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Italian Citizenship by Descent application: 3 Things Nobody Tells you!

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One of the most common ways to apply for an Italian Passport is by claiming your Italian heritage. This program is the so-called “Italian Citizenship by Descent application,” particularly popular in those countries affected by massive immigration of Italian Citizenship in the late 800s. 

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Italian Citizenship by Descent

You can find and read many things on Italian Citizenship by descent requirements and how to apply for Italian Citizenship through great-grandparents. But there are few things we would like to talk about today: 3 things – in particular – that nobody seems to know about the application process, especially in some everyday situations. 

We give you a quick preview: 

Did you know you can file your Italian Citizenship by Descent application also if the Italian Consulate doesn’t allow you to book an appointment? 

Or – did you know that the Italian Court made new rulings about when the Italian Consulate or the Italian Court can reject your case? 

So, let’s move forward with this article, and let’s see three things you surely don’t know about the Italian Citizenship by Descent application. And that you should know before even starting the process.

Italian Citizenship by Descent application: what if the Italian Consulate is blocking you? 

Every day we receive several inquiries like those: 

“It’s one year I try to book my appointment at the Italian Consulate in XXX, but it’s impossible. Can you help me?”

“I’m trying to book an appointment for my Italian Citizenship by descent application, but it’s impossible. I also tried to connect when the calendar refreshes, but the website freezes.” 

Are you in the same situation? We can bet on this. Almost all Italian Consulate is now in the same position – regardless of where you live or are based. The result is nearly the same: You cannot book an appointment at the Italian Consulate Citizenship Office

So, is your application process dead? Did you lose your chance to file your Italian Citizenship by descent application? No – there is one (secure) solution. 

Now we explain what you have to do, with concrete examples of judicial cases we already filed (and won).

As we already talked about in another recent article, everything shut down when the Covid19 pandemic started. Italian Consulates included. Everything stopped since that moment, but they didn’t resume complete services as the situation began to return “normal.”
 As a consequence, a massive backlog of waiting applicants.

Suppose you are lucky enough to live under the jurisdiction of an operative Italian Consulate. In that case, you may have noticed that the waiting time for each service increased exponentially in the last year. If you have like 2-3 years wait time for your appointment date, consider yourself lucky.
Indeed, there is no way to book an appointment in most cases – it’s impossible. 

We show you two examples for giving you an idea of what happened (and still happens) around the globe: 

italian-consulate-london-citizenship
Photo No. 1. Screenshot of Prenot@mi System of the Italian Consulate in London
italian-consulate-new-york-citizenship
Photo No. 2. Screenshot of Booking Webpage of the Italian Consulate in New York

In picture 1), we see the current situation at the Italian Consulate in London. That window appears if you try to book the appointment for “Italian Citizenship by Descent” after filing the booking application form with your personal information. 

There is no calendar showing you which dates are not available and which ones are free in this particular case. The system blocks you by saying, “there are no dates available.” That’s it—end of the game. 

In picture 2), we see the current situation at the Italian Consulate in New York. 
The situation here is pretty different: you cannot even log into the online booking system. There’s a clear statement saying: 

The online appointment reservation system is currently offline, and the service will be back online as soon as possible. Please continue to monitor our website for updates.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions, we have reorganized the Consular services focusing on priority emergencies. In this framework, the Consulate General of Italy in New York has temporarily suspended the applications for Italian citizenship “Iure Sanguinis.”

We are showing the situation at these Italian Consulates just as a sample of what is occurring worldwide.  

What Can I do if I’m facing this issue? How can I file my Italian Citizenship by Descent application if the Italian Consulate doesn’t allow me to present my paperwork? Well, a straightforward solution exists. And this is what you have to do.

If you face this situation, the only way to file your Italian Citizenship by Descent application is through the Italian Court

Indeed, the Italian Citizenship law is pretty (totally) clear on what the Italian Consulate has to do: to guarantee you to present your Italian Citizenship application. And, as soon as filed, the application process can take up to 2 years (and no more!). 

Remember: you have duties (to prepare the documentation in the right way), but you also have rights. The Italian Consulates have obligations too. And if you’re facing a violation of your rights, a qualified Italian attorney with significant experience in Italian Citizenship by descent applications can undoubtedly help you. 

[Read more about these situations and how we solved many cases like these. ]


Italian Citizenship by Descent application: Are you sure you’re not eligible for Italian Citizenship by Descent? You still may have a chance…

We love to repeat this principle again and again. If you’re not sure about your eligibility, ask for an eligibility check from qualified professionals. Suppose you don’t feel good and you’re not a doctor. Do you check your treatment on Google or pay for a visit to a qualified medical professional?

We’re talking about getting Citizenship, a Passport. So you have to be 1000% sure about your eligibility or not. We’re saying this because we often receive inquiries where people say, “I don’t qualify because I read online that…” – “I’m not eligible because I read on that blog…”.

For example: “I don’t qualify for submitting an Italian Citizenship by Descent application because my grandfather naturalized before the birth of his child.” 

Is it true? Yes – and no. Let’s add more information with an example.
Your grandfather Mario married your grandmother Rosa in 1930. Mario became an American Citizen in 1932, and their son was born in 1934. Mario cannot transmit Italian Citizenship to his son, of course: but what about Rosa? If she never naturalized, she can! 

Another scenario. Rosa was naturalized at the same time as Mario’s naturalization because of the marriage. 
So, did you lose your chance of Italian Citizenship by descent? Maybe not! 

The Italian Citizenship law (and Italian Courts) fully recognizes that a woman forced to naturalize maintained her Italian Citizenship. So, we don’t care if Rosa was considered American because of American law – Italian Citizenship by descent follows the Italian regulation. 

Suppose you have a case where forced naturalization or a person was considered a foreign Citizen without their will. In that case, you can still be eligible for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent!

Another interesting scenario, with the same example we did above. Grandfather Mario was an Italian Citizen, and he married Rosa, who was American Citizen.

You may think, “Okay, the Italian bloodline is certainly broken here because Rosa wasn’t Italian, so Mario naturalized American before the birth of his son. Meaning that his son was born by two American parents“.
You may be wrong here too. 

Before 1983, when an Italian Citizen married a foreign woman (or vice versa), the other spouse became an Italian Citizen automatically. Yes, automatically. So, when Mario married Rosa in 1930, Rosa automatically got the right to claim her Italian Citizenship at that exact moment.  
In this circumstance, you may still be eligible to file your Italian Citizenship by Descent application through your grandmother. 

Italian Citizenship by Descent application: the rules the Italian Court of Rome is trying to change.

When navigating online, you may repetitively read that “you qualify if the child of your Italian Ancestor was born after the naturalization of that same ancestor.” 

For example, your great-grandfather Mario, Italian, had a child (Antonio) in the Us in 1930. Then, Mario was naturalized as an American citizen in 1940, when Antonio was ten years old.

Is the Italian bloodline still eligible? Yes – and no. We want to explain what is happening right now through the Italian Court in Rome and the adverse effects on your Italian Citizenship application.

Few Judges recently started to rule in disfavor of this principle, stating that “if an Italian Citizen naturalized together with the minor child, that same minor child lost his Italian Citizen too.” This principle was already in force for naturalization before 1912, but they also extended it for post-1912 naturalizations. 

Why that? They made a strict interpretation of the art. 12 and 7 of Law 555/1912. 

The good news is that those cases (which got a denial from the Civil Tribunal of Rome) were appealed at the Italian Supreme Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the applicant, saying the strict interpretation of the first Judge was incorrect. So, we want to inform you that few adverse precedents exist, and you may face them too during your Italian Citizenship by Descent application process.
You can appeal – yes – and still win, but we think nobody is telling you about the risks you may face. 

We remain pretty positive about it, but of course, you have to know that you may appeal (with additional costs).

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