Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule: 3 SECRET Thing YOU Don’t Know

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Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule: 1 Secret Thing
no one tells You to solve!

Is it possible to Solve the Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule?

Italian Citizenship by Descent 1912 Rule: What to do if one of my ancestors naturalized before the 1912 Rule?

The 1912 Rule on Italian Citizenship by Descent – Today Contents


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Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule: Let’s start from the beginning.

Let’s start with a necessary specification.

There were no Italian citizens before 17 March 1861, because Italy did not exist as a nation.

Thus the oldest Italian ancestor in any jus sanguinis citizenship application must have been still alive on or after that date.

Any child born to an Italian citizen parent is ordinarily born an Italian citizen, with the following caveats:

If the child was born before 15 August 1992, the Italian parent ordinarily must not have naturalized as a citizen of another country before the child’s birth.

To qualify, the Italian ancestor in your bloodline must have been alive on or after 1861.

So, what we have to clarify is: 

“How Italian Citizenship was regulated from 1861 to 1912?” 

That’s the Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule: let’s have a look inside this complex rule for understanding a little more about the process of Italian Citizenship by Descent.

Are there any exceptions to the Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule?


What You can read on the internet is:

“Italian citizens naturalized before July 1, 1912, cannot transmit Italian citizenship.

There are exceptions to the 1912 rule.

  • The child must not have been a minor at the time of naturalization.

Indeed, the past Law said that naturalization means Loss of Italian Citizenship.

But only if the child was a minor at that time.

The child’s Italian citizenship could survive the parents’ loss of citizenship.  

It survived the loss if he or she reached legal adulthood before the parent’s naturalization.

That is age 21 before 10 March 1975 and age 18 after that.

Can I apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent if a descent naturalized as minor before 1912?

Technically speaking, not.
But nobody ever tried to file a lawsuit on this point, and it’s our opinion that a lawsuit may change this.

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Are there any solutions for the Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule?


If you are lucky, if you can take advantage of the exception explained above and repeated here:

(The child’s Italian citizenship could survive the parents’ loss of citizenship.  It survived the loss if he or she reached legal adulthood before the parent’s naturalization.)

If this is not the case, we can evaluate with you some different solutions

Some can be sure, some others can be a little risky. 

Let’s see now some possible solutions to the obstacle of the 1912 Rule  [Discaimer: this is not legal advise].

Possible Solution #1: The 1948 Rule for solving the obstacle of the Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule.


As we already talked about in this article, the 1948 Rule on Italian Citizenship applications by Descent can be of our help.

What is that? And why it can solve our 1912 rule issue?

Let’s summarize what is the 1948 rule and so, what is a 1948 Case.

f your Italian ancestral line includes a woman, you should first check if your female ascendant gave birth to her child before or after 1948.

  •  If she gave birth before 1948 – it was not possible for women to transfer Italian citizenship to their children.
    The reason is that Italian women did not have the same rights as men before 1948.
  • If your female ancestor gave birth during or after 1948 – Italian women were able to pass down Italian citizenship on January 1st, 1948.
    Due to this “new” set of rights, any child born to an Italian-born woman can be considered able to receive Italian citizenship at birth.


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Let’s make an example.

Your great-great-grandmother had her child in 1900. 

But your great-great-grandfather naturalized in 1901: so, technically, the line is broken because of the 1912 rule (the child was minor – 1 year old – when his father naturalized).

But if Your GGMother never naturalized things change:  If we cannot use the father line because of the 1912 rule, we can use the female line because of the 1948 case.

If your case falls into the “Italian Citizenship 1948 Rule” (well know as Italian Citizenship Maternal Line 1948), you will need to pursue Italian citizenship through Italian Court. 

We can assist You in this process with complete assistance on the Italian Citizenship application.

Solution #2: Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule with the Ius Soli Rule.


Beware of one point that most people forget. 

Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule has different exceptions, as described above.

But, we have to consider another point.

The rule of loss of Italian Citizenship because of the 1912 Rule does not apply to children born in an Ius Soli Country, like the US for example.

What does it mean?

If a child was born in the US from Italian parents, it means that he was, immediately because of birth, US Citizen. 

And, because of Jus Sanguinis, an Italian Citizen. 

If the father, later, naturalized US Citizen, the minor children didn’t lose his/her Italian citizenship. 

Let’s make an example.

Your great-grandfather John emigrated to the U.S. in 1900 together with his wife, Your great-grandmother Maria. 

Your grandfather Daniel was born in the U.S. in 1902. 

This means that Your Grandfather was born from Italian parents (so it’s Italian by birth) and also born on U.S. soil so it’s also an American Citizen by birth.

This means that if John naturalized in 1903, then Daniel didn’t lose Italian Citizenship for the American Citizenship, because he was already American. 

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Solution #3: fight the Italian Citizenship 1912 Rule through the Italian Court.


As we already talked about assistance on Italian Citizenship, Italian Citizenship by Descent cases can speed up thanks to Italian Courts.

But appealing to an Italian Court can be also useful in these cases.

Some decades ago, Italian Courts declared unconstitutional some parts of the 555/1912 Citizenship Law.

These parts were indeed considered Discriminatory for women, as their Italian Citizenship was considered lost because of marriage.

Briefly, the principles were: it’s discrimination that women lost their Italian citizenship because they were considered inferior to men.

So, why do not apply the same principles in the father-son relationship? 

The pre-1912 Law (Civil Code of 1865) Stated that “minor children will follow the citizenship of the father”.

So: what about the mother? There is clear discrimination against females, as happened in the 1948 cases.

We think that this legislation can be fought through the Courts.

This may be risky as there are no judicial precedents on that: but your case may be the first one to open a new scenario on the applications for Italian Citizenship by Descent.

Need assistance for your Italian Citizenship?

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General Advises before applying for Italian Citizenship by Descent

One of the best ways to apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent  is to enlist the help of Italian Citizenship experts

Also if You will choose to follow the ordinary administrative way, Professional Assistance will be always to your advantage.

Choose well your expert: an Italian Citizenship Lawyer will be certainly the most prepared professional with the highest skills.


5 main reasons to hire an Italian Citizenship Lawyer

  • Professional service providers know how to best position you for success
  • Due to their in-depth knowledge of the system, they know exactly what to do at each stage
  • Experience has given them an edge when it comes to compiling the necessary documents
  • They can direct you to Consulates or Comune that are known for faster turnaround times (so Boost Italian Citizenship by Descent too)
  • If there is any issues and/or You need to appeal against Consulate, we can do it.

If your time is valuable to you, then getting help from professional service providers is the best route for you if you want to ensure your Italian citizenship processing time is kept to a minimum.

Do I Need to come to Italy at the Court?

No – You have not to come to Italy. Everything will be handled by Your Italian Citizenship Lawyer, thanks to the Power of Attorney.

The application at the Italian Court will be prepared by Your Italian Citizenship Lawyer and so submitted by him. 

That’s why one of the required documents is the Power Of Attorney, which You will have to sign, notarized, and Apostilled (Like the other documents). 

Be prepared before applying for Italian Citizenship by Descent.


One thing that can boost Italian citizenship by Descent processing time is to focus on organization.

No matter which route you pursue in applying for your Italian citizenship.

You will need to gather a lot of documentation to back up your claims and support your bid for Italian citizenship.

This can be overwhelming in terms of the number of documents you need, but it can also be difficult due to the processes required to get them.

For example, certain states only allow the persons named on the birth certificate to get that record.

Getting it right the first try saves time.

You will also need to understand the unique requirements for each.

For example, some documents will have to be originals accompanied by an apostille, while for others such as naturalization records, certified copies will suffice.

Note, however, that if you are applying in Italy and not at a consulate, all non-Italian documents will require apostilles.

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