Lots of foreign citizens apply for Italian citizenship each year, and the application process entails the translation and legalisation of certain documents.
But which documents need translating and how do you request a translation that’s valid for legal use?
Which documents must be submitted with an Italian citizenship application?
To apply for Italian citizenship you’ll need to submit three personal documents: a valid form of ID, a birth certificate and a criminal record certificate issued by the competent authorities in your country of origin. Of course, all of the documents listed above must be submitted to the Italian Ministry of the Interior in translated form.
In addition to personal documents, Italian citizenship applicants must also present a certificate attesting to his or her knowledge of the Italian language (at least level B1 according to the CEFR), in addition to a payment of €250 and an electronic revenue stamp.
All documents must be attached to the citizenship application, which is to be filled out on the Ministry of the Interior website and then sent to the relevant prefecture (if the applicant resides in Italy) or consulate (if the applicant resides abroad) so that the application can be reviewed and accepted.
Translating and legalising documents required for citizenship applications
Simply translating a foreign document has no legal validity in Italy unless the translator follows a specific procedure. First of all, translators must carry out the translation, which must then be attached to a declaration of liability and the original document. By doing so, the translator assumes legal responsibility for the translation’s compliance with the original document.
The translator must then go to a court and swear an oath in front of a public official, who will affix a stamp to the translation and legalise it, before registering the document at the certification office. A revenue stamp of 16 euros must also be affixed to the translated document every four pages.
Translated documents can be legalised in any court in Italy and are valid throughout the country, regardless of which court handles the proceedings. With this in mind, we recommend choosing a small court to complete the procedure quickly. Courts located in large cities often take much longer to carry out the process.
Translating documents with an apostille
An apostille (or apostilla in Italian) is a stamp that serves to validate a legal document in countries that signed the Hague Convention in 1961.
If the person submitting Italian citizenship documents comes from one of the countries that signed the Convention, he or she must obtain an apostille for the translated document by contacting the relevant public prosecutor’s office or prefecture in their country of origin.