Citizenship Newsletter

Is there a Generational Limit to Apply?

(Photo courtesy of  Cathy Strode)

A common misconception about Italian Citizenship by descent is that there is a generational limit. This is not true, in fact there are absolutely zero generational limits for Italian citizenship by descent. There are, however, numerous laws, regulations to follow and requirements to meet when determining eligibility for Italian citizenship by descent, that could determine some restrictions.

The initial step to take is to decide which ancestor of yours you would need to make your claim through. Though, the gender of your ancestor can make a difference. The process differs greatly, contingent upon whether you are proceeding through a family line starting with male or a line that includes a female ancestor. Where the two process may share similarities is that your ancestors in both cases must have been alive and a citizen of Italy after the formation and unification of Italy in 1861 (with the exception of few pre-unitary states that became part of the Italian nation at a later date).

If it would be necessary to go through a female ancestor who gave birth to her child (another part of your direct family line back to Italy), and gave birth 

before January 1st 1948, then you would not be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship under Italian law. In fact, prior to the promulgation of the 1948 Italian constitution, Italian-born women and women of Italian descent (who had the right to Italian citizenship) did not have the same rights as men and were unable to transfer their citizenship onto their children. This is why, if you have a female Italian ancestor in your Italian line going back to Italy, who gave birth to her child before 1948, you would not be considered as an Italian citizen by birth. Though, in these cases, it is still possible to pursue Italian citizenship via the court system, based on several legal precedents and a 2009 ruling of the Italian Supreme Court, which declared retroactively that citizenship could be transferred by a female ancestor even to children born before 1948. It would be necessary to go through a judicial process to make your claim for Italian citizenship because, as it currently stands, the law discriminating against women has not been repealed by the Italian parliament. 

However, if your ancestry goes through a female who gave birth 

on or after January 1, 1948, or through a male regardless of what year it was, these processes will be alike and both go through an administrative process through a consulate or comune (Italian municipality) in order to make your claim to petition for recognition of Italian citizenship by descent.

US - Italian Dual Citizenship

What are the main reasons more and more people are claiming back the Italian Citizenship?

In our (several) years of assisting our clients to get the Italian citizenships, we have identified these main areas, why people want to obtain the Italian Citizenship.

  • Reconnect to the Ancestors' Homeland
  • Being a European Union Citizen
  • Being allowed to work, study and live in the EU Countries without a visa
  • Transferring to their children the Italian Citizenship
  • Having easier access to public health.

There are two main ways to get the Italian citizenship back: either through blood (descendant) or through marriage.

How to apply through jus sanguinis (discendent):

  • Determine your last Italian born ancestor
  • Obtain naturalization records
  • Obtain Italian and American vital records
  • Apostille your American vital records 
  • Professionally Translate your American documents into Italian
  • Apply at the Italian consulate of your jurisdiction
  • Schedule your passport appointment

How to apply through jus matrimonii (marriage):

  • Obtain the Italian marriage certificate
  • Obtain the  birth certificate of applicant
  • Obtain the FBI criminal records
  • Obtain the Police background checks
  • Obtain the Authentication of documents 
  • Obtain the Professional translation with Certification
  • Obtain the Verification of Italian language knowledge - Level B1

Interested? Curious? Join us for a Seminar on January 9, 2020. We will be happy to explain in more details the process and help you obtaining your Italian Citizenship.