Mar 212012

Now that the jure sanguinis application for me and my children seems to be moving along, I am starting to get information together for my wife's application for Italian citizenship jure matromoni.

This is information from the Ministry of the Interior web site:

Granting of the Italian citizenship to foreign citizens married to Italian citizens and to foreign citizens who reside in Italy

FOLLOWING MARRIAGE TO AN ITALIAN CITIZEN (ARTICLE 5 OF LAW 91/92, as subsequently amended and supplemented)

According to article 5 of Law No. 91 of 5th February 1992, citizenship can be granted following marriage, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The foreign or stateless applicant must be married to an Italian citizen for at least 2 years and he/she must have his/her legal residence in a municipality of the Province for at least 2 years from the date of the marriage. Legal residence means that the applicant must be enrolled in the register of the population and at the same time he/she must hold a valid permit to stay.
  • If the spouses reside abroad, the application can be submitted three years after the date of the marriage.
  • The above periods are reduced by half if the spouses have natural or adopted children
  • Until the adoption of the decree granting citizenship the spouses must not be legally separated and there must not be dissolution or nullity of the marriage or cessation of its civilian effects

Here is some information from the Detroit consulate brochure:

Before submitting the application the marriage must have already been registered at the Town Hall in Italy and the Italian spouse must be registered at the Italian Consulate as an "Italian Citizen residing abroad" (A.I.R.E.). Payment of Euro 200.00 and the following documents:

  • birth certificate of the applicant;
  • certified full copy of marriage certificate issued by the Italian Town Hall;
  • certificate of residence of the applicant.
  • certificate of citizenship of the Italian spouse (this will be issued by the consulate of residence at the time of application);
  • certificate of family status (same as above);
  • police clearance or certificate of criminal records issued by the central authority of each state of which the applicant has been a resident since the age of 14, accompanied by a translation into Italian.
  • F.B.I. Clearance with finger prints form (in addition to the above certificate/s), with translation into Italian.

The fee must be paid prior to the presentation of the request, through international bank transfer or through Eurogiro network. When making your payment use the following guidelines:
IBAN code n. IT54D0760103200000000809020
Reference of payment – For citizenship by marriage please indicate: "ISTANZA DI CITTADINANZA PER MATRIMONIO"

From the Italian Dual Citizenship Message Board, I've learned that it can take over 2 years for the application to be processed by Rome.

On the message board, I found this about getting an FBI background check apostilled ( 

9. Does the FBI provide apostilles*?

(*An apostille is a certification that a document that has been “legalized” or “authenticated” by the issuing agency through a process in which various seals are placed on the document.)

Yes. The CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this way may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requester to obtain an apostille if necessary. This procedure became effective on January 25, 2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted. This procedure replaces the letter formerly provided by the CJIS Division that indicated the service was not provided. The apostille service is not provided to individuals requesting search results for Canadian immigration, as it is not required for this purpose.

More information from the message board:

"You need a criminal background check in every state he has resided in (ie. had a license or utilities registered in his name). For the criminal background checks, you need to contact the state government and ask for a copy of this that is appropriate for apostille by the Secretary of State (SoS). The SoS is who you will send this form to after you've received it. Appropriate means they have notarized it before sending it to you. I received a couple of un-notarized copies which would not be accepted by the SF consulate as I had to notarize them myself before the SOS would apostille them. … For the FBI check, you need it for visa/immigration purposes and as it is only valid for six months, you might not want to get it too far in advance."

"Try asking for an "authenticated" background check. It has to be "authenticated" before it can be apostilled. Good luck! It just means that they put their seal with a signature that can be verified on it."

"I am beginning the process of getting my husband Italian citizenship through marriage. I spoke to my local consular officer (NY) who told me that I need to collect the certificates of good conduct from each state of birth and residence, and to have each one "legalized" by the Italian Consular authority responsible for that area (i.e., a criminal history from Rhode Island must be legalized by the Italian Consulate in Boston)."

"The U.S. is not one of those countries hostile to the acquisition of second citizenships, so that's not a worry."

"Just remember to say, 'suitable for Apostille.'"

"FBI fingerprints – I called our local police department about this. They do the fingerprinting but the officer who answered the phone wasn't sure if the department had the cards/forms. A poster on another forum wrote that he/she was told by his/her local police department that they don't provide them. The form (FD-258) can be downloaded from the FBI website. Just google From FD-258. I don't know if these copies would be acceptable. The poster indicated that you might want to contact your local FBI Field Office."

"I first had them taken by an authorized outlet for state and government fingerprints (CA requires fingerprints too, so there are many places that do this). State ok'ed them. The Government sent them back stating that they were not clear enough and giving tips to re-take. I had them retaken at the certified place for free, but when I sent them back to the Government, same result. Desperate, I called the local police department almost in tears, and explained my dilemma. They told me to come in and they would try. I apparently have really really bad fingerprints (so they said – they called it potter's hands). They were very very careful (and in fact took the best of three sheets they did) and thankfully, the Government finally accepted them and issued the all clear. Long story short, I'd use the local police. Just be sure they are careful."

"I am reading that you have 3 months to get to the consulate for the background checks."

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