The prospect of marrying a foreigner is exciting and daunting at the same time. The excitement stems from the idea of starting a new life in another part of the world. But it is also the reason to feel apprehensive, as blending in can be a challenge. You have to adapt to a different lifestyle, learn a new language, and understand another culture. But these reasons shouldn’t keep you from marrying the person you love.
Marrying An Italian- How To Start A New Life As A Citizen
Apart from fitting in, citizenship is another cause of concern. You will have to obtain it to claim the rights similar to your spouse and family. Luckily, many countries offer citizenship by marriage to people who marry their citizens. Italy is one of these countries, which means you can start a new life with your Italian spouse without much struggle. You can visit Bersani Law Firm for understanding more about the process. It makes sense to rely on experts to show how to get Italian citizenship at the earliest. Here are the basics you must understand.
Marrying an Italian qualifies you for citizenship by marriage, but things are not as straightforward as they sound. You have to follow some norms and timelines to qualify. If you marry a person living in Italy, you can apply two years after tying the knot. Conversely, applicants married to an Italian residing elsewhere have to wait three years before applying. The good thing is that applicants in same-sex civil unions also qualify as married couples. Another thing to note is that having biological or adopted children with your spouse can expedite the process. The timelines are cut by half, which means you can apply after a year of living in Italy and 18 months if residing elsewhere.
Documentation for the process
After you qualify according to the timelines, you can proceed with the application. But experts recommend that you gather your paperwork first because it can be a daunting task. You will have to follow an extensive checklist of documents to validate your marriage to an Italian. These include:
- A copy of the marriage certificate transcript from the municipality where your spouse is registered with the Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad (AIRE)
- A certified copy of your foreign birth certificate
- ID card of the Italian spouse
- Proof of criminal background checks
- Italian language certification to attest B1 (intermediate level) proficiency
Besides these documents, you will have to spend 250.00 Euros as a fee for your citizenship by marriage application. You can pay it via bank transfer to the Ministero dedell’InternoPlease retain a copy of the bank transfer, as you will have to provide it as proof later.
Steps for citizenship application
Gathering your documents gives you a head start with the application process. But you still have to be ready for a series of steps. Typically, citizenship by marriage application comprises an online and in-person element. The online part is always available, while the in-person part depends on your residence. Foreign residents have the option to file at their local Italian consulate. But make sure that your Italian spouse is registered with the AIRE at the same consulate. Applicants living in Italy can apply with the local “P” efettura.” Here are the steps you have to follow.
- Gather your documents and ensure they match the requirements. You will have to print and fill the application form, sign it, and get the signatures of the relevant authorities. Your marriage certificate should be in original form. You will have to present the originals and certified translated copies for your birth certificate, passport, and driving license. Further, a no divorce declaration or decree absolute is required if either or both spouses have been divorced. Applicants based in Italy have to provide a recent utility bill as proof of residency in the country.
- After filling the application form, you must submit it via an online portal. You will also have to share all documents in one PDF on the same portal. Ensure that your documentation is complete, translated, and certified. It eliminates the chances of rejection from the Italian authorities.
- The consulate may ask you for additional or different documentation when you visit them for an interview later. You must carry all the documents to the interview because the officials will scrutinize them. They may accept your application, deny it, or even accept with reservations. This is perhaps the most challenging part of the journey because you have to wait for months for the appointment. The wait can get even longer if the officials ask for more documents because you will need another appointment to show them again.
The processing of citizenship by marriage application can take a couple of years or even more, so you have to be patient with it. Meanwhile, you can reside in Italy with your spouse and family, but you cannot enjoy the rights and benefits.
Collaborate with a citizenship expert
Although citizenship by marriage is one of the easiest routes to immigrate to Italy, many loopholes may hinder your journey. Collaborating with a citizenship expert is your best option to ease the process. They can help you start a new life as a citizen and get the benefits you deserve at the earliest. A citizenship expert has an understanding of the immigration law and application process. They ensure that you follow the norms regarding eligibility timelines. You can rely on them to check your paperwork and ensure everything is in place. With experts handling all the minor details from start to end, there is hardly a chance of delays and glitches in the process.
Starting a new life after marriage in Italy is not a distant dream if you get your citizenship rights at the earliest. Make sure you apply right after you complete the timelines to qualify. Also, have your documents ready, and follow the process to wrap it up quickly. Most importantly, having a seasoned professional guiding you gives you confidence and peace of mind.