Italian citizenship application. How to speed up the process.
Two years or more have passed since you filed your Italian citizenship application through your Italian consulate online.
Since you are not getting any answers from the Italian authority, and you want to know if you or your husband/wife are finally an Italian citizen, you asked your Italian consulate. Unfortunately, the consulate replied, after a while, saying that they do not have any information for you, they cannot help you, and, thus, they invite you to visit the website nullaostalavoro where you should access your personal area to obtain information about the status of your application. You found your user, password, and K10/C/number, you entered your personal area, but when you finally got to your Stato della pratica, you read one of the following:
Stato della pratica: l’istruttoria è stata avviata
Stato della pratica: in fase di valutazione
Stato della pratica: in attesa dei pareri necessari alla definizione della pratica
So, now not only have you realized that you are not an Italian citizen yet, but also you do not know what to do. Should I wait? Should I contact the Italian consulate? Should I try to get in touch with the Italian authority?
- Should I wait? Well, the Italian administration is always under a heavy load of requests, to which must be added that the number of employees that work on Italian citizenship requests is certainly not enough to manage thousands of requests. Therefore, in practice, it happens that, generally, they give priority to the applications of those who reside in Italy, before taking care of those of residents abroad. So, after you waited two years, maybe just waiting more time may not be your best option.
- Should I contact the Italian consulate? You probably already did but the answer was not satisfactory. You can try again, but it is unlikely that the will give you a satisfactory answer now.
- Should I try to get in touch with the Italian authority? There is not a call center or hotline that you call and receive information. Moreover, most certainly you don’t have a pec account, so you cannot send an official certified request via email. In any case, even if you send a registered letter via snail mail or ups, you will have to write it in Italian because the Italian authority will not consider a letter written in English.
So you think you are out of options.
Not really. Here is what you can do.
A serious and very common mistake consists in disregarding the course of one’s application for Italian citizenship, believing, in good faith, that the Italian administration will conclude the process within the time established by law, without the need to solicit it.
Unfortunately, especially for those residing abroad as mentioned above, this almost never happens. This does not mean that the application will never be concluded, but that the Ministry could take 4 or 5 years to give you an answer.
For this reason, we suggest taking legal action. Please consider that this does not mean that you should start a long and probably expensive lawsuit in Italy just because you read that the process for approval of your application has not been concluded.
What you could do is ask an Italian lawyer to send a letter of sollecito/diffida (a reminder/formal legal request for the conclusion of the process) on your behalf. With this letter your Italian lawyer will explain your case, point out legal references, such as relevant laws and recent Italian case-law, and ask for a “fast” conclusion of the process. Therefore, with this letter you remain in an “amicable settlement” outside of the court stage.
It is true that, provided you are able to write in Italian, you could send this letter without the assistance of a lawyer. However, a letter sent by a lawyer has a different impact on the receiver. In fact, among other reasons, the employee in charge will know that you have already hired an Italian lawyer to assist you with the case and that, therefore, you are willing to do whatever it takes to reach the conclusion of the process. This could include starting legal actions against the Italian authority or the personnel itself for “professional inefficiency”.
Furthermore, you will need to know what to write in your letter. Writing a letter where you just remind them that your application process is not concluded, generally is not enough. Thus, the assistance from an Italian lawyer could be more efficient in speeding up the process.
In conclusion, if you just sit and wait you risk not only that your application may remain “frozen” in the offices of the Italian Public administration, but also that other applicants who were wise enough to “participate” in their process taking “legal action” will pass in front of you.
The goal of sending a formal request with the assistance of an Italian lawyer is to put your application on the desk of the competent employee, so that he/she knows that you are waiting for an answer and that you are willing to start a legal action in case it is not delivered to you within a reasonable period of time.
Please note that in case you read this: “Stato della pratica: E’ stata riscontrata la mancanza o la non idonietà di alcuni documenti necessari e l’accettazione è stata sospesa in attesa dell’invio dei documenti corretti”, sending a sollecito is not what you should do. This message means that your documents are incomplete/incorrect, or that some documents are missing, and that the status of your application is “pending”. You will then need to upload, within a short period of time, the missing/correct/complete documents. In this case, we suggest getting in touch with an Italian lawyer who can assist you with the entire process before it is too late.