Ciao a tutti!
If this is your first time on this blog, please allow me to introduce myself: I am an Italian/U.S. dual citizen and the owner and operator of Get Italian Citizenship, Inc., an Italian dual citizenship consulting company. With this blog post, I hope to dispel some rumors about obtaining Italian dual citizenship and the impact a second passport may have on your U.S. citizenship.
Let me state unequivocally that as an Italian dual citizen, I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are few, if any, drawbacks to holding both a U.S. and an Italian passport. The two that most often come up are:
- Remembering to use your U.S. passport when leaving the U.S. and your Italian one when entering the EU for convenience
- You may not be eligible for positions with the U.S. government barring dual citizenship or requiring very high level security clearance
But since most of us are not vying for positions for spies of the U.S. government, you might be relieved to know that you will encounter almost no negative impact from having dual citizenship. Unlike the U.S., Italy will not tax its citizens abroad. If you are an Italian/U.S. dual citizen living in the U.S., you can continue to file your taxes as normal without any added steps for the Italian government. Additionally, Italy will not call you to the draft (they stopped doing that long ago), nor will you be compelled to do anything else in Italy besides follow the laws as normal when you are there. On the flip side, you will be given privileges like the ability to vote in Italian elections and to earn an Italian pension if you work in Italy for long enough to pay in to the pension scheme.
In fact, you may be surprised to find out that you are already an Italian citizen under the eyes of Italian law. Italian citizenship jure sanguinis is your birthright and as far as Italy is concerned, you are a citizen in waiting because your status has not been “claimed” yet. Obtaining your Italian passport is nothing more than merely a legal recognition of the citizenship you have already possessed since you were born. Really!
Since there are practically no drawbacks to obtaining Italian dual citizenship, it’s more practical to discuss the benefits of obtaining an Italian passport:
Citizenship benefits: Italian dual citizenship means you enjoy citizenship advantages of both countries: Italy and the U.S.. You may qualify for pension in both countries, not to mention cheaper healthcare and access to cheaper higher education throughout the entire European Union. As an Italian dual citizen, you would be legally entitled to every single benefit that is made available to the citizens of Italy, including the right to vote in elections as well as to leverage tax shelters and benefits, and seek healthcare not available in the U.S. at affordable costs.
Ease of travel: Italian dual citizenship will allow you to travel, stay and work unrestricted in the E.U. You will never have to worry about a visa ever again and can live in Italy (and within the EU) for as long as you want, completely unrestricted as is your right.
Employment prospects: European employers or employers sending their workers to Europe for extended periods of time will see your Italian citizenship as an asset. Your passports mean less bureaucratic hassle for them and will be a point in your favor.
For entrepreneurs, having Italian citizenship means that going into business within the European Union is also significantly easier than it is for Americans with single citizenship.
Affordable education: Education in Italy is extremely affordable, as is education in much of the E.U. Italian citizenship allows you and your children to study in Italy and pay EU tuition rates within EU universities. This means significant savings.
Hereditary benefits: One of the most basic reasons why Italian dual citizenship is beneficial is the fact that you get to pass it on to your children (and their children and their children’s children in perpetuity) in an unbroken line of Italian citizenship. Italian dual citizenship is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Added protection abroad: If you get in trouble while abroad, you may be allowed to appeal to two embassies or consulates since you are a citizen of two countries. You can also travel to places that are inhospitable to Americans with your Italian passport.
Healthcare: For the uninsured or underinsured, healthcare in the U.S. can be expensive. As an Italian citizen, you are entitled to apply for your tessera sanitaria to receive Italian healthcare which is world class and much more affordable when compared to healthcare in the States.
Purchasing property: Having Italian dual citizenship entitles you to hassle free property renting and buying. For an Italian citizen, the bureaucracy of home ownership will be significantly pared down.
Did you obtain an Italian passport? What opportunities or advantages did it give you? Tell us in the comments.