If after turning 19 years old the foreign citizen born in Italy has not yet made the explicit statement of will to become a citizen to the City Council, he/she loses the right to obtain citizenship through the benefit of the law.
He/she will therefore have to follow a different procedure in applying for citizenship.
Whoever has turned 19 years old can apply for citizenship after three years of legal residence under Article. 9, paragraph 1, letter A of Law 91/92.
The application must be submitted to the Prefecture in one’s place of residence by completing Form B and attaching the original and photocopies of the required documents.
The applicant must still prove that he/she was born in Italy and prove to have had an income of at least 8,500 Euros per year in the last three years prior to the submission of the application.
Please note that the income in this case refers to that of the nuclear family. Therefore, if one is a student, it is enough for him/her to prove the parents’ income.
Documents to be submitted:
1. Receipt of payment of a fee of €200 to the current account number 809020 of the Ministry of Home Affairs (see facsimile);
2. Valid passport;
3. Full copy of the applicant’s birth certificate (see facsimile);
4. The Permit of Stay: in case there are periods in which the applicant didn’t have the Permit of Stay, the applicant must submit documents proving that he/she was living uninterruptedly in Italy (e.g. educational certificates, medical certificates, and any other);
5. Historical certificate of residence. In case of late registration of the child in the registry of residents of the City Council, it is necessary to provide documents proving that the child was living in Italy prior to his/her registration (e.g. medical certificates).
Ministry of Home Affairs has the discretion of asking for additional documentation if necessary.
The applicant will be notified of the need for additional documentation through registered mail to be sent to the address indicated in the application for citizenship.
Therefore, if the applicant changes his/her residence while the application for citizenship is being processed, it is advisable to notify the Prefecture of the new address by attaching the receipt of the citizenship application or the protocol letter of the application to ensure the applicant receives any messages from the Prefecture.
It normally takes 730 days to process the application.
If successful, the Prefecture will send a notification to the applicant within 90 days of receipt of the decree of citizenship from the Authority.
Once the applicant receives the decree, he/she must report to the City Council within six months of notification to take the oath of allegiance to the Republic pursuant to Art. 10 of the Citizenship Law (Law 91/1992).
If that period elapses before the person takes oath, the decree will lose its validity, so the holder will have to make a new application for citizenship by producing once again all the required documents.
Warning! Please keep in mind that some foreign countries do not allow dual citizenship. It is advisable to check with one’s Consulate if obtaining Italian citizenship does not lead to losing the citizenship of the country of origin.
This guide has been prepared by using Law 91 of 5 February 1992 as the point of reference.