Italian citizenship (english)
Updated to: 23/02/2021
A child born to an Italian citizen mother or father is an Italian citizen by birth.
Foreigners can acquire Italian citizenship through:
- by marriage/civil partnership;
- by residence in Italy;
- by law under some circumstances;
- recognition of Italian citizenship by descent;
- maternal or paternal recognition.
1 – Becoming a citizen by marriage/civil partnership (under article 5 of Law no. 91/1992, as amended)
Citizenship by marriage is awarded by prefectorial decree.
Whether you are a foreign citizen or stateless, you can apply if you are married to an Italian citizen and if you have lived lawfully for at least 2 years in Italy or 3 years in another country.
These terms are reduced by half if you have children who are Italian citizens When the ministerial order granting citizenship is issued, your marriage must not have been annulled or dissolved, its civil effects must not have ended, and you must not be legally separated.
The request, under the same conditions, may also be submitted by the person engaged in a civil partnership with an Italian citizen.
2 – Becoming a citizen by residence in Italy (under article 9 of Law no. 91/1992, as amended) Citizenship by residence is granted by decree of the President of the Italian Republic. You qualify if you are:
- a foreigner; and either you were born in Italian territory or you are the son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter of an Italian citizen by birth; and you have lived in Italy for at least 3 years;
- a foreigner over 18 years old, and you were adopted by an Italian citizen, and you have lived lawfully in Italian territory for at least 5 years after adoption;
- a foreigner, and you have been employed by the Italian government for at least 5 years in Italy or in another country;
- a citizen of another European Union state, and you have been lawfully resident for at least 4 years in Italian territory;
- stateless or a refugee, and you have been lawfully resident for at least 5 years in Italian territory;
- a foreigner, and you have been lawfully resident for at least 10 years in Italian territory.
From 18 June 2015, applications can only be submitted online. To submit their application, applicants shall access the Ministry of Internal Affairs Portal by using the log-in information received after completing the registration process and submit all needed documents in an electronic format.
Within six months from the notification of the decree granting citizenship, the person concerned is required to take an oath of loyalty at the General Register Office of the Vicenza Municipality. The following documents are required to schedule your oath taking ceremony:
- a valid passport;
- residence document.
3 – Becoming an Italian citizen by law; (under article 4 of Law no. 91/1992) you qualify if:
A) you are the son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter of an Italian citizen by birth, AND:
- you have done military service in the Italian armed forces, after stating your wish to become an Italian citizen;
- OR you have been employed in public service by the Italian government, and you have stated your wish to become an Italian citizen;
- OR you have been lawfully resident in Italy for at least 2 years after your 18th birthday, and while you were still 18 years old, you stated your wish to become an Italian citizen;
B) you were born in Italian territory, and you were lawfully resident in Italy continuously until your 18th birthday, and while you were still 18 years old, you stated your wish to become an Italian citizen. (Download the form here: "domanda di acquisizione della cittadinanza italiana dei nati in Italia")
4 - Granting Italian citizenship for descendants(“jure sanguinis” – by bloodline – under article 1 of Law no. 91/1992)
If you are a foreigner descended from Italian citizens who emigrated, and you wish to be recognised as an Italian citizen “jure sanguinis” without interruption, then you must apply to:
- the responsible Italian consulate, if you live outside Italy;
- or the citizenship office (ufficio cittadinanza) of your local municipality (comune), if you live in Italy (Download the form here: "domanda riconoscimento del possesso della cittadinanza italiana").
5 - Maternal or paternal recognition (art. 2 Law 91/1992)
If a child of legal age is acknowledged by an Italian national and the child declares to elect Italian citizenship within one year of the recognition, he or she may be granted citizenship.
In cases 3-4-5 the application must be submitted to the Municipality of residence.
6) Acquisition of citizenship by minors (art. 14 of Law 91/1992)
When living with their parents, the underage children of individuals who acquired or renewed the Italian citizenship shall acquire the Italian citizenship themselves. After becoming of age, they can renounce their Italian nationality if they already hold another citizenship. Minors can acquire the Italian citizenship if the following conditions are met:
- a parent/child relationship exists;
Art. 12 of the Regulation implementing the Law on Citizenship states that “Cohabitation must be stable and effective and must be appropriately demonstrated with suitable documentation”
Knowledge of the Italian language: the granting of Italian citizenship pursuant to Articles 5 and 9 of Law 91/1992 is subject to an adequate level of Italian proficiency by the interested party (Article 9.1, law 91/1992).
Terms of the provision: the deadline for closing the proceeding referred to in Articles 5 and 9 is 48 months from the date of submission of the application (Article 9 ter L.91/1992). For the other proceedings, the terms may vary from 30 days to 360 days.
It is advisable to contact the Citizens Office of the place of residence for preliminary information about the procedure and the documentation to be attached to the application that will be then submitted to the Prefecture.
- Law 555 of 13th june 1912
- Law 91 of 5th february 1992
- Explanatory circulars of the Ministry of the Interior, judgments and opinions
Where and when
Municipal citizenship office (ufficio cittadinanze del Comune di Vicenza)
Palazzo degli Uffici
Address: piazza Biade 26
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8.30 am to 12.30 am
- Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm
- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30 pm to 6 pm