An Italian citizenship application can be made on the basis of the Applicant’s marriage to an Italian citizen in accordance with Article 5, Law no.91 of 5 February 1992.

This law states that if a foreign spouse has been married to an Italian citizen for 2 years he/she may apply for Italian citizenship to the Prefettura if the couple resides in Italy.

In the event that the couple resides abroad the foreign spouse cannot make an application for Italian citizenship until three years after the marriage. The Italian spouse of the Applicant must be registered at the L’Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero (A.I.R.E) in their local Consular district and it must be visible that both spouses are residing at the same address.

Each period (two years in country and three years out of country) can be reduced by half if the couple have children.

If the marriage took place overseas, the marriage must have been registered at the Anagrafe in Italy (“trascrizione dell’atto di matrimonio”). All foreign documents will need to be fixed with an Apostille and a sworn translation in order to have legal effect in Italy.

The Ministero dell’Interno will require documentation in support of the foreign spouse’s application for Italian citizenship, which of course will include identification documents, evidence of the Applicant’s subsisting marriage to an Italian national and criminal record checks. The Italian spouse is also required to provide a ‘Dichiarazione Sostitutiva di Atto Notorietà (in common law this would document would simply be referred to as an Affidavit confirming No Divorce/Separation), which is required to demonstrate that the marriage is indeed subsisting.  The Affidavit will need to be signed in front of a notary or public servant e.g. designated official at the Comune.