Today getting the Italian citizenship might be a bit difficult if you were born in Italy from non-Italian citizens or if you arrive here from a non-European country. In this little guide, I’ll try to analyze the possibilities to obtain the Italian passport by focusing on those who arrive from non European countries, as inside the Eu we are quite free to move, work and live without requesting the citizenship.
What happens today
The situation is quite bizarre if you consider that thousands of children today have parents who immigrated here 10, 20 or 30 years ago. They were born in Italy, they speak Italian and in many cases these kids can be very far from their parents’ culture even if they might speak their language or visit regularly the country were their origins are rooted.
On the other side, it is quite easy to obtain an Italian passport if you can prove that you have an ancestor who was Italian after 1861. This was, in fact, the year of the Italian Unification under the Sabaudo Reign when this country was still a monarchy.
The last law on citizenship entered into force in 1992 and says that you can be considered Italian if at least one of your parents is Italian. In Latin this is called “jus sanguinis”. This right has been widely discussed as counterposed to that called “jus soli” that states that a person is Italian if they were born in Italy.
While politicians argue (instead of working) and do not come to a solution, let’s see here if you are eligible to become my compatriot.
1. You were born Italy and both your parents are Italian
Congratulations, you are Italian! You have to pay taxes and nurture a lot of Politicians and bureaucrats and most of the time you will not understand why.
2. You were born in Italy and one of your parents is Italian
Still Italian! You can get the Italian passport, Identity Card and the Social Security Number. If you work here or possess any belongings, you have to pay (a lot of) taxes. Think twice and eventually opt for an ice-cream parlor in an exotic location.
3. You were born in Italy but none of your parents are Italian
Not Italian but you can get the citizenship after you turn 18. In this case you have to prove that you were born here, have regularly lived here (without interruptions, not even for a month or two) and that you have a valid residence permit. The operation can cost some 250 euros and you can also have a double passport if your parents’ country allows you to do so. Some countries, in fact, might ask you to chose only one citizenship.
Remember, you have only one year to request the citizenship, after that (or in case you didn’t reside here even for a month), this process stops and it becomes more difficult to obtain our passport.
4. You were not born in Italy, none of your parents are Italians but you are married to an Italian.
First of all congratulations for the marriage but no, you are not Italian. You can easily obtain the passport though. After two years in Italy with your beloved one or three years if you reside outside Italy, you can request the Italian passport. Be aware that two years ago, this law was modified and now you have also to pass an exam to prove you master our language. Say thank you to Matteo Salvini for it.
5. You were not born in Italy, none of your parents are Italian, you are not married to an Italian but you live here.
You are not Italian and go back to point 4. And in case you do not want to marry an Italian or you are already married to someone else (who? and why I am always the last one to know things?) well, you can still request the citizenship and the process is the same of point 4 but it can be much longer and difficult. You’d better start studying Dante’s language because you will have to pass the exam to prove you can speak Italian.
In a perfect world, this exam would be mandatory for all those who hold a public office. It is quite known that many politicians here do not speak proper Italian and struggle with conditional sentences. But this is a land of huge contrasts, and belonging to it makes no exceptions.
Leave me a comment if you have experience or questions related to this topic. I’ll try to update it and enrich it so that can be useful for you. And good luck on becoming Italian.