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What’s there to know about the Italian dual citizenship application? Quite a lot!
For example, did you know that foreign citizens who can prove they have Italian ancestors may be eligible to apply for dual citizenship?
According to statistics, an estimated 60 million people outside of Italy can claim Italian ancestry by descent.
But, applying for dual citizenship in Italy isn’t as easy as proving you’re related to someone Italian.
Applying for dual citizenship can be complex and take several months to complete.
Those interested in applying for dual citizenship should begin the process as soon as possible.
Here’s what to know and a few changes to expect this year and beyond.
What Is Dual Citizenship in Italy?
Dual citizenship is when a person is a citizen of two countries simultaneously.
This might mean you are a citizen of the United States and Italy.
What’s the difference?
You’re subject to the laws of both countries but can travel freely between them.
This dual citizenship gives you the right to live and work in either country, though.
Dual citizenship in Italy is granted to people born in Italy to foreign parents or who have ancestry from Italy.
It is also possible to obtain dual citizenship through naturalization, which is the process of becoming a citizen of another country (usually by marriage).
Of course, the Italian Dual citizenship application process will be totally different.
The Benefits of Having Dual Citizenship in Italy
The benefits of having dual citizenship in Italy are many and varied.
For one, dual citizens are entitled to the same rights and privileges as Italian citizens, including the right to live and work in the country.
It allows you to live and work in any country within the European Union.
Also, dual citizens can travel freely between Italy and their other countries throughout the European Union.
This also means that they’re eligible for consular protection while in Italy.
However, most people who apply for dual citizenship love that dual citizens also have access to free education and healthcare in Italy, as well as a number of other social benefits.
Is this right for you?
We believe that dual citizenship can provide a sense of security and belong for those who feel like they belong to two countries.
It should be noted that dual citizenship does not necessarily mean giving up your allegiance to your other country of citizenship; rather, it simply means that you have the rights and privileges of both citizenships.
However, note that some countries require you to renounce your citizenship to gain another one.
Italy doesn’t need you to do this, but if you are a citizen of a country that does, you might want to think about the pros and cons of each citizenship.
– Quick facts on Italian Dual Citizenship –
United States of America and Italy recognize Dual Citizenship status.
The United States and Italy allow dual citizenship for American applicants.
You won’t have to renounce either citizenship!
Dual Italian Citizenship by Descent vs. Marriage
Which is the best option for your Italian Dual citizenship application?
Regarding Italian citizenship, there are two main options available to foreign citizens. This includes:
- Italian citizenship by descent or
- Italian citizenship by marriage
Citizenship through investment is rare these days, so let’s focus on these main two.
Interested in learning more about citizenship through investment? Read through our helpful guide about the Italian Golden Visa scheme.
Back to the debate of citizenship by descent vs. marriage, though.
Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh all the factors before deciding.
Italian citizenship by descent allows anyone with Italian ancestors to become a citizen of Italy.
This can be a great option for those with strong ties to Italy who want to maintain close ties to their family and culture.
However, it’s important to note that Italian law only allows Italian citizenship to be passed down through the father’s line.
So, if your Italian ancestors came from your mother’s side of the family, you will be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent only as a 1948 Case of Italian Citizenship.
– Quick facts –
You can apply if you have a female on the Italian heritage, and she had a child before the 1948s.
If you have a case falling into this circumnstance, you have a 1948 case.
You cannot apply through the Italian Consulate, but through the Italian Tribunal.
In addition, obtaining Italian citizenship by descent can be lengthy and complicated.
You’ll need to gather significant documentation, including birth certificates and other forms of identification, and then submit them to the Italian government for review.
The process of obtaining dual citizenship by marriage differs from obtaining it by descent.
Also, considering applying through marriage, you can apply for Italian citizenship online.
The applicant must first apply for a long-term visa to obtain dual citizenship by marriage.
After living in Italy for a certain period, the applicant can apply for naturalization.
Ultimately, speaking with a qualified Italian immigration specialist is the best way to know which route is best for you to take.
If you’re not interested in becoming a citizen, we suggest checking out the elective residence visa option or the Investor Visa for Italy.
How to Apply for Dual Citizenship in Italy
Applying for dual citizenship in Italy is not as difficult as it may seem.
However, there are specific steps that you need to follow that can change quite frequently.
Here is what to know about the Italian dual citizenship application process in 2023.
*NOTE: The process can change, and there might be different documents, fees, etc. Please consult with us before starting your application.
This way, we can help ensure you follow the right instructions!
Determine if You Qualify for Dual Citizenship
If you have Italian ancestors, you may be eligible for dual citizenship.
You’ll need to research your family history and gather supporting documentation to determine if you qualify.
Once you have everything you need, you can begin the application process.
To start, you’ll need to gather your birth certificate, your parents’ birth certificates, and your grandparents’ birth certificates (if available).
You’ll also need to obtain marriage certificates for yourself and your immediate ancestors and divorce decrees (if applicable).
Once you have all the required documents, you’ll need to fill out an Italian dual citizenship application form.
But we’ll get to that part in just a bit.
Then, you can finally file your Italian dual citizenship application
Who else qualifies for dual citizenship?
You are eligible for citizenship through marriage as well.
In order to apply, you will need to provide proof of your marriage and evidence of your spouse’s Italian citizenship.
And finally, you can get Italian dual citizenship through investment as well.
Under Italy’s dual citizenship laws, foreign nationals who invest significantly in the country may be eligible for citizenship.
This can include making a financial investment, setting up a business, or investing in property.
To learn more about how to qualify, check out our guide to the Italy Investor Visa.
All About Appointments for Italian Dual Citizenship
If you’re interested in pursuing Italian dual citizenship, one of the first things you’ll need to do once you have your documents ready is to make an appointment with the consular office.
The process can vary slightly depending on which country you’re applying from, but there are a few things you can expect in general.
You’ll need to speak with an immigration specialist or simply Google which consular office you need to apply from.
If you’re a resident of Colombia, for example, you’ll have to apply at the Italian Embassy in Bogotá.
In the United States, however, there are consulate offices all over the country in cities like Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, and more.
The office you’ll need to apply from depends on where you’re a resident within the country.
However, the point is that it’s quite difficult to book an appointment online in 2022. It looks like it will be just as difficult in 2023.
While we suggest trying to book an appointment as soon as you start the process (not when your documents are ready), there is another, better way to submit your Italian dual citizenship application...
File Your Application Through the Court Instead of the Consulate
You can begin applying for dual citizenship in Italy by contacting either the consulate or the court that has jurisdiction over your area.
It is important to note that as of June 22nd, 2022, there is new legislation requiring that you apply for citizenship by descent in the District Court of the ancestor’s native town.
You must file your application through the court instead of the consulate.
While this might sound like a pain, it opens up the possibility of applying more quickly for citizenship because it might reduce the courts’ workload in Rome.
We recently talked about cases we won in 2022 for our clients:
Once you have gathered the required documentation, you must submit your Italian Dual Citizenship application to the appropriate office.
The processing time for dual citizenship applications can vary depending on the office’s workload.
The whole point of the new decree is to limit the number of proceedings in Rome.
This, hopefully, will reduce the wait times needed to get your application approved.
However, it is typically between six months to a whole year.
After your Italian Dual Citizenship application has been processed, you will be notified by mail whether or not you have been approved for dual citizenship in Italy.
You will be required to take an Oath of Allegiance to Italy if approved.
Once you have taken the Oath of Allegiance, you will be officially a dual citizen of Italy and your other country of citizenship.
Documents Needed for Dual Italian Citizenship
Many different requirements must be met to successfully obtain citizenship.
One of the most important requirements is having the proper documentation.
Some of the documents that will be needed include (depending on your situation):
- Birth certificate from the commune in Italy
- Death certificate of your ancestor
- Naturalization papers
- Your own birth certificate from your country
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificate of your children if they’re applying too
- Apostilles of all documents originating from outside Italy
The specific documents required may vary depending on your individual situation, so it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before beginning your Italian dual citizenship application.
With the help of a qualified professional, you can ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to obtain dual Italian citizenship.
They’ll also likely help you with the process of getting the proper apostilles.
How to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent
Do you think you qualify for this Italian citizenship and can gather all the necessary documents?
Now, let’s walk you through what the process looks like in 2023.
To begin the process, you will need to gather important documents, including your birth certificate, your parents’ birth certificates, and your grandparents’ birth certificates.
You will also need proof of your Italian ancestry, such as a family tree or other documentation.
Once you have all of these items, you can begin the Italian dual citizenship application.
First, you will need to fill out an application form.
This form can be obtained from your local Italian consulate or embassy.
Remember, however, that there is a new rule starting in June 2022.
Because you will be submitting your paperwork to a local court rather than a court in Rome that is familiar with these types of proceedings, you might be better off contracting the services of a professional who can ensure you do it right the first time.
Once you have completed the form, you will need to submit it along with all of the required supporting documentation.
Once your application is received, it will be reviewed by the Italian authorities.
If everything is in order, you should receive your Italian citizenship certificate within a year maximum (after the ruling is filed with the court clerk and registered through an Italian consulate).
Congratulations — you are now an Italian citizen!
The 2022 Update: New Rulings Through Court
The requirements for applying for Italian citizenship have changed over the years, but the 2022 update throws a wrench into the entire process.
What’s changed, and what can you expect moving forward into 2023?
Namely, art. 36 law 206/2021 makes it mandatory for proceedings for establishing Italian citizenship to be submitted to the District Court in the ancestor’s native town.
If you’re trying to claim ancestry because your great-grandpa lived in Sicily, you must apply to a court in Sicily.
What else do you need to know about the new rulings through the court?
Unlike applying to an Italian consulate, you must have your documents translated before submitting them to the court.
We will file your Italian dual citizenship application, thanks to the Power of Attorney you will sign to us, and wait for a judge to schedule an official hearing.
During that hearing, they’ll take a look at all of the documentation you provided.
Likewise, if something is missing, they can decide that day whether to grant or deny your right to citizenship.
At the end of the entire process, if approved, the consulate will send certified copies of your birth certificate and the judgment to the municipality in Italy where your ancestors were born.
They will register it for you, and you’ll officially become an Italian citizen.
The 2022 update makes it difficult for people with diverse ancestry to qualify for Italian citizenship.
Therefore, if you have been considering applying for Italian citizenship, it’s best to speak with a professional who can walk you through the process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Italian dual citizenship application.
Dual citizenship in Italy is a complex topic with many different facets. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about dual citizenship in Italy and the corresponding answers.
Do I Qualify for Dual Citizenship in Italy?
You may be eligible for dual citizenship in Italy if you have Italian heritage.
To qualify, you must meet certain requirements.
For example, you must have at least one parent who is a citizen of Italy. You must also be born outside of Italy. In addition, you must have resided in Italy for a certain period.
You can also qualify if you’re married to an Italian citizen or make a big enough business investment.
Speaking with an experienced immigration specialist is the best way to ensure you’re eligible and applying for the right type of visa or citizenship.
Is There a Language Requirement for Italian Citizenship?
No, there is no language requirement for Italian citizenship.
However, you will need to be able to speak basic Italian to complete the necessary paperwork and participate in the citizenship test.
What Documents Do I Need for Dual Citizenship in Italy?
Most foreign citizens need to obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and naturalization certificate (if applicable).
You will also need proof of Italian ancestry, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or death certificate of an ancestor born in Italy.
In addition, you will need to submit a completed application form and fee.
Fees vary, so it’s best to consult the most up-to-date costs when ready to apply.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Italian Citizenship?
The total cost of getting dual Italian citizenship through naturalization varies depending on whether you apply through marriage, investment, or descendants.
However, plan on paying a processing and application fee and additional fees for notaries, genealogy record requests, and more.
All in all, expect to pay anywhere between $8000 to $14,000 depending on your case.
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How Long Does It Take to Get Dual Citizenship in Italy?
The wait times for a judge to schedule a hearing are between six and 18 months.
In most cases, it takes six to eighteen months to complete the necessary paperwork and obtain final approval from the Italian government.
Should You Hire a Lawyer to Get Italian Citizenship?
The decision of whether or not to hire a lawyer to help you obtain Italian citizenship is a personal one.
There are several factors to consider, including your case’s complexity and budget.
However, we recommend hiring a lawyer.
This is especially true with the new rulings regarding court applications that went into effect in June of 2022.
Lawyers specializing in citizenship law can help ensure that your application is complete and accurate, and they can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
What’s the Best Italian Immigration Law Firm in 2023?
When looking for the best Italian dual citizenship service, remember one thing.
When you apply for Italian citizenship by descent, you need to make sure that you are using the services of the best immigration law firm.
Make sure you look for a firm with extensive experience handling the Italian dual citizenship application process.
They should have a team of knowledgeable and experienced lawyers who are well-versed in Italian immigration law.
They should also be able to assist you in gathering the required documents and help you with the paperwork and the online application process.
The firm should also be able to represent you in court if your application is denied.
If you’re interested in working with a company that can provide you with all of that and more, we are here to help.
Bersani Law Firm & Partner was declared the Best Italian Immigration Law Firm in March 2022. So, we have the experience to help ensure you’re successful with your citizenship application.
To get in touch regarding your case, contact us and a member of our team will reach out!