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Italian Dream for Two: A Guide to Spousal Residency & Citizenship

Imagine strolling hand-in-hand through ancient Italian streets, savoring local delicacies, and building a life together under the Tuscan sun. But what if your spouse faces limitations due to visa restrictions? Worry not! This guide explores residency and citizenship options for spouses of Italian citizenship applicants, ensuring your Italian dream unfolds as a shared adventure.

Can Your Spouse Stay in Italy Beyond 90 Days During Your Citizenship Application?

While you navigate your application, your spouse can obtain a special Family Reunion permission of stay. This permits legal residency throughout your application process, which can range from several months to one year, offering peace of mind and the freedom to experience Italy alongside you.

Obtaining this permission requires documented proof of your application and sufficient financial means to support yourselves in Italy.

Is Your Spouse Entitled to Automatic Italian Citizenship?

Unfortunately, there's no automatic path to citizenship for spouses based solely on their partner's application unless you are a female who married your male spouse before 1983.

However, there are still ways for your spouse to potentially acquire the coveted Italian passport:

  • Marriage to an Italian citizen: Once you are married for at least 2 years (3+ if abroad), your spouse can apply for citizenship through “Jure Matrimoni.”. Your spouse must demonstrate intermediate Italian language proficiency (B1 level) certified under the Italian Quality Language Certification system and submit a clean criminal background check.

  • Descent: Does your spouse also have Italian ancestry? If so, they may be eligible for citizenship through jure sanguinis (right of blood), depending on their lineage and the specific rules in place at the time of application.

  • Naturalization: After residing legally in Italy for ten years (or six years if married to an Italian citizen), your spouse can apply for citizenship through naturalization.

Remember: Each path has its requirements and procedures. Consulting with an immigration lawyer specializing in Italian citizenship is highly recommended to ensure you and your spouse follow the correct process and maximize your chances of success.

Embark on Your Italian Dream, Together

By understanding the residency and citizenship options available, you and your spouse can chart a course toward your shared Italian dream. Remember, the journey is often more enriching when experienced together. 

While navigating these processes alongside your spouse might seem daunting, the Italian Citizenship Concierge (ICC) is here to help you every step of the way. Contact ICC today for a free consultation and let us help you chart your path to dual citizenship, hand-in-hand with your loved one.


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