Update to Italian Citizenship by Marriage Applications

I’ve got a few Italian citizenship updates to share with you.

As of today, there is a new website to check on the status of your citizenship applications.

Go to the ALI Ministero dell’Interno website

Italian citizenship updates

If you had checked your website the past few weeks, there was a notification that they were updating the website and details. This was due to a nationwide system over-hall to make government websites more secure and up-to-date, part of the national digitization project.

If you are a resident in Italy and already a SPID, you can login with the SPID credentials as before. For all those with applications who reside abroad and do not have a SPID, you will need to create a new account, as your previous details have not migrated. With the new account, you will need to link your application with your new details. To do this, once you log in, visit Associa Pratica.

italian citizenship updates

New Law regarding citizenship via marriage (Jure Matrimonii aka JM) over the past few months.

Back in October 2018, the then Ministero dell’Interno Matteo Salvini made some significant changes to the JM application, known as the Salvini Reform. A B1 language requirement was added and the ­wait-time for citizenship increased from 2 years to 4 years. While the B1 language requirement did not apply to applications submitted prior to the reform, all pending applications (including mine) were under the new wait-time.

There has been a lot of discussion to changing this reform and finally in December 2020, the government voted to accept a new law that changed the wait time back to 2 years (with a possibility of extension to 3 years). However, this new law is not retroactive, so only new applications submitted after 20 December 2020 can enjoy a shortened wait time. All other pending applications (including mine), are subjected to the 4 year wait time under the Salvini Reform.

Many have asked why the Salvini Reform wait times were retroactive while this new law is not and the website Cittadinanza Italiana explains it well. It’s in Italian and you can read more about it there, but I will summarize it for you here. Basically, it’s down to legal nuance. A reform to a law can be applied retroactively to all applications that fall under that law, while a new law has power only on applications submitted when that new law has been put into effect. Sadly, for all of us that are still waiting, this new law does not have any effect on our pending applications.

Update on my citizenship application

Over the years, my post about applying for Italian citizenship has received a lot of comments from others who are going through the same process and we’ve all been keeping track of each other’s applications and helping each other with questions and answers. It’s been a lot of fun over the years to read about everyone’s experiences.

To give you a recap of my application process:

In December 2016, I submitted my application online. In October 2017, I had an appointment to submit the original paperwork at the Italian Consulate in London. I moved to Venice in November 2017 and the London consulate transferred my application to the Prefettura di Venezia which oversaw my application. In February 2020, I changed my residency from Venice to Naples and my application was transferred to the Prefettura di Napoli.

From October 2017 to September 2020, there was no change to the status of my citizenship. I checked almost daily and it was always at the first stage. Finally at the end of September, the status was updated to stage 5 — La procedura relativa alla pratica in questione è conclusa ed il relativo provvedimento è stato inviato agli Organi competenti per i conseguenti adempimenti e determinazioni. Meaning that my citizenship application has been approved and is now waiting for a signature. Wow-wee!!!

I continue to check every day and it hasn’t changed in these past four months, but it feels close. Anyway, my four year wait time is coming up this year, so it should happen at some point soon and I can wait. One of the ways that living in Italy has changed me is that I am a lot more patient.

If you’d like more info on the details of the application process and what I submitted (I was not required to submit a B1 language certificate), you can read that post here.

Good luck to everyone with their citizenship process!

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Comments

  1. Maria wrote:

    I submitted mine on 19 Mar 2018 and my status as of this writing is still on stage 1-2.

    For the London based applicants, recently, the processing is so fast. Some of those who applied 2018 & 2019, they are already in stage 7. There is even one who submitted his application on August 2019 and he is now on stage 7 as of 25th January 2021.

    Posted 1.28.21 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Hi Maria, I’ve noticed that too! Mine was stage 1-2 up until September 2020 when it went to stage 5. I noticed someone on the facebook group Dual US-Italian citizenship had the same thing happen to him. Nothing changed and then one day it went to stage 5. I know all the applications are processed through Rome, so maybe the wait time depends on who is working on it.

      Posted 1.31.21 Reply
  2. It’s always amazing to me how different everyone’s citizenship process is. I was quite lucky and managed to get all my paperwork done in about a year – it only took so long because I had to wait for long-form documents of certain government documents. I’m sure you’ll get the much-awaited confirmation soon!

    Posted 1.30.21 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      That’s wonderful it only took you a year, Lulu! Did you apply through marriage or ancestry? I think through ancestry the process can be a lot faster. The citizenship via marriage applications are all processed through Rome and can have a longer wait time. It’s been over four years now since I applied, but I feel like it’s getting close and I’m so excited!

      Posted 1.31.21 Reply
  3. Dave wrote:

    You did a wonderful job explaining the law change – best that I have seen! Thank you – I’m curious why you didn’t start your clock in December 2016, after your online submission? Our JM application was submitted online in Nov ’18 and paperwork and acceptance letter was received Dec ’18. Do you think with the new shorter times that there will be new people who’ve applied after us and who will receive their citizenships before us??
    BTW, my wonderful cousins are in Naples.

    Posted 2.4.21 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Hi Dave, the clock started on my application when the London consulate finally checked it back in August 2017 and issued me a K number. That’s a good question! It’s possible that those who applied after this law change could get their citizenship application before the others. The new law states that the government has up to two years to issue citizenship, with an extra year worked in case they need more time to process it. So who knows? After living in Italy for over 4 years now, I don’t expect bureaucratic processes to make any sense at all. I hope your citizenship comes through soon. It took 3 years for me to move from stage 1/2 to suddenly stage 5. x Giovanna

      Posted 2.26.21 Reply
  4. Bruno wrote:

    Ciao Giovanna,

    I am from Melbourne Australia.

    I submitted my Italian Citizenship by Marriage on 13 Jun 2018 and still on phase 1-2.

    How can they process the new application in two 2 years when a lot of us have been in phase 1-2 for over 2 and half years and a lot more have been waiting for 4 years and more?

    Regards,
    Bruno

    Posted 2.23.21 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Hi Bruno, I share your frustration. I tried to explain a bit in the post the difference in the wait times for new applicants and those who have already applied. From what I understand, it has something to do with the new reform being a new law which can’t be applied retroactively to previous applications. It’s annoying, but after living in Italy for over four years now, I’m not surprised. Things here take so long to get done, it’s almost like they wait for you to give up hope before they process whatever you’re waiting for. x Giovanna

      Posted 2.26.21 Reply
  5. W. Tait wrote:

    Hi Giovanna!

    Your updates are always super helpful.

    Just like in your case, I have applied for the Italian citizenship through marriage in London, in April 2018. My appointment at the consulate was in July, 2020.

    I have now created an account in their new website and have migrated my account, but it doesn’t state which phase my process is at the moment. It only says “INVIATA”. When I go to “Associa Pratica” and try to migrate the “PRIMO ACCESSO ALLA DOMANDA CARTACEA”, it doesn’t work. Do you know why?

    Thank you.

    Posted 3.22.21 Reply
    • W. TAIT wrote:

      Sorry. I can see now:

      Stato della pratica: Pratica definita. Riceverà una comunicazione dalla Prefettura/Consolato – Vedi comunicazioni

      Posted 3.22.21 Reply
      • Giovanna wrote:

        Hi Wil,
        Thanks for writing. The domanda cartacea won’t work as those are for the old applications (I believe the application process changed in 2015/2016). Glad it worked out and good luck with everything! x Giovanna

        Posted 3.25.21 Reply

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