as per art. 4 bis of Legislative Decree no. 286/1998 Testo Unico Immigrazione (Immigration Consolidated Law).
      • Holders of EU (or EC) residence permit for long-term residents as per art. 9 of the above Consolidated Law (even if they are resident abroad), but only if it is issued by the Italian authorities. Residence permits issued for family reasons or those issued by other states are not suitable.
      • Whoever has received a title of studies from a public education institute, or equivalent recognized by the Italian Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca and/or by the Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della C.I.
  1. PROCEDURE

STEP 1 – REGISTRATION AND SUBMISSION

The applicant living abroad must register on the portal of the Ministry of the Interior (https://portaleservizi.dlci.interno.it/AliCittadinanza/ali/home.htm) using their email address and not using SPID.

Please note that the email address declared on the portal when submitting the online application is considered to be the chosen contact address (art. 47 of Civil Code). It is therefore necessary that the applicant checks their email regularly, because all communications relating to their citizenship application, including requests for additional documents, appointments, notification of documents etc., will ONLY be sent electronically.

The applicant is obliged to register his data with the utmost care as this cannot be modified afterwards. In the case of error, a new registration with another e-mail address must be carried out. In particular, it will be necessary to report the details indicated in the birth certificate (including any annotations) and/or in acts and documents created abroad by the responsible foreign authorities (such as marriage certificates, identity documents, judgments of name/surname change, etc.). In the event of discrepancies, the applicant must provide appropriate supporting documentation.

If there are discrepancies then British citizens can attach a DEED POLL, witnessed by a Notary Public, duly apostilled and translated into Italian. For applicants with other citizenships, please provide either a birth certificates correctly annotated to show any change of name or surname, or a foreign marriage certificate correctly annotated to show any change of name or surname, duly legalized and translated into Italian. Alternatively, produce a declaration showing the exact details, issued in Italy by a consular authority of the country of citizenship, and legalized by the appropriate Italian Prefecture;

The application must declare any cohabitation with the applicant’s children under 18 years old arising from a previous relationship.

Under the section “DECLARATION OF RESIDENCE” (Residences in Italy and/or in the Country of Origin and/or in any other Country, different from the current one), please insert all your previous addresses, in chronological order with no gaps, from the age of 14 (years old) to the last residence before the current address. The current residence/address must not be declared here but in the section “Residence details of the applicant” instead.

No special characters or signs should be used (e.g. cedilla, acute or grave accents within the word, circumflex accents, etc.). It is possible to insert just an accent on the last letter by using an apostrophe, if it is also present in the source language.

STEP 2 – CONSULAR CHECKS

The Consular Office will be automatically informed that the application has been submitted and will carry out the necessary checks. The applicant will then receive a message through the portal of the Ministry of the Interior informing them that the application has been accepted or specifying the reason for it being unacceptable.

If the application is refused, then it can be resubmitted, making certain to fix all the errors indicated in the refusal. There is no additional charge so long as the application is resubmitted within a year.

If the application is accepted, the applicant will be invited via the portal to the Diplomatic/Consular mission to have the signature that appears on the citizenship application authenticated, to submit all the ORIGINAL paper documentation, including those that have already been uploaded on the portal, to pay the consular fees due or to check they have been paid. All the above original documentation will be kept by the Diplomatic/Consular mission, except for the passport and language certificate, for which a certified copy will be made and relevant fees collected.

STEP 3 – ASSESMENT and TIMELIMITS OF THE PROCEDURE

The assessment of the application and completion of the procedure are the sole responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior. The time required is 24 months from the date of submission of the application – which can be extended to a maximum of 36 months. If, at the end of the assessment of the application, the procedure is completed successfully, the Ministry of the Interior will send the Italian Citizenship Decree to the Diplomatic/Consular mission covering the area of the long-term residence of the applicant.

STEP 4 – DECREE, NOTIFICATION AND OATH

The Italian Citizenship Decree will be notified through the portal by means of a communication sent to the email address specified by the applicant when they registered. At the time of the notification the Diplomatic/consular mission will request the documents set out in national law with a view to ascertaining whether the marital relationship still exists. These documents must bear a date later than the adoption date of the decree:

    • Atto integrale di matrimonio (full marriage certificate) issued by the Italian “Comune” (town hall).
    • Criminal record certificate of the country of current residence, duly legalised and translated (see Documents section).

At the date of adoption of the decree, no dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil partnership or legal separation (separation judgment) must have occurred.

No later than six months from notification, the applicant will be invited to the Consular Office to swear an oath of allegiance to the Republic and its laws. The six-month period is mandatory, after which the applicant loses the right to receive the Italian Citizenship Decree.

A fee (stamp duty) must be paid for the decree.

The full marriage certificate must be requested from the Italian Comune (town hall) in where it is registered. The criminal record certificate is requested from the relevant authorities in the country of residence, and must be duly legalised/apostilled, and translated, as outlined in the “Documents” section. The applicant will swear an oath of allegiance by pronouncing the following words:“GIURO DI ESSERE FEDELE ALLA REPUBBLICA E DI OSSERVARE LA COSTITUZIONE E LE LEGGI DELLO STATO”.The effects of the oath, that is the acquisition of Italian citizenship, will commence the day after that of the oath.

The original birth certificate will be sent to the relevant Italian Comune (town hall) to be registered, together with an AIRE registration request and the statement of oath.

  1. Fees
    • A fee of euro 250.00 must be paid to the Ministero dell’Interno, either paid using PagoPa during the compilation of the application, or by bank transfer to the following account with the payment receipt to be uploaded in the online application and any costs borne by the sender:
      “Ministero dell’Interno D.L.C.I Cittadinanza”
      Name and address of the Bank: Poste Italiane S.p.A., Piazzale del Viminale, 00184 Roma
      IBAN code: IT54D0760103200000000809020
      Reason for payment: Richiesta cittadinanza per matrimonio ex art. 5 L. 91/1992 + applicant’s name and surname
      BIC/SWIFT Code of Poste Italiane: BPPIITRRXXX (for international bank transfers)
      BIC/SWIFT Code: PIBPITRA (for transactions of the EUROGIRO system)
    • Stamp duty of Euro 16 to be paid either by PagoPa to the Agenzia delle Entrate during the compilation of the application, or by bank transfer to the following Banca d’Italia account, with any costs borne by the sender:
      IBAN code: IT07Y0100003245348008120501
    • Articles of the consular fee schedule to apply:
    • Authentication of signature on the application: art. 24
    • Duty stamp on the application: art. N/A
    • Certified copy of valid Identity document: art 71. (Should the document not be in Latin characters you also need to submit a translation)
    • Certified copy of the current valid UK residence permit: art 71.
    • Certified copy of the language certification: art. 71
    • Certification that the translation of civil status acts and of criminal record certificates complies with its original: art 72
    • Duty stamp on the citizenship decree: art N/A
  1. Useful contacts and links

FIND YOUR CONSULATE

SEND YOUR APPLICATION TO THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR

WEBSITE OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

CONSULAR FEES SCHEDULE