Jure Matrimonii – Italian Citizenship by Marriage

Jure Matrimonii – Italian Citizenship by Marriage


(upbeat music) – [Announcer] This is the
Italian Citizenship Podcast, hosted by Marco Permunian
and Rafael Di Furia. (upbeat music) – Hello and welcome
back to another edition of the Italian Citizenship Podcast, presented by
italiancitizenshipassistance.com – I am Rafael Di Furia,
here with Marco Permunian, an Italian attorney, and the U.S. Head of the Italian Citizenship
Assistance Offices. And today we are going to be talking about citizenship by marriage, because there are some
very big differences between citizenship by marriage and, or naturalization in general, and the Jure Sanguinis
citizenship by descent process. But maybe let’s get in
with the very first part, because there’s some slight differences between through naturalization
and by marriage. Maybe let’s start with
the larger subject first of citizenship through marriage. What are the basic requirements
to be able to be eligible in that way? – Spouses of Italian citizens can apply for Italian citizenship through
marriage after three years from the marriage if
they’re residing abroad, or two years if they
are residing in Italy. And the time is cut in half if the couple, the married couple, has minor children. The requirement of course,
is that one of the two people is an Italian citizen, of course. – I would hope. (laughing) – And the application process, speaking about the requirements,
is a little bit complex. And you need to be very
careful when you prepare the application for
citizenship through marriage. – Okay, so I’m sure that
there would be a difference between applying in Italy
versus applying in America. Let’s start out with the
application process in America. Where do people need to
get started with that? I mean of course, one of
the spouses, of course, already needs to be recognized
as an Italian citizen, registered, and do they need
to be in the AIRE first? Or how does that work? – Exactly, so of course, if your spouse is not
yet an Italian citizen, you cannot start the application process. So, for example, if your
spouse is of Italian descent, and has not gone through the process, you have to be a little bit patient until your spouse becomes
an Italian citizen or is recognized as an Italian citizen. But anyways, after, when
your spouse is Italian, then you can start the process. The first requirement I’d
say that, of course, is if three years or a year
and a half from the marriage have passed, a year and a
half if you have children. So, even if your spouse
became an Italian citizen by descent last week, you can potentially start the process now, as long as your spouse
is an Italian citizen and you’ve been married for three years, you are able to start the process. Now the main requirement
is for the Italian spouse to be registered with the AIRE, which is the Registry of Italian
Citizens Residing Abroad. So, if you live in New York, for example, in the State of New York, your spouse needs to be
registered with the AIRE registry held by the New York City Consulate in order for you to be able
to use the New York Consulate to apply for citizenship through marriage. For example, if your spouse was granted Italian citizenship Jure
Sanguinis by the Miami consulate and then the couple relocated
to the State of New York, if they haven’t re-registered
with the new consulate, then the spouse, the non-Italian spouse, cannot apply for citizenship
and use the New York Consulate. So, the first step is
definitely making sure that the Italian spouse is registered with the right consulate. – And just quickly, how does
the Italian spouse make sure that they are registered
with the consulate? – So, they can just contact the consulate. I mean, people would know
where they’re registered. But if they don’t know, they can just contact either the consulate or the Italian Municipality. Because the AIRE registry
is a registry held jointly by the Italian Consulate and
the Italian Municipality, which in the case of people that applied for citizenship Jure
Sanguinis is the municipality, normally it’s the municipality of birth, of the Italian ancestor. Instead, if you are just
a normal Italian citizen who emigrated from Italy to the U.S., then you are registered with the AIRE registry held by
your local Italian Consulate and your municipality of
last residency in Italy. – So once the Italian
spouse is registered, what is it that the
couple needs to go through to start the application process? Once they have, I mean, I am assuming we
haven’t spoken about documents, maybe that’s a good place to start. – So, the documents needed for
the process are very specific and one of the most
important documents needed for the process is the
Italian marriage certificate. So if you were married abroad, one of the first task would be to make sure that your marriage
record has been recorded in Italy in the municipality where the Italian citizen
is registered with the AIRE. So once the foreign marriage
record has been registered in Italy, then the Italian
municipality will be able to give you an Italian
marriage certificate, which is called “estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio”. – That’s a mouthful. (laughing) Sometimes I feel like, I kind of mentioned this in a prior video that just with the word
“citizenship” even, it should be like that
should be the requirement for any citizenship test. Can you pronounce “cittadinanza”
in Italian? (laughs) – Yeah, very difficult words, right. – Anyway, so once you have
this marriage certificate from Italy and have it, do you actually have to
have the physical copy or does the consulate in
America have to have it? Do they already have it I mean? – No, you need to ask
the Italian Municipality to release a certified copy to you. And that can be tricky if
you don’t speak Italian or if you don’t have a contact in Italy. But in theory you can, you can ask the municipality
to mail it to you. And this is something that we can definitely help people with. Our Italian office is used to
dealing with municipalities that most of the times are
not very cooperative, so. (laughing) – Sounds like there’s a
lot of those in Italy. Having lived here I see that
things work very differently. And a lot of Americans come and approach things as if
it were an American office when you really need to start from scratch and really need to take a
completely different approach to life here just in general. – Yeah, especially when you
address small municipalities, you have to imagine like
a very small building with a very old guy doing everything. So, it’s kind of understandable that if you have been
waiting for your certificate for three months that’s kind of normal. – Right, and some of these
like you were saying, it’s just like one room, literally like just the
walls of the building, that’s the whole room there. It’s that one little guy,
there smoking his cigarettes, even though he shouldn’t be
smoking in an official office, he still does it anyway. (laughs) – No, it’s funny when they’re on vacation, they’re always on vacation. (laughing) – Yeah, especially like
when it gets to like that, just July August time it’s like, “Yeah, I’m in the office,
but I’m on vacation anyway.” Or like December time,
like they’re preparing for the vacation. But even though they’re not on vacation, they’re still in that vacation mode. But anyway, going back to
the documents necessary. Once you’ve already received
this marriage certificate, what other documents are required to be able to pursue this process? – Another important document
that you need to acquire is the non-Italian
spouse’s birth certificate issued by the State of birth. So, in the case that the spouse was born
in the United States, the birth certificate is to be acquired from the state of birth. So, if the applicant was born, for example in California, you need to get the birth
certificate from California. And since it’s a foreign document, it also needs to have an apostille seal, which you get from the Secretary of State of the State where the
document was issued. And you also need to translate
the document into Italian. And the applicant will also need to provide criminal
background checks that, because the Italian law allows people to apply for citizenship through marriage only if there’s no criminal history, even if there are some exceptions. – So, what if someone has moved around, and they’ve lived in different States or different countries? Will they have to also get
those criminal records locally, or federally, how does that work? – Yeah, so basically you have to cover any possible criminal history. So for example if you moved
from California to New York, then you need criminal background checks from the State of California
and from the State of New York. And you also need a criminal
background check from the FBI. – So, it’s not just FBI criminal checks, it’s also the local checks. – Yeah a lot of people believe that by getting the FBI
criminal background check that the requirement is met. But you also need the States’
criminal background checks. – What if the person has
already been applying for visas in the past couple of years and they’ve already got a record of their criminal background checks? Can they use that same
criminal background? Or they, do they have to get new ones? – That’s a good question. They need to get new ones. The criminal background checks that you use for the application process, they need to be recent. So, issued in the past six months. – That’s a very short window
of time to be able to… – Which makes the process
extremely complex. And it’s very time-consuming to get these criminal background checks. And you also need to get them
in the six months timeframe. And one thing that we
help our clients with is to make sure that the
documents that you use for the application
process get here in time. So, before the submission of
the citizenship application. – So, that they’re still valid
and that they can be used, you’re not gonna be sent away home. – Exactly, and the thing is, these documents need to also be apostilled and translated into Italian. So, a lot of things to do
in such a short timeframe. – And so, is this the same as
the process for Jure Sanguinis where the translations are certified at an American Consulate if
you’re applying in America? – That’s an interesting question. There are some Consulates actually that will want you to make
an appointment with them to get the translations certified before the submission of the application. Whereas some other Consulates
will want you go ahead and submit the application. And then they call you for
an in-person appointment to get the translations certified. So it kind of depends on what
Consulate you’re dealing with. – Okay, so just to recap and just make sure we’ve
got this all covered. All you need is the birth certificate of the non-Italian spouse, their marriage certificate with the Italian spouse from Italy, and then their criminal record. And all of these need, well, other than the Italian document, need apostilles and translations. Are there anything, are
there any other documents that are necessary for this? – Yes, there’s actually one
very last important document that you will need, which is a linguistic certificate proving that you can speak Italian. So, this requirement
was introduced last year by the Salvini Decree. – This decree from last
December, well almost a year on. The internet is still
up in flames worrying about will this affect
or will this do this or will this do that. This was only about
citizenship by naturalization, it didn’t touch anything else. And it just was only the
updates to that set of rules. – Exactly, the update included
the language requirement and the fee was updated
from 200 Euros to 250. – So, that’s one thing that I think some people may be a little bit interested about. When this fee is paid, do they
pay this to the Consulate? And if they pay it to the Consulate, can they pay it in Dollars
or how does that work? Do they have to go to an
exchange office first? – So the fee is actually
paid via wire transfer. So you have to wire the money
to the Italian government. And you also need to make sure that the Italian government
receives 250 Euros and not a Euro less. – So, going back to this
language requirement that we were talking about, this update. What is that language requirement, and how does a person prove
to the Italian government that they can actually speak? ‘Cause clearly it’s not just pronouncing “cittadinanza”
correctly. (laughs) – So, this linguistic
certificate is something that can be obtained by
one of the institutions that was approved by
the Italian government. And it’s a piece of paper that says that you can speak
Italian and understand Italian. And the level required is B1,
so it’s an intermediate level. – And so that’s one thing,
and just to quickly cover, in Europe there’s a language
certification system that we’re not so familiar with. At least having grown up in the States, I had never heard about it. But there is kind of this European Board of Language Certification. And what level should cover
what amount of the language. So, it goes A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. The A levels are very… It’s basic. By the time you get to A2, you can already kind of
start saying a few things, getting by a little bit. And with the B1 level, basically it’s just the main part of the speaking part of the test. Because it’s a speaking
test and a written test. They wanna just make sure that you can at least
get your point across. But the grammar part of the test can be a little bit more intense. But it’s something that I’ve been seeing
people are actually passing. It’s not like impossible to do. All right, so let’s
recap this one more time. Basically, it comes down to that you need criminal background checks, marriage certificate with
translations and apostilles, the B1 certificate. These are all the documents, correct? – That’s pretty much it. When you have all these
documents together, you can go ahead and submit
your citizenship application. We just submit it online. – So, do you have to ever go
in person for this application or it’s all…? – Yes, eventually you’re
gonna have to drop off all the original documents
at the Consulate. But the actual application
is submitted online. And that’s because the Consulate
here is just the middleman. The application is actually processed by the Office of the
Ministry of Interior in Rome. And from when you submit
this citizenship application, you start counting. And you need to be very patient because that processing time
can be by law up to four years. It used to be up to two years in the past. But when the law changed in 2018, the processing time
became up to four years. So, the Italian government
has up to four years to give you an answer. And this processing time, the
four years processing time, also applies to citizenship applications that are currently in process. – So, if someone had submitted a document, let’s say in 2017 for example, if their process was not finished before this update in 2018, they would have to make sure that their application
fits this new set of rules. They would, if they didn’t
have the B1 certificate, they now have to go
get the B1 certificate. – No, actually only the
processing time applies to citizenship applications
that are pending. But the B1 certificate does not apply to citizenship applications that were submitted after the law changed. – Okay, so it’s only, so going back to this example of someone who applied in 2017. If it didn’t finish
before December of 2018, then instead of a potential
maximum of two years, now it’s updated to potential
maximum of four years? – Yes, but they don’t have to provide the linguist certificate because it wasn’t required when they applied for citizenship. – And so, we’ve mainly
covered if you are applying outside of Italy, like in an
Italian Consulate in the U.S., or another country. How does the process change if a person would like
to do this in Italy? – Probably the main differences are that the non-Italian spouse
can apply for citizenship after only two years from the marriage or one year if the couple
has minor children. – Sorry to interrupt you here, so this is if they’re outside of Italy, then it’s three years without children, if it’s in Italy it’s only
two years without children. – Exactly. – They knock off that extra year. – Correct, and of course
the requirement is that the couple is residing in Italy. So, the Italian spouse
must be residing in Italy and be registered as a resident of Italy. And the non-Italian
spouse must be in Italy with a permission of stay. – But then, when you’re actually
submitting these documents, what office do you need to go to? Is it also at the “Comune” or where do you need to go for that? – It’s actually the Italian “prefettura”, which is an Italian office that of course exists just in Italy. You don’t find it abroad. So, if you reside abroad, you need to use the Italian Consulate. If you reside in Italy, you
need to use the “prefettura”. – And then does the
processing time change at all or is it roughly the same? – It is actually the same. So, it doesn’t make any difference in terms of processing time. It’s still up to four years. – Okay, so basically because the Italian government
is processing it one way or the other, this doesn’t really even touch
the Consulates to begin with, or the “Comuni”. – That is correct, yes. – And just because I know
everybody loves a good shortcut, is there any way to make this faster or is there anything that can help people to go through this process more easily? – In general no, but if you are a woman and you were married prior to 1983, in that case, the process
is completely different. So, to clarify: if you are a man who got
married to an Italian woman, you have to go through the process that we have talked about so far. – Regardless of the year. – Yes, if you are a woman
married to an Italian man, you have to go through this process only if you got married after 1983. But if you are a woman, and
you got married before 1983, then you do not have to
go through this process. The main difference with
the regular application for citizenship through marriage is that the application is not processed by the Office of the Ministry of Interior. It’s actually processed
by the Italian Consulate, if you reside abroad. So, it’s very similar to a
Jure Sanguinis application. And another major difference is that you do not need an
Italian linguistic certificate. So you are not required to speak Italian to be granted citizenship through marriage if you are a woman who got married to an Italian male prior to 1983. – So, this isn’t automatic citizenship, just an involuntary gaining
of citizenship basically. – That is correct. The law back then was actually
discriminatory against women but now it goes in
favor of people who want to get Italian citizenship
through marriage. Because the process is of course, much simpler for these people. – And then what are the documents that are required for this process? – So, there are no criminal
background checks involved. So, you do not have to show that you do not have any criminal history. You just have to submit
some very basic documents to the Consulate, like your
marriage certificate to prove… – That you are married. – Yeah, the exact date of the marriage, and your birth certificate and documents showing that
your husband is Italian or was Italian when you got married. – So, “if he was Italian”, this is I think that is
quite an interesting thing. So, just because of that phrasing, it leads to this question. If the Italian husband is now deceased, would his living wife still
be able to make this claim? – Yes, as long as they
were married in 1983, yes. Which is a difference
between the two processes. If you were married to an Italian citizen, like if you got married in 2006, but your Italian citizen
husband is no longer living, you cannot apply for
citizenship through marriage. On the contrary, if you
were married in the ’80s and you were still married with
your Italian husband in ’83, you can still apply for Italian
citizenship through marriage and go through that simplified process. – Very interesting. I think that’s actually quite fascinating, that there’s that difference just because of the way that
Italian law worked in the past versus how it works now. And there’s still this, I
guess you could say loophole. But maybe just quickly to touch
on one other little subject. If someone is not interested in going through this whole process, is there another way
for a non-Italian spouse to remain with their
Italian spouse in Italy? – Yes, if your Italian
spouse is living in Italy and you do not have Italian citizenship, you can obtain quite easily I’d say, a permission of stay for
spouses of Italian citizens, which does not require any
linguistic certification, does not require any
criminal background checks. We can say that it is probably
very similar to a green card. So, you can stay with your
Italian spouse in Italy. You cannot vote for the Italian elections, but you can work for example. So, it’s a very good,
quick way of being able to stay in Italy with your husband, or with your Italian wife, even if you do not have
Italian citizenship, even if you don’t want to go through that complex and long process
that we just described. – Just one very last question, just because we haven’t touched on it yet. So far, we’ve mostly spoken about couples that are a male and a female. What about same-sex couples? Does Italy allow a same-sex couple to go through the citizenship
through marriage process? Does Italy allow same-sex marriages? – That’s a very interesting question. And we have been waiting
for that change in the law for a long time that finally came. So, right now same-sex couples can go through the citizenship process of, they can obtain citizenship
through marriage. – So they’re recognized basically in the same way as a heterosexual couple. – Yes. – Is there any difference in the process? – No. – And so their marriage is
recognized in America and Italy. – Yes. – Anyway, I think this is a good place to leave it off for this time. And of course if you have any questions about the Italian citizenship
process through marriage, Jure Matrimonii, or Jure
Sanguinis citizenship by descent, of course you can leave that down in the comment section below. Or you can contact Marco
and his team directly on
italiancitizenshipassistance.com/contact. Of course this is the
Italian Citizenship podcast presented by
italiancitizenshipassistance.com. I am Rafael Di Furia, and of
course this is Marco Permunian. Thank you very much for joining us again, and we look forward to
seeing you all next time. – Thank you.
– Later.

Comments

  1. Post
    Author
  2. Post
    Author
    Mr. D's Product Review Channel

    In Reference to Criminal Background Checks for the Spouse Married to the Italian Citizen, are they the Only one that Needs this?
    Does the Italian Citizen Need the same for their Recognition Process as well?

  3. Post
    Author
    motorheadcg

    These podcasts have been great. If applying through Jure Matrimonii and the non-italian who is applying has a minor child from a previous relationship, can that child gain citizenship as well?

  4. Post
    Author
    Emanuel Mello

    This linguistic test is just insane as my wife is italian and doent not speak italian. Its a clear case of prejudice as for process through descent its not required! Anyways!

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