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Italian citizenship: brief introduction

Italian citizenship is currently regulated by Law No. 91 of February 5, 1992 (and its implementing regulations, particularly Presidential Decree No. 572 of October 12, 1993 and Presidential Decree No. 362 of April 18, 1994) which, unlike the previous law, revaluates the importance of individual will and intention in the acquisition and loss of citizenship and recognises the right to hold more than one citizenship at the same time.

The principles on which Italian citizenship is based are the following:

  • transmissibility of citizenship by descent, i.e. for having Italian parents or ancestors (principle of “ius sanguinis”);
  • acquisition of citizenship based on the principle of “iure soli” (by birth on the Italian soil) in certain cases;
  • possibility of multiple nationality;
  • expression of will for the acquisition and loss of citizenship.

As from August 16, 1992 (when Law No. 91/92 came into force), the acquisition of a foreign nationality does not lead to the loss of Italian citizenship unless the Italian citizen formally renounces it (Article 11 of Law No. 91/92), subject to international agreements.

Italy’s denunciation of the 1963 Strasbourg Convention means that, as from June 4, 2010, Italian citizenship is no longer automatically lost by the Italians who become naturalised citizens of the countries that are signatories to the Convention (following the denunciation of the Convention by Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France and Luxembourg, the current signatories are Austria, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands).

Acquisition of citizenship

We do provide information about most common cases in Jerusalem and particularly:

Citizenship by birth right “jure sanguinis”
Citizenship by marriage to an Italian Citizen

For all other cases we strongly suggest to check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation at the following link


With effect from 5th October 2018, according to article 14 of D.L. 4th Oct 2018 law no. 113, which became law no. 132 on 1st Dec 2018, a fee of €250 for each application or declaration of intent, acquiring, reacquiring or renouncing Italian citizenship shall be paid.

With effect from 4th December 2018, law no. 132, in order to be recognised as an Italian citizen, according to 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) of law no. 91/92, the applicant must possess an adequate knowledge of the Italian language by means of certificate of knowledge of the Italian language at a level not lower than B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) or qualification issued by a public or officially certified private educational institution recognized by the Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità) certifying bodies – possibly in collaboration with local Italian cultural institutes – are only the University for Foreigners of Siena, the University for Foreigners of Perugia, the University of Roma Tre and the Società Dante Alighieri.

The following people are not required to provide a qualification or certification proving knowledge of the Italian language:

  • foreigners (even if resident abroad) who have signed the integration agreement referred to in Article 4 bis of Legislative Decree No. 286/1998 (Consolidated Act on Immigration);
  • holders of an EU (or EC) stay permit for long-term residents referred to in Article 9 of the above stated Consolidated Act.

In order to find out which educational institutions are authorised to issue the requested certification, please consult the dedicated web page of the Italian language portal (Portale della Lingua Italiana).