Italian Citizenship by descent – Iure Sanguinis
Italian citizenship – Jure Sanguinis – (through Italian parents/ancestors) 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;
- Neither the applicant nor any of his ancestors by lineal consanguinity, indirect line of descent from the ancestor, have ever renounced to their Italian citizenship.
Ancestors born in Italy who became naturalized citizens of another country before June 14, 1912, lost their Italian citizenship along with the Italian citizenship of their minor children (under the age of 21), including those born outside of Italy.
Italian women began to transmit their Italian citizenship to their children, beginning January 1, 1948 (Constitution of the Italian Republic). An individual born prior to January 1, 1948, can claim Italian citizenship only through his/her father as long as the father did not become a naturalized citizen of a country (other than Italy) prior to the claimant’s birth. Applicants born prior to January 1, 1948, who wish to claim their Italian citizenship through descent from the mother, can only file their application through the Italian courts.
Italian Citizenship by marriage – Iure Matrimonii
The Italian citizenship by marriage or civil union (same-sex-marriage) is regulated by the following requirements:
- The couple must be married for a minimum of three years (if residing abroad), but the time is reduced by half if the couple has children (including adopted children). If the spouse (foreign national) resides in Italy, he/she can apply after 2 years of legal residency.
- The marriage must be intact, because in case of interruption due to separation, divorce, annulment, or death the naturalization shall be forfeit.
- The marriage must have registered at the Comune in Italy if celebrated overseas.
- The Italian spouse must be registered in the Registry of Italians citizens Resident Abroad (A.I.R.E.).
- Previous criminal convictions of the foreign spouse (if any) which may disqualify the applicant, will be discussed separately.
- The applicant must be proficient in the Italian language – level B1 or higher – of the EU Language Framework.