In our legal system, the subject of citizenship is regulated by Law n° 91 of 5 February 1992 (recently amended by Law n° 132 of 1 December 2018) and by implementing regulations n° 572/93 and n° 362/94.
The Italian legislation currently in force provides for several cases of acquisition of the Italian citizenship, some automatic and others subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, a declaration of will and a decision by the Authority. In particular, one can become an Italian citizen for:
• Automatic granting (e.g. by birth, adoption, judicial recognition of parentage);
• Privileges granted by the law (e.g. descent, birth and continued residence);
• Naturalization.
The regulation implementing the Consolidation Act on Immigration (D.P.R. 394/99 and subsequent modifications) provides that those who are awaiting the acquisition of Italian citizenship may obtain a permit authorising them to reside in Italy until the end of the relevant procedure. The permit must be applied for at the Police Headquarters through an authorised post office, by submitting an application on the appropriate form.
It is not possible to obtain an entry visa from abroad for awaiting citizenship. A residency permit for awaiting nationality can only be issued to a foreigner who already holds a residency permit issued for other reasons.
In the absence of explicit legal provisions, it is not possible to work with a residency permit issued for ‘pending citizenship’.
On the other hand, it is possible to apply for family reunification (if one is in possession of the requirements provided for by law, in particular housing and income) and registration with the ASL in order to benefit from health care.

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