Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Act No. 91 of 5 February 1992, Citizenship

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Author Republic of Italy
Publication Date 15 August 1992
Reference ITA-135
Cite as Act No. 91 of 5 February 1992, Citizenship [],  15 August 1992, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4edc.html [accessed 21 December 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial translation.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date of entry into force:15 August 1992

Article 1

1.The following shall be citizens by birth:

(a)children whose father or mother are citizens;

(b)persons born in the territory of the Republic both of whose parents are unknown or stateless, or who do not have the citizenship of their parents under the law of the State to which the latter belong.

2. Children found in the territory of the Republic whose parents are unknown shall be deemed citizens by birth in the absence of proof of their possession of any other citizenship.

Article 2

1.Recognition or judicial declaration of the filiation of a person while he or she is still a minor shall determine the person's citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the present Act.

2. If a person whose filiation is recognized or declared is of full age, he or she shall retain his or her citizenship status, but may declare, within one year of such recognition or judicial declaration, or of the declaration that foreign legislation has effect, that he or she chooses the citizenship determined by the filiation.

3. The provisions of this article shall also apply to children the paternity or maternity of whom cannot be declared, provided their right to maintenance has been judicially recognized.

Article 3

1.A foreign minor adopted by an Italian citizen shall acquire citizenship.

2. The provision of paragraph 1 shall also apply to persons adopted prior to the date of entry into force of this Act.

3. If the adoption of an adopted person is revoked by that person, he or she shall loose Italian citizenship, provided he or she possesses or has reacquired another citizenship.

4. In other cases or revocation the adopted person shall retain Italian citizenship. However, if the adoption is revoked while the adopted person is of full age, he or she may, within one year of such revocation, renounce Italian citizenship, provided he or she possesses or has reacquired another citizenship.

Article 4

1.An alien or stateless person whose father or mother, or one of whose direct ascendants in the second degree were citizens by birth shall become a citizen:

(a)if he or she actually performs military service for the Italian State, having previously expressed the wish to acquire Italian citizenship;

(b)if he or she obtains public employment in the service of the State, including service abroad, and declares the wish to obtain Italian citizenship;

(c)if, having reached full age, they have had legal residence for at least two years in the territory of the Republic and declare, within one year of attaining their majority, that they wish to obtain Italian citizenship.

2. Aliens born in Italy who have been legally resident in Italy up to the attainment of their majority shall become citizens if, within one year of that date they declare the wish to obtain Italian citizenship.

Article 5

The alien or stateless spouse of an Italian citizen shall acquire Italian citizenship if he or she has been legally resident for at least six months in the territory of the Republic, or for three years after the date of the marriage, if the latter has not been dissolved or annulled or has not ceased to have civil effects and there is no legal separation.

Article 6

1.The following shall prevent the acquisition of citizenship as referred to in article 5:

(a)conviction of one of the offences referred to in volume two, title I, chapters I, II and III of the Criminal Code;

(b)conviction of an offence not involving criminal intent for which the law provides a statutory penalty of not less than three years of imprisonment with hard labour; or sentencing for a non-political offence to more than one year of imprisonment by a foreign judicial authority, where the conviction is recognized in Italy;

(c)the existence, in the case concerned, of proven intent prejudicial to the safety of the Republic.

2. Recognition of the foreign judicial decision shall be requested by the public prosecutor of the district in which is situated the civil registry office where the marriage is registered or recorded.This request shall be solely for the purposes referred to in paragraph 1, subparagraph (b).

3. Rehabilitation of the person concerned shall cause cessation of the preventive effects of the conviction or sentencing.

4. The acquisition of citizenship shall be suspended until communication of the final judgement if criminal proceedings are brought for one of the offences referred to in paragraph 1, subparagraph (a) and subparagraph (b), first part, and for such time as recognition of the foreign judgement referred to in paragraph 1, subparagraph (b), second part, has not taken place.

Article 7

1.For the purposes of article 5, citizenship shall be acquired by virtue of an Order made by the Minister for the Interior upon application by the person concerned made to the mayor of the commune in which he or she resides or to the competent consular authority.

2. The provisions of article 3 of Act No. 13 of 12 January 1991 shall apply.

Article 8

1.The Minister for the Interior may, by a reasoned Order, reject an application as referred to in article 7 where there exists any of the grounds referred to in article 6 for denying acquisition of citizenship. Where the grounds relate to the safety of the Republic, the Order shall be issued if approved by the Council of State.The application, if rejected, may be resubmitted five years after the making of the order.

2. An Order rejecting the application may not be made if a period of two years has elapsed since the date of submission of the application accompanied by the prescribed documentation.

Article 9

1.Italian citizenship may be granted by Order of the President of the Republic upon the recommendation of the Minister for the Interior, following consultation of the Council of State, to:

(a)aliens whose father or mother or one of whose direct ascendants in the second degree have been citizens by birth, or who were born in the territory of the Republic and who, in both these cases, have been legally resident in the territory for at least three years, subject to the provisions of article 4, paragraph 1, subparagraph (c);

(b)aliens of full age who have been adopted by an Italian citizen and who have been legally resident in the territory of the Republic for at least five years after their adoption;

(c)aliens who, for at least five years, have been in the service of the State, including service abroad;

(d)citizens of a State member of the European Community who have been legally resident for at least four years in the territory of the Republic;

(e)stateless persons who have been legally resident for at least five years in the territory of the Republic;

(f)aliens who have been legally resident for at least ten years in the territory of the Republic.

2. By an Order of the President of the Republic made following consultation of the Council of State and consideration by the Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the Minister for the Interior and in agreement with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, citizenship may be granted to an alien who has rendered eminent services to Italy, or where its granting is in the special interest of the State.

Article 10

An Order granting citizenship shall not have effect unless, within six months of notification of the Order, the person concerned has sworn to be faithful to the Republic and to observe the Constitution and the laws of the State.

Article 11

A citizen who has acquired or reacquired the citizenship of another country shall retain Italian citizenship, but may renounce the latter if he or she resides or establishes residence abroad.

Article 12

1.An Italian citizen shall lose Italian citizenship if, having accepted public employment or office from a foreign State or public agency or from an international agency in which Italy is not a participant, or if, while performing military service for a foreign State, he or she fails to comply with the specified period, with any instruction communicated to him by the Italian Government to give up the employment, office or military service.

2. An Italian citizen who, during a state of war with a foreign State, has accepted or has not given up public employment or office, or has performed military service for such State where these are not obligatory, or who has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of such State, shall lose Italian citizenship upon cessation of the state of war.

Article 13

1.A person who has lost Italian citizenship shall reacquire it:

(a)if he or she effectively performs military service for the Italian State and has previously declared the wish to reacquire citizenship;

(b)if he or she enters or has entered public employment in an agency of the State, even abroad, and declares the wish to reacquire citizenship;

(c)if he or she declares the wish to reacquire citizenship and has established or establishes residence in the territory of the Republic within one year of such declaration;

(d)one year after the date on which he or she established residence in the territory of the Republic, provided citizenship has not been expressly renounced during that period;

(e)if, having lost citizenship for not having complied with the instruction to give up employment or an office accepted from a foreign State or public agency or from an international agency, or military service for a foreign State, he or she declares the wish to reacquire it, provided he or she has established residence for at least two years in the territory of the Republic and furnishes proof of having given up the employment or office taken up or the military service performed notwithstanding the instruction referred to in article 12, paragraph 1.

2. Citizenship may not be reacquired by a person who lost it under the provisions of article 3, paragraph 3, or of article 12, paragraph 2.

3. In the cases referred to in paragraph 1, subparagraphs (c), (d) and (e), the reacquisition of citizenship shall not take effect if it has been prohibited by an Order made by the Minister for the Interior on serious and proven grounds, with the approval of the Council of State.Such prohibition may take place within one year of determination of the circumstances specified.

Article 14

Minor children of a person who acquires or reacquires Italian citizenship who live with that person shall acquire Italian citizenship but may renounce it once they have attained their majority if they have the citizenship of another country.

Article 15

The acquisition or reacquisition of citizenship shall take effect, except as provided in article 13, paragraph 3, on the day following that on which the requirements are fulfilled and the required formalities have been completed.

Article 16

1. A stateless person who is legally resident in the territory of the Republic is subject to Italian law as far as the exercise of civil rights and the obligation to perform military service are concerned.

2. An alien who is recognized as a refugee by the Italian State in accordance with Italian law and international treaties is regarded as a stateless person for the purposes of the Present Act, save with respect to military service obligations.

Article 17

1. A person who has lost Italian citizenship under articles 8 and 12 of Act No. 555 of 13 June 1912, or for not having made the choice provided for in article 5 of Act No. 123 of 21 April 1983, shall reacquire it if he or she makes a declaration to that effect within two years of the date of entry into force of the present Act.

2. The provisions of article 219 of Act. No. 151 of 19 May 1975 shall continue to apply.

Article 18

Persons formerly resident in the territories which belonged to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and who emigrated abroad prior to 16 July 1920 and their descendants in direct line, shall be treated, for the purposes of article 9, paragraph 1, subparagraph (a) as aliens of Italian origin or born in the territory of the Republic.

Article 19

The present Act shall not affect the provisions of Act No. 27 of 9 January 1956 on the recording in civil registry offices of declarations of formal opting for Italian citizenship, made in accordance with article 19 of the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Italy, signed at Paris on 10 February 1947.

Article 20

Except where otherwise expressly provided, citizenship acquired prior to the present Act shall not be modified save by events subsequent to the date of entry into force of the Act.

Article 21

For the purposes and in accordance with the provisions of article 9, Italian citizenship may be granted to an alien adopted by an Italian citizen prior to the date of entry into force of Act. No. 184 of 4 May 1983 who has been legally resident in the territory of the Republic for at least seven years since the adoption.

Article 22

Military service obligations shall cease for any person who, on the date of entry into force of the present Act, has already lost Italian citizenship in accordance with article 8 of Act No. 555 of 13 June 1912.

Article 23

1.Declarations made for the purpose of acquiring, retaining or reacquiring citizenship and for the purpose of renouncing it, and the oaths provided for in the present Act, shall be made or sworn before the civil registrar of the commune where the person making such declaration or swearing such oath resides or intends to establish residence, or, in the case of residence abroad, before the diplomatic or consular authority of the place of residence.

2. The declarations referred to in paragraph 1 and the acts or procedures relating to the loss, retention or reacquisition of Italian citizenship shall be recorded in the registers of citizenship and an annotation concerning them shall be made in the margin of the birth certificate.

Article 24

1.An Italian citizen who acquires, reacquires or opts for citizenship of a foreign country must, within three months of such acquisition, reacquisition or option or of his or her attainment of majority, if later, give notice thereof by a declaration made to the civil registrar of the place of residence, or, if he or she resides abroad, to the competent consular authority.

2. The declarations referred to in paragraph 1 shall be governed by the same rules as the declarations referred to in article 23.

3. Any person who does not fulfil the obligations laid down in paragraph 1 shall be subject to an administrative fine of from 200,000 lire to 2 million lire.Prefects shall have competence to impose such administrative fines.

Article 25

The necessary arrangements for the implementation of the present Act shall, within one year of its entry into force, be promulgated by an Order of the President of the Republic, following consultation of the Council of State and consideration by the Council of Ministers, upon the recommendation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for the Interior, in agreement with the Minister of Mercy and Justice.

Article 26

1.Act No. 555 of 13 June 1912, Act No. 108 of 31 January 1926, Royal Decree-Law No. 1997 of 1 December 1934 as amended by Act No. 517 of 4 April 1935, article 143 ter of the Civil Code, Act No. 123 of 21 April 1983, article 39 of Act No. 184 of 4 May 1983, Act No. 180 of 15 May 1986, and all other laws and regulations incompatible with the present Act are hereby repealed.

2. The obligation to exercise an option referred to in article 5, paragraph 2 of Act No. 123 of 21 April 1983 and in article 1, paragraph 1, of Act No. 180 of 15 May 1986 is hereby abolished.

3. Differing provisions of international treaties shall not be affected by the present Act.

Article 27

The present Act shall enter into force six months after its publication in the Gazzetta Ufficiale.

The present Act, to which shall be affixed the seal of the State, shall be printed in the Official Collection of the Laws and Regulations of the Italian Republic.It shall be the duty of all concerned to comply and ensure compliance with it as constituting an enactment of the State.

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