How to become an Italian citizen?

Italian nationality is the legal status of being a citizen of Italy. In order to obtain Italian nationality, there are several ways depending on the circumstances of the applicant. The process of obtaining Italian nationality can take up to 3 years, but once obtained, it provides access to a range of benefits and rights as an Italian citizen, including the ability to vote, work, and travel freely within the European Union.

Generally speaking, to sum up, the main conditions to obtain Italian citizenship are the following:


  • Having Italian ancestry (parents or ancestors).
  • Being married to an Italian citizen (gay marriage or civil union is accepted). In case of marriage with an Italian citizen, the application for Italian citizenship will be possible after three years from the wedding date if the couple resides abroad, two years in case of residency in Italy. These requirements are halved in case of minor children.
  • Having resided legally in Italy for a continuous period of time. Most commonly, the period of continuous residency in Italy requested to obtain Italian citizenship through residency is 4 years for nationals of an EU Member State and 10 years for non-EU nationals.
  • Having been employed by the Italian State for at least 5 years.

Types of citizenships

Citizenship through residency
Recognition of the Italian citizenship iure sanguinis
Citizenship through Marriage
Citizenship through Declaration of Will
Citizenship re-acquisition

Applying for Italian citizenship​

Once you’ve determined your eligibility, you can begin the process of applying for citizenship, which may involve submitting an application, providing documentation, and attending an appointment or interview with Italian authorities. It’s important to work with an experienced Italian citizenship lawyer who can guide you through the process and help ensure that your application is complete and accurate.

The steps to obtain Italian citizenship vary depending on the type of citizenship that one is eligible for. However, here are some general steps that one can follow:

  • Determine eligibility: Determine if you are eligible for Italian citizenship based on your ancestry, marriage to an Italian citizen, or residency in Italy.
  • Gather documents: Obtain all necessary documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports of all family members. If applying for citizenship through residency, documents such as a valid residence permit, tax returns, and proof of Italian language knowledge are required.
  • Submit application: Submit the completed application along with all required documents to the appropriate Italian consulate or embassy in your home country.
  • Wait for processing: Wait for the application to be processed, which may take up to 3 years, depending on the workload of the competent Italian consulate or Italian Prefettura, depending on whether you reside abroad or in Italy.
  • Attend an appointment: If required, attend an appointment at the Consulate or Prefettura for an interview or to provide additional documents.
  • Receive decision: Receive a decision on your application. If approved, you may need to take an oath of allegiance to Italy and pay a fee.
  • Obtain citizenship certificate: Obtain a certificate of Italian citizenship, which can be used to apply for an Italian passport or other documentation.

Overall, the process of obtaining Italian citizenship can be complex and lengthy, but with careful preparation and patience, it is possible to acquire this valuable status.

How to obtain citizenship for Italy for EU and non-EU citizens

The process of obtaining Italian citizenship can differ for non-EU and EU citizens. Non-EU citizens may be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship through:

  1. Marriage to an Italian citizen.
  2. Naturalization.
  3. Italian ancestry.

EU citizens may be eligible through:

  1. Marriage to an Italian citizen.
  2. Residence.
  3. Italian ancestry.

Non-EU citizens must submit their application and documents to the Italian consulate in their country of residence, while EU citizens must submit their application to the Italian prefecture of their place of residence in Italy. Additionally, non-EU citizens may need to wait longer for processing and may be required to take an Italian language proficiency test, while EU citizens may have a shorter residency requirement and may not need to renounce their original citizenship.

However, in both cases, if the application is approved, the applicant will be required to take an oath of allegiance to Italy before a civil servant or public notary.

Dual Citizenship

If you apply for Italian citizenship, you do not lose your first citizenship. Italy allows dual citizenship, which means that you can hold Italian citizenship and the citizenship of other countries simultaneously. However, it is important to note that some countries may have different laws regarding dual citizenship, so it is recommended to check with the relevant authorities in your home country to ensure that holding dual citizenship is allowed from their side.

There are several benefits of dual citizenship Italy, including the ability to travel freely between the two countries, vote in both countries’ elections, work and study in both countries without restrictions, and access to healthcare and social services.

Italian citizenship lawyer

Our immigration law team offers top-notch Italian citizenship and immigration services. Our team includes experienced Italian citizenship lawyers who are well-versed in Italian immigration law and can assist you with a range of legal matters related to Italian citizenship. Whether you’re looking to obtain Italian citizenship or need help navigating the complex Italian immigration system, our lawyers can provide you with the guidance and support you need. Plus, with a convenient location and a knowledge of digital tools, we can provide you with Italian citizenship assistance both locally and from afar.

If you believe that you may meet the requirements for one of the afore-mentioned ways to obtain Italian citizenship, do not hesitate to write to us and we will provide you with further information and preliminary counselling. Get in touch!

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