Italy passes Security and Immigration decree

The Security and Immigration decree - also named “Salvini decree” - has been converted into law confirming the amendments to Immigration and Citizenship law already in force since the publication of Law decree October 4, 2018, n. 113. With the conversion into law, the Parliament has also introduced further amendments to the initial version of the Law Decree.

In particular, the main changes to Law no. 91/1992 - citizenship law are as follows:

  • new requirement for citizenship by marriage and naturalization applicants: it will be necessary to prove an “adequate” knowledge of Italian language (at least level B1 of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages - CEFRL). Those who have an EU long-term residence permit and those who comply with the Integration Agreement provisions are exempted from this requirement.
  • it is confirmed the increase in processing time for citizenship by marriage and naturalization applications (from 24 to 48 months). This also applies to applications already in process.
  • citizenship applications by marriage can now be rejected even after 48 months (maximum processing time) from submission. Previously, it was not possible to reject a citizenship application by marriage after the maximum processing time.
  • the application fee for marriage, naturalization and reacquisition is increased from €200,00 to €250,00
  • citizenship acquired by marriage and naturalization can now be revoked in case of final conviction for terrorism-related offenses and offenses related to public security.
  • processing time for issuing civil status certificates (birth, marriage etc) requested for the purpose of filing a citizenship application is 6 months.

Regarding the changes to Immigration Act, one of the most important amendment is the abolishment of permits for humanitarian reasons (previously granted to those who were not eligible to obtain the status of refugee or subsidiary protection). Instead, certain categories of applicants (such as victims of exploitation and domestic violence, people from countries hit by natural disasters, people in need of medical care etc.) will be issued ‘special reasons’ permits.

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