Are there Drawbacks to Italian Dual Citizenship?
Are There Drawbacks to Obtaining Italian Dual Citizenship?
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. I’m on a mission to help people get Italian citizenship by descent, one passport at a time.
With this blog post, I hope to dispel some rumors about obtaining Italian dual citizenship and the impact of a second passport. I also want to answer the question, “Are there drawbacks to obtaining Italian dual citizenship?”
In Truth, There Aren’t Many Drawbacks to Italian Dual Citizenship
Let me state this 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 as spies for 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 draft you (they stopped doing that long ago). You must simply follow the laws as normal when you are in Italy. On the flip side, you will receive 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.
If You’re Eligible, You’re Actually Already a Citizen
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. 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.
Benefits of Italian Dual Citizenship
Italian dual citizenship means you enjoy citizenship advantages of both countries: Italy and the U.S.. You may qualify for pension in both countries. Also, you can enjoy cheaper healthcare and education throughout the EU. As an Italian dual citizen, you can enjoy every single benefit available to the citizens of Italy. This includes the right to vote in elections as well as to leverage tax shelters and benefits. You can also 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.
Better 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.
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.
One of the most basic reasons why Italian dual citizenship is beneficial is that you get to pass it on to your children. They then can pass it to their children and their children’s children in perpetuity. Thus, it can start an unbroken line of Italian citizenship. Italian dual citizenship is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Added Protection Abroad
If you’re in trouble abroad, you can appeal to two embassies or consulates as a citizen of two countries. You can also travel to places that are inhospitable to Americans with your Italian passport.
For the uninsured or underinsured, healthcare in the U.S. can be expensive. As an Italian citizen, you can apply for your tessera sanitaria to receive Italian healthcare. Good news: it’s world class and much more affordable than healthcare in the States.
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.
Maybe I’m a bit biased because I’ve been a dual U.S.-Italian citizen for over ten years, but I have had nothing but good experiences. To date, I have not experienced any drawbacks to Italian dual citizenship. If you are curious about obtaining an Italian passport and would like some help, please contact us for a customized quote!
Did you obtain an Italian passport? What opportunities or advantages did it give you? Tell us in the comments.
My grandfather was born in 1875 in Sicily and came to the US in 1903. My father was born in 1917. My grandfather was naturalized as a US citizen in 1924. My grandmother was born in Sicily in 1882 and came to the US in 1906. I don’t know if she became a naturalized citizen. Can I apply for Italian citizenship through my father’s bloodline?
Thank you for nay inoformation you can help me with.
Felicia Tornabene Peters
Based on that information, you DO qualify through your grandfather > father > you. Congratulations! Please contact us if you’d like us to help.
My grandmother was born in the US in 1928, but both of her parents were born and grew up in Palermo Sicily can I apply for Italian citizenship through my mothers bloodline?
It depends. You have to figure out if/when her parents became American citizens. If any time after her birth, you likely DO qualify.
My parents were both born in Italy . My husbands maternal grandparents were both born in Italy. Do we need to apply separately for dual citizenship?
It’s best to both apply separately for dual citizenship via heritage over one of you applying and the other tagging along via marriage (unless you were married to your husband before April 27, 1983). Citizenship by heritage can potentially take 24 months to process and there is no language requirement. Citizenship by marriage takes up to 48 months plus there is a language exam. However, the one exception to this rule is if you married your husband before April 27, 1983. If you married before then, he can apply for dual citizenship via heritage and you can “tag along” without… Read more »
I qualify but would have to do a 1948 case. Curious about the pension: I’m already 42. At this point I figure I probsbly don’t have enough working years left to pay into the Italian system to get an Italian pension?
You absolutely have time! The problem is finding an Italian job.
Best of luck to you.
My grandmother was born in Sicily and came to the USA around 1903. She married to Canadian grandfather. My dad was adopted by my grandparent when he was less than 2 years old but his biological mother is Italian (don’t know her history) but we are always considered that we are part of Italian heritage and I never know that he was adopted till my much later life. Also, I am in 60’s, can I still apply Italian citizenship through my grandmother? and would love to pass it along to my children.
In the case of adoption, what “matters” is the family the adoptee was adopted into. If your dad was adopted into a qualifying family before the age of 18, then he would qualify and so would you. You can apply for Italian citizenship at any age!
my grandmother and grandfather both were born and grew up in Italy, they moved to Canada and naturalized as Canadian citizens around 1960. My parents were born in canada shortly after they immigrated there. Would I be able to apply through either bloodline? Unsure if this helps at all but much of my family still lives in Italy from both my mom and dads side.
Thank you for any assistance!
Here is how you can figure out if you qualify:
If either one of your parents was born *before* his or her parent became a Canadian citizen.
Dig up some family records and check the dates. Good luck!
I was born in Italy went to the U
S and was naturalized along with my parents. I have been in Italy now for 4.5 yrs. My wife and I get SS benefits from US. Now Italy wants to make me take citizenship but people tell me not to as I may lose my benefits. The office in Verona wants me to pay 250/euros not to take citizenship. Don’t know what to do. They want me to come tomorrow to do this. I’m worried.
How did it go for you?
What about the reverse? Dual US / Italian citizen who works remote a portion of the year in Italy, for a US based company. At what point does Italy expect their fair share of taxes?
Good question! The best person to answer that would be a tax professional.
My great grandfather was born in Italy in 1882, he came to America in the early1900’s and married in 1906 in Boston, My grand father was born Boston in 1907, my mother was born in 1936 also in boston my great granfather became a US citizen in 1938. Do I qualify for dual citizenship?
Ys you do! Congrats.
Hello, I am a UK citizen and had an Italian Mother. My father was British. My Mother had 3 sisters and 1 brother. Her parents (my Grandparents) and her siblings all remained Italian citizens. So, my Mother was the only family member to leave Italy. She and my Father were married in Italy in 1946 and then settled in the UK. I have, of course many cousins in Italy, around 20, I think. These are the children and grand children of her siblings. I’ve recently been to Italy and met many of these cousins for the first time. It was… Read more »
You might qualify! Until the British Nationality Act of 1948, foreign women who married British men automatically gained British citizenship. However, this could potentially be challenged in Italian courts. Please reach out to use at email@example.com for an assessment of your case.
I was born in Calabria came to USA as a 7 yr child in 1954 do I have to apply for Italian citizenship ?
No. You most likely need to seek reacquisition (riacquisto della cittadinanza italiana). Try and speak to your local Italian consulate for more info.
Before granting Italian Citizenship to anyone outside of Italy….It should be MANDATORY….to have at least a basic knowledge of the Italian Language…Alas…this very precious citizenship, it is to my opinion, given out way too easily…..Crazy politicians in Rome….makes me so mad…..These prospective “Italians”…they all love Italy, and yet put forth no efforts whatsoever in wanting to learn both language and culture…..So sad…
While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, it is our experience that clients love Italy, make an effort to learn about the culture and language, and treat their heritage with great respect.
I was adopted but recently found my biological father. He is an Italian citizen and immigrated in the 60’s. His name is not on my birth certificate but biologically he is my father. How would I navigate this? I believe a vital record I.e my birth certificate is needed?
In this situation your best bet is to contact an Italian immigration attorney.
What you wrote is a bit confusing. If your great grandfather became an American citizen in the 1890s, then he automatically lost Italian citizenship the moment he became American (so he couldn’t have retained it). Do you mean he regained it at some point later in life?
My husband just found his father and uncles through ancestry.com they are from Sicily they now live in the USA his father is not included on his birth certificate when he was born can my husband and our daughter become dual citizens?
Hello there! With the advent of at home DNA kits, we get this question a lot. Unfortunately, Italian dual citizenship is recognized on the basis of what can be proven on paper. That is to say, your husband must show documentation (birth records, marriage records, naturalization records, etc.) that clearly show a link from his last Italian-born ancestor down to him. Now, even if his father is not listed on his birth record he *can* still qualify, but this will require his birth father to provide a notarized, sworn statement asserting paternity. If this is something that can be provided–and… Read more »
Both sets of my mothers grandparents (my great grandparents) were born in Italy. I believe that would qualify me for Italian Citizenship?
As long as just one of your great grandparents was still an Italian citizen at the time of your mother’s parent’s (so, your grandparent’s) birth, you should qualify. Of course there are other things to take into consideration such as the 1948 rule, but that is the gist of things. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free case evaluation!
It depends! Please take our easy-to understand quiz here to see if you are eligible: https://italiancitizenship.typeform.com/to/Abiw7p
I was born in Sicily in 1959. Came to the US in 1968 as a 10-year-old. Became a US citizen prior to turning 16. I would like to regain my Italian citizenship back. Do I qualify and what is needed to get this done. Thanks in advance. Regards, Joe