In today’s world, moving across borders is becoming tougher with each passing year. Visas are harder to come by limiting the freedom to choose where we want to live. Amid these challenges, holding dual citizenship is the key that unlocks the door to new opportunities and freedoms. It’s more than just a passport; citizenship empowers individuals to redefine their sense of belonging, identity. It’s the chance to decide where to establish roots, pursue careers, and build futures. My goal in sharing this information is to help you get the correct information and pursue your dreams despite the growing barriers to freedom of movement.

Welcoming Families

Italy stands out for its warm approach to family. It’s one of the few countries that offers residency rights not just to the immediate family but to a wider circle that includes grandparents and parents-in-law. This generosity reflects Italy’s deep-rooted values of family unity and its desire to embrace those connected to its citizens.

Two Ways to Residency

Italy offers two main options for family members of Italian citizens:

  • 5-Year Residency (FAMIT or Residence Card)
  • 2-Year Residency (Residence Permit or “Permesso di Soggiorno”)

Eligibility for 5-Year Residency

A wide range of family members qualify for the 5-year residency, including:

  • Spouses and partners
  • Children of the couple (until 21 years of age)
  • Children of the Italian citizen or of the non-Italian spouse or partner (until 21 years of age)
  • Children above 21 years of age, if financially dependent on the Italian citizen
  • Parents, if financially dependent on the Italian citizen
  • Grandchildren and grandparents of the Italian citizen
  • The parents of the Italian citizen’s spouse (or same-sex registered partner)

Read more information on the procedure and requirements for obtaining a 5-year residency in my article “Is your family member an Italian Citizen? Get your 5 years residence card.

Eligibility for 2-Year Residency

  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Children of any age
  • Grandchildren of any age

Additional details on the procedure and requirements for securing a 2-year residency are available in my article “Family Members of Italian Citizens: How to Obtain a Residence Permit.

Understanding kinship degrees

The Italian Civil Code simplifies the understanding of kinship through a counting method that identifies the degree of relationship directly (Article 75). This method involves counting one degree for each person in the line of descent up to the common ancestor and then down to the individual in question. For instance:

Children are family of 1st degree: you (0) > your child (1)

Grandparents are family of 2nd degree: you (0) > your parent (1) > your grandparent (2)

Siblings are family of 2nd degree: you (0) > your parent (1) > your sister/brother

Nieces and nephews count as relatives of 3rd degree: you (0) > your parent (1) > your grandparent (2) > your uncle/aunt (3)

Cousins are relatives of 4th degree: you (0) > your parent (1) > your grandparent (2) > your uncle/aunt (3) > your cousin (4)

Non-eligible family members

Cousins, nieces/nephews, in-laws, de facto partners, foster children, and any other family member not listed above do not have a right to residency as family members of Italian citizens. They may still get residency for other reasons, like work, study, vocational training, elective residency etc… You may explore your options by checking the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on visas at this page.

Opening Doors to a Life in Italy

Knowing how to navigate these residency options isn’t just about filling out forms and waiting. It’s about unlocking new possibilities for you and your family in Italy, whether you’re dreaming of living in a bustling city or a serene village. Understanding these options is your first step toward making those dreams a reality.

Let’s Explore Together

The journey to making Italy your family’s home is about more than just crossing borders; it’s about embracing new opportunities and freedoms. If you’re curious about how to start this journey or want to learn more about the advantages of dual citizenship, I’m here to help.

Follow me on Instagram @lawsomelara for more insights, or to reach out with your questions.