How to claim Italian citizenship by descent

Article Breakdown

How to claim Italian citizenship by descent

Italy Passport CoverIndividuals with Italian ancestors can claim Italian citizenship by descent or ancestry (Jus Sanguinis) if they are able to prove that the bloodline has been passed down. As long as the Italian parent has not lost his or her citizenship prior to the birth of his or her child, the citizenship is carried down to the next generation and the child can inherit Italian citizenship.

In the past, if another citizenship was obtained, Italian citizenship was forfeited. Those who have lost their Italian connection in this manner could nevertheless apply for Italian citizenship. Foreigners must generally have ten years of residence in Italy before applying for Italian citizenship through naturalization.

Which categories exist within Italian citizenship jure sanguinis?

An applicant for Italian citizenship through descent can typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Citizenship by descent (paternal line): Before the child’s birth, the male ancestor was not a naturalized citizen of another country. If the father did naturalize as citizen of another country before the birth, his Italian ties are severed and he can’t transmit citizenship.
  2. Citizenship by descent (1948 ruling / maternal line): This applies to women who could not previously pass the citizenship test. They essentially become the same as men, except that the filing is done in court and the process is speedier.
  3. Fast track naturalization: If you have an Italian grandfather or father but do not qualify under the first two categories, you can apply for fast-track naturalization after three years.

The first two categories necessitate maintaining the “legal” link. An Italian who became a naturalized American used to forfeit his Italian citizenship. As a result, he or she could not pass it on to one of his or her future offspring. Those born prior to their parents’ American naturalization were Italian by blood; if born in the United States, they were also American at birth.

The relationship was unlikely to be severed after that. If your Italian ancestor is male, you can begin the process of claiming Italian citizenship at an Italian consulate or Italian embassy near you. It could take two or three years. You can now petition an Italian court and receive a decision within a year. If the link is through a female ancestor, the process of obtaining Italian citizenship can be petitioned in an Italian court. Claiming citizenship could take a year.

Option 3 is for those who have an Italian father or grandfather but do not fit into the first two categories. The candidate must have maintained a residence permit for at least three years prior to applying for fast-track citizenship under this option. The mere possession of the permit for three years is sufficient to claim citizenship, and personal presence in Italy is not required. Nonetheless, most resident permit categories often include a 6-month actual presence in Italy requirement.
Italy Country Landscape Photo

Stages for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis

Year 1 / Stage 1 – The procedure for acquiring Italian citizenship by descent differs depending on the categories described above, according to current Italian laws. However, both categories 1 and 2 can now be filed in court, which is speedier way to recieve Italian citizenship than the consulate method. The first step is to see if your Italian connection has been severed. You can make an appointment with your local Italian consulate if your Italian ancestors could still pass citizenship. It could take two or three years before you get an appointment, giving you plenty of time to compile the necessary ancestral documentation. The Italian consulate will only accept your application if you have male ancestors. If you have female ancestors or want the procedure to move faster, you can use the 1948 ruling to petition directly to an Italian court. You could save one or two years in the process. If you require a resident permit, you can apply in Italy, which normally takes one month to arrive.

Year 2 / Stage 2 – If you petition the court under category 1 or 2, your case is likely to be approved by the court after one year and you will become an Italian citizen. If you applied at the Italian consulate, you’re probably still waiting for it to be completed, and if you needed a residence permit, you’ll have to wait another two years to be eligible for fast-track naturalization.

Year 4 / Stage 3 – If you applied at the consulate, your appointment should be coming up soon. If you have all of the necessary documentation, the Italian consulate should approve your request and forward it to the Ministry of Interior for review. You will soon receive your Italian citizenship certificate and passport. If you have lived in Italy for three years, you can now apply for naturalization. The Italian authorities require one to two years to process the application.

Rounded Italy Flag IconHow does Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis work?

Generally, people with any foreign citizenship can apply as if their ancestors were Italian citizens. The claims of citizenship based on Italian descent rely primarily on a traceable Italian ancestry whose citizenship was “jus soli” or “from the soil”. You may have an option for Italian dual citizenship and can get it by applying for this privilege.

To start, your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents can qualify you for Italian citizenship, but you can go back further if you have the proper papers.

Indeed, the oldest Italian ancestor from whom Italian citizenship by ancestry may be demonstrated must have been alive on March 17, 1861.

The ancestor who may qualify you for citizenship had to be born in Italy and a citizen of Italy at the time the applicant was born.

As a general rule, if your ancestor renounced Italian citizenship previous to your birth, you will not be able to apply through them.

Eligibility restrictions for jus sanguinis citizenship application in Italy

There are eligibility restrictions for you if you apply through a parent. Were you born prior to August 16, 1992? You’re in luck: you’ll be eligible to apply if your Italian parent did not naturalize to another country before your birth.

Let’s go back in time now. How do you know which of your ancestors came from Italy? Jure sanguinis Italian citizenship is typically passed down from Italian parents to their children.

However, if your family member was naturalized before June 14, 1912, he or she would not have been entitled to transfer citizenship to children born before the naturalization.

Furthermore, for children born before January 1st, 1948, the transmission of citizenship through the mother was not automatic.

Finally, those born between April 27th, 1965, and May 17th, 1967, had a one-year window commencing on their 18th birthday to get Italian citizenship by descent.

If they did not claim it, they would be unable to obtain Italian citizenship.

Italy Citizenship by Descent: CONDITIONS

To seek for Italian citizenship through descent by direct lineage, a number of prerequisites must be met. Examine all of the prerequisites for applying for Italian citizenship based on Italian heritage.

Ancestry in Italy: For obtaining Italian citizenship by descent, you must produce essential documentation proving your Italian origin and that the link was not broken.

For fast-track naturalization applications, you will have to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of Italian descent: all relevant documentation demonstrating your Italian background. This documentation includes all marriage certificates, birth certificates and death certificates for all ancestors up unto the main ancestor that was originally born in an Italian municipality.
  • Income statements for the previous three years – For the purposes of the long-term resident residency permit, you must meet the income, housing, and lack of pending suits conditions – this only applies to applicants that apply for fast track naturalization.
  • Police History: There have been no convictions for any of the offences listed in Book II, Title I, Chapters I, II, and III of the Criminal Code. There have been no convictions for an intentional crime for which the law stipulates a statutory penalty of at least three years in jail. An oath of loyalty to the republic.

Will I pass down my newly obtained Italian citizenship jure sanguinis?

When the application is approved, the applicant’s children will instantly become Italian citizens. If they have been married to the applicant for at least three years, the spouse can also receive Italian citizenship immediately away under categories 1 and 2. This can be reduced to two years if they have spent the previous two years in Italy. Spouses of persons granted Italian citizenship under category 3 must wait three years before applying for naturalization.

How some Americans could be eligible for Italian citizenship?

Some 17 million Americans may be astonished to learn that they are eligible for Italian citizenship under Italian law. This is known as their jure sanguinis, or “blood right.” An estimated 60 million people outside of Italy, including those in America, can acquire Italian citizenship. One important note is in order to claim Italian citizenship by descent, the ancestor should not have forfeited Italian citizenship (you can check this by consulting official naturalization records).

The departure of Italians from their homeland stretches back to the Italian unification wars, which left most of southern Italy poor and subject to the tyranny of northern authorities. These difficulties persuaded millions of southern Italians to migrate. America was a popular tourist destination, particularly from 1880 and 1924.

A century later, many Americans of Italian heritage are looking back to their roots and attempting to reconnect with them. Since their immigrant roots, Italian Americans have retained a strong identity in America. This is increasing demand for an Italian passport and maybe a different way of life by returning to Italy, especially as the United States appears less attractive than in previous decades due to perceived political instability.

Italian Citizenship Applications

In recent years Italian consulates around the world have been flooded with jus sanguinis claims from different parts of the world, specifically from the Americas. Many Italian immigrants to the United States, Argentina, Brazil and other countries left the Italian peninsula in search for a better life.

Does Italy allow dual citizenship?

Yes. Because the Italian government recognizes dual citizenship, you do not have to give up your current citizenship in order to apply. The Italian passport is one of the highest ranking passports in the world, so it’s definitely worth considering going through the entire process if you have Italian ancestors.

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about investment visas & updates.

You might also enjoy