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How to apply for Italian citizenship: What you need to know

Atualizado: 12 de set. de 2019

Brazilians having family connections with Italians may apply for Italian citizenship. The guide below may help you in the process.

Italian citizenship

Who is entitled to it?

There are two possibilities:

Citizenship by blood: That is the case of dual citizenship. Brazilians with Italian ancestors up to fourth degree (that is, great-grandparents) may apply for Italian citizenship while in Brazil; if the applicant will start the process in Italy, the right to citizenship goes up to fifth degree.

Although the right by blood is also conveyed from mother to children, there is a limitation if there is any woman in the family line: up to 1948, Italian women had no right to transfer their nationality to their children. In such case the citizenship should be applied for in Italian courts.

Right by marriage: A spouse of an Italian citizen may apply for the nationality after the third year of marriage (if there are no children) or after the 18th month of marriage (if there are children).

Italy still does not recognize common-law marriages or marriages between persons of same sex for purposes of naturalization. Additionally, it is important to notice that the request of citizenship by marriage is considered voluntary naturalization and the Brazilians requesting it may lose their Brazilian citizenship.

Required Documents

Documentation is different for requests for citizenship by blood and by marriage. In both cases all the documents should be submitted with sworn translation and certification by Hague Apostille both in the original document and sworn translation.

Those applying for citizenship by blood should submit the following documents:

  • Birth certificate and marriage certificate (as the case may be) of the Italian ancestor. If the person does not have these documents, he/she may get in contact with the Italian Comune where the ancestor was born or with the nearest Italian Committee Abroad;

  • Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros (RNE) – National Registry of Foreigners of the Italian ancestor (if alive) or Negative Certificate of Naturalization issued by the Brazilian Federal Police;

  • Brazilian marriage certificate if the Italian ancestor got married in Brazil;

  • Birth, marriage and death certificates of ancestors being in the family line between the Italian citizen and the applicant;

  • Applicant’s proof of residence;

  • Copy of Applicant’s Identification Card (Carteira de Identidade);

  • One certified copy of the Applicant’s Marriage Certificate (valid for one year).

Those applying for citizenship by blood should submit the following documents:

  • Registration form in the website of the Ministry of Interior (Ministério do Interior) filled out;

  • Marriage Certificate (copy made within 180 days from the issue thereof); it should mention the last name used by the Applicant after the marriage even if there has been no change;

  • Identification of the Italian spouse;

  • Applicant’s Birth Certificate (copy made within 180 days from the issue thereof);

  • Criminal Records Check by the Brazilian Federal Police. If the Applicant has lived more than one year in another country the criminal records check is also required from this other country. In all cases, the certificate should be valid for 180 days from the date of issue;

  • Proof of payment of processing fee.


Applicants should schedule a visit to the nearest Italian Consulate. The procedure may take a few months between the scheduling and the consular visit. As some documents have expiration date we would recommend to schedule the visit before gathering all the documentation.

The Consulate will review the documentation and if all is correct, it will get in touch with the Applicant. Then the new citizens may schedule the issue of the Italian Passport.

Once completed, this process provides the new citizen with the same rights and duties of Italy born citizens, such as education, medical assistance and right to housing and work in Italy or in countries of the European Union.


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