Italians are passionate and romantic, so falling in love with them is easy. Finding an Italian soulmate makes you lucky, and you can get luckier if the relationship translates into marriage. Consider it as your golden ticket to Italian citizenship and an opportunity to live in one of the most incredible countries in the world. Citizenship by marriage is one of the most popular routes to immigrate to the country.
But it isn’t as simple as getting married and moving with your family with some paperwork and formalities. If you want the rights and privileges that your spouse and new family members have, you must complete the process. It makes sense to understand the process even before you tie the knot so that you can get started as soon as possible. Here is a comprehensive guide on Italian citizenship by marriage.
Understand your eligibility
Although eligibility for citizenship by marriage sounds straightforward, there is more to it when you dig deeper. You can go through the detailed eligibility requirements and process at https://mbersanilaw.com/, but we will explain them briefly. Eligibility is as much about time frame as it is about having a marital relationship with an Italian citizen.
- If you reside in Italy after marriage, you can apply after two years of the nuptials.
- Couples residing outside of Italy have to wait for three years after marriage to apply.
But this timeline is cut down to half if you have children under the age of 18. You can even claim the benefit if you have legally adopted children as a couple. Apart from the foreign spouse, there are some requirements that the Italian spouse has to fulfill to ensure eligibility. They should be registered with the Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad (AIRE) if they live abroad. Also, marriage in another country must be registered through the local Italian consulate. Additionally, the comune of the Italian spouse must have registered the marriage in Italy. The same rules apply to a same-sex civil union as well.
Documents required for application
Like any other citizenship route, you will require a list of documents to validate your eligibility for citizenship by marriage. It is recommended to have your copies ready even before initiating the process. Here is a list of documents you will require:
- A copy of your marriage certificate from the municipality where the spouse is registered.
- A certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate
- A copy of criminal background checks
- ID card of the Italian spouse
- Italian language certification
The language certification must attest to a B1 (intermediate level) proficiency in the Italian language. You will have to ensure that the foreign documents are legalized with an Apostille to validate them for legal use in Italy. Documents in any other language need to be translated into Italian. You must also get them certified by the local Italian consulate. Once you have all the documents in place, you can go ahead with the application process.
Getting started with the application process
The process requires you to pay 250 Euros to the Ministero dell’Interno via bank transfer. Keep a copy of the transfer handy as you will need it later. The application process involves both online and in-person steps. You can apply online from anywhere, regardless of your location. But the in-person steps depend on your current residency status. If you are already in Italy with your spouse, you can file with the local “Prefettura”. Those living overseas have to file at the local Italian consulate where the spouse is registered with the AIRE. Here are the steps you will have to follow:
- Start by gathering the documents mentioned above. You will also require a printed application form, duly filled out and signed by you and the relevant officials. Have original marriage certificate, a valid passport, and driver’s license at hand, along with their certified translated copies. Proof of residency in the form of a recent utility bill is needed if you live in Italy.
- You will have to show a no-divorce declaration to prove that you are legally married to your spouse.
- The next step requires you to submit the application and documents to an online portal. Ensure that they are apostilled and certified translated to prevent rejection or delays.
- The consulate may seek additional documentation when you appear for the interview. At this stage, the officials will go through your application and paperwork and give their verdict.
The processing time for citizenship by marriage applications is to 24 months, but it can be extended up to 36 months depending on circumstances. It can take this long because the authorities have big backlogs of applications to handle. But the wait is worthwhile, considering you can start a new life in Italy once you get approval.
Seeking expert assistance
Like descent and naturalization routes, citizenship by marriage has a set of rules and processes governing it. You will also need a long list of documents to get through, while there are complexities regarding translations and legalization of non-Italian documents. The online and in-person steps of the process may sound overwhelming too. Although you may want to handle the task by yourself, it isn’t a good idea. The best approach would be to collaborate with an expert with the right legal expertise and experience. Having them showing the way gives you peace of mind and minimizes the chances of errors and delays. It makes sense to connect with a specialist right from the start so that you can get the process completed at the earliest.
Italian citizenship by marriage sounds like a straightforward journey, but there could be several roadblocks on the way. Experts can clear them and make the road smooth by guiding you throughout the process. They ensure that your application is flawless and legally covered. From eligibility to paperwork and the process, they will handle everything for you. Hiring them gives you the best chance to unite with your new family and get all the rights they have as Italian citizens.
Author bio: Steffany Rodriguez is an expert in immigration laws and has contributed millions of words to the industry. Her work at Outreach Monks, by and large, has helped her evolve her understanding of the ecosystem. When she’s not creating content, she’s usually spending her time with her two daughters in her backyard.