Italian Citizenship Overview
Italian citizenship – Jure Sanguinis – (through Italian parents/ancestors)
Is currently regulated by Law no. 91 dated February 5, 1992 (and regulation for its implementation: specifically DPR no. 572 dated October 12, 1993 and DPR no. 362 dated April 18, 1994).
Italian citizenship can be passed on from one generation to the next with no limitations, provided that:
- the ancestor born in Italy was an Italian citizen at the time of his descendants’ birth; and
- Neither the applicant nor any of the family members in direct line of descent have ever renounced their Italian citizenship.
Italian women began to pass the citizenship to their children only beginning as of January 1, 1948. If you were born before January 1, 1948, you can claim Italian citizenship only through your father as long as he did not become a naturalized citizen of a foreign country before your birth. If you were born after January 1, 1948, you can claim Italian citizenship through either parent as long as they did not become naturalized citizens of a foreign country before your birth.
Applicants born before January 1, 1948, who wish to claim the Italian citizenship through descent from the mother, can only present their application through the Italian Courts.
Ancestors born in Italy who became naturalized citizens of a foreign country before June 14, 1912 lost their Italian citizenship along with the Italian citizenship of their minor (under the age of 21 at that time) children, including those born abroad.
If you have lost your Italian citizenship as a result of becoming a citizen of another country (before August 16th 1992) you may now regain it in two different ways:
- By signing a declaration before the Consular officer of regain and having settled or settling, within a year from the declaration, your residency in Italy; or
- After one year of residency in Italy.
If you have gained foreign citizenship after August 16, 1992, you will preserve both citizenships.
Italian citizenship – “Jure Matrimonii” – (through Marriage)
Pursuant to art. 5 of Law 91/1992, the spouse of an Italian citizen living outside of Italy can apply for Italian citizenship 3 years after the date of the marriage (2 years if the couple resides in Italy), or after 18 months (1 year if the couple resides in Italy) if children are born of or legally adopted by the couple. Provided there is no separation or divorce, citizenship will be granted if the marriage lasts until the signing of the Decree.
AS OF FEBRUARY 11, 2017 THOSE WHO ENTERED INTO A CIVIL UNION (SAME GENDER) WITH AN ITALIAN CITIZEN, AFTER IT HAS BEEN REGISTERED AT THE ITALIAN MUNICIPALITY, CAN SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP ACCORDING TO ART 5 OF LAW 91/1992.
As of December 4, 2018, law no. 132 (new art. 9.1 law 91/92) states that in order to be recognized as an Italian citizen, according to articles 5 (Italian citizenship by virtue of being married to an Italian citizen) and 9 (in the case of employment by the Italian Government, in Italy or abroad, for at least 5 years, or after residing in Italy for 10 years) of law no. 91/92, the applicant must possess an adequate knowledge of the Italian language (B1 level and above of CEFR – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
Furthermore, the length of the application process, according to articles 5 and 9 of law 91/92, has been increased to 48 months from the date of application (new art. 9 ter. law 91/92).
The knowledge of the Italian language has to be certified either by:
- a certificate or diploma issued by an Italian state school or recognized private school (scuola pubblica o paritaria); or
- a certificate of Italian as a foreign language issued by an approved institute.
Currently the following institutions belong to the CLIQ system (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità):
- Siena University for foreigners;
- Perugia University for foreigners;
- University of Roma Tre; and
- Dante Alighieri Society.
Again, the level of the knowledge of the Italian language has to be not less than B1 of CEFR.
At FLEITAS we can assist you to obtain the Italian citizenship through Italian patents/ancestors “Jure Sanguinis” and through marriage “Jure Matrimonii”, both in the United States and in Italy. With offices in the United States and Italy, our attorneys can represent you before any Italian authorities, whether an Italian Consulate or any Italian Court of Law.
For more information and/or assistance, please e-mail Avv. Alessandro Conte, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call our office at: 305-442-1443, or visit our website at: www.fleitaslaw.com.