Acquiring an Italy passport is something many qualified individuals have yet to consider, but many should. Beyond Italy’s breadth of outstanding qualities that Italians living in Italy enjoy, an Italian passport will lead to greater privileges, providing visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to almost 90 percent of the world’s countries.

italian consulate

Gaining an Italian passport requires meeting specific eligibility criteria and following a thorough application process.

In this article, you’ll discover the eligibility prerequisites and be guided through the Italian passport requirements, enabling you to become an Italian national and obtain an Italian passport (il passaporto italiano).

The Benefits of Being an Italian Passport Holder

An Italy passport is truly one of the top global passports offered to Italians living in Italy and abroad.

Visa-on-arrival and visa-free travel: Italian passport holders have 174 visa-on-arrival and visa-free countries to travel to. As one of the 27 nations in the Schengen Area, Italian passport holders enjoy borderless travel to 26 countries within the Schengen zone.

Access to the EU: Italy is a member state of the European Union; therefore, along with an Italian passport, Italian passport holders gain an EU passport.

This gives an Italian citizen the right to reside in any EU country. The expanded residency privileges also bring more job opportunities, options for education, and access to grants and scholarships available to EU citizens.

us embassy in italy

Transfer Italian citizenship to future generations: The law for Italian citizenship by descent has no generational limit. You can pass citizenship and the right to an Italy passport down to your descendants.

Who qualifies for an Italy passport?

Italy passport by birth

Birthright citizenship is how most people become Italian citizens. The Italian government considers those with Italian ancestors as nationals at birth. Provided you can present the proper documents for your ancestors, you can claim Italian nationality.

A child born in Italy and whose parents are unknown does not need to prove their birthright through Italian descent in order to obtain an Italian passport.

Italy passport by descent

Italy has a lenient system for citizenship that qualifies anyone with Italian ancestors for an Italian passport at birth. The transmission of Italian nationality is also not restricted by generations.

Italy passport by naturalization

Naturalization in Italy is available to foreigners who have lived in Italy for at least ten years, with the last five as permanent residents. Potential applicants must also spend no more than ten months outside Italy before applying for citizenship as well as earn a minimum annual income of €8,264 ($9,055). Italy passports can be granted, provided that permanent residents meet the eligibility criteria for naturalization.

Italy passport by marriage

Questura in rome

The foreign spouse of an Italian citizen has the right to an Italian passport if they have lived in Italy for two years. They can also apply as non-residents after three years of marriage.

If the married couple with one Italian spouse has children, the foreign spouse can apply for citizenship after 12 months if they live in Italy and 18 months if they reside abroad.

Other ways to obtain an Italy passport

The following individuals can also obtain Italian citizenship and an Italy passport:

  • An EU citizen who has lived in Italy for four years
  • A refugee with a residency permit issued under refugee status and who has lived in Italy for five years
  • The adopted child of an Italian citizen
  • A foreign national who has served the Italian government for five years

The Required Documents for an Italy Passport

The following documents are required to submit Italian passport applications:

  • A valid passport or Italian national ID card [e.g., driver’s license or Electronic Identity Card (eID card)]
  • A passport application form issued by the Questura (local police headquarters) or by the Italian Consulate or Embassy in your home country
  • Certified copies of your birth certificate
  • Certified copies of your marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Two passport-size photos with a white background
  • A Letter of Consent (if you are applying for minor children’s passports)
  • The passport fee
  • Your expired Italian passport (for renewal)

Italian passport photo requirements

  • 45 x 35 mm in size
  • Color with white background
  • The head should fill 70 to 80 percent of the photo
  • Prescription glasses only
  • Taken within the last six months

Italy passport application process

Italy passport requirements require non-Italian nationals to apply for citizenship at the nearest Consulate or Embassy in their home country. Once you have completed the entire process for naturalization, you can request and submit an Italian passport application.

Italian dual nationals can apply for a passport at their nearest Italian Embassy, Consulate, or the Questura if they live in Italy.

Italian passport applications require fingerprinting to obtain one of the new electronic passports. Electronic passports are required by Italy passport visa-free countries like the US in order to gain entry under the visa waiver programs.

Important notes:

  • Children twelve and under are not required to submit biometrics to be issued a passport.
  • Children twelve and under are not required to attend an interview at an Italian Embassy, and their Italian passport applications can be sent via post.
  • Italian law requires Italian nationals applying for passports for their children under 18 to obtain an official Letter of Consent agreement from the other parent.
  • People with disabilities, expecting mothers, and those over 70 do not need to arrange appointments with the Italian Consulate in their home countries.

Processing time and fees

It typically takes between one to six weeks to process a passport application. Emergency passports can be issued within one week. Italian passport renewal generally has a faster processing time.

The fee for an Italy passport is €116 (about $127), which includes:

  • €42.50 (about $46.57) for the passport book
  • €73.50 (about $80.54) for the administrative tax

The fee to fast-track an application is €50 (about $54.79).

How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help

Expats and foreign investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for second citizenship and a second passport, which is why it is worthwhile to have an expert on hand to provide personalized Italian citizenship assistance throughout the application process.

Our specialists can help you with the following:

  • Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
  • Have someone who works solely on your behalf
  • Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together
  • Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market

Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to obtain Italian citizenship and an Italian passport. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Italy Passports

How can you get an Italy passport?

Once you’ve acquired Italian citizenship, you can apply for an Italian passport by submitting an application to the Questura (local police headquarters) if you live in Italy or the Italian Consulate or Embassy if you’re a non-resident. Italian passport requirements also include presenting a valid passport or Italian national ID card, a certified birth certificate, a marriage certificate (if applicable), and passport-size photos. An Italian citizen applying for a passport for their child must also obtain a Letter of Consent from the other parent.

How do you renew an Italy passport?

Italian passport renewal requires applying for a new passport at the Italian Consulate in your home country or a Questura if you live in Italy. The application must include your expiring/expired passport, your national ID [e.g., driver’s license or Electronic Identity Card (eID card)], and passport photos taken within the last six months.

How strong is an Italy passport?

Italy’s passport ranked 26th in 2023 Global Passport Index (GPI), making it one of the world’s strongest global passports. With 174 visa-free countries worldwide (including visa-on-arrival), Italian passport holders have a higher level of visa-free access than other countries much higher on the GPI, such as the US with 173 countries, Norway with 173 countries, and Canada with 172 countries.

Can you obtain an Italy passport by Investment?

Italy doesn’t have an immigration program to gain Italian citizenship by investment. However, a person can gain residency in Italy through an investment immigration program like the Italy Golden Visa. This residency by investment program provides a renewable residency permit, which investors can renew until they’re eligible for permanent residence.

After ten years of residency (the last five as a permanent resident), holders can apply to become Italian citizens. After obtaining citizenship, they can apply for an Italian passport.

Does Italy allow three passports?

Dual citizenship is officially recognized in Italy. Many Italian passport holders already have two passports or more. Whether you became an Italian citizen through birthright or acquired your Italian passport by naturalization, there are no restrictions on dual citizenship.

Is an Italian passport stronger than a US passport?

The US passport has been ranked ahead of the Italian passport in the latest Global Passport Index. Despite the higher ranking, Italian passport holders enjoy enhanced mobility, with visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 174 countries compared to 173 for US passport holders. In addition to visa-free countries, those with Italian citizenship also have the right to freedom of movement in the European Union.

Is an Italian passport better than a UK passport?

The UK passport ranked 7th on the Global Passport Index compared to 26th for the Italian passport. Despite the higher ranking, those with Italian passports have enhanced international travel privileges, with 174 visa-free countries (including visa-on-arrival) compared to 172 for UK passport holders.

How long can I stay in Italy with a US passport?

US passport holders are entitled to a maximum stay of 90 days out of every 180 days in the Italian Republic. The maximum stay includes time spent in other countries within the Schengen Area.

How long does your passport need to be valid to travel to Italy?

A current passport must be valid for at least six months before the planned date of arrival and three months after the scheduled departure date to receive an entry stamp into Italy.

Does Italy still require a Green Pass?

The Green Card issued to eligible Italian passport holders, residents, and foreigners vaccinated in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer required.