Negative outcome: the riscorso (appeal)

Unfortunately, if you do not qualify or there are missing documents on your application, you will receive a letter informing you that you will not get citizenship. In this case, you have 10 days to give the Prefecture information or missing documents to try to obtain citizenship. If you don't succeed, you have 60 days to appeal to the TAR. You need to ask for the help from a lawyer to do these things.

There are cases in which the outcome of the application is negative, so the person who applied doesn’t get citizenship. The negative outcome, in technical language, is called a “provvedimento di diniego“.

What are the reasons for not obtaining citizenship?

The reasons for which the outcome is negative are:

  • Insufficient income (when the income is lower than the minimum necessary to obtain citizenship, i.e. € 8,263.61 or € 11,362.05 if the person lives with the husband / wife)
  • Discontinuous residence (if the person has not had continuous residence for the years necessary to obtain citizenship)
  • Criminal history (if the person has committed a serious crime)
  • Lack of knowledge of the Italian language (if the person does not have a sufficient level of Italian)
  • Divorce (if the person applied for citizenship by matrimonio, but then divorced their Italian husband or wife before becoming citizens)

You will receive a first letter telling you that you will not get citizenship due to lack of requirements. This first letter is a notice of the negative outcome and is not the final decision.

In this case, there is one thing you can do to try to change the Prefettura’s outcome from negative to positive: you can send a “memoria” or missing documents to the Prefettura within 10 days, as stated in the notice itself.

What is a memoria?

A “memoria” is a written letter, which serves to give more information about your situation in Italy. It must include a lot of technical information on citizenship in the memoria. For this reason, you absolutely must get help from a lawyer experienced in citizenship and rejection of citizenship to write it.

Also for filing the additional/ missing documents it is best if you ask for help from a lawyer specialised in citizenship.

What happens if I don’t submit the memoria?

If you do not submit a memoria, or the missing documents, or if, even after submitting the memoria or documents, you receive the definitive rejection order, you can appeal to the Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale (TAR).

By appealing, you ask the court to review your application again and try to get a positive result. You must file an appeal within 60 days from the date of the rejection order. To appeal it is mandatory that you get help from an immigration and citizenship lawyer.

IMPORTANT: your appeal to the TAR can last many years (even 5 or 6 years).

Whether you decide to submit a memoria or appeal, it is important that you contact your lawyer or an immigration and citizenship lawyer as soon as you receive your first rejection notice letter. Remember that if you have a low income, you can apply for gratuito patrocinio (free legal aid).

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