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Italian Citizenship by Marriage

Full guide on how to apply for the Italian citizenship if you are married to an Italian citizen.

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If you are married to an Italian citizen and you are wondering whether marrying an Italian guarantees citizenship, the answer is yes. In fact, the Italian citizenship by marriage is one of the many ways foreigners can get the citizenship in Italy.

This article deals with the requirements that the spouse of an Italian citizen needs to obtain the Italian citizenship. It also provides an overview of the application process.

If you are looking for other alternatives on how to get the Italian citizenship, have a look at our guide on all the available types of Italian citizenships.

Rights you obtain once the Italian citizenship is granted

Obtaining the Italian nationality by marriage automatically entails the acquisition of the European Union citizenship as well. Consequently, this means obtaining rights both at the Italian and EU level.

In Italy, the citizenship allows to vote and be elected in both national and local elections. Furthermore, it allows to hold public office and functions.

The European Union citizenship grants the following rights:

  • freedom of movement and residence throughout the EU;
  • ability to vote and be elected in municipal and European Parliament elections in Italy;
  • protection by consular and diplomatic authorities of any EU member state when in a country in which there are no Italian representatives;
  • possibility to submit petitions to the European Parliament and appeals to the European Ombudsman.

Italian Citizenship by Marriage: Requirements

As stated by article 5 of the Law No.91 of February 5th 1992, there are two time-related cases for the eligibility for the Italian citizenship through marriage.

How long does it take to get citizenship after marriage in Italy?

Somebody that does not reside in Italy and is the spouse of an Italian national is eligible for the Italian citizenship after being married for 3 years.

Alternatively, a spouse becomes eligible after having legally lived in Italy for 2 years after the marriage. However, article 1 of the Law No.94 of July 15th 2009 states that in both cases the time frames for the eligibility are halved if the spouses have children or adopt them.

Language Requirements

A requirement for obtaining the Italian citizenship by marriage is the knowledge of the Italian language at the minimum level of B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (QCER), as stated in the article 9.1 of the Law No.91 of February 5th 1992. Consequently, the applicant has to produce a certification issued by a certifying body recognized by the Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation or the Ministry of Education, University and Research.

There are only two exemptions from this requirement. The first is having signed the integration agreement referenced in Article 4-bis of the Consolidated Text of Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 25th, 1998. The second exemption is having an EU long-term residence permit.

How to apply for the Italian citizenship by marriage

Applicants have to submit the application for the Italian citizenship by marriage to the dedicated portal: Portale servizi.

After obtaining the Italian citizenship, both the declaration of obtainment and the oath have to take place at the civil registry office of the municipality (comune) where the declarant resides or intends to establish residence.

However, if the applicant that obtains the citizenship resides abroad, the declaration of obtainment and the oath have to take place at the competent diplomatic or consular office.

Italian Citizenship by Marriage: Documents needed

In order to apply for the Italian citizenship through marriage, applicants have to provide the following documents:

  • Identification document;
  • Birth certificate and criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin;
  • Certification attesting knowledge of the Italian language not below the level of B1 of the QCER, unless one of the aforementioned exceptions applies;
  • Receipt of payment of the €250,00 fee;
  • Details of the online revenue stamp (marca da bollo).

Processing Time

How long does it take to get Italian citizenship by marriage?

As specified by article 9-ter of the Law No.91 of February 5th 1992, the processing time for the application for Italian citizenship by marriage is maximum 36 months.

Cases in which the Italian citizenship by marriage can be revoked

There are two cases in which the Italian citizenship through marriage can be revoked, as described in article 12 of the Law No.91 of February 5th 1992:

  • Not leaving a public employment or public office held for a foreign state or for a public body or for an international body that Italy is not a part of, or for a foreign army after having been told to do so by the Italian government;
  • Holding public office, being part of the military, or voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of a country Italy is at war with.

Dual citizenship in Italy

As explained by article 11 of the Law No.91 of February 5th 1992, it is possible to have Italian citizenship, and at the same time keep or obtain another citizenship.

To learn more about dual citizenship in Italy, read our article on the topic.

If you want to know more about the other possible types of Italian citizenship, take a look at our articles on:

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Regulatory Framework

Law No.91 of February 5th, 1992

Reference (Italian only)

Law No.94 of July 15th, 2009

Reference (Italian only)

Legislative Decree No. 286 of July 25, 1998

Reference (Italian only)

Types of Italian Citizenship

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