Italian citizenship - David Ingram

Subject: Italian citizenship
Hi David,
I know you specialize in Canada - US cross-border issues but I was wondering
if you might know of anyone who might have info on benefits and drawbacks of
obtaining (adding) Italian citizenship.  For example, as a dual Canadian/US
citizen, one drawback I see of US citizenship is that I have to report to
the IRS no matter which country I live in.
My husband and I may become eligible for Italian citizenship if his father,
who is eligible, obtains such.  Too bad we didn't know this before the
Olympics, we could have all gone to Turin to celebrate!
david ingram replies:
I know of no drawback to Italian citizenship other than the very remote
possibility of compulsory military service, which is to be cancelled for
everybody in 2007 but which still exists in theory for males under 27. Those
between 27 and 45 can get out easily.
It seems like yesterday when Italy did NOT recognize dual citizenship.
However a major change in 1992 means that Italy has recognized dual
citizenship since 1992.
1. by having an Italian parent(s);
2. by being born in Italy:
including cases in which the parents are unknown, stateless or do not
transmit their own citizenship to their child according to the legislation
of the State to which they belong, as well as children found abandoned in
Italy and for whom it is impossible to determine status civitatis
3. through paternal or maternal recognition while the child is a minor (in
cases in which the child recognised is no longer a minor, he/she is obliged
to elect to become a citizen within one year of recognition);
4. by adoption, both if the foreign minor is adopted by an Italian citizen
by means of the Italian Judicial Authorities, as well as in the case in
which adoption is granted abroad and made effective in Italy through a writ,
issued by the Juvenile Court and registered with the Civil Registry.
If the adoptee is no longer a minor he/she can become a naturalised Italian
citizen after 5 years of legal residence in Italy (see How to Apply:
1. Declaration of desire to become a citizen;
If the foreigner is of Italian descent (up to the 2nd degree) he/she can
obtain citizenship in any of the following cases:
- by serving in the Italian armed forces;
- by becoming a subordinate employee of the Italian State, even abroad;
- by residing legally in Italy for at least two years after reaching legal
If the foreigner was born in Italian territory he/she can obtain citizenship
by residing legally and uninterruptedly in Italy from birth up to legal age.
2. Marriage to an Italian citizen;
The requirements include:
legal residence in Italy for at least 6 months after marriage or 3 years of
matrimony if residing abroad;
valid marriage certificate;
absence of criminal record;
absence of impediments associated with national security.
Applications for citizenship are to be addressed to the Ministry of the
Interior and presented to the Prefecture in the Province of residence, if
residing in Italy, or the diplomatic-consular authorities if residing
3. Naturalizzazione
requirements include:
10 years of legal residence;
sufficient income;
absence of criminal record;
renunciation of original citizenship (where foreseen).
the number of years can be reduced to:
3 years of legal residence for descendents of former Italian citizens by
birth, up to the 2nd degree, and for foreigners born in Italian national
4 years of legal residence for citizens of European Community Member States;
5 years of legal residence for displaced persons or refugees, as well as for
legal-age foreigners adopted by Italian citizens;
7 years of legal residence as the child of an Italian parent;
no period of residence is required for foreigners who have served the State
for a period of at least 5 years, even abroad.
Application for naturalisation must be addressed to the President of the
Republic (Presidente della Repubblica) and presented to the Prefecture in
the Province of residence.
Certificate from the General Records Office with revenue stamp;
Certificate of family situation with revenue stamp;
Certificate of residence history; if there is more than one municipality of
legal residence, certification of residence history for each municipality
must be provided with revenue stamp;
Authenticated copies of tax forms 740 or 101 for the three years immediately
preceding application, or certificate issued by the authorised tax office of
income earned in the three years immediately preceding application.
application for citizenship to be made on a pre-printed form available at
the Prefecture of the place of residence;
birth certificate from country of origin with all pertinent data; in the
case of documented impossibility, statement issued by the diplomatic or
consular authorities of the country of origin, duly translated and
witnessed, indicating name, surname, date and place of birth as well as
names of applicant’s father and mother;
Criminal record from applicant’s country of origin and country of residence
(self-certificate from EU citizens only);
Authorisation of the authorities of the country of origin to release all
pertinent information on the applicant that may be requested by the Italian
diplomatic authorities, using the pre-printed form available from the
Declaration renouncing the protection of the Italian diplomatic and consular
authorities from the authorities of the country of origin, using the
pre-printed form available at the Prefecture (only for applicants requesting
citizenship in order to reside in Italy)
Certificate with revenue stamp of Italian citizenship of spouse (only for
those applying for citizenship following matrimony).
After application is made the following additional documentation will be
requested by the competent authorities:
Certificate concerning charges pending in the applicant’s area of residence
issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the locally authorised courts;
Data concerning the applicant’s entrance and period of stay;
Copy of marriage certificate from the Italian municipality where the
marriage is registered (only for those applying for citizenship following
In order to shorten the process the applicant can always send certificates
in his/her possession, even if not authenticated, by electronic means.
David Ingram's US / Canada Services
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Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or
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