With the Italian citizenship, we obtain a direct and special connection to Italy, one of the richest artistic, historical and natural heritage of the world. But which are our rights and duties? Read on to find that out according to the law.

1. Your rights in Italy

As an Italian citizen, you obtain an unlimited access to Italy, including residence, study, work and establishing a business, health-care, social security provisions, subsidies, educational programs and owning estates on a par with all Italian citizens residing in Italy.

If you reside in Italy, you can exercise full voting rights. If you reside abroad, you have some limitations but still can vote for the local and national elections.

2. Freedom of movement

As an Italian citizen, you are automatically a European citizen. That means that you are granted rights of residence, study, work and establish a business in all EU Member states.

Your family members are entitled to the same rights if they accompany you.

The EU Member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Considering the current restrictions to immigration to Italy and European countries and the growing barriers advocated by most governments, citizenship is the only status that can guarantee access to the rights of residence, study, work and establishing a business, now and in the next decades.

3. Access to healthcare services

Once you are registered at the local healthcare office of your area of residence, you can access your treatment in any health care facility in the country. The National Health Care Insurance plan applies to all residents.
Moreover, you can access emergency care on free of charge if you are visiting any EU Member state.
You can also access non-emergency care whenever the treatment that is not readily available in Italy (e.g. it is not an operation offered by the Italian public health care system or there are too long waiting times).

More information: What Italian citizenship means for your healthcare

4. Access to educational programs and services

Every Italian citizen can access public educational programs in Italy and all EU Member states, including state universities, EU-funded educational programs, Ph.D. programs, post-doc research programs.

That includes the right to access scholarships, accommodation, exchange programs, additional health care plans (e.g. in some countries like Germany, they include subsidized dental care for students) at the same conditions offered to the citizens of the concerned EU member state. In Italy and most other EU countries, the tuitions for publicly funded educational programs are free or offered at convenient costs for students.

5. Tax responsibilities for dual citizens

If you live in Italy for less than 183 consecutive days over a 12-month period and your income doesn’t come from Italy, you don’t have to pay any tax not submit any yearly paperwork.

You must pay tax on your worldwide income in Italy if

  • you are in the Population Registry in Italy AND
  • live there for at least 183 consecutive days over a 12-month period OR
  • your life is centered there (e.g. your main home is in Italy and your family lives there)

If you live in Italy for less than 183 consecutive days over a 12-month period, you must pay tax only on the income you earned in Italy, e.g. from a business based in Italy that you entirely own which is based in Italy, or from employment in a company. You don’t have to pay income taxes from a business or non-business client based in Italy.

6. Possible downsides of dual citizenship

The disadvantages mostly depend on the law of the country of which you are a citizen now.

In fact, the law of some states in the world put limitations on obtaining an additional citizenship and some even forbid dual or multiple citizenships. As a result, the citizens of such states may find themselves divested from their citizenship if they obtain another citizenship. And remember: losing one’s citizenship means losing your passport!

Other nations, such as the United States, allow citizens to obtain and keep a dual citizenship which they have by birthright (i.e. as descendants of immigrants from other countries, like Italy). However, having two or more citizenships is sometimes regarded as an obstacle to access information concerning classified data and to obtaining a security clearance. That is especially relevant for citizens who want to obtain employment or contracts with the administration of public safety.

Moreover, you may consider that it can get difficult to protect a citizen abroad for any government if another state has a claim on her or his additional citizenship. That is so especially in times of political turmoils and war. Fortunately, Italy has excellent relations with practically all governments in the world.

How can you get Italian citizenship?

There are different ways, all described in the Italian Nationality Act, the law that governs all things related to citizenship in Italy. You can read here my translation in English.

If you are of Italian origina, that is you have parents, grandparents or great-grandparents from Italy, you are an Italian citizen. But you need to have recognition of your Italian origin by showing the official records of your family.

Would you like to know how to get Italian citizenship in practice? It’s easy with the right steps: you’re welcome to check the exact steps here and my free Roadmap to the Italian citizenship process:

You May Not Know It, But You Are An Italian Citizen (Free Roadmad)