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How To Get Italian Citizenship by Descent

Discover the Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent.

Mission.

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Vision.

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If you discovered that you have Italian grandparents or great-grandparents in your family heritage, you might be wondering if you qualify to become an Italian citizen. The application process usually involves many paths and considerations, depending on your unique situation.

At Bersani Law Firm, we can assist you in making the process easier. Our team of Italian citizenship lawyers is experienced in handling different kinds of citizenship cases.

We can help you resolve all issues that you may find on your application or visa procedures. Get in touch with us to learn how to get Italian citizenship by descent.

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Are You Eligible for Italian Citizenship by Descent?

In most cases, Italy allows individuals with Italian ancestors to claim Italian citizenship by descent. It refers to “jure sanguinis” (or jus sanguinis), a Latin term for “right of blood.”

The jure sanguinis also indicates the process of getting Italian citizenship following the “Jus Sanguinis Italy” principle.

Once you become an Italian citizen, you are granted the same rights and privileges as the people born in Italy. You can also obtain a European Union passport.

However, it is not enough to have Italian grandparents or great-grandparents. You are not automatically entitled to claim Italian dual citizenship by descent.

It is crucial to research thoroughly and get as much information as you can about your Italian ancestry during this stage. You have to make sure that the Italian bloodline was transferred from your ancestor to you.

Our qualified Italian citizenship lawyers can help evaluate and determine your eligibility under certain conditions.

Who Is Not Eligible for Italian Citizenship by Descent?

You may not be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship by descent if you meet a few conditions under the “1912 Rule.” It is a major citizenship law (Law 555/12), which differs from the actual Italian citizenship legislation.

If an Italian ancestor naturalized in another country before 1912, their minor children also naturalized. Thus, the Italian bloodline was broken, and they lost Italian citizenship.

However, there are some exceptions to the 1912 Rule. In some cases, even if your Italian ancestor naturalized before 1912 with a minor child, you may still be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent.

This is possible if the next-in-line was born in a “jus soli” country, such as the United States. According to the jus soli rule, a person’s nationality or citizenship is determined by the place of birth, irrespective of the parents’ citizenship.

If you still cannot pass through the 1912 rule, you may consider the 1948 Italian citizenship case. It enables you to claim Italian citizenship by descent if there is a woman in your Italian ancestral line who had her child before January 1, 1948.

How To Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent

If you have checked your eligibility through your Italian ancestors, you may start choosing the best option for your case. There are three ways on how to apply for Italian citizenship by descent.

Italian Consulate

The first option to obtain an Italian passport through descent is by applying at the Italian Consulate. It is the administrative office that represents the Italian government abroad.

The administrative path is the most common way to get Italian citizenship by descent, especially if you live outside of Italy. You can submit your application at the Italian Consulate under the jurisdiction of where you are a formal resident.

Take note that the Italian Consulate operates on a discretionary basis. While the legal criteria of jure sanguinis citizenship are the same, consulates are not necessarily in line with each other.

Each consulate has slightly different requirements, procedures, and waiting times. That’s why getting Italian citizenship by descent may not be the same for every case.

The first thing to do is visit a local Italian Consulate, depending on where you live, and ask what documents they require.

If you encounter any issues with the Consulate, you can seek the help of Italian citizenship lawyers. We can assist you with all citizenship programs set by the Italian government, including Italian citizenship by descent and Italian dual citizenship.

Italian Comune

The second option is to apply for Italian citizenship by descent at the Comune. You can submit your application to the Italian municipality (or Italian Comune), where you are a resident.

This method is usually common for applicants wanting to relocate to Italy while waiting for their application for Italian citizenship by descent. However, some people advise against this option.

You can still choose to apply to the Italian Comune ONLY if you plan to come to Italy and stay for the long term. For this option, you need to be an Italian resident first.

If you are a non-EU resident, you need a short-term or long-term visa, then come to Italy to apply for a residence permit. Without doing these steps, you cannot apply at the Comune.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you risk being considered an Italian tax resident if you are an Italian resident. The extended stay is just a trick to avoid the Italian Consulate, which can result in harmful consequences.

For this reason, you need qualified Italian citizenship lawyers on your side. We can help you with Italian dual citizenship, Italian citizenship by descent, or a tourist visa (if needed; it is usually not recommended).

Italian Court

Another option to become an Italian citizen through descent is submitting your application to the Italian Court, particularly through the Italian Tribunal in Rome.

This method is mandatory if a woman in your Italian bloodline had her child before 1948. For example, Italian Great-grandfather – Grandmother – Father – You. It is known as the “1948 Italian Citizenship Case”.

If this is your case, you cannot apply for an Italian passport through descent at the Consulate. You need to go directly to the Italian Court and give Power of Attorney to Italian citizenship lawyers, like us.

Applying through the Italian Court is becoming widely popular right now, especially because the Italian Consulate is dealing with vast amounts of applications. In addition, most Consulates are closed or have suspended their appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Italian citizenship lawyers help obtain Italian citizenship by descent through Italian court. We can also help you with other citizenship programs, including 1948 Italian citizenship cases.

FAQs on How to Get Italian Citizenship by Descent

What Are the Requirements to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent?

The requirements for Italian citizenship by descent may vary for every individual. It also depends on the type of citizenship application you are submitting.

Generally, you will need to prove that the Italian bloodline remained unbroken. It may come in the form of your vital records and your Italian ancestors’ as well as their proof of naturalization (or no naturalization).

Do I Need to Apply for Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis Through the Italian Consulate?

Applying through the Italian consulate may not be ideal because it is impossible to book appointments at the Consulate right now. The processing time may also take up to two years.

What Kind of Italian Citizenship Assistance Do You Provide?

Our Italian Dual Citizenship by Descent program refers to various options that you can find during application. We can assist you in every step of the process and solve any issues that arise, so you can obtain your Italian passport.

What Cases Can You Help Me With?

We can help you with all kinds of citizenship programs offered by the Italian government, including Italian citizenship jus sanguinis and Italian citizenship by marriage.

Do I Need to Come to Italy for My Citizenship Application?

No, our Italian Citizenship Assistance program will not require you to come to Italy. We will handle everything and represent you in the Italian Court. You just need to sign a Power of Attorney, so we can submit your application.

Can I Apply for Italian Citizenship With Other Family Members?

Yes. If your family members are direct descendants of Italian ancestors, they can also apply in the same petition.

Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent Now

Whether you need to determine your eligibility or apply for Italian dual citizenship by descent, we are here to assist you. Let us know if you have any inquiries.

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