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Obtain Italian Nationality

Obtain Italian Nationality

Updated on Tuesday 22nd December 2015

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Italian nationality can be acquired by an individual either by birth or through other ways. This process requires the individual to owe allegiance to the Italian state, while at the same time giving up his/her former nationality. The Italian state, in its turn, awards the now-Italian national with its protection. It is advisable to ask for advice in these matters from professional Italian attorneys.

How to become an Italian national?

There are various ways through which an individual can become an Italian national and these are the main ones:
by blood right (descent):  a child born to an Italian parent, mother or father, is also an Italian national; before 1948, it was not possible for an Italian mother to transfer citizenship to her child; furthermore, a child born in Italy of stateless or unknown parents is also automatically Italian;
by adoption: the right to nationality is extended to any child who was adopted by an Italian citizen (even for those adopted abroad, if rendered valid in Italy by means of an order from the Juvenile Court); 
by marriage to an Italian national: it can only be denied to those having a serious criminal record (either outside of Italy or on its territory) or to those considered to be a threat to the public safety and national security; no language tests are required for the future spouse to pass, but it is necessary that the marriage lasts through the process of application for Italian nationality;
by residency: Italian nationality can be granted to non-EU citizens who have been legally residing in Italy for ten years; for EU citizens it can be awarded (under certain conditions) after only four years.
What is more, it is no longer required to choose between your parents' nationality and Italian, because the Italian state now accepts dual nationality ("doppi doppia cittadinanza").
Our lawyers in Italy can be of help in providing you with further details on how to obtain Italian nationality and on other legal issues that you may face.

The process of applying for Italian nationality

If you wish to acquire Italian nationality, you have to apply to the Minister of the Interior ("Ministro degli Interni") by means of the commune's mayor from the area you live or abroad, through the local Italian consulate. A tax must be paid and you must also swear loyalty to the Italian state and future observance of Italian constitution and laws. Depending on the type of application, you will have to submit some documents such as:
  • - birth certificate;
  • - certificate of residence (if it is the case);
  • - certificate of Italian citizenship of mother or father (where requested);
  • - certificate of criminal record (or certified lack of one);
  • - marriage certificate.
More information on how to obtain Italian nationality can be provided to you by our law firm in Italy who is also qualified to represent you in these matters, thus, do not hesitate to contact us.


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