5

I'm British and living in Germany with my SO who is also British.

The prospect of brexit quite understandably has us in a weird emotional state somewhere between fear, anger and disgust. We don't plan on staying in Germany forever but nor do we want to move back to the UK and be stuck there. We want to keep European free movement.

But in our case there is a potential life line.

My SO's grandfather is Italian.

For her this means she can get an Italian passport pretty easily. She has never done this in the past as saw no point but the option is there.

For me things are more complicated but we are discussing getting married so I can share in her Italian Ness.

I've checked the guidelines and apparently you need to be married for 3 years before you can get this (18 months with kids)

A few questions. Some quite theoretical and not related to our situation:

1: is there any probation on Italian citizenship? That is she could get it today and then marry me the day after and start the counter?

2: what if we are married before she becomes Italian? Does the time I am married to her count or only the time I was married to an Italian?

3: purely theoretical as no plans for kids.... But if there was a kid involved how does this affect the counter? Say we are a year without and then we have one. It goes down to 18 months right away or it assumes I only have to wait 18 months or a proportional time off the wait is taken?

4: are there any language requirements? Both of us only know a few words of Italian.

Edit

5 : a potential complication I have only just became aware of. Her grandfather WAS Italian. To take British citizenship he had to renounce this as Italy did not accept dual citizenship in the past (they do now). Does this affect things? Any dependency on whether her mother was born before or after this?

  • 1
    "before she becomes Italian" She doesn't "become Italian" -- she is already an Italian citizen and has been since birth, according to Italian law. She just doesn't have documentation of it yet. – user102008 Mar 31 '17 at 19:03
  • Just throwing this out there: German citizenship isn't necessarily the easiest to get but depending on your personal situation it might be an option and being – for the time being – an EU citizen would exempt you from the requirement of trying to renounce your other citizenship. – Gala Apr 5 '17 at 16:09
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is there any probation on Italian citizenship? That is she could get it today and then marry me the day after and start the counter?

There is no probation on the Italian citizenship which means the count down starts from the day you get marry.

what if we are married before she becomes Italian? Does the time I am married to her count or only the time I was married to an Italian

Well, if your SO's grandfather is Italian as you mentioned above, then your SO is already an Italian citizen and if you decide to get marry before she applies for the Italian passport it really doesn't matter, the time you're married to her will count!

purely theoretical as no plans for kids.... But if there was a kid involved how does this affect the counter? Say we are a year without and then we have one. It goes down to 18 months right away or it assumes I only have to wait 18 months or a proportional time off the wait is taken?

On Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs's website;

The foreign spouse of an Italian citizen can claim Italian citizenship in the presence of the following requirements: a) in Italy: two years legal residence (permit to stay and enrolment in an official statistics office (Anagrafe)) after the wedding; abroad: three years after the wedding; the timeframes are reduced by half in the presence of children born or adopted by the spouses;

If you decide to reside abroad after getting married then you'll have to wait for 3 years but if you make a child​ in a year then you'll only have to wait until it's 18 months since the day you got married.

are there any language requirements? Both of us only know a few words of Italian.

Fortunately, there is no requirement to speak Italian or to pass any tests, unlike for instance, the UK, where a foreign spouse must pass the “Life in the UK” and English language tests.

Edit

5 : a potential complication I have only just became aware of. Her grandfather WAS Italian. To take British citizenship he had to renounce this as Italy did not accept dual citizenship in the past (they do now). Does this affect things? Any dependency on whether her mother was born before or after this?

it depends;

your SO's mother might be an Italian citizen if she was already born by the time your SO's grandfather naturalized as a British citizen, and she never renounced her right to Italian citizenship.

As you mentioned in the comment box that your SO's mother didn't pay attention to the Italian citizenship it's likely that she didn't renounce her right to Italian citizenship, so the only thing relevant is whether she was born before or after your SO's grandfather renounced his Italian citizenship. Good luck.

  • Thanks a lot. Any idea on the 5th? Sorry to change question after you answered it so completely! – Jack Apr 4 '17 at 11:18
  • Did your SO's mother renounce her Italian citizenship as well? – Sayed A. Apr 4 '17 at 14:57
  • She never paid any attention to it. She is British. We aren't sure if she was born before or after her dad changed. Would it change things – Jack Apr 4 '17 at 19:41
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I don't have enough reputation to comment on Sayed's answer, but about the 5., it does affect things, and indeed your SO could not get the italian citizenship if her mother was born after her grandfather became British. If she was born before but she never bothered on getting the italian citizenship, I'm pretty sure she (her mother) couldn't renounce to it as she never was in fact Italian (even though she could and has the right to be so). In this case, getting the Italian citizenship would be feasible if there's no other impediment.

So in sum, if her mother was born BEFORE her grandfather became British, she's good to go. Otherwise, I think it won't be possible.

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