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Marriage/Civil union

ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP

1. LEGISLATION

Those who apply for citizenship by marriage or civil partnership must be acquainted with the duties towards the Italian Republic, first among them adherence to the national values and irreproachable conduct.

The acquisition of Italian citizenship by marriage by a foreign national or stateless person who married or has entered into a civil partnership with an Italian national on or after 27th April 1983 is currently governed by Law no. 91 of 5th February 1992 (articles 5,6, 7 and 8) and subsequent amendments.

The marriage or civil partnership must have been registered in the Registers of Civil Status of the Italian “Comune” – Town Hall – (Legislative Decrees 5, 6,and 7/2017).

The foreign spouse/civil partner can acquire Italian citizenship upon request, provided they satisfy the legal requirements, as described below.

Relevant legislation:

  • Law no. 123 of 21st April 1983
  • Law no. 91 of 5th February 1992
  • Legislative decrees no. 5, 6 and 7 of 19th January 2017
  • Decree Law no. 113 of 4th October 2018 (so-called “Safety Decree”) converted by Law no. 132 of 1st December 2018
  • Decree Law no. 130 of 21st October 2020, converted by Law no. 173 of 18th December 2020.

2. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP

Residence in the consular district

The applicant will have to submit their application to the diplomatic/consular mission covering the area of their long term residence: Find Your Consulate (esteri.it);The Italian spouse/civil partner must be resident and legally registered in the A.I.R.E. (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero – Register of Italians residing abroad) of the relevant consular district and cohabiting at the same address of the citizenship applicant. Conversely, they will need to provide documentation proving the reason (e.g. work, children’s schooling, medical care or other) justifying the need for separate domicile;

Submission date

The application can be submitted three years after the marriage/civil partnership if the spouse is an Italian national iure sanguinis; in case of naturalisation after the marriage, the three years start from the date of naturalisation of the spouse. The three years are reduced to one year and a half in case of minor children born or adopted by the spouses;

Registration of the marriage/civil partnership: if it occurred abroad, it must have been registered at the “Comune” (town hall) in Italy;

Validity of the marriage/civil partnership and stability of the marriage/civil partnership until the decree granting citizenship has been finalised. For the purposes of granting Italian citizenship, at the date of adoption of the decree no dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil partnership (legal separation, divorce, death of the spouse or civil partner) must have occurred;

Absence of convicting sentences by the Italian judicial authorities for offences that carry a sentence of more than three years’ imprisonment;

Absence of convicting sentences by the foreign judicial authorities that carry a sentence of more than one year for non-political offences;

Absence of convictions for offences against the State;

Absence of impediments for the security of the Italian Republic;

Knowledge of the Italian language at least at B1 level of the Common European Reference Framework;

Payment of taxes and fees listed in the Documents and fees section.

3. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION

1. Original Full birth certificate or equivalent: issued no more than six months previously by the country in which the applicant was born, which must include all the personal details (including father’s and mother’s details), duly legalised/apostilled and translated into Italian.

  • If born in Ontario “Certified copy of registration of birth” or “Statement of birth” (long form – 8” x 14”) (www.serviceontario.ca);
  • if born in Quebec: “Copie d’Acte de Naissance/Copy of an Act of Birth” (www.etatcivil.gouv.qc.ca)

       translated by an official translator.

2. Original Criminal Record of the country of origin and any third countries of residence (from the age of 14) – except Italy – and of the countries of which the applicant is a citizen, issued no more than six months prior to the application date, duly legalised/apostilled and translated into Italian.

If the applicant is female, the certificate of no criminal record must include both the maiden and married names. In accordance with Italian legislation, a certificate of no criminal record is valid for up to six months from the date of issue.

THE CANADIAN POLICE CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE must be requested from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Headquarters in Ottawa. The certificate is the: “Certified criminal record check with fingerprints”. The signature of the issuing officer must be legalized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and then translated by an official translator.

3. AFFIDAVIT of the applicant drafted in Italian or translated into Italian and signed in front of a lawyer or public notary , whose signature is on file with this Consular Office List of lawyers/notaries in which the applicant lists:

  1. cohabiting family members including children (including adopted children) with indication of their place and date of birth,
  2. current and all previous addresses since the age of 14.

PLEASE NOTE: women have to indicate maiden and married name. The affidavit is valid for six months from the date of issue.

4. Payment receipt of Euro 250.00 to the Ministero dell’Interno (Ministry of the Interior), in the ways specified in the “Fees” section.

5. Identity document: photocopy of valid passport (pages with personal details, photo, date of issue and expiry date).

6. Permanent resident card (for non Canadians) and proof of address.

7. Copy of the full marriage certificate or “estratto per riassunto del registro dei matrimoni” (extract of marriage certificate), to be requested from the relevant Italian “comune” (town hall) in which it is registered, issued no more than the six months prior to the application date. This document can be uploaded when submitting the application under “generic document” and will need to be presented when the applicant is invited by the Consular office. ATTENTION! “Marriage Certificates” will not be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: If the applicant is an EU national, they may submit a self-certification instead of the marriage certificate, “stato di famiglia” (certificate listing the family members living at the same address) and citizenship certificate of the spouse/civil partner (Presidential Decree 445/2000);

8. Certificate of Italian language knowledge at least at B1 level of the Common European Reference Framework or a qualification issued by a public or private educational institution recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità – Quality Italian language certification) certifying bodies – which may be in partnership with the local Italian Cultural Institutes – are only the Università per stranieri di Siena, Università per stranieri di Perugia, Università Roma Tre and Società Dante Alighieri. Here you can find a list of these centers in Canada.

The following categories are not required to submit the certificate of Italian language knowledge:

  1. Foreign nationals (even though they are resident abroad) who have signed the “integration agreement” as per art. 4 bis of Legislative Decree no. 286/1998 Testo Unico Immigrazione (Immigration Consolidated Law);
  2. Holders of EU (or EC) residence permit for long-term residents as per art. 9 of the above Consolidate Law.

PLEASE NOTE: according to article 9 paragraph 7d of Legislative Decree 03/2007 which implements the European directive 2004/38 / EC, the above residence permit is understood to be revoked “in the case of absence from the Union territory for a period of twelve consecutive months”. It will be taken into consideration the date of acquisition of residence permit, the date of AIRE registration of the Italian spouse and the declaration signed by the applicant.

4. PROCEDURE

For a preliminary verification of the documentation and for the legalizations of the certificates issued in this Consular jurisdiction, the applicant should schedule an appointment writing to consolare.ottawa@esteri.it.

Thereafter, the following steps should be taken:

STEP 1 – REGISTRATION

The applicant must register on the portal of the Ministry of the Interior.

Please note that the email address declared on the portal when submitting the online application is considered to be the chosen contact address (art. 47 of Civil Code); it is therefore necessary that the applicant checks their email regularly, because all communications relating to their citizenship application, including requests for additional documents, appointments, notification of documents etc., will ONLY be sent electronically.

STEP 2 – APPLICATION SUBMISSION (Model AE)

Once registered, the applicant can submit their application online and upload all the necessary documents on the relevant portal of the Italian Ministry of the Interior.

Any technical or content-related query must be addressed directly to the Ministry of the Interior who has set up a customer service with FAQs and dedicated Help Desk.

NOTES FOR COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION

  • In the registration form the applicant needs to enter the DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH as they appear on the birth certificate;
  • The PERSONAL DETAILS specified in acts and documents drawn up abroad by the competent foreign authorities must be entered. In case of discrepancies, please provide supporting documentation.
  • In particular, please provide either a birth certificates correctly annotated to show any change of name or surname, or a foreign marriage certificate correctly annotated to show any change of name or surname, duly legalized and translated into Italian. Alternatively, produce a declaration showing the exact details, issued in Italy by a consular authority of the country of citizenship, and legalized by the appropriate Italian Prefecture.
  • The applicant needs to specify any minor children from a previous relationship.

STEP 3 – CONSULAR VERIFICATION

The Consular Office will be automatically informed that the application has been submitted and will carry out the necessary CHECKS. The applicant will then receive a message through the portal of the Ministry of the Interior informing that the application has been accepted or specifying the reason for it being considered unacceptable.

If the application is accepted, the applicant will be invited via the portal for an appointment at the Diplomatic/Consular mission to have the signature that appears on the citizenship application authenticated, to submit all the ORIGINAL paper documentation, including those that have already been uploaded on the portal, to pay the consular fees due or to check they have been paid. All the above original documentation will be kept by the Diplomatic/Consular mission, except for the passport and language certificate, for which a certified copy will be made and relevant fees collected.

STEP 4 – ASSESMENT AND TIME LIMIT OF THE PROCEDURE
The assessment of the application and completion of the procedure are the sole responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior: 24 months from the submission date of the application – which can be extended to 36 months at most – for citizenship applications submitted after 20th December 2020 (date of entry into force of Law no. 173 of 18th December 2020). If at the end of the assessment of the application, the procedure is successfully completed, the Ministry of the Interior will send the Italian Citizenship Decree to the Diplomatic/Consular mission covering the area of the long-term residence of the applicant.

STEP 5 – DECREE, NOTIFICATION AND OATH

The Italian Citizenship Decree will be notified through the portal by means of a communication sent to the email address specified by the applicant when they registered. At the time of the notification, the Diplomatic/consular mission will request the documents, required by the law, with a view to ascertaining whether the marital relationship still exists. These documents must bear a date subsequent to the adoption date of the decree:

  • Atto integrale di matrimonio (full marriage certificate) issued by the “Comune” (Municipality);
  • Criminal record certificate of the country of current residence, duly legalised and translated (see Documents section);

At the date of adoption of the decree, no dissolution, annulment or termination of the civil effects of the marriage/civil partnership or legal separation (separation judgment) must have occurred.

No later than six months from notification, the applicant will be invited to the Consular Office to swear an oath of allegiance to the Republic of Italy and its laws. The applicant will swear an oath of allegiance by pronouncing the following words:“GIURO DI ESSERE FEDELE ALLA REPUBBLICA E DI OSSERVARE LA COSTITUZIONE E LE LEGGI DELLO STATO”.
The effects of the oath, that is the acquisition of Italian citizenship, will commence the day after that of the oath.

A fee (tax stamp) must be paid for the decree.

The full marriage certificate must be requested from the “Comune” in Italy (Municipality) where it is registered. The criminal record certificate is requested from the relevant authorities in the country of residence, and must be duly legalised/apostilled, and translated, as outlined in the “Documents” section.

The original birth certificate will be sent to the relevant the “Comune” in Italy (Municipality) to be registered, together with an AIRE registration request and the statement of oath.

5. ADMINISTRATIVE SIMPLIFICATION AND FEES

If the applicant is an EU national, they can self-certify their spouse/civil partner’s Italian citizenship, their being married to/in civil partnership with an Italian national and the family composition.

Information, details and documents already in the Public Administration’s possession can be acquired ex officio, provided the applicant has given essential details to gather the necessary information (Presidential Decree 445/2000).

Fees:

A fee of 250.00 euro must be paid to the Ministry of the Interior (only on the current account specified below) and the payment receipt must be uploaded in the online application.

“Ministero dell’Interno D.L.C.I Cittadinanza”

Name and address of the Bank: Poste Italiane S.p.A., Piazzale del Viminale, 00184 Roma;

IBAN code: IT54D0760103200000000809020

Reason for payment: Richiesta cittadinanza per matrimonio ex art. 5 L. 91/1992 + applicant’s name and surname

BIC/SWIFT Code of Poste Italiane: BPPIITRRXXX (for international bank transfers);

BIC/SWIFT Code: PIBPITRA (for transactions of the EUROGIRO system)

Articles of the consular fee schedule to apply:

  • Authentication of signature on the application: art. 24;
  • Tax stamp on the application: art. N/A;
  • Certified copy of valid Identity document: art 71 (Should the document not be in Latin characters you also need to submit a translation);
  • Certified copy of the current valid residence permit for non-Canadian citizens: art 71;
  • Certified copy of the language certification: art. 71;
  • Certification that the translation of civil status acts and of criminal record certificates complies with its original: art 72/A;
  • Legalisation of civil status documents: art. 7;
  • Legalisation of the criminal certificate and the affidavit: art. 69;
  • Tax stamp on the citizenship decree: art N/A.

6. USEFUL CONTACTS AND LINKS