It is very importont to distinguish between assessment and concession of Italian citizenship, the two things are completely different. Law n. 91/1992.
Italian citizenship concession also said naturalization – this is what happens to foreign citizens whose parents are NOT Italian.
Law provides for that the ones having regularly lived in Italy for at least 10 years can apply for Italian citizenship and the state can choose to release it or not. This is a discretional measure and releasing citizenship is not compulsory, it only is compuslory to verify the possibility of it.
Cases in which a person holds the right to obtain Italian citizenship
- when a foreign citizen marries an Italian person and lives in Italy can apply for citizenship after six months of marriage. In such case releasing citizenship is a due action (unless this person was sentenced because of a crime or divorce occurs before proceedings are completed).
- Foreign citizens born in Italy and having always lived here up to 18 years old. In this case law provides for the right to become Italian before turning 19 years old. From 18 to 19 a person can become Italian without any conditioning unless the come from a country which doesn’t accept the holding of two passports.
Law is different in case of people holding Italian origins, being children of Italian parents. In case one of the two parents is Italian, the child is automatically Italian from birth as provided for by law.
It sometimes happens that when a child holding such right is born no verification is made. This usually happens when children are born abroad and parents do not ask for the transcription of the birth into Italian registers, in this case a person remain a foreigner.
In this specific case proceedings to be followed are only connected to assessing citizenship. In fact Italian citizenship exists right from birth, it just needs to be recognized.
What to do – Assessment proceedings can be started off from abroad at Italian embassies, in case the interested person lives in Italy at the local city council offices.
This measure confirms the possession of Italian citizanship from birth.
In fact in this case a person is already Italian but noone knows it.
To prove all this Italian certificates are necessary. Searching for them is usually rather difficult, it often is the case of people who have always lived abroad. They then need to refer to the last council their parents lived in or (in case they need to go back in time) to military districts or churches. Documents will prove that the person asking for Italian citizenship and Italian citizens parenthood occurs. On the other hand parents Italian citizenship must be proved right from birth.
Recent Ministry of Interior memorandum n. 28/2002 cleared things up. Memorandum states that a person can be registered as residing even if his/her papers are temporary one (such as tourism visa). It often happens that many come to Italy and apply for citizenship assessment here, especially when someone comes from Argentina where obtaining some help at italian embassy is almost impossible being overwhelmed by proceedings and out of personnel.
Many council therefore asked for help at Ministry of interior not knowing how to behave. Memorandum n.28/2002 underlines that identifying residence is necessary in order to proceed in the assessment, residence can be recognized even to the ones holding “temporary” residence papers. After being registered, application to Italian citizenship can be given in. Many council are quite quick, it can take few days to few weeks.