There Italian citizenship it is a fundamental right that gives a person full belonging to the Italian State. It is governed by law 5 February 1992, n. 91, which provides different concession methods.

Cittadinanza italiana

Italian citizenship is acquired automatically through different methods, each with its specific requirements. Below are the main methods of automatic acquisition of Italian citizenship:

  • Citizenship by Birth to an Italian Parent (Ius Sanguinis): This is the right of blood, in which a child is considered Italian if at least one of the parents is an Italian citizen.
  • Citizenship by Birth on Italian Territory: A child born in Italy to unknown, stateless or foreign parents whose country of origin does not provide for the transmission of citizenship to children born abroad acquires Italian citizenship. This also applies to children found in Italy without other proven citizenship.
  • Citizenship by Adoption: Foreign minors adopted by Italian citizens automatically acquire Italian citizenship.
  • Citizenship by Recognition or Judicial Declaration of Affiliation: If an Italian citizen recognizes a minor child after birth, the child automatically becomes an Italian citizen. If the child is an adult, he can choose to acquire Italian citizenship within one year of recognition.
  • Citizenship by Purchase or Repurchase by Parents: The minor child of someone who acquires or reacquires Italian citizenship can obtain it directly if he or she lives stably and effectively with the parent.

The law also expressly provides for all other hypotheses in which Italian citizenship is granted, but not automatically:

  • Italian citizenship by marriage: the foreign or stateless citizen who contracts marriage with an Italian citizen can request Italian citizenship if he meets certain requirements.
  • Citizenship by adoption of an adult: the foreign or stateless citizen who is adopted by an Italian citizen, if he has legally resided in the territory of the Republic for at least five years following the adoption, can request Italian citizenship.
  • Citizenship by service to the Italian state for at least five years, in Italy or abroad.
  • Italian citizenship by residence (so-called naturalization): the foreign citizen can apply for Italian citizenship if he meets certain residency requirements, which differ based on the applicant's citizenship (non-EU, EU, etc.).
  • Citizenship for having rendered eminent services to Italy or when the State has a particular interest.

The conditions described above are an overview of the main ways to obtain Italian citizenship; for details of all the requirements, please refer to the individual page of interest.

Request method

The request for granting Italian citizenship is made exclusively online via the following link from the Ministry of the Interior:, via SPID access for residents in Italy, via SPID or ordinary registration if resident abroad.

The platform allows you to fill out the application and upload all the required documents, both national and those of the country of origin (duly translated and apostilled).

Once the electronic compilation of the application for Italian citizenship has been completed, a case number is assigned, and after its acceptance, the preliminary investigation activity begins.

The Ministry of the Interior's platform also allows you to monitor the status of the application, consult the communications sent relating to the citizenship application by the administrative authorities (acceptance of the request, lack of documents, summons, etc.).

Times for granting Italian citizenship

The citizenship application requires a complex and detailed preliminary investigation by the competent administrative authorities (Prefecture, Ministry of the Interior, Council of State, Municipality of residence, etc.).

Currently the procedure for granting Italian citizenship provides for a definition timeframe of 24 months, extendable up to 36 months, for applications submitted after 20 December 2020,

These timings have been restored (since it was the expected time until the year 2018) from  Legislative Decree no. 130 of 21 October 2020 bearing “Urgent provisions on immigration, international and complementary protection” – converted with Law no. 173 of 2020 -.

NB: Requests for Italian citizenship presented before 20 December 2020 continue to be subject to the previous Security Decree which provided for a period of 48 months for the definition of the procedure.

Phases of the application for Italian citizenship

The request of Italian citizenship goes through several phases before its definition, let's see what they are:

Phase 1: after acceptance of the electronic application following the preliminary checks, the investigation begins and the wording will be as follows: "preliminary checks are underway on the elements acquired relating to clarifications and additions with other offices involved in the procedure." In this phase the investigation is carried out by the Prefecture and the Police Headquarters competent for residence.

Phase 2: in this phase the investigation is carried out by the Ministry of the Interior and subsequently by the Council of State, on the basis of the documents transmitted by the competent Prefecture.

The wording will be: "informative and cognitive elements have been acquired, subject to necessary investigations useful for the definition of the procedure."

Phase 3: in the third phase the evaluation of the application for Italian citizenship begins, in which the requirements and documents presented are verified.

The wording will be: “all the necessary information elements have been acquired; the practice is being evaluated.”

Phase 4: at this stage the Ministry of the Interior has already received all the documents and the opinion from the competent Prefecture, all that remains is to define the investigation in a favorable or negative sense.

The wording will be: "the Prefecture has carried out the procedure within its competence regarding the practice in question and the relevant provision has been sent to the competent bodies for the consequent obligations and decisions."

Phase 5: in the fifth phase the Ministry of the Interior has defined the investigation and the provision is ready to be transmitted to the competent Prefecture or to the Consular Authority for residents abroad.

In the favorable case, the wording will be: “the investigation was concluded favorably; the concession provision is being sent to the Prefecture which will take care of its notification. If you reside abroad, the decree will be sent to the Consular Authority.”

Phase 6: This is the last phase before the Prefecture or Consular Authority communicates the provision.

The wording will be: “defined practice; a communication will arrive from the Prefecture/consulate."


The process of granting Italian citizenship is long and complex, as it requires verification of the requirements and coordination by different administrative authorities, therefore it is absolutely important when deciding to apply for Italian citizenship to carefully check any document requested by the platform and to fill out the entire form without any errors. It is not uncommon for applications for Italian citizenship to be rejected for having omitted or incorrectly uploaded the required documents, or for not having filled out the application correctly.

Contacting immigration law professionals allows you to safely deal with this important phase in the life of a foreign citizen, avoiding making common mistakes that lead to the loss of further precious time. Specialized legal assistance on the citizenship application is not only important during the electronic application phase, but also subsequently. to make sure you do not miss important communications and know how to remedy any irregularities, as well as respecting the timescales required by law for the definition of the request for Italian citizenship.

Legal advice

If you want more information you can to contact the Asmahi Law Firm, or alternatively request one legal advice also online by clicking here.

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