The Decree-Law on Immigration and Security, pushed by far-right League leader and interior minister Matteo Salvini, was enacted on 1st December 2018 by the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, and published on 4th December abolishing humanitarian protection status for migrants and making the process more difficult to obtain the Italian citizenship.

The final text has been modified in its part referring to Italian Citizenship before it became law on 1st December 2018. 

The most significant changes related to Italian dual citizenship application are:

  • The duration of the citizenship process from twenty-four (24) months to forty-eight (48) months. This period starts counting from the date the application for naturalisation is submitted online using the ALI Portal of the Ministero dell’Interno;

  • The increase of the application fee from €200 euro to €250 euro;

  • An adequate knowledge of the Italian language (B1 level and above of CEFR – Common European Framework of Reference for languages) for those applying under articles 5 (Italian citizenship by virtue of being married to an Italian citizen) and 9 (in case of employment by the Italian Government, in Italy or abroad, for at least 5 years); and

  • The provision of revocation of Italian citizenship granted to foreign citizen who poses a threat to the national security, because he or she has been convicted with final ruling of serious crimes committed for terrorism or subversion purposes. The withdrawal of the citizenship will be ordered within 3 years after the judgement has become final.

In particular, the change that brought more concerns to those with intention of applying for Italian dual citizenship under articles 5 and 9 of of law nº 91/92  was the requirement for an adequate knowledge of the Italian language at level B1.

With effect from 4th December, 2018, all applicants for italian dual citizenship by marriage (art.5) or by employment by the Italian Government in Italy or abroad for at least 5 years (art.9), will have to prove such knowledge with either, (i) a certificate or diploma issued by an Italian state school or recognised private school; or (ii) a certificate of Italian as a foreign language issued by an approved  institute.

Another crucial change, that would have reduced substantially the number of applications for Italian dual citizenship but, that had been stopped by the Italian Parliament, was the article referring to limitation of generation for Italian citizenship “jure sanguinis” (for descendants of Italian citizen). This article was removed from the original text, keeping the right of descendants in direct line of Italian citizen without any limitation of generation.

The measures listed in the law enacted by the Italian President last December will also have significant consequences on the rights of those in need of protection, the reception system and the possibilities of integration of foreign nationals in Italy.


Author: Emerson De Queiroz Barbosa

If you are looking for advice on your application for Italian dual citizenship, contact our expert consultancy team today.

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