English versionThe English version of the main subjects of Cittadinanza section
Criteria underlying legislation concerning citizenship
Italian citizenship is mainly based on “ius sanguinis” (right of blood), according to which a child born to an Italian mother or father is Italian; at present the issue of citizenship is governed by Law No. 91 of 5th February 1992, as subsequently amended and complemented, and by related implementing regulations, as well as by the provisions of Law No. 94 of 15th July 2009.
ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:
- Citizenship can be transmitted by descent “iure sanguinis”
- Acquisition “iure soli” (by birth on the territory) in given cases
- Dual citizenship is recognised
- Explicit statement of will is necessary to acquire or loose citizenship
Granting of citizenship
Granting of the Italian citizenship to foreign citizens married to Italian citizens and to foreign citizens who reside in Italy
FOLLOWING MARRIAGE TO AN ITALIAN CITIZEN (ARTICLE 5 OF LAW 91/92, as subsequently amended and supplemented)
According to article 5 of Law No. 91 of 5th February 1992, citizenship can be granted following marriage, provided the following conditions are met:
- The foreign or stateless applicant must be married to an Italian citizen for at least 2 years and he/she must have his/her legal residence in a municipality of the Province for at least 2 years from the date of the marriage. Legal residence means that the applicant must be enrolled in the register of the population and at the same time he/she must hold a valid permit to stay.
- If the spouses reside abroad, the application can be submitted three years after the date of the marriage.
- The above periods are reduced by half if the spouses have natural or adopted children
- Until the adoption of the decree granting citizenship the spouses must not be legally separated and there must not be dissolution or nullity of the marriage or cessation of its civilian effects
(ART. 9 OF LAW 91/92, as subsequently amended and complemented)
According to article 9 of Law No. 91 of 5th February 1992, citizenship can be granted:
- To an alien who has legally resided for at least 10 years on the Italian territory
- To an European Union national, provided he/she has legally resided for at least four years on the Italian territory
- To a statelss person or to a refugee who has legally resided for at least five years on the Italian territory
- To an alien whose father or mother or one of his/her grandfathers or grandmothers had been citizen by birth or to an alien who was born on the territory of the Republic and who has been legally residing there for at least three years, in both cases
- To an alien of full age adopted by an Italian citizen and who has legally resided on the Italian territory for at least five years after the adoption
- To an alien who served the Italian State, even from abroad, for at least five years
According to article 16, an alien who is recognised as refugee by Italy enjoys the same status of stateless persons in view of the granting of citizenship.
Loss of citizenship
The Italian citizenship can be lost in the following cases
By explicit renunciation in the following cases:
- If the person resides abroad and holds another citizenship
- Upon the coming of age, if the person holds another citizenship and the Italian citizenship was acquired when the person was a minor following the naturalisation of his/her parents
- Upon the coming of age, following withdrawal of the adoption, if the person holds another citizenship
Automatically in the following cases:
- In case of withdrawal of the adoption on account of a fact chargeable to the adopted person
- In case the person does not comply with the Government’s order to quit either a public post or the military service in a foreign State
Reacquisition of citizenship
Cases of reacquisition of the Italian citizenship (Article 13 of Law 91/92)
- Choosing to reside in Italy within one year from the presentation of the application for reacquisition
- Taking up a public post with the State
- Within one year from taking up residence in Italy provided no explicit renunciation was made by the interested person.
Source: Department for civil liberties and immigration
Last updated: 12.03.2014