How to Claim Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent [in 2022]

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The most famous names in our history books were the Italians: Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, John Cabot, Amerigo Vespucci, and Enrico Fermi. 


Wouldn’t it be something to be able to count yourself among their number?

With Italian Dual Citizenship, you could call yourself an Italian, and you could reap many other benefits from the fifth most visited country in the world. One of the fastest ways to get there is to claim and apply for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent.

We want now to describe how to qualify for Italian dual Citizenship. Read on to learn more about how to get Italian Dual Citizenship, if your case qualifies for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent, and the requirements for your citizenship application.

What Is Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent?

Italian Dual Citizenship by descent, otherwise known as Jure Sanguinis, is the rule by which someone might be eligible for Italian Citizenship if their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were Italian citizens. “Jure Sanguinis” directly translates from Latin to “right of blood” or “by descent.” Its application process is also commonly known as Italian Citizenship by Descent.

This law came into effect in 1992. Before then, Italian Citizenship was exclusive, and if an Italian citizen wanted to claim Citizenship of another country, they had to renounce their Italian Citizenship. 

This sort of Italian Dual Citizenship is granted through the paternal line without any limit on the generations. If you are hoping to get Italian Dual Citizenship from your father’s side, you can go back as far as you need to.

However, through the maternal line, this dual citizenship method is limited to the descendants of individuals born after January 1, 1948. This is the date that women were granted the same rights as men.

How Do I Know if I Am Eligible for Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent?

To claim Italian Dual Citizenship by descent, you must prove that your Italian ancestor was an Italian citizen. If they were not, you might also prove that they had the right to claim Italian Citizenship when they were born. This line must be unbroken for citizenship eligibility to be passed to future generations. 

One general requirement for eligibility is that your oldest Italian ancestor must have been alive during or after the unification of Italy. Italy became a unified country in 1861, marking the beginning of Italian Citizenship as a concept. 

Did your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were Italian citizens at the time of their children’s births? 

Then you would be eligible to claim Italian Dual Citizenship by descent. 

Your Italian ancestor also would have had to maintain their Italian Citizenship, and they could not naturalize to another country.

That would have been renouncing their Italian Citizenship, and this would have broken the bloodline. 

If they were naturalized to another country before June 14, 1912, they could not pass their Italian Citizenship to any descendants. 

Suppose you were born before August 16, 1992, when the law about Italian Dual Citizenship by descent came into effect. In that case, you are only eligible if your parent did not naturalize to another country before your birth. 

How to Get Italian Dual Citizenship: Requirements

To apply for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent, you need to have a fair amount of information on hand for your application. 

It would be best if you had the dates of birth for every family member in the line between you and your Italian ancestor, and the year is the most important. You must also know when your Italian ancestor naturalized to your country if they did. 

When preparing your application, these are the documents you should have on hand:

  • Passport or driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of residency
  • Birth certificate of the Italian ancestor (issued by an Italian Comune)
  • Birth certificates of other relevant ancestors
  • Death certificates of relevant ancestors 
  • Marriage certificates of relevant ancestors
  • Divorce documents, if applicable to relevant ancestors
  • A copy of the Declaration of Petition for Naturalization by the National Archive
  • Italian ancestor’s naturalization certificate if naturalized in the United States
  • An application form [if required]
What documents do I need for Dual Italian Citizenship

If your Italian ancestor never naturalized to the United States, you need a couple of different documents:

  • Original certificate of the non-existence of records from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and NARA. If not from the United States, you will need the same document from your Immigration Affairs Ministry and your Country’s National Archives.
  • Copy of census first available after birth of the direct descendant in the United States

Luckily, the United States allows its citizens to hold multiple passports, which is not the case in every country. However, suppose you are applying for Italian Dual Citizenship as a United States citizen. In that case, you can be sure that you will have no trouble with your existing American Citizenship.

How Do I Apply for Italian Dual Citizenship?

Once you have your documents in order, there are three paths you can take toward obtaining Italian Dual Citizenship. You can get an appointment at an Italian Consulate, go through an Italian Comune, or apply in an Italian Court.

The Italian Consulate

When applying for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent from the United States, you will most likely go through an Italian Consulate. 

You must visit the appropriate Italian Consulate. This means the one that has legal jurisdiction over the area in which you live.

Each Consulate has different procedures: some might have other ways to schedule appointments or require additional documents. Check with your particular Consulate to ensure that you’re following their procedure and prepared for your appointment. 

No matter the particular requirements of your Consulate, the legal requirements for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent remain the same. It is your Consulate that will make a final decision about your case. 

Applying through a consulate can feel convenient for many reasons. The employees will speak English, for one. But applying this way can also result in long wait times for both appointments and decisions. 

The Italian Comune

A faster way to process your application for Italian Dual Citizenship is by submitting it in Italy. Rather than presenting your application to an Italian Consulate, you give them to an Italian Comune, the word for Italian Municipality. 

However, if you want to apply this way, you need to be a resident of Italy in some form, and you need to set up legal residence through a visa or other travel documents. This option only makes sense if you would like to stay in Italy for an extended period. 

Without the proper residency documents, applying at an Italian Comune is not a legal or viable option.

The Italian Court

The last way to apply for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent is by submitting your application to the Italian Court. If you are not an Italian resident, this case will go to the Italian Tribunal in Rome.

There are several reasons you might want to claim Italian Dual Citizenship through a court case. This has been happening particularly recently since the Italian Consulates have been overwhelmed. Individuals claim that their inability to book appointments violates their rights to claim Italian Dual Citizenship by descent, so they bring their case to court.

You might also want to take your case to an Italian Court if your Italian ancestor was a woman born before January 1, 1948. An Italian Consulate will reject these applications because of the 1948 ruling. Still, you have a chance of winning this case in an Italian Court.


A New Rule in force from June 2022.
It’ll be valid for 1948 cases of Italian Citizenship. 

And for all Italian Citizenship applications through the Italian Tribunal.

You can apply for the 1948 Case through the local Immigration Court.

Based on where your Italian ancestor was born.

The Italian Government introduced this new rule in November 2021.

Law 26 November 2021, n. 206, has provided (with art. 1, paragraph

37) the following new rule.

When the plaintiff resides abroad, disputes regarding the ascertainment of the status of Italian Citizenship are assigned having regard to the municipality of birth of the father, mother, or ancestor of Italian citizens.

The provisions apply to proceedings initiated from one hundred and the eightieth day following the date of entry into force of this law “.

It means that all Italian Citizenship by descent applications won’t pass through the Court of Rome. 

As it happened until today.  

It may also be beneficial for new applicants. 

Indeed, the processing time may be lower than before.

Why Become a Dual Citizen?

There are several advantages to becoming a dual citizen. You can enjoy privileges in both countries like voting, having two passports, and the opportunity at a cultural education. There are many particular benefits to Italian Dual Citizenship as well.

By becoming a citizen of Italy, you have the right to live and work in Italy and other countries in the European Union (EU). You can also travel without a visa throughout the EU.

Italy also has an affordable and high-quality education system and some of the oldest universities in the world. You would also have access to a top-notch and affordable healthcare system. 

Plus, as an Italian citizen, your Citizenship would pass to any of your future generations. You would give them a chance and opportunity to become part of a country rich in culture, heritage, and history.

Are there also disadvantages of Italian Dual Citizenship? Honestly speaking, no.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a US citizen have Dual Citizenship in Italy?

Yes, an American Citizen can apply for Italian Dual Citizenship without losing his/her American Citizenship. Italy and US allow having multiple Passports. It’s pretty common to meet Italian American Dual Citizens.

How do I get dual Citizenship in Italy?

You can get your Italian Dual Citizenship in different ways – you can apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent if you have an Italian heritage (and you qualify for it). Or you can apply for Italian Dual Citizenship by Marriage.

Does Italy have Dual Citizenship with the UK?

Yes, you can apply for an Italian Passport also if you are Citizen in the Uk.

How can I acquire Italian Citizenship?

There are different ways to acquire Italian Citizenship.
Have a look at our Italian Citizenship assistance webpage here.

Are there other ways to obtain Italian Citizenship?

Yes. Differently from the most common ones, You can obtain Italian Citizenship by naturalization. It means you will become an Italian Citizen after 10 years of continuous legal residency in Italy.

Start Your Journey Toward Italian Dual Citizenship With Us

We know that the number of requirements and restrictions on eligibility for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent is enough to make your head spin. However, you don’t have to go through the entire process on your own.

We are here to help you figure out if you qualify for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent and help you with the application and the appointment. We can provide advice at any point along the way.

We offer consultations and quick eligibility checks so you can get on your way toward your Italian Dual Citizenship. Contact us today to get started.

How to Claim Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent [in 2022] 1

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