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Italian citizenship by marriage

Italian citizenship by marriage is a process by which a foreign national can obtain Italian citizenship by marrying an Italian citizen. However, it is important to note that marriage to an Italian citizen does not automatically guarantee Italian citizenship. It is necessary to follow a specific procedure and meet certain requirements set by Italian law.

Obtaining Italian citizenship is not as straightforward as people think, but behind it is a series of processes and prerequisites that must be met. Certain times, certain conditions are dictated. Let’s see together how to obtain Italian citizenship, especially to celebrate marriage to an Italian citizen and what are the documents for Italian citizenship for marriage purposes.

Documents to obtain Italian citizenship for marriage

The documents required to obtain Italian citizenship for marriage are as follows:

  • Birth certificate that must contain all details of the applicant. The document to be translated and legalized by the Italian diplomatic or consular authority present in the citizen’s home state, or apostilled. This has unlimited validity;
  • 16 euro revenue stamp;
  • Foreign criminal record certificate, which must attest to criminal history and any pending criminal charges. Clearly, just as with the birth certificate, the criminal certificate must also be legalized and translated. This will be valid for six months;
  • Copy of valid passport or ID card;
  • Copy of residence permit, if any;
  • Copy of the payment of the contribution of €250.00 made out to the Ministry of the Interior,

made by bank transfer: “Ministry of the Interior D.L.C.I – Citizenship, Reason: Mandatory contribution for application for granting Italian citizenship by marriage.”

  • Certified knowledge of the Italian language of a level not less than B1 of the Common Frame of Reference for Languages;
  • Unico or Form 730, relating to income received in the last three years;
  • Residency, which is a complete record of residence certificates with history;
  • Self-certification of current and criminal family status;
  • Italian spouse ID and date of oath.

Waiting times

The time frame for the Italian citizenship by marriage application process is 3 years from the date of application. The new law provides a 24-month deadline, extendable to 36 months for citizenship applications filed after Dec. 21, 2020. The deadline was shortened by the Lamorgese Decree, which amended Art. 9b of Law no. 91/92, raising it from 4 to 3 years. Waiting times are cut in half if there are children born or adopted by the couple.

The conditions necessary to obtain Italian citizenship

If you want to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage, there are some conditions you must follow. Italian citizenship by marriage can be obtained when a foreign citizen marries an Italian citizen, as stipulated in Art. 5 of Law Feb. 5, 1992, no. 91. First, however, it is essential that the foreign national has been a resident of Italy for at least two years after the date of marriage. If, on the other hand, he has been a foreign resident, at least three years will have to elapse after the date of marriage.

Even if you do not have a residence permit, Italian law still allows you to get married. You only need a valid identity document to celebrate your wedding and join in marriage with an Italian citizen. Once the marriage to an Italian citizen has been celebrated, the foreign citizen is entitled to the issuance of a residence permit for marriage to an Italian citizen, even if he or she was an irregular citizen before the marriage. Citizenship comes, on the other hand, after about two to three years, but the time is cut in half and becomes faster if there are children involved. What’s more, if it turns out that the marriage was performed only to have a residence permit and stay quietly in the territory of the state, the residence permit is cancelled immediately.

A wedding can never be a rite of convenience. It should celebrate the love, the union, the truthfulness of a couple and not be exploited to get a simple paper. It is possible to apply for Italian citizenship, through the dedicated portal. Access to the portal by citizenship applicants residing in Italy is allowed only with SPID. A quick, easy and convenient way to request your documentation. Remember that it is necessary for the marriage to be valid and effective not only on the date of application for citizenship but until citizenship is obtained. During the time from filing the application to obtaining citizenship, therefore, there must not be a dissolution of the bond, annulment or termination of the civil effects of marriage, until the date of adoption of the decree granting citizenship. Bureaucratic paperwork that, like it or not, must be supported and hurried through in order to get what is required, clearly standing by rules and timeframes dictated by the state.


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