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Italian Dual Citizenship [2022] FULL Guide & CURIOUS Facts!

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Maybe you have a Nonna (=grandmother) who holds her secret sauce recipe close to her chest. Maybe your family photo album has an old photograph of a man standing in front of a bit of butcher’s shop in Sicily, and he poses with a broad smile on his face as he holds the key to his new business.

Whether your Italian family history is humming as she moves around your kitchen, or it only lives as a distant memory in blurry photographs, you have a connection to Italy.

What can you do with that connection?

Italian dual citizenship is available to many descendants of Italian immigrants. If you are looking for a way to connect to your heritage, this is a perfect way.

Ready to learn more about how to earn Italian dual citizenship as a person with Italian heritage? Keep reading to learn more!

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Looking for getting Italian Dual Citizenship? Continue reading this article!

Jus Sanguinis Principle under the Italian Citizenship by Descent

Put simply. Jus sanguinis is the concept of Italian Citizenship by descent. At its core is the idea that you and your family never gave up your Italian citizenship, and it is your birthright to claim it now.

The right of jus sanguinis can be claimed for any male ancestor, no matter how far back you need to go. It is also applicable for any female ancestor back to 1948 (although there are some exceptions to this limitation).

If your family emigrated from Italy in the past to another country, there is a chance that you are eligible for dual citizenship through descent!

What Are The Benefits of Italian Dual Citizenship

Why would you even want dual citizenship? Everyone has different motivations but with a process this long and arduous. It is essential to know why you want to accomplish this and what it will mean to reach this goal.

For some, it is all about building a deeper connection to their Italian heritage. Being able to hold your Italian passport and have the option to go live in your ancestors’ hometown and walk the streets they walked is a powerful feeling.

For others, dual citizenship is all about opportunities. As an Italian citizen, you would be a citizen of a country in the European Union. This would allow you unrestricted travel across the EU. You’d also have the option of living, working, and studying in other EU countries whenever you’d like without having to apply for a long-stay visa.

With lower tuition costs and more reasonable healthcare options than you might find in the U.S., there is plenty of motivation to earn dual citizenship, even for those who don’t want to live in Italy specifically.

Who Is Eligible?

The main eligibility criteria are that your Italian family member, whether your mother or your great-grandfather, did not renounce your Italian citizenship. They cannot have become citizens of another country before their child (the one that leads to you) was born.

Let’s say your grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1925, in 1926, your father was born, and in 1927 your grandfather became a U.S. citizen. In this case, you would be eligible for Italian dual citizenship under jus sanguinis. Your last Italian ancestor was still an Italian citizen when your next closest ancestor was born.

Your female ancestors cannot pass citizenship to children born before 1948, and your male ancestors could not pass on citizenship if they were born when Italy was not yet a country.

However, with the help of a qualified lawyer, even these exceptions can be argued in the Court of Rome with successful results!

How to Apply for Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent

There are many steps to applying for dual citizenship in Italy. Italian double citizenship requirements are strict, and some documents may take months to obtain.

However, with the help of a lawyer who knows how to get dual citizenship in Italy, you can work through these steps as quickly as possible!

Step One: Research Your Ancestry

The first step is to figure out which Italian ancestor you are using in your claim to Italian citizenship. The process is much easier if they are close enough that you can readily learn their birth and death dates and any other important information that may help in the researching process.

Step Two: Search For Naturalization Records

You will need to find the correct information through records obtained from the U.S. government. These records must show that your Italian ancestor was not naturalized as a U.S. citizen before the next descendant was born.

You will also need to keep an eye on dates of birth. There are exceptions to standard practice for ancestors born before 1912 and female ancestors born before 1948. These variations are discussed more in-depth in a later section.

Step Three: Acquire the Necessary Records from Italy and the U.S.

This step requires you to obtain information both from Italy and from the United States. You will need the birth and marriage records from Italy for the Italian ancestor through which you are applying for citizenship, and you may also require the birth records of their spouse.

You will also need to acquire the long-form versions of several documents. Your local consulate will have a list of required documents. It is essential to know that there are differences in the requirements put forward by different consulates. So depending on where you live in the United States, the required documents for your application may vary.



Step Four: Authenticate and Translate the U.S. Records

The records required by your local consulate will need to be authenticated through the correct office with Apostille. Once you have the Apostille, you will need to have your documents professionally translated into Italian for the application.

If you hire a lawyer to assist you with your immigration and citizenship paperwork, you will be able to benefit from their relationships with reputable translators. They will also assist in acquiring the Apostille from the correct offices in the USA and Italy. 

Step Five: Apply At the Italian Consulate [if possible]

Every adult who is applying must appear in person at the consulate in whose jurisdiction they reside. You may be compiling records and completing paperwork for your adult siblings, cousins, or children. However, they will still need to appear in person to speak to representatives at the consulate.

The people at the consulate will review your records and application, and they will then provide feedback about your eligibility.

Sometimes (usually, to be honest) it’s literally impossible to apply through the Italian Consulate. So, how can I apply for my Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent if I cannot even book an appointment? Here below the solution:



Step Six: Obtain Your Italian Passport

If all goes well with your appointment with the Italian consulate, they will submit your records for registration with the Comune in Italy, where your ancestor lived. This process can take several months.

However, once you are registered, you will receive your Italian passport, you will become an Italian citizen!

Notable Exceptions to Jus Sanguinis

The following two rules are the most notable exceptions to the right of jus sanguinis. However, many lawyers have successfully argued for citizenship in the Court of Rome, even for clients whose families fall into one of these two categories!

The 1912 Rule

To qualify for Italian citizenship, you will have to look at when your closest Italian ancestor was born. If they were born before 1861, then they weren’t Italian citizens! Technically, Italy did not exist as a nation at the time, so they would be unable to pass on Italian citizenship to their descendants.

The 1948 Rule (Applicable to Female Ancestors)

Italian dual citizenship through descent is very focused on the patriarchal side of the family, and there are few restrictions on male ancestors and their qualifications for your citizenship application. And however, women cannot pass citizenship on to children born before 1948.

But you can fight this limitation if you fall under the “1948 Case“. Indeed, a Judge will declare your Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent, if in your bloodline you have a female, who had her baby before 1948s.


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What is a 1948 Case? How to claim your Italian Citizenship by descent in these cases? Here is a fully dedicated webpage.

How Else Can You Earn Italian Dual Citizenship?

Jus sanguinis, or Italian Citizenship by blood, is the most talked-about route to Italian dual citizenship. However, there are other options! Here are the two most common alternatives for earning your Italian passport.

Italian Citizenship by Marriage

If you have married an Italian citizen, you can apply for Italian citizenship three years after you get married. If you have children, you only need to wait one and a half years.

The laws surrounding the processes of earning Italian citizenship through marriage have changed quite a bit over the past ten years. If you are pursuing this route with your family, you must work with qualified lawyers and a reputable Italian Citizenship Assistance service.

Please note that Italian citizenship does not automatically apply to any children you may have with an Italian spouse. Applying for Italian citizenship through marriage can help pave the way for your children to become citizens as well.

Italian Citizenship by Residence

If you live in Italy for ten years, you can apply to become a citizen. To live in Italy for that long, you will need to apply for a long-term visa and regularly renew it so that you can stay in the country legally for a decade.

If you are a former Italian citizen or a direct descendant, you only need to reside in the country for three years before applying for citizenship. If you are already a citizen of another EU country, you only need to live in Italy for four years before applying. Finally, if you are a refugee or a stateless person, you can apply for Italian citizenship after five years of residency.

Italian Citizenship Assistance

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was a massive migration of Italians, and they spread around the world, and as a result, their descendants are located worldwide. It is crucial to find an Italian Citizenship Assistance service with qualified lawyers to help you navigate the difficult road towards Italian dual citizenship.

A lawyer who provides Italian Citizenship Assistance can help you conduct research about your ancestors, acquire the necessary paperwork, call on relationships with reputable translators, and ease the process of meeting with the Italian consulate.

In short, this process is complicated, and bringing in outside help to ease the process is always worth it!

Italian Dual Citizenship [2022] FULL Guide & CURIOUS Facts! 1

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Italian Dual Citizenship Cost: How much does it cost?

The Cost of applying for Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent is pretty complex. There are several expenses and costs to consider; just an example the legal fees, costs for translating and certifying all documents, the Apostille, expenses for getting the Certified True Copies of each certificate, and so on.

The complexity is also related to the fact that there are different ways to apply for Italian Dual Citizenship through Italian Descents, as we specifically talked about on the Italian Citizenship by Descent official page

We already talked about the costs for getting Italian Dual Citizenship here:


Why Italy?

This all seems like a lot of work. Even with the knowledge that you can hire Italian Citizenship Assistance to ease the process, it all can seem daunting initially. Many people go through this process because they love Italy or feel connected through their family history.

Italy has a long history and unique culture filled with art, war, fantastic food, and welcoming people. From the shining museum halls of Florence to the Greek ruins of Sicily, Italy can provide many people with experiences they will never forget.

Whether you only use your passport for a quick visit, or you are planning a more long-term move, the beauty of Italy is worth the process it takes to get that second passport.

Are You Ready to Apply for Italian Dual Citizenship?

Are you ready to make the leap and start your process towards dual citizenship? Don’t go through the process alone!

Working with a qualified lawyer and a reputable citizenship assistance service can make all the difference in your journey towards Italian dual citizenship.

There are a lot of options for earning Italian dual citizenship. With so many options and rules, you must work with someone who knows the system.

Ready to learn more? Head over to our Contact Us page for more information and fill out the contact form. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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