Five Compelling Reasons to Apply for Italian Citizenship

Damien O'Farrell
5 min readJul 17


Italy, a country renowned for its rich history, cultural heritage, and picturesque landscapes, has always captivated the hearts of travelers and residents alike. Beyond being a tourist destination, Italy offers a unique opportunity for individuals to become citizens and immerse themselves in its distinctive lifestyle. If you have been considering applying for Italian citizenship, either through ancestry or naturalization, here are five compelling reasons why it might be a life-changing decision.

Cultural Immersion

Italy boasts a deep-rooted cultural heritage that spans thousands of years. From the ancient Romans to the Renaissance artists, the country has significantly contributed to the world’s art, literature, and philosophy. By becoming an Italian citizen, you gain the chance to fully immerse yourself in this rich tapestry of culture. You can participate in local festivities, engage with the people, learn the language, and savor authentic Italian cuisine. Embracing the Italian way of life can be a transformative experience, allowing you to broaden your perspectives and cherish the essence of La Dolce Vita.

Access to the European Union

Italy is a member of the European Union (EU), and obtaining Italian citizenship grants you the coveted right to live, work, and study anywhere within the EU’s 27 member countries. This unprecedented freedom of movement opens doors to countless opportunities and makes it easier to explore various cultures, build a career in different EU countries, and broaden your horizons. It also provides you with access to excellent healthcare and educational systems, further enhancing your quality of life.

Heritage and Family Ties

For those with Italian ancestry, applying for Italian citizenship can be a powerful way to reconnect with your heritage and honor your family’s roots. Italy recognizes the principle of “Jure Sanguinis”, meaning citizenship can be passed down through generations, regardless of where you were born. If you can prove your Italian lineage, you have the right to claim Italian citizenship, forging a link between the past, present, and future generations of your family.

Simplified Property Ownership

Owning property in Italy can be an attractive prospect due to its enchanting landscapes and vibrant cities. As a non-citizen, purchasing property in Italy can be a bureaucratic process, especially if you come from a country that puts limits on Italian citizens, which at present is the case in Canada. However, by becoming an Italian citizen, you streamline the procedure, making it easier to invest in real estate, reside, or even retire in this Mediterranean paradise. Owning property in Italy can be a wise investment, not only for personal enjoyment but also for potential financial gain.

Voting Rights and Civic Participation

As an Italian citizen, you gain the right to actively participate in shaping the country’s political landscape. You can vote in national and local elections, giving you a voice in decisions that affect your community and the nation as a whole. Being a part of Italy’s democratic process allows you to contribute to the country’s progress, making you an integral part of the Italian society.

Applying for Italian citizenship is a life-changing decision with numerous benefits that extend far beyond the administrative aspects. From embracing the rich cultural heritage to enjoying the privileges of EU membership and reconnecting with your ancestry, Italian citizenship offers a unique opportunity to become an active part of one of the world’s most enchanting countries. Whether you seek adventure, a fresh start, or a stronger sense of identity, Italy’s allure is bound to leave an indelible mark on your life, making the journey to citizenship truly worthwhile.

Italy’s Powerful Passport

Holders of an Italian passport now enjoy the world’s second most powerful passport, according to the 2023 Henley Passport Index.

An Italian passport can be obtained either through ancestry or naturalization.


Many people around the world qualify for Italian citizenship through their ancestors (Jure Sanguinis). To determine if you are eligible for Italian citizenship through ancestry, you will need to complete our Italian Citizenship Assessment Questionnaire, which we will review for you without obligation. If you qualify, you can apply at the Italian consulate that has jurisdiction over where you live or directly in Italy. In some cases, you may need to file a lawsuit in Italy to obtain your Italian citizenship, as in the case of the 1948 filings.


Italian citizenship through naturalization involves a process where non-Italians can become citizens after meeting certain residency and legal requirements.

  • Legal residency of at least four years for an EU citizen.
  • Legal residency of at least ten years for a non-EU citizen.
  • Individual who has been resident for at least three years and is the second-degree descendant of an Italian who had citizenship.
  • Five years of legal residency for stateless individuals, refugees, or foreigners of legal age adopted by Italians.
  • No period of residency is required for foreigners who have worked for the Italian State, within Italy or abroad, for at least 5 years.


Obtaining Italian citizenship through marriage, including for same-sex couples, involves several key steps and requirements. Here’s a list in bullet points:

Marriage Duration:

  • For couples residing outside Italy, the marriage must have lasted for at least 3 years before applying.
  • If there are children (biological or adopted) from the marriage, this duration is reduced to 1.5 years.

Valid Marriage:

  • The marriage must be legally recognized in Italy. This includes same-sex marriages, as Italy recognizes them for the purpose of citizenship applications.

Residence Status:

  • If residing in Italy, the applicant must have legally lived in Italy for at least 2 years after marriage.
  • This duration is reduced to 1 year if the couple has children.

Criminal Record:

  • The applicant must have a clean criminal record. Any criminal history can significantly affect the application process.

Language Proficiency:

  • Demonstrating an adequate level of proficiency in the Italian language (at least B1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Submission of Application:

  • The application for citizenship must be submitted through the official website of the Italian Ministry of Interior.


  • Necessary documents include a valid marriage certificate, proof of residence, language proficiency certificate, and any other documents requested by the authorities.

Application Fee:

  • Payment of a non-refundable application fee is required. The fee amount should be verified as it may change.

Processing Time:

  • The processing time for the application can vary, often taking several months to a few years.

Legal Support:

  • It’s advisable to seek guidance from legal experts, especially in complex cases or for specific guidance related to same-sex marriage recognition.

If you believe you qualify for Italian citizenship either through ancestry, naturalization, or marriage, please feel free to contact us at for more information.

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Damien O'Farrell

Global Mobility Specialist and Expat Coach with thirty plus years’ experience in providing high-touch immigration, destination, & coaching services in Italy.