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ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP FAQ’s – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP FAQ’s – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

In order to expedite the processing of applications we will be unable to reply to inquiries whose answers are already posted on this website. 

Please kindly refer to the list below for Frequently Asked Questions. For any questions not specifically addressed below, please email the citizenship department.
 

  1. GENERAL INQUIRIES
  2. FEES
  3. ELIGIBILITY
  4. APPOINTMENTS
  5. PROCESSING TIMES & STATUS OF APPLICATION
  6. NATURALIZATION
  7. VITAL RECORDS
  8. ERRORS OR DISCREPANCIES ON DOCUMENTS
  9. APOSTILLES AND AUTHENTICATIONS
  10. TRANSLATIONS
  11. CITIZENSHIP FOR CHILDREN
  12. CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
  13. PASSPORT VS. CITIZENSHIP
  14. MILITARY
  15. NEW CITIZENS - NEXT STEPS, RIGHTS, AND RESPONSIBILITES

 

1. GENERAL INQUIRIES

  • Where do I apply for citizenship?
    • You must apply for citizenship through the Italian Authority in whose jurisdiction you legally reside for the majority of the calendar year. If you live half the year in one jurisdiction, and the other half of the year in another, you must declare ONE of your residences are your permanent residence and submit proof of that residence at your appointment.

  • I have a United States visa OR I'm in the USA as an undocumented immigrant (no green card). Can I apply for Italian citizenship at the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco?
    • NO. This Consulate General in San Francisco can only accept citizenship applications from those who are USA CITIZENS OR LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS in this consular jurisdiction. Holders of US visas and undocumented immigrants must apply for citizenship through the Italian Consulate in the country where they are considered legal permanent residents.

  • Can I submit my application to another Consulate or Italian Authority if they have an earlier appointment, even if I don’t have my residence in that jurisdiction?
    • NO. You must apply through the Consulate/Italian Authority in whose jurisdiction you reside.

  • Does the consulate provide assistance in obtaining documentation?
    • No. Applicants are responsible for requesting all required documentation.

  • Do I have to speak Italian to be able to apply?
    • Citizenship by MARRIAGE – YES
    • Citizenship by DESCENT – While it is not a current requirement, we encourage all Italian citizens to learn the Italian language as it is an integral part of Italy’s history and culture.

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2. FEES

PLEASE NOTE: Consular fees are updated every 3 months to reflect any changes in the Euro/Dollar exchange rate. As such, please ensure that the posted fee will be valid on the day you submit it to this consulate.

  • All consular fees are posted on the following page of our website: https://conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/consolato_sanfrancisco/en/i_servizi/tariffe 

    • Citizenship by descent
      • Each applicant must include in their application a MONEY ORDER made out the CONSULATE GENERAL OF ITALY – SAN FRANCISCO for the amount posted on the Consular fees page. Fees are NOT transferrable and CANNOT be used for any application other than that of the applicant.

    • Citizenship by marriage

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3. ELIGIBILITY

When a person claims to be of Italian parentage or ancestry but no proof of the fact can be found in Italian registers, it is necessary to provide proof that all ancestors have maintained, and thereby passed on, their Italian citizenship. The authority legally valid to ascertain these facts depends on the person’s place of residence: for foreign residents, the diplomatic-consular mission in the country of residence; for residents in Italy the Ufficio di Stato Civile of the city of residence.
To determine if you are eligible for Italian citizenship, the Italian Consulate must look at the law that was in effect in Italy at the time of your birth. Individuals can become citizens under several very different sections of law or can automatically lose the citizenship through the naturalization of either of the parents.
If you are claiming citizenship through an Italian citizen mother or grandmother, you must also provide information about your father or grandfather, because Italian citizenship may be affected by the naturalization of their respective spouses.

  • Who is elibible for Italian citizenship?
    • Citizenship by descent: descendents of Italian citizens who never renounced their Italian citizenship;
    • Citizenship by marriage: spouses of Italian citizens whose marriage has been correctly registered in ITALY
      • If applicant does NOT have minor children with the Italian citizen: must be married to Italian spouse for at least 3 years (36 months)
      • If applicant DOES HAVE minor children with the Italian citizen: must be married to the Italian spouse for at least 1-1/2 years (18 months)

  • How do I determine my eligibility?
  • How many generations back can I pursue citizenship?
    • Applicants can apply for citizenship starting with their most recent ancestor born In Italy after 17 March 1861, or with their most recent ancestor born BEFORE the formation of Italy who died AFTER 17 March 1861.

  • Can I apply for Italian citizenship through my mother's side of the family?
    • Italian citizenship by descent through MATERNAL ascendants was only possible starting 01 January 1948. As such, the right to citizenship can be passed from a mother to her child AFTER that date.

  • My father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather was born in Italy. Can I apply?
    • You may apply through your paternal ancestor if you can prove that your right to Italian citizenship was maintained, and that it was not broken (naturalization or renunciation) by your ascendants. 

  • I’m likely not eligible for citizenship. Is there anything else can I do?
    • There are a few cases in which a descendant of an Italian citizen who lost his/her Italian citizenship after naturalization might still be eligible, and in such cases the application for citizenship may be submitted IN ITALY after having established residency there for a specific number of years. Please refer to Italian law 05 February 1992, Art. 9, Paragraph 1, letter A for details.

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4. APPOINTMENTS

  • Can I bring multiple applicants to my appointment?
    • NO. Only ONE applicant per appointment slot is permitted. If multiple family members are over 18 years old and wish to apply for citizenship they must EACH schedule their OWN INDIVIDUAL APPOINTMENT(S) and submit the required documentation on that day.

  • Can I reserve an appointment under my name, but have somebody else come to the appointment instead?
    • NO. Appointments ARE NOT transferrable. The person who comes to the Consulate on the day of the appointment MUST be the same person whose name is associated with the appointment reservation in PRENOT@MI.

  • All other information regarding appointments (how to schedule an appointment, availability, and cancellations) are available on our website: https://conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/consolato_sanfrancisco/en/i_servizi/per_i_cittadini/cittadinanza#Appointments

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5. PROCESSING TIMES AND STATUS OF MY APPLICATION

  • CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT:
    • How long does it take to process my application?
      • IT VARIES. Processing times vary from case to case, and can take more or less time depending on a number of factors pertaining to the application itself. As such it is not possible to determine how long each application’s processing time will take. Applicants will be notified via email as soon as processing is complete.

    • How do I check the status of my application?
      • This Consulate General is unfortunately unable to provide status updates regarding citizenship applications due to the fact that there are thousands of applications currently being processed in the Consular network, and processing times can vary from case to case. Applicants will be notified via email as soon as their citizenship application has been completed and processed. However, if it has been more than 2 years since your complete application for citizenship by descent was accepted, or more than 4 years for citizenship by marriage, please send an email to cittadinanza.sanfrancisco@esteri.it and include your full first and last name at birth, date of birth, when you submitted the application, and at which Consular office.

  • CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
    • How long does it take to process the application?
      • Per article 14 of Legislative Decree of 4 ottobre 2018, n. 113 - the processing time for applications for Italian citizenship by marriage is 48 (forty eight) months from the day that the application is accepted. This processing time also applies to any applications in progress that were accepted prior to that date.
    • How do I check the status of my application?
      1. Login to your account on the website of the Ministero dell'Interno (https://nullaostalavoro.dlci.interno.it/Ministero/Index2)
      2. Click "CITTADINANZA" in the menu to the left of the screen.
      3. Fill out the required information and security code, then click AVANTI.
      4. Click "STATO DELLA PRATICA" menu to the left of the screen.

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6. NATURALIZATION

  • What is naturalization?
    • Naturalization is the act of VOLUNTARILY acquiring the citizenship of another country, either as an adult OR as a child when your parents were naturalized.

  • Where do I obtain naturalization records?
  • What if my Italian born ancestor never naturalized as a US citizen?
    • In such case(s) you must provide the following:
      • ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF NONEXISTENCE OF RECORDS issued by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services: www.uscis.gov (no translation is required)
      • COPY OF THE CENSUS first available immediately after the birth in the US of the direct descent: www.census.gov no translation is required)

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7. VITAL RECORDS

  • How/where do I request a vital record?
    • ITALY – you must contact the Ufficio Stato Civile of the Comune in Italy where the vital records were registered. You can typically perform an internet search online and find search results with a link to the website of the Comune with instructions on how to do so.
      • PLEASE NOTE: The Consulate does NOT provide assistance for vital records requests from Italy for those applying for citizenship.
    • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
      • BIRTH, MARRIAGE, and DEATH CERTIFICATES: contact the Deparmtent of Vital Records of the city where the document was originally recorded.
      • DIVORCES: contact the City or County Clerk’s office of the Court that issued the Divorce Decree
    • OTHER COUNTRIES – please refer to the Vital Records/Stato Civile page of the website of the Italian authority in the country where the documents were issued.

  • A family member of mine already applied for Italian citzienship by descent. Do I need to re-submit any overlapping documentation that was already submitted with their application?
    • If your family member's application was submitted to this Consulate General in San Francisco: you do NOT need to re-submit any overlapping documentation that was already submitted with that family member's application. However, you will still be required to submit any and all required documentation for yourself and any ascendents that is not already on file at this office.
    • If your family member's application was submitted at another Consulate: Paperwork submitted to other Consular offices CANNOT be utilized by this office in San Francisco. As such, if your family member did not apply for citizenship throught the Consulate in San Francisco you must submit all required documentation specified on our website to this office.
       
  • A vital record for one or more of my ascendants cannot be found and/or does not exist. What do I do?
    • Please obtain a written statement from the vital records office where you requested the record stating that the document does not exist. This statement must also clearly explain WHY the record does not exist. In such a case, please forward a scanned copy of that written statement to cittadinanza.sanfrancisco@esteri.it so that we can determine if/how you should proceed.

  • Can I submit a baptismal certificate?
    • ITALIAN RECORDS: If there were no registries in existence at the time of your ancestors’ birth, you will have to submit:
      • a parish baptismal certificate with the authentication of the pastor’s signature by the authorised bishop’s office,
      • The written response from the town hall (Comune) IN ITALY confirming the non-existence of a registry office on the date in question.

        ->Otherwise a civil record of birth (birth certificate) is required and must be obtained from the Comune IN ITALY where the birth was registered.

    • RECORDS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES: NO - you must provide the civil record of birth (BIRTH CERTIFICATE) of your ancestor (unless the written statment obtained from the foreign vital records office is deemed sufficient by this office along with other supporting documentation).

 

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8. ERRORS OR DISCREPANCIES ON DOCUMENTS

  • Errors – any documents containing errors (misspellings, incorrect dates, incorrect boxes checked, etc), must be corrected/amended BEFORE submitting those documents to this office. Any corrections and amendments will also require apostilles and translation.

  • Discrepancies
    • Ancestral Documents – discrepancies should be corrected when and where possible so that the documents reflect the same information on the ancestor's birth certificate. If it is not possible to correct the discrepancies, applicants should take note of where these discrepancies occur in order point them out and explain them during their appointment

    • Applicant's documents – applicant’s vital records (marriages and births of any children under 18) must reflect his/her information (first name, any middle names, last name, and date of birth) as it appears on his/her original birth certificate. Any discrepancies or errors must be corrected BEFORE submitting documentation. If applicant was ever re-married, and the marriage certificate(s) show married last name, please ensure that the marriage certificate(s) show the applicant’s MAIDEN NAME AT BIRTH to prove that he/she is the same person as the one named on the birth certificate. If they do not, and it is not possible to amend the document, please note this discrepancy at the time of the appointment.

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9. APOSTILLES and AUTHENTICATIONS

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10. TRANSLATIONS

  • Translation Requirements:
    • EVERY SINGLE WORD on the original document must be translated;
    • Translations must be COMPLETE, FREE OF ERRORS, prepared on a computer, printed, and with legible fonts;
    • Any translations that are incomplete and/or that contain errors will NOT be accepted

  • Who can perform the translation? Do I have to use a certified translator?

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11. CITIZENSHIP FOR CHILDREN

  • If you are applying for Italian ctizenship - citizenship for your children under 18 years old listed in your application will be recognized at the same time as you. You must provide all birth records for those children as specified in the vital record requirements for Italian citizenship by descent.

  • If You Already Have Been Granted Citizenship:
    • Children UNDER 18 YEARS OLD - citizenship and AIRE registration for children that weren’t included in the Italian parent’s citizenship application will be processed when you register his/her birth certificate. You do NOT have to submit a separate citizenship application for him/her. Please refer to the vital records page of this Consulate for information: https://conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/consolato_sanfrancisco/en/i_servizi/per_i_cittadini/stato_civile/nascite.html 

    • Children Over 18 Years Old – children over 18 years old whose births were NOT registered in Italy by their Italian parent before they turned 18 must schedule an appointment for recognition of Italian citizenship through the Italian Authority in whose jurisdiction they reside.

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12. CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE

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13. PASSPORTS VS. CITIZENSHIP

  • An Italian passport is a TRAVEL DOCUMENT and can be issued to a person who is ALREADY IS AN ITALIAN CITIZEN. As such, any passport requests and appointments must be submitted/scheduled AFTER you receive confirmation that your Italian citizenship has been processed AND confirmed. (For more passport information please visit the passport page of our website AFTER your citizenship has been confirmed: https://conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/consolato_sanfrancisco/en/i_servizi/per_i_cittadini/passaporti

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14. MILITARY

  • Are male citizens of Italy required to serve in the Italian military?
    • NOT AT THIS TIME.

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15. NEW CITIZENS - NEXT STEPS, RIGHTS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Please note that once a citizenship application has been processed and completed, this citizenship department is unable to reply to requests concerning other consular services. 

New citizens with questions regarding items listed below and/or other consular services should contact the appropriate consular department directly.

  1. CREATE YOUR ONLINE CONSULAR ACCOUNT IN THE FAST-IT ONLINE PORTAL
    • Through this account you will be able to access your information on file at the Consulate to verify that all your information is correct and/or up-to-date. To set up your Fast-It account visit https://serviziconsolarionline.esteri.it/ScoFE/index.sco
      • IMPORTANT:
        • First and middle names must be entered in to the “NOME” field and be EXACTLY AS THEY APPEAR ON THE PERSON’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
        • Last name(s) must be entered in the corresponding “COGNOME” field and should be EXACTLY AS THEY APPEAR ON THE PERSON’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
        • DATES must be entered in the DAY / MONTH / YEAR format
      • Any questions or technical issues must be addressed IN ITALIAN to the Fast-It tech support in Rome at the following email address: assistenza.secoli@esteri.it

  2. AIRE (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all’Estero – Registry of Italians Residing Abroad)
    • All Italian citizens residing outside of Italy for at least 1 year are REQUIRED to be registered in AIRE.

    • New citizens do NOT need to submit an AIRE registration to this Consulate in San Francisco because the initial AIRE registration request was submitted by the Consulate when their citizenship was processed.

    • IF YOU MOVE/CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS: any changes in address, however, must be promptly submitted to the Consulate via the Fast-It online portal within 90 days of the move.

    • Please refer to the Anagrafe/AIRE page for information regarding AIRE: https://conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/consolato_sanfrancisco/en/i_servizi/per_i_cittadini/anagrafe/

  3. VITAL RECORDS / STATO CIVILE
    • By law Italian citizens must record the following with the Italian Consulate in whose jurisdiction they reside:
      • Any and all changes in marital status (marriages, divorces, or being widowed);
      • Any and all births of children under 18 years old who were NOT included in the original citizenship application;
      • Any and all deaths of any family member who hold Italian citizenship whose death has not been recorded in Italy;

    • Visit the vital records page for more information:https://conssanfrancisco.esteri.it/consolato_sanfrancisco/en/i_servizi/per_i_cittadini/stato_civile/

  4. NAME CHANGES
    • BY MARRIAGE – if you marry and take your spouse’s last name, your Italian documents will NOT show your married name and will continue to show your MADIEN NAME AT BIRTH.
      • Please note: Passports will show maiden last name/birth last name on the main page, however it is possible to add the married name to a separate page of the passport. Please contact the passport office for clarification on this procedure.

    • BY WAY OF JUDICIAL ORDER – if you legally changed your name via a court order AFTER your citizenship was recognized, and you wish for your new name to be recorded and used in Italy, please contact statocivile.sanfrancisco@esteri.it for more information.

  5. PASSPORT APPLICATION
  6. ELECTIONS/VOTING
    • IMPORTANT: Voter eligibility is determined by the electoral offices of each citizen’s Comune where they are registered in AIRE. Please note that if you received confirmation of your citizenship in the past 6-12 months, it is possible that the Electoral office of your Comune has not yet updated their voter lists with new citizens. If there are any upcoming elections and you do not receive your electoral materials in the mail, please contact the elections office of this Consulate so we can verify your voter status. Any citizens whose names are not yet enrolled in the voter lists can only vote in an election following authorization from elections office of their Comune AIRE

    • General elections and referenda – citizens registered in AIRE and enrolled in the voter lists will be able to vote by mail. All electoral materials will be sent to eligible citizens to the address that is recorded in the electoral offices of his/her Comune AIRE. Information regarding any elections will be posted on the home-page of this Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco - www.conssanfrancisco.esteri.it.

    • Regional, communal, and European elections – Citizens who reside in the United States and wish to participate in these elections can only do so by voting in person at designated polling places in their Comune AIRE in Italy. Citizens will typically be notified via a letter or a postcard sent directly from the Elections office of the Comune where they are registered in AIRE. 

  7. HEALTH INSURANCE/MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
  8. OTHER CONSULAR SERVICES
  9. TAXES
    • Are dual citizens subject to any taxes in Italy?
      • Italian Citizens residing abroad and correctly registered in AIRE do NOT have to pay taxes in Italy on income earned outside of Italy, but may still be required to pay taxes on income generated within Italy. Please refer to the website of the Agenzia delle Entrate (www.agenziaentrate.gov.it) for more information about taxation in Italy and/or contact a tax professional in Italy. Citizens must comply, however, with taxation laws in their State and Country of residence.
    • How do I file my taxes in the USA as a dual Italian/USA citizen?
      • Please visit the website of the IRS (www.irs.gov) and/or contact a tax professional in the United States for more information.

 

 

FOR ALL OTHER INQUIRIES WHOSE ANSWERS ARE NOT POSTED ON THIS PAGE please contact cittadinanza.sanfrancisco@esteri.it

 


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