Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent
How can we help you?
At “ICD – Italian Citizenship by Descent”, we will help you apply for Italian Citizenship by descent. With the assistance of our team of Italian Immigration Lawyers and Italian Citizenship Lawyers, our clients can assert their rights.
With our specialized Italian Citizenship assistance services, you can learn how to get Italian citizenship by descent.
Check your Eligibility
We can check – for free – your eligibility under the program. Share with us your Family Tree, starting from your Italian ancestors, with all the relevant information you already got (birth dates, marriage, and death, eventual naturalization date).
Collect the relevant documents
We will assist you in getting the relevant documents from the Italian side and checking each document, before being ready for filing your Italian Dual Citizenship application through descent.
File your Application
Are you ready to apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent? Great! We will guide you on the process of application and we will file the application for you, when applicable.
Our team of professionals and qualified Italian Citizenship Lawyers will assist you with the entire process.
What is Jure Sanguinis?
Jure Sanguinis, also known as or Jus Sanguinis, means “right of blood” in Latin. The term is also interchangeable with “by descent.” Italy has friendly citizenship regulations and regards anyone of Italian ancestry to be “family.” Italy permits people of Italian origin to apply for Italian dual citizenship by descent in various instances.
Once given Italian birthright citizenship, a person is entitled to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by Italian citizens and the opportunity to get a European Union passport.
Qualifying for Italian Citizenship by Descent
To prove that you inherited a claim to citizenship through descent, you must show that citizenship was passed down to you from an Italian-born ancestor.
Until August 15, 1992, Italian citizenship was exclusive; As a result, for persons who were born with Italian citizenship, acquiring non-Italian citizenship of one’s own volition entailed the immediate renunciation of their Italian citizenship.
The children of Italian citizens that were born in the USA or other jurisdictions with jus soli (“right of the soil”), on the other hand, gained their foreign citizenship unwittingly as a result of their birthplaces. As a result, these children can only acquire Italian citizenship by descent if they can confirm that their Italian-born ancestor was an Italian citizen at the time of their birth. They can then pass down their citizenship to their children, grandkids, and so on, assuming they don’t lose citizenship along the way.
Italy is a signatory to the Strasbourg Convention on the Reduction of Multiple Citizenship Cases. According to this Convention, children with citizenship from a member country who were born outside of Italy may not have been eligible for Italian citizenship at birth. Furthermore, the Convention has extended the period during which Italians can lose their citizenship through naturalization in a different country to dates after August 14, 1992, if the naturalization takes place in a participating country.
You must have the following information before can begin your application for Italian citizenship by descent:
- The dates of birth of each relative in a direct line from you to your Italian ancestor (you’re not required to provide the precise dates, but you should know the year)
- The date when your Italian-born ancestor became a citizen of your country
Before you start the process for Italian dual citizenship by descent, ensure that your present citizenship is unaffected. This is not the case in the United States. You can have multiple passports in the United States and many other countries.
Additional Requirements for Italian Citizenship by Descent
The applicant and their ancestors must satisfy the following fundamental conditions to apply for Italian citizenship by descent:
- The Italian ancestor lived during the unification of Italy, which occurred on March 17, 1861.
- Before June 14, 1912, the Italian ancestor in the United States had not been naturalized.
- If your Italian ancestor became a citizen, it had to happen after the next relative in line was born. For instance, if your great-grandfather immigrated to the United States and was naturalized after your paternal grandfather was born, you would be able to petition for Italian dual citizenship by descent if the naturalization occurred after June 14, 1912.
- If your Italian ancestor never became a naturalized citizen, you’ll need to show a certification from the USCIS stating that no naturalization records exist, as well as a record of the ancestor’s alien file or a validated census report stating that the ancestor was not a US citizen.
- If your Italian ancestor was a woman whose birth date was before January 1, 1948, only her children and descendants born after January 1, 1948, are eligible to inherit Italian citizenship. Exceptions to this rule can only be sought by filing a case with the Rome Civil Court.
- If your Italian ancestor was born in one of these regions: Trentino Alto-Adige, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, or Veneto, you need to prove that he or she departed Italy after July 16, 1920, to qualify for Italian citizenship.
- Minor children born in Italy who relocated to the United States with their parents who gained “derivative citizenship” because of a parent’s naturalization in the United States forfeited their Italian citizenship and are unable to pass it on to their descendants.
Most Common Eligibility Categories
The most typical categories are shown below to assist you in determining your eligibility. Please keep in mind that many other reasons could jeopardize your ability to apply for Italian dual citizenship by descent. Even though your case does not seem to meet any of these eligibility conditions at first glance, you should consider having a professional assessment because numerous elements could benefit your claim that only qualified lawyers like Bersani Law Firm & Partners are aware of. The Italian Embassy and Consulates are not law firms and they do not provide free legal services to the public.
- Category 1: Your father was a citizen of Italy when you were born (in other words, he was not a citizen of the United States or another jurisdiction at the date of your birth);
- Category 2: Your mother was a citizen of Italy when you were born (she was not yet a citizen of the United States and given that your birthdate was January 1, 1948, or later);
- Category 3: Your paternal grandfather was a citizen of Italy, your father was born outside of Italy, either in the United States or in another nation, and at the time of his birth, your paternal grandfather was still a citizen of Italy;
- Category 4: Your maternal grandfather was a citizen of Italy, was born outside of Italy, either in the United States or in another nation, and at the time of her birth, your paternal grandfather was still a citizen of Italy, and given that your birthdate was January 1, 1948, or later;
- Category 5: Your maternal or paternal great-grandfather was a citizen of Italy, your maternal or paternal grandparent was born outside of Italy, either in the United States or in another nation, and your maternal or paternal great-grandfather was a citizen of Italy when your grandparents were born.
How To Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent
Individuals who wish to apply for Italian citizenship by descent must do so at the Italian Consulate in their country of lawful residence. Every Italian Consulate has somewhat distinct procedures in terms of required paperwork and translations, scheduling appointments, and waiting hours. The legal criteria for acquiring Italian citizenship by descent, on the other hand, are the same. Individuals who have obtained permanent residency in a municipality in Italy can also petition for Italian citizenship by descent.
Documents Required to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent
To apply for Italian citizenship by descent, you must submit certified copies of your family’s vital documents to the Consulate or your Italian municipality. These documents include the following:
Birth Certificates From the Commune in Italy
Your Italian ancestors’ birth certificates from the Italian commune where they were born are required. If you’re claiming Italian ancestry through a paternal grandparent, you’ll need certificates from both grandparents’ communes, as well as certificates from your parents. In other words, birth certificates are required for every generation in your direct ancestry.
You will require a verified copy of the relevant death certificate if your ancestors from Italy are no longer alive. Additionally, an apostille must be attached to this certificate, and it needs to be translated to Italian. In some circumstances, death records could be necessary.
Marriage Certificates From Italy
You’ll need a marriage certificate stating that your parents or other ancestors were married in Italy. If the marriage occurred in the United States, you’d need a valid copy of the marriage certificate as well as an apostille from the Secretary of State’s office.
If you are applying through your mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather and your parents or paternal grandparents do not have an Italian passport and official resident card, you will require a copy of their naturalization record.
Your Personal Civil Records
You must submit an authentic birth certificate, as well as a marriage certificate and, if relevant, the birth certificates of your children, with your application. If you’re divorced, you’ll also need a certified copy of your divorce papers and an apostille from the Secretary of State.
Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent Today!
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about Italian citizenship by descent or our services! The Bersani Law Firm & Partners will be glad to assist you in claiming your rights to becoming an Italian citizen.