Italian Citizenship 1948 case: A Great Guide for 2022

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By 1920, more than 4 million Italians had come to the United States to build a new life here. 

Many descendants of those immigrants are seeking to retrace their roots.
And claim their Italian Citizenship through jure sanguinis.

You may have heard that you can apply for Italian Citizenship through your Italian Consulate. 

But first, you have to make sure you have Italian ancestry. 
And, due to many laws Italy passed throughout the twentieth century, this can be trickier than it sounds.

Keep reading to learn about the rules and regulations for applying for Italian Dual Citizenship. 

Most importantly, we’ll examine the Italian Citizenship 1948 case.
And how the 1948 rule of Italian Citizenship works.


What Is Italian Citizenship by Descent?

The right to Italian Citizenship, and the easiest way to claim Italian Dual Citizenship, is through the concept of jure sanguinis

It translates literally to “right of blood” or “by descent,” meaning that children of Italian citizens are eligible for Italian Citizenship. 

And if they were born outside of Italy, they can apply for Italian Citizenship.

The jure sanguinis for Italian Dual Citizenship came into effect in 1992. 

Before that, Italian Citizenship was exclusive. 

It meant that Italian Citizens could only hold that one Citizenship, and they had to renounce any others. 

While determining if you have Italian ancestry is the first step, other factors may affect your getting Italian Citizenship. 

You may have to track down birth certificates and other information about your maternal or paternal line.

If you’re tracing your ancestry and run into a female descendant, you might hit obstacles. 

The 1948 case of Italian Citizenship can add complications to your application in these situations. 

This case impacted Italian Citizenship by descent through the maternal line.
So, let’s see together what is the Italian Citizenship 1948 case.

What Is the 1948 Rule of Italian Citizenship?

In a nutshell, the 1948 case of Italian Citizenship recognized women as equal citizens. 

It changed the rules of Italian Citizenship by descent.

When Italy laid out the Citizenship law in 1912, only men were recognized as full citizens. 

It meant that only men could transfer their Italian lineage to their children. 

Women were unable to pass on their Citizenship to their descendants.

I was looking for information on Italian Citizenship through a female ancestor.
How can apply if I have a 1948 case?

On January 1, 1948, the date Italy became a Republic. 

The Italian Constitution came into effect. 

It recognized women as equal citizens who could pass their Citizenship down to their children.

These new rules, however, were not retroactive. 

Children born to Italian mothers before 1948 did not automatically become Italian citizens.

This rule is not applicable every time a woman is in the Italian line of descent. 

Quick Facts.

You have a 1948 Case of Italian Citizenship when:

  • Children born to an Italian mother prior to 1948;
  • Children born to your Italian grandmother prior to 1948;
  • Children born to your Italian great-grandmother prior to 1948;

The 1948 rule of Italian Citizenship only comes into effect if the woman lived and had children before 1948.

Do you qualify for Italian Citizenship by Descent?

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How Does This Affect Your Italian Dual Citizenship Request?

The Italian Citizenship 1948 case can complicate your application for Italian Citizenship. 

Suppose you’re seeking Italian Dual Citizenship pre-1948, meaning your female Italian ancestor lived and had children before 1948. 

In that case, you might run into some issues.

As stated before, the 1948 rule of Italian Citizenship was not retroactive. It meant that female Italians who had children before 1948 could not pass Citizenship to their descendants. 

Therefore, if your ancestor falls into this category, you may have to do some extra leg work.

If you were to apply through the Italian Consulate in this scenario, the Consulate would reject your application.

There are still ways to pursue an application for Italian Citizenship. 

To claim Italian Dual Citizenship by descent in situations where the 1948 case of Italian Citizenship comes into play, you must go through with a legal case in Rome.

Italian Citizenship 1948 Case Applications

If you decide to file a case with the court in Rome, it will take the form of a lawsuit. 

If you can prove your lineage in court, the Italian government can grant you Italian Dual Citizenship. 

The process, however, can sometimes require multiple hearings. 

Luckily, if you follow this procedure, you do not necessarily have to be physically present in Italy.

 Plus, the courts historically have almost always granted Citizenship in these situations.

If this seems overwhelming to you, you can seek Italian Citizenship assistance. 

Attorneys like us at Bersani Law Firm specialize in Italian immigration and citizenship cases. 

We can help guide you through the process and advise on the best way to claim Italian Citizenship by descent. 


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We will check if you qualify for Italian Citizenship through female ancestor.
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What Do I Need to Make My Case of 1948 Italian citizenship?

You will need many documents to proceed with your lawsuit for a 1948 case of Italian Citizenship. 

These include:

  • A power of attorney for a lawyer in Italy
  • Identification (passport or driver’s license)
  • All documents proving the line of descent: birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, divorce documents (where applicable), proof of residency
  • Naturalization documents if the Italian ancestor naturalized to the United States

It’s also important to know how exactly to apply to the Italian Court of Rome. 

This process is changing in 2022. 

If you’re planning on filing your case before June of 2022, you can send your application directly through the Court of Rome. 

If you’re planning to file your case after June of 2022, you’ll be applying through the new Immigration Courts.

After June of 2022, these cases about the 1948 rule of Italian Citizenship will pass through local Immigration Courts. 

These courts will be chosen based on where your ancestor was born. They will no longer go through the central Court of Rome.

Lastly, if you’re planning on applying for Italian Dual Citizenship through a 1948 case, make sure that this is your only option. 

If, for example, you’re eligible to apply for Italian Citizenship through both lines of descent (the maternal and the paternal), you must follow the line set forth by the law of jure sanguinis.  

It means if one of your lines of descent is unbroken, you can file an ordinary case of Italian Citizenship through your Italian Consulate. 

You can only choose the line that involves a 1948 case of Italian Citizenship if your other line is ineligible for some reason.

How Exactly Does a 1948 Case of Italian Citizenship Lawsuit Work?

If you grant a lawyer a power of attorney, there is no need for you to appear in the Italian courts. 

You might, however, still want to have a good grasp on what exactly will happen when your case comes up. 

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Case filed with the Italian court system as an application for Italian Citizenship
  2. Case prepared, with the nomination of a judge and the notification of court appeal at the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs
  3. A hearing (this is the day in court), where a judge checks your documentation and evaluates your case
  4. A final decision from the judge based on the documentation you have provided

Are There Other Limitations on Claiming Italian Dual Citizenship?

While the 1948 case of Italian Citizenship may present the biggest roadblock to you if you’re seeking Italian Dual Citizenship, it’s essential to know about the other Italian Citizenship requirements. 

This way, you can be the most prepared for your case.

One requirement for eligibility is that your oldest Italian ancestor must have been alive during or after the unification of Italy

It occurred in 1861. 

Before this date, Italy did not exist as one country, and Italian Citizenship did not exist as a concept.

Secondly, your Italian ancestor could not naturalize to another country before June 14, 1912. 

If they did, they would have renounced their Italian Citizenship. 

It would have made it impossible for them to pass their Citizenship to their descendants, and it would have broken the bloodline. 

If you were born before 1992, you might face other limitations. 

It was when the law about Italian Dual Citizenship came into effect. 

In this case, you are only eligible to claim Italian Citizenship if your parent maintained their Italian Citizenship.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 1948 case of Italian Citizenship.

How much does a 1948 case cost?

If you were looking for a 1948 case Italian Citizenship cost, you need to know there are two different costs involved.
First, You will have the expenses.
We refer to all costs you will have for getting documents, the Apostille, and the translations.
Second, you will have the legal expenses.
Our fees vary depending on how much services the applicant needs.
Contact us for a tailored estimation.

How many generations can you go back for Italian citizenship?

There is not a generation limit for applying for Italian Citizenship by descent.
There’s only one important thing to keep in mind.
You cannot go back before the 1861s.
Italy started to exist only in 1861.
This rule is valid if you apply for Jure sanguinis through a male line.
Or also if you apply for Italian Citizenship by descent maternal line.

When I have a 1948 Italian citizenship case?

You can claim your Italian Dual Citizenship pre 1948 if there’s a specific condition.
You have a female in your Italian heritage (i.e. grandmother).
And she had her child before 1948.

Apply For Italian Citizenship Today

It can be challenging to navigate all the documents and Italian Citizenship requirements. 

And, if yours is an Italian Citizenship 1948 case, it can be that must harder. 

But you don’t have to figure all of this out on your own. 

At Bersani Law Firm, we can help guide you through applying for Italian Citizenship. 

And, if yours is a 1948 case of Italian Citizenship, we can take on power of attorney for you in the Italian Courts. 

Nothing is standing in your way from becoming an Italian Dual Citizen. 

If you’re interested in getting started with your application for Italian Dual Citizenship, contact us today for a consultation.


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Check if you qualify for Italian Dual Citizenship under the 1948 rule!
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