Citizenship is, in law, the condition of a person (called citizen) for whom the law of a state recognizes the fullness of civil and political rights. Citizenship can thus be seen as the status of a citizen, but also as a legal relationship between citizen and state. People who are deprived of citizenship are called foreigners if they have a citizenship in another country or stateless persons if they have no citizenship.

Italian citizenship is a status that gives rights as well as duties. It is also the citizen-s condition for which the Italian legal system recognizes the fullness of civil and political rights. In Italy, citizenship is based on the principle of Jus Sanguinis, or on direct descent from at least one parent in possession of Italian nationality.

Italian citizenship can be acquired:

1) Automatically:

-BY BIRTH - foreigner born of at least one Italian parent;

-BY BIRTH iN ITALIAN TERRITORY - foreigner born in Italy and having reached the age of 18;

-BY ADOPTION - underage children adopted by an Italian citizen.

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2) Upon request:
-MARRIAGE: A foreign citizen or stateless person married to an Italian citizen can ask to acquire Italian citizenship. 
-RESIDENCE: A foreign citizen, someone born in Italy, a citizen of an EU country or non-EU member state, a stateless person or refugee residing in Italy can apply for Italian citizenship if it falls into the following categories:

- You are a citizen from a member state of the European Union  and have been legally living in Italy for at least 48 months (4 years);
- You are a citizen from a non-EU member state and you have been legally living in Italy for at least 120 months (10 years);
- You were born in Italy and have been legally living there for at least 36 months (3 years);
- You are the child or grandchild of an Italian citizen by birth and have been living in Italy for at least  36 months (3 years);
- You are of lawful age, you were adopted by an Italian citizen , and you have been living in Italy for at least 60 months (5 years);
- You are a stateless person or a refugee  and have been legally living in Italy for at least  60 months (5 years);
- For Italian state employees;
- By descent - a foreign citizen, direct child or grandchild by birth of an Italian citizen.