Italian Citizenship by Marriage

Naturalization by marriage refers to the process by which a foreign citizen can acquire citizenship of a specific country due to his marriage to a citizen of that country. In other words, the foreign spouse obtains citizenship of the country in which his spouse is a citizen, through legally recognized marriage. That is, spouses of Italian citizens can apply for what we call NATURALIZATION BY MARRIAGE.

However, there are some prerequisites that are:

·        Residents of Italy can apply for naturalization after 2 years of marriage.

·        Residents abroad may apply for naturalization after 3 years of formalization of the union.

This period is halved if the couple has children under the age of 18 (including adopted).

Women who married an Italian citizen by April 27, 1983

It is important to note that women who married an Italian citizen until April 27, 1983, are entitled to citizenship by marriage automatically.

According to Italian legislation in force until April 27, 1983, women who married Italian citizens acquired Italian citizenship automatically through marriage.

Prior to that date, foreign women who married Italian men were considered Italian “by right” and therefore acquired Italian citizenship at the time of marriage. This means that it was not necessary to follow additional procedures or pass language or residency exams to obtain Italian citizenship.

Same-sex union

On July 29, 2016, Decree DPCM (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers) No. 144 of 07.23.2016 entered into force, which regulates Law No. 76 of 05.20.2016, in force since 06.05.2016.

With this decree, the Italian parliament approved the union between persons of the same sex. Thus, the foreign partner civilly united with an Italian citizen may benefit from Italian naturalization by marriage.

However, to take advantage of this law, after the civil marriage must be made the transcription and update of the AIRE with the competent Italian Consulate and comply with the deadlines mentioned above. For those who live in Italy.

Certificate of knowledge of the Italian language

When applying for Italian citizenship by marriage, knowledge of the Italian language, level B1) is one of the requirements to be met. You need to pass an Italian exam to prove your level of proficiency. The exam may vary depending on the region and the authority responsible for the process, but it usually tests listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in Italian.

To take the B1 Italian proficiency exam, you can look for educational institutions or exam centers that offer the internationally recognized Italian proficiency certification. Some of the most well-known institutions that apply Italian language exams are:

·        Università per Stranieri di Perugia (University for Foreigners of Perugia): This university is one of the best known in Italy for the teaching of Italian as a foreign language. They offer the “CELI – Certificato di Conoscenza della Lingua Italiana” at various levels, including level B1.

·        Società Dante Alighieri: The Dante Alighieri Society is an Italian cultural organization that promotes the teaching of the Italian language and culture throughout the world. They offer the “PLIDA – Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri” at different levels, including B1.

·        Italian Institute of Culture: Italian Institutes of Culture in different countries may also offer Italian language exams, including the B1. Check the website of the Italian Institute of Culture in your region for information on available exams.

Language schools and language centres: In addition to the institutions mentioned above, many language schools and language centres around the world also offer preparatory courses and apply Italian language exams, including level B1.

Before you register for the exam, be sure to check the availability of the exams and the specific application and documentation requirements required by each institution. In addition, confirm that the certificate of proficiency issued will be recognized for the specific purposes for which you wish to use the certification, such as for obtaining Italian citizenship by marriage.

Required documents:

1. Birth Certificate: recent duplicate (maximum of 180 days), in original, in full content.  The certificate must mention the surname adopted because of the marriage, even if the surname has not been changed.

2. Certificate of Criminal Record of the Brazilian Federal Police: The document must be within the validity period (90 days) and be presented in original;

3. If you have lived in another country after the age of 14, you must also present the certificate of criminal history of the countries of residence;

4. Identity document such as: copy of the valid passport (pages with personal data, photo, date of issue and expiration date) or RG;

5. Prof of residence;

6. “Estratto per riassunto dai registri di matrimonio“, in original, issued by the Italian Comune;

7. Certificate of proficiency of the Italian language level B1.

Step by step to obtain Italian citizenship by marriage.

Below we inform the step by step process of granting Italian citizenship by marriage:

1.           Prepare all documentation.

2.           Translate the documents into Italian by sworn translator and apostille;

3.           Registration on the portal of the Italian Ministero dell’Interno;

4.           Pay consular fee today of 250 euros to the Italian Ministero dell’Interno (new amount set by Decree 4           October 2018 n. 113, in force since October 5, 2018)

5.           Fill out the form of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (responsible body)    and attach copies of the documents prepared in the first step in the electronic system in the Ministry;

6.           Call (via portal) for the delivery of the original documents.

7.           The Ministry, after due analysis of the documents and the form, will send a date for the appearance at the Italian consulate to present all the documents.

8.           Take the oath upon receipt of the communication confirming the granting of Italian citizenship.

(*As the amounts of consular fees vary frequently, this information must be confirmed before making the payment.

The deadline for completion of the process by the Ministero Dell’Interno is up to 730 days from the acceptance of the application.

It is important to remember that citizenship laws may change over time, and legislation may have been updated after my cut-off date. Therefore, it is always advisable to check the official sources of the Italian government or consult a professional specialized in immigration to get up-to-date information on Italian citizenship by marriage and its specific requirements.

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