Category: tips and tricks

Do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship?

If you’ve clicked on this post, you’ve probably asked yourself the question “Do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship?”

The good news is that your grandparents may have passed down much more than just an awesome recipe for sauce. They may have actually passed down Italian dual citizenship to you!

But even if your Italian ancestry is more distant, you might still be eligible! As long as you can answer a few simple questions, you can determine whether or not you qualify.

In this post, I’ll walk you step by step through the process of qualifying. Since 2005, I’ve helped hundreds of people become Italian citizens –this is what I do day in and day out.

But first, I’ll explain what Italian dual citizenship actually is.

 

What is Italian dual citizenship?

It’s really as simple as it sounds. Italian dual citizenship means having your native-born citizenship (such as US) and Italian citizenship at the same time. The United States and Italy both allow dual citizenship, so you’re free to hold passports from both countries. If you’d like to know more about traveling on an Italian passport, I have a nifty page here chock full of good tidbits of information.

 

Do I have to be American to figure out if I’m eligible through this post?

Absolutely not. Our company helps people from all over the world qualify and apply for Italian dual citizenship. Australians can be Italian dual citizens. So can Canadians, Mexicans, Argentines, Brazilians, and anyone else born in a jure soli country. But don’t worry about that term just yet. I’ll explain it in the next two paragraphs.

Click here for a full list of jure soli countries

 

Italian citizenship is based on the principle of “jure sanguinis”

Jure sanguinis is a Latin term meaning “by right of the blood.” This means that Italian citizenship is passed from parent to child. In other words, any child born to an Italian parent is automatically an Italian citizen.

Compare this system to the one that we have in the US, jure soli. In Latin, jure soli means “by right of the soil.” Therefore, anyone born in the United States is automatically an American citizen regardless of who his or her parents are. Conversely, this is not the case for Italian citizenship. Simply being born in Italy is not enough to be an Italian citizen. As we discussed above, you must have at least one Italian parent to be entitled to Italian citizenship at birth.

 

Italian citizenship is passed down across generations

If you don’t have an Italian parent (but you have an Italian grandparent, great grandparent, or great great grandparent), you’re probably wondering “well, do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship or not?”

The good news is you probably do. Let me explain.

According to Italian law, Italian citizenship is passed down from one generation to another in a never-ending chain, as long as the chain is not broken and you meet all the requirements. And the only thing that could possibly break the chain is naturalization (becoming an American citizen).

So, if you have an Italian-born ancestor who was still an Italian citizen at the time of his or her child’s birth, you more than likely qualify through that Italian ancestor. Italian dual citizenship will have passed down from one generation to another, just waiting to be recognized. This is how people two, three, or even four generations removed from Italy qualify for Italian dual citizenship.

In fact, if you qualify you’ve actually been a citizen since birth. Going through the process of obtaining your citizenship is simply asking the Italian government to legalize a status you already possess.

A practical example of someone who qualifies
John was born in New York in 1989. His dad William was also born in New York in 1954. William’s dad Francesco (John’s grandfather) was born in Italy in 1920. Francesco became an American citizen in 1960, four years after William’s birth. Because Francesco was an Italian citizen at the time of William’s birth, both William and John qualify for Italian dual citizenship.
An example of someone who doesn't qualify
Marie is John’s cousin. She was born in New York in 1987. Her father James was born in New York in 1961, seven years after his brother William was born. Francesco (Marie’s and John’s grandfather) was born in Italy in 1920, and became an American citizen in 1960. Because Francesco lost his Italian citizenship and became American one year before James’ birth, neither James nor Marie qualify for Italian dual citizenship.

 

Before you ask–no, you don’t have to speak Italian. And no, you don’t have to be a certain percentage Italian to qualify.

If you are eligible, this is your birthright! You do not need to pass any Italian language exam. In the same vein, if you qualify, you qualify… no matter how much (or how little) Italian heritage you have. The law is very clear on this.

 

But wait, there are other rules to qualifying!

Depending on your family situation, qualifying for an Italian passport can be as simple as we described above. However, there are other rules to keep in mind when answering the question “do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship?”

You’ll have to keep in mind the following factors before you can truly figure out your eligibility.

 

So do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship or not?

See if you can answer the below questions to figure out your eligibility.


Your Italian ancestor was alive anywhere in the world on or after March 17, 1861

On this date, Italy became a unified country. Before this time, there was no such thing as the country of Italy as we know it today. If your ancestor was born in most parts of what we now call Italy and was alive on this date, s/he automatically gained Italian citizenship. Therefore, if your Italian-born ancestor died before this date, s/he was never actually Italian and could not have passed on Italian citizenship.


Your Italian ancestor was still an Italian citizen at the time of his/her child's birth

As long as your ancestor was still an Italian citizen when his or her child was born, you may qualify. This means that it’s okay if your ancestor became an American citizen; it just must have occurred sometime after the birth of his or her child.


If your ancestor ever did become an American citizen, it must have been after July 1, 1912

This is an important date to remember. On July 1, 1912, Italy’s modern citizenship laws came into effect. If your ancestor became an American before this date and lost Italian citizenship, s/he would not have been able to pass it down to a child, even if the child was born before the loss of Italian citizenship. This is a hard cut off date, so be sure to look carefully when checking naturalization records.


If there are any women in your direct line of ancestry, their children must have been born on or after January 1, 1948

On January 1, 1948, Italy adopted its modern Constitution. Before this date, women could not pass on citizenship to their children. There are two exceptions: 1) when the father was missing, deceased, or unknown, and 2) when the father’s own foreign citizenship did not automatically pass down to the children. Therefore, if you have any women in your direct line between you and your last Italian-born ancestor, you cannot apply for citizenship through the normal channels. More about this below.


 

What if my ancestor never became an American citizen?

If your Italian ancestor never became an American citizen, it’s almost certain that you qualify. As long as you meet the other established criteria (and can prove no naturalization occurred), you’re eligible.

 

What if my female ancestor had her child before January 1, 1948?

Not to worry. There’s hope for you if you fall into this category!

Even though you don’t technically qualify under current Italian law, you can still apply. The reason is because since 2009, Italian courts have ruled the law barring women from passing down citizenship before 1948 unconstitutional. That means it can be challenged (and won) in court. Thousands of people have done this and continue to do this every year.

To do this, you must hire an Italian attorney (or a firm like ours) to represent you. The good news is that you do not need to be present in Italy. And even better, an unlimited number of family members can join your case at the same time.

For more information about these so-called 1948 cases, click here.

 

I figured out that I qualify. How do I apply?

You’ll either have to apply at an Italian consulate in the country where you live or directly in Italy.

Essentially, Italy wants you to apply where you have your permanent residence. If that’s in the US, find the Italian consulate which services your location. If that’s in Italy, it’ll be at the comune (town) where you officially live.

Applying at an Italian consulate
If you wish to apply at your consulate, you must first obtain an appointment. Consulates use a system called “Prenota Online” where you can sign up and pick a date on a calendar right on their website. Note that Italian dual citizenship is very popular so dates go by very quickly. It is not unheard of to book an appointment 3-5 years in advance. In the meantime, you can spend your time gathering documents.
Applying in Italy
You can apply in Italy as long as you are residing in Italy. You will file your application at the “ufficio di stato civile” after the comune confirms your residency.

 

What documents will I need?

In order to apply, you have to recreate your family tree. This involves various documents such as birth, death, marriage, and naturalization records.

You must obtain certified copies of the following vital records:

  • Your Italian ancestor’s birth certificate.
  • Your Italian ancestor’s marriage certificate.
  • Birth certificates for you, your parents, and everyone in a direct line between you and your Italian ancestor.
  • Marriage certificates for you, your parents, and everyone else in a direct line between you and your Italian ancestor.
  • Death records for anyone in your direct line, if applicable (inclusive of your Italian ancestor).
  • Naturalization records for your Italian ancestor and/or proof of non-naturalization.
  • Divorce decrees, if applicable.
  • Name change documents and/or amendments if your documents show discrepancies in names, place, and dates.

Additionally, all non-Italian documents must be translated into Italian. Finally, every non-Italian document must be legalized with an apostille.

Note: if you apply in Italy, you most likely will not need divorce records and death records. When you apply at a consulate, they will most likely require these records. Italian consulates have a lot of leeway over what documents they accept, so they may require more documentation than the ones stated above. Some consulates will require both direct line and non-direct line documents, i.e. if your Italian ancestor is your dad, they may also require your mom’s birth certificate.

 

How long does it take to get Italian dual citizenship?

It depends. It may take anywhere from 3-5 years to obtain a consular appointment (sometimes longer). Once your application is handed in, it can take up to 24 months for processing. If you apply in Italy, timeframes are drastically reduced and you can expect to be done with everything in 12 months or less (assuming everything goes right, of course!).

 

I don’t qualify. What do I do if I still want Italian dual citizenship?

If you don’t qualify but still have Italian ancestry, there are other options for you.

Naturalizing as an Italian citizen
If you have an Italian parent or grandparent, you can still obtain Italian dual citizenship rather easily. After living in Italy legally for three years, you are eligible for naturalization. People without Italian ancestry normally have to wait for ten years to apply, but your wait time is cut by seven years.
Marriage to an Italian citizen
If you marry an Italian citizen, you are eligible for Italian dual citizenship. If you live in Italy, you must be married for 2 years before applying but if you live abroad, you must wait for 3 years before applying. When you have children under 18, these wait times are cut in half. It takes 48 months to process a citizenship by marriage application, and applicants must speak Italian at a B1 level according to the Common European Framework for languages.

Still confused and can’t answer the question, “do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship?” Not to worry. We can help! At Get Italian Citizenship, Inc., we’ve helped hundreds of clients obtain their Italian passports and we can help you too! Simply contact us today for assistance. 

Want to Live in a Post-Brexit EU? Try this Citizenship “Loophole”

According to the latest 2015 UN global migration database figures, there are around 1.24 million Brits living in Europe. But with a looming Brexit, what are they to do if they wish to remain in the EU? While many scramble to legalize their immigration status, there exists a little-known citizenship loophole that allows some Brits to live in a post-Brexit EU with relative ease: Italian citizenship by descent.

If eligible, these potential Italian dual citizens can obtain an Italian passport and regularize their status as EU citizens without much fanfare. In these cases, it is just a matter of proving eligibility. There is no monetary investment involved, no background investigation, no requirement for residency, and no language proficiency test. If you qualify and want to remain in the EU, post-Brexit you should get started ASAP.

The Legal Background

Italian citizenship law is based on the principle of jure sanguinis. This is a Latin term meaning “by right of the blood.” Therefore, Italian citizenship is passed down from parent to child no matter where a child is born. Conversely, if a child is born in Italy to foreign national parents, that child is not automatically an Italian citizen.

This is in contrast with the principle of jure sanguinis (Latin for “by right of the soil”). In jure soli countries such as the United States, any child born on local territory is an automatic citizen by birth. Even if his or her parents are foreign nationals, any child born in the United States is granted citizenship by birth.

Law no. 555 of 1912

Where these concepts get interesting is Italian Law no. 555 of 1912. This law states that any child born in a jure soli country to an Italian citizen parent is an automatic Italian citizen. And since jure soli laws do not interfere with jure sanguinis laws, it follows that a child can be born an American citizen jure soli and an Italian citizen jure sanguinis. In essence, Italy operates on the principle of birthright citizenship and anyone who qualifies is not actually applyingfor citizenship, but instead seeking formal recognition of a status that he or she has maintained since birth.

Additionally, Italian law places no limit to generations. Once Italian citizenship is successfully passed from parent to child, that child can pass it on to his children and so on. Rinse and repeat across a perpetual number of generations until someone seeks formal recognition and this person gets to stay in the EU post-Brexit.

This also means that each single generationdoes not need to ask for recognition in order for the citizenship to exist. Since the citizenship is passed down latently, you can seek recognition at any time even if the generations before you don’t.

In other words, Italian dual citizenship can get passed down indefinitely just waiting for someone in your family to be recognized. That someone may be you.

How to Apply for Italian Dual Citizenship in Order to Stay in the EU Post-Brexit

In order to apply for Italian citizenship by descent, you must do two things:

  • Prove your viable claim to citizenship
  • Reconstruct your family tree

You do this by collecting various vital records such as birth, marriage, death, naturalization, etc., translating them, legalizing them with an apostille, and handing them in to the competent Italian authority.

Where to Apply

According to Italian Circolare k. 28 del 1991, where you seek recognition of Italian dual citizenship depends on where you are currently residing.

If you live outside Italy, you must file your application at the Italian consulate or embassy with jurisdiction over your location. If you live in Italy, you must file your application at the comune level.

Keep in mind that if you intend to apply in Italy, you’ll need to be establishing residence there first. This involves renting a house or apartment in your own name or having a landlord, friend, or family member file a declaration of hospitality showing that you will be their guest throughout the process.

What Are the Italian Dual Citizenship Requirements?

In order to be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, you need to meet all of the following requirements:

Your Italian ancestor:

  • Must have been alive anywhere in the world on March 17, 1861. This was the date of Italian unification. If your ancestor died before this date, s/he was never actually an Italian citizen and thus could not pass on Italian citizenship.
  • Must not have been a naturalized citizen of another country by March 17, 1861.
  • Eithernevernaturalized as a citizen of another country or naturalized after July 1, 1912.
  • If your ancestor did naturalize after July 1, 1912, it must have also been after the birth of his or her child.

You and your intermediate ancestors:

  • Must never have renounced your right to obtain Italian dual citizenship. Renunciation of the right to have Italian dual citizenship is a formal process wherein you must formally swear your intention to never obtain Italian citizenship in front of a consular officer and an Italian flag.

There are special rules governing female Italian ancestors and Italian citizenship via maternal ancestry. These are as follows:

Italian Dual Citizenship via Maternal Descent

  • Any women in your direct line of descent must have had their child on or after January 1, 1948.

Before January 1, 1948, Italian women could not pass on Italian citizenship to their children. However, there were very few exceptions to these rules:

  • When the children were born to an unknown father
  • When the children were born to a stateless father
  • If father’s own foreign citizenship did not pass on automatically to the children

If you have a female ancestors whose child was born before this date, you are what is colloquially known as a “1948 case.” Applicants with a 1948 case can still apply for recognition of Italian dual citizenship but cannot do so at the consulate or directly in Italy. Instead, these applicants must hire an Italian attorney to petition the court in Rome for their citizenship on the basis of the discriminatory nature of these laws. Note, however, that these cases take anywhere from a year to 18 months and you may not be able to stay in the EU post-Brexit the entire time.

Practical Examples

  1. John was born in the UK in 1989. His dad William was born in the UK in 1954. His grandfather Salvatore was born in the UK in 1921. Salvatore’s dad Vito was born in Italy in 1890 and became an American citizen in 1944, 23 years after Salvatore’s birth. Because of this, Salvatore, William, and John are all Italian dual citizens and can seek formal recognition.
  2. James was born on February 12, 1947 in the UK to Elena, an Italian citizen. James also has a younger sister Kay who was born on November 10, 1950. Because James was born before January 1, 1948 to an Italian woman he cannot apply for citizenship at the consulate or in Italy. He must hire an Italian attorney to file his case in the Court of Rome. Kay, however, was born after the cutoff so she can apply through the normal consulate and/or Italy channels.
  3. Brian was born in the UK in 1970. His father Donald was born in the UK in 1940. His grandfather Vincenzo was born in Italy and moved to the UK in 1930, becoming a citizen in 1933. Because Vincenzo became a citizen before Donald’s birth, Donald and Brian are both ineligible for Italian dual citizenship through him.

What Does Becoming an Italian Dual Citizen Involve?

Determining eligibility

Before you can do anything else, you must determine eligibility for Italian dual citizenship. We recommend looking for your last Italian-born ancestor’s naturalization records as this date is key for determining eligibility. If you are from the United States, you can start your search by ordering records from the National Archives and Records Administrationand the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Gathering documents

Once you have established an eligible claim, you must gather all the documents needed for Italian citizenship. Depending on where you apply – consulate vs. Italy – this list may vary. However, the general list of documents you’ll need for a post-Brexit Italian dual citizenship application is as follows:

For your last Italian-born ancestor:

  • Italian birth certificate (“estratto dell’atto di nascita”)
  • Marriage certificate (“estratto dell’atto di matrimonio” if married in Italy), with translation into Italian and apostille if marriage occurred outside Italy
  • Naturalization records with translation into Italian and apostille
  • Death records
  • If your ancestor never naturalized, you will need proof of non-naturalization an official government body

For you and your intermediate ancestors:

  • Birth certificates with translation into Italian and apostille
  • Marriage certificates with translation into Italian and apostille
  • Death certificates with translation into Italian and apostille

How to Handle Discrepancies on Documents

It is inevitable that with so many documents to procure you may find date, name or place discrepancies. In these cases, the severity of the discrepancy will determine how you must react. If, for example, your last Italian-born ancestor’s birth name was Francesco but he used Frank on all his UK documents, it is likely that the consular officer will allow your application to go through without incident.

However, if you have more severe discrepancies such as Francesco becoming David, you’ll need to rectify them. Depending on where your document is from, you may be able to amend it without a court order. However, to do this you must show ample evidence.

We recommend that if you have multiple severe discrepancies across multiple documents you obtain what is known as an Order of One and the Same Person or the UK equivalent. A judge can look over all of your documents and evidence and issue an order rectifying the discrepancies one and for all in one single document. All Italian consulates and comuni accepted these document game changers for your post-Brexit needs.

Filing the Italian citizenship application

Once you have gathered everything that you need for your recognition of Italian citizenship to remain in the EU post-Brexit, it is time to make an appointment. There are dozens of Italian consulates and most handle about 2,500 cases per year, with some handling up to 9,000.

The consulates use the “Prenota Online” calendar system to book appointments. Be sure to check every day at 12 am Rome time for new appointments as they do go fast. If you cannot find an appointment right away, keep trying.

Your appointment

At your appointment, you will meet with the consular officer who will start a file in your name. The officer will look over all of your documents to make sure you have everything. If everything looks good, they’ll send your application for processing. If you need documents, the officer will tell you in writing what’s missing so that you may cure any deficiencies.

After they send your application for processing the consulate will check that neither you nor your intermediate ancestors renounced the right to have dual citizenship. If nothing turns up, the highest ranking officer will sign your citizenship into effect. Then, a consular officer will contact to inform you of your application’s acceptance.

Processing may take anywhere from 1 to 2 years so be prepared for a wait. Though you might not be recognized in time to stay through post-Brexit, when you are recognized you can use your EU passport to once again live in the EU.

AIRE and your passport

Once you are recognized, you must either enroll in AIRE (Registry of Italians Abroad) to obtain your passport if living outside Italy, or you can then obtain your passport from your local police precinct (questura) if living in Italy. In a post-Brexit world, your Italian passport will come in extremely handy.

Costs for Italian Dual Citizenship

Besides the cost of gathering all your documents, translating, and legalizing them, there is a fee for your application. If you apply at the consulate, prepare to pay 300 euros. If you apply in Italy, the application fee is usually waived. This fee is nonrefundable even if your application is unsuccessful.

Additionally, there may be costs if you choose to hire an Italian dual citizenship service provider. An Italian dual citizenship service provider can handle all of your documents professionally. Additionally, they can assist on the ground with an application in Italy.

Would you like to remain in the EU, Post-Brexit?

Since 2005,  Get Italian Citizenship, Inc. has helped hundreds of clients obtain Italian passports. We offer a suite of Italian dual citizenship services. Hire us to help you determine eligibility for Italian dual citizenship, gather a professionally-prepared Italian citizenship application, or even apply in Italy.

 

How Long Does It Take to Get Italian Citizenship?

One of the things that client asks me most is: how long does it take to get Italian citizenship? The truth is—like with many things Italian—that answer is not as easy as it seems!

Therefore it’s no surprise that when it comes to Italian citizenship, there are a ton of variables. Many of these variables are not under your control, either. You may have done everything right and still find yourself waiting for a decision that’s out of your hands. But while it is frustrating, there are certain things you can do to speed up the process.

In this post, I’ll explain everything that goes into becoming an Italian citizen by descent and finally answer the question, how long does it take to get Italian citizenship?

Figuring Out Eligibility

The first thing you need to do is figure out if you’re eligible! You can’t apply for recognition of Italian citizenship unless you’re actuallyentitled to it. So, this is the first step for everyone, no matter how many generations removed you are from your Italian ancestor.

Some people get lucky and know if they qualify right away. Others might have an idea they qualify and know the information they need to find out. Finally, others will have very little idea of their Italian ancestors’ names, dates of birth, and places of birth… and will need to do some digging.

This step may take some time because you’ll have to dig up old records and/or locate new copies if you don’t have them. You’ll be spending most of your time obtaining naturalization records from USCIS, NARA, and your local county clerks’ offices.

About a year ago, USCIS had a backlog of 12+ months! But things have gotten much better. Now, these timeframes can vary but it usually only takes a few months to get the naturalization records you need and determine eligibility.

Total time: A few months.

Gathering Your Application

This is the meat and potatoes of your application. During this phase, you’ll gather all the birth, marriage, death, and other records you’ll need for your Italian dual citizenship application. This is when the question “how long does it take to get Italian citizenship?” starts to become clearer.

Timeframes will vary depending on the states which hold your records. Some states are very quick and have turnaround times of mere days.

Others like New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania can have you waiting months. Right now (August 2019) New York is facing a huge backlog of requests from New Yorkers around the country for their vital records, in order to comply with new Real ID laws. These are things that you have to anticipate and are unfortunately out of your control.

Total time: Days to months. 

Getting Translations and Apostilles

Translations shouldn’t take too long. If you hire a professional, you could potentially have yours done within two weeks or sooner.

Apostilles as well shouldn’t take too long. Most states will issue them and return them to you within weeks.

Total time: A few weeks.

The Appointment

This is likely going to be the longest wait. Currently, each Italian consulate processes roughly 2,500 applications yearly. If you do the math, that’s 25,000 applications a year (there are 10 Italian consulates in the United States).

Now, consider that on top of all these applications consulates must help Italian citizens in trouble, issue visas, repatriate remains, etc. Consular workers are overworked, and Italian consulates are chronically understaffed.

Therefore, each consulate puts out a certain number of applications at any time to limit the flow of applicants. Depending on your consulate, it may take you up to 10 years just for your application to be seen. However, there are some consulates which will see you in one year or less.

In Argentina and Brazil, people routinely wait 15 or even 20 years for an appointment. So, the motto here is: sit back, relax, and keep refreshing the calendar to see if new appointments open up!

Total time: Up to 10 years.

Wait Times for Processing

Once you go to your Italian dual citizenship appointment and hand everything in, you’ll have to wait for processing. A whole bunch of things happen here, such as:

  • The consulate starts a file for you, and double checks to make sure you’re eligible.
  • Once they check your eligibility again, the consular officer prepares an official statement explaining your path to eligibility.
  • The consulate will check to make sure neither you, nor your family members have renounced their right to Italian citizenship.
  • The consul general will sign your citizenship into effect.

This portion of the process can take anywhere from 1-2 years. Remember that consulates are busy and have to juggle many things on a daily basis! Just be patient and they’ll get to you.

Total time: Up to 2 years.

Issuance of the Passport

Once you’re a citizen, your consulate may request you wait a little while before obtaining a passport appointment. Usually, however, you can obtain your passport within 6-8 weeks after you are recognized.

Total time: 6 to 8 weeks.

Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Get Italian Dual Citizenship?

Now that you know all the variables that go into your application for Italian dual citizenship, you have a better idea of how long the process takes.

While many of these steps rely on factors outside of your control, there are ways to speed up the process, such as:

  • Hiring a professional firm to figure out if you’re eligible. An Italian dual citizenship service provider will know what to look for right away to save you time and money.
  • Going with a professional translator for your documents. Hiring a friend or amateur translator may cost you time and money, as the translations may need to be redone.
  • Potentially applying in Italy. By applying in Italy and skipping the consulate, you can cut out the wait time for the initial appointment. For those in a rush, this is a huge time saver!

Total Time for Italian Dual Citizenship

All in all, you may be looking at a few years to obtain Italian dual citizenship at a minimum. Remember that this process is a multi-stepped on, where you must figure out eligibility, obtain required documents, attend your citizenship appointment, and wait for recognition. Therefore, obtaining Italian dual citizenship is not an automatic process and there is always a wait involved.

Would You Like to Apply for Italian Dual Citizenship?

Hopefully this post has answered the question “how long does it take to get Italian citizenship?” and you’re aware of all the variables. But if you still want some extra help, we’re here! Want to apply for recognition of your birthright as an Italian citizen? Or perhaps you have some questions and want to speak to the experts? Reach out to us anytime for more information. We’re glad to help!

 

 

Italian Citizenship Assistance – Everything You Need to Know Before Choosing a Service Provider

So, you’ve made up your mind.

You’re biting the bullet and going ahead with your Italian citizenship application. But the daunting journey of finally getting Italian citizenship makes you feel like David standing before Goliath. Only thing is, you have no slingshot – or so you think.

I bet that’s why you’re considering ditching your plans of going the DIY route and engaging professionals like Get Italian Citizenship, isn’t it? Well, that’s your slingshot right there.

Enlisting the help of an Italian citizenship assistance provider is the best decision you can make to increase the chances of your application succeeding. Here are some important factors to take into consideration when looking for a service provider to partner with.

Italian Citizenship Assistance – 5 Important Factors to Consider

There are a few Italian citizenship service providers around today, with more popping up every year. All you must do to find one is Google the term “Italian citizenship assistance” and you’ll find a host of available options, many of whom have paid money to advertise first on the page.

Good as that may seem, that’s a big problem.

It’s a problem because not all of them are reputable. And unfortunately, not all of them can deliver on their promises. So how do you know which one to pick? Consider these five questions when choosing which company you’ll give your business.

1. Do I Need Assistance?

One question many people ask before applying for Italian citizenship is whether they actually need assistance. After all, all the details in the application are yours, aren’t they?

The short answer – you can do it on your own.

So why enlist the help of an agency? It really depends on your comfort level and tolerance for tedious record gathering and hard to understand Italian bureaucracy.

Getting Italian citizenship is not an easy process. It’s not for the faint-hearted. You might find yourself going down one path only to find out you don’t qualify and you have to start over, when a pro could have found that information out in ten minutes. Some of our clients embark on the journey on their own and end up seeking our assistance halfway through the process. Here are some of the factors that make it so tough:

The process is long and complicated

One factor that leads many to get Italian citizenship assistance is the fact that the process can be long and complicated. Couple that with the fact that all the laws governing this process are only available in Italian and you have a recipe for disaster if you don’t like a bit of detective work! With many different types of documents to collect and with each demanding different requirements (like some documents needing nothing at all while others require translation and an apostille), going it alone can lead to you:

    • Making mistakes
    • Taking too long to gather the necessary information
    • Giving up

You Need to Have Knowledge of Some Italian Citizenship Laws

No, you don’t need a degree in Italian law, but you do need to know Italian citizenship laws if you’re to process your application speedily and efficiently. To take full advantage of your rights to claim Italian citizenship, you do need to know what the books say about your situation. Failure to do so may lead to delays or ultimately the rejection of your bid to become an Italian citizen.

So, just to recap: do you need assistance in processing your Italian citizenship application? Only if you feel you need it.

You can apply alone, but why take that route when you can get Italian citizenship assistance and have professionals do all the heavy lifting for you? Besides, knowing that a professional is taking care of your application will give you peace of mind.

2. How Long Has the Agency Existed?

Another question you need to ask as you consider getting Italian citizenship assistance from a service provider is how long they have been in business.

Why does that matter?

Well, if an agency that deals in such a niche service have survived for many years, it’s a sign that they know what they are doing. That’s why Get Italian Citizenship is proud to have been in the game for almost 15 years. Yes, that’s a sign that other people in similar situations have come to us for assistance in getting their Italian citizenship.

3. Does the Agency Have Results to Prove their Italian Citizenship Assistance Capabilities?

Let’s be honest here. You want results. Throwing away money and time is not part of your “getting Italian citizenship” plan. That’s why, when looking for an agency to assist you in your bid to claim your Italian citizenship, you must look at the agency’s track record.

Get Italian Citizenship has helped hundreds of people reconnect to their heritage. That’s something many Italian citizenship assistance agencies cannot boast.

4. Is the Staff Qualified to Steward Your Dreams?

No one likes to deal with amateurs – especially when it comes to something as important as citizenship. Again, at Get Italian Citizenship you are assured the best staff to handle your application. Our translators, attorneys, genealogists and hospitality professionals are all experts on Italian dual citizenship. Not only that, but we’re uniquely qualified when it comes to applying in Italy. To date, our company is the only Italian dual citizenship service provider owned by a person who applied directly in Italy. Talk about firsthand experience! No other service provider can say that.

We understand why you desperately want to get your Italian citizenship. Most importantly, we will help you with the ins and outs of obtaining your citizenship so you can kick back and enjoy the process.

5. Is the Extra Price Worth It?

Is paying to get Italian citizenship assistance worth it? After all, you’re also paying for the application itself. A good way to look at it is that paying an agent to help you is like buying the time you will spend on:

Doing it on your own will take you a long time. Time that’s frankly better spent as an Italian!

So, at the end of the day, every penny you spend on getting Italian citizenship assistance is worth it.

Get Italian Citizenship – Your Best Italian Citizenship Assistance Partner

Why should we be your agency of choice in your journey to getting Italian citizenship?

It’s simple, really. We fulfill all the criteria above. Not only that, we proudly serve people of Italian descent around the world. We share your passion for returning to your roots and help you achieve it.

So, what are you waiting for? Shoot us an email and we’ll tailor a package to help realize your Italian citizenship dream.

How to Get Italian Citizenship Without Traveling to Italy

Are you considering getting Italian citizenship?

In 2018, the Italian passport was ranked third most powerful in the world. Therefore, becoming an Italian citizen as an American is a great asset. All the benefits that come with becoming an Italian citizen will be bestowed upon you, and you’ll be able to live, work, and study throughout the European Union. However, these benefits don’t come cheap: the process can be long and a bit pricey, nut it is worth it.

If you’re wondering how you can obtain your Italian citizenship without having to travel to Italy, there is good news for you! You can apply for your citizenship without stepping foot in Italy and save yourself the costs of a major international trip.

Here’s how.

How to Get Italian Citizenship without Going to Italy – Requirements You Need to Meet

March 17, 1861 was a historic day for Italy. It’s the date on which the nation was unified, officially becoming a state. On this date, the concept of Italian citizenship was invented. Before unification, Italy was comprised of a series of nation-states each with their own flag, citizenship, and culture and only after Italian unification did Italy become… well, Italy!

With its beautiful landscape, famous food, and rich heritage, it’s one country many people only dream of calling home. However, if you meet all the requirements needed to make Italy your home, you can be one of the few that can actually live the dream.

So what requirements do you need to meet? Here are a few you need to take note of.

The Number One Path to Get Italian Citizenship? Be a Descendant of an Italian

To qualify as a legal descendant of an Italian you need to:

  • Have an ancestor born in the territory we now know as Italy. This ancestor must have been alive after March 17, 1861 and not yet been a citizen of another country by that date.

This ancestor must have either:

  • Never gained citizenship in another country at all, or
  • Gained citizenship in another country (such as the United States) only after July 1, 1912 and after the birth of his child.

Then:

  • All of your intermediate ancestors and you must not have renounced your right to have Italian dual citizenship.

But pay attention!

  • Italian citizenship is passed down without generational limits on the paternal side. But Italian women could not pass down Italian citizenship to their children until January 1, 1948. Only if a father was unknown, stateless, or had foreign citizenship that didn’t automatically pass on to children, did a mom successfully pass Italian citizenship to children born before this date.
  • If you have a maternal path to citizenship that makes you ineligible (a “1948 case”) you will need to file a lawsuit in the Court of Rome to effectively sue the Italian government for citizenship. Since 2009, thousands of people have obtained Italian dual citizenship this way. We partner with an extremely reputable law firm for this option and can handle your case.

If you meet any of the above criteria, you are eligible to apply for Italian citizenship.

Be Married to an Italian

Another way you can qualify to get Italian citizenship is by applying as a spouse of an Italian. Here’s how to get Italian citizenship by marriage:

  • You need to have been married for at least 3 years if you live outside Italy, and 2 years if you live in Italy. However, if you have children younger than 18, these wait times are halved.
  • Your civil union must be valid at the time of application and must remain valid for at least 48 months after applying. You will have to provide proof that you have not filed for divorce or separation when submitting your application.
  • You will need a series of documents such as your marriage certificate, birth certificate, children’s birth certificates, criminal records (both from the FBI and from each state and country you’ve lived in since you were 14) to apply. They may request other documents.
  • You must speak Italian at a B1 level as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Processing times currently take 48 months for Italian citizenship by marriage.

Apply Through a Consulate

So how can you get your Italian citizenship without heading over to Italy?

Fortunately for you, Italy has consulates in nearly every country in the world and most major cities in those countries. These act in the same capacity as the Town Halls in Italy at which you would have to put in your application for citizenship.

So if you’re wondering how to get Italian citizenship without going to Italy, your solution is to apply through a consulate near you. However, while this may seem as easy as walking through the consulate doors and filling in a form, it isn’t. Whether you’re applying in Italy or at a consulate, the process is still a complicated process that requires that you compile a lot of documents and prepare adequately for the interview.

Additionally, many consulates in the United States are understaffed and overworked, and are dealing with significant backlogs. It is not unheard of to get an appointment 3-10 years in advance to file your application.

The Consulate Interview

Don’t worry – the interview is not a test. It’s more of a formality to submit all the documents required and verify their authenticity. You also pay the Italian citizenship processing fee at the appointment.

Documents You Need to Submit at the Consulate

Apart from filling in an application form, here are some of the most important documents you need to present at the consulate when you go for your interview:

  • Your civil records. These include your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable) and your children’s birth certificates. If divorced, include your divorce certificate as well.
  • Birth records. You’ll need the birth certificates of everyone in your family. This includes your last Italian-born ancestor and each generation.
  • Naturalization certificates. These only apply if your ancestor naturalized. If not, you’ll need proof that no naturalization occurred.
  • Death certificates. If your parents, grandparents, or any other ancestor you are applying through has passed away, you will need to include their death certificates in your application.
  • Marriage certificates. You’ll need marriage records for each generation.

Once you submit your documents at the interview and pay your application fee you’ll have to wait for the results of your application. The waiting time varies but can be anything from 6 months to 2 years depending on several factors.

Start Your Italian Citizenship Journey

Ready to get your Italian citizenship? If you need help with the process, from document collection to help with the interview, Get Italian Citizenship is an agency that has helped thousands of other people in a similar situation as you.

If you need help in processing your Italian citizenship, contact the professionals at Get Italian Citizenship today.

Do You Have All the Documents Needed for Italian Citizenship? A Handy Checklist You Can Use

Dreaming of becoming an Italian citizen?

I’m sure you are, what with all the perks and benefits that come with it.

To realize your dream, you have to first put in a little hard work. One of the most difficult parts of the journey is to collect all the documents needed for Italian citizenship. WIthout knowing exactly what you need, you may waste time and money.

That’s where we come in.

With our handy checklist, you can achieve Italian dual citizenship without you losing your mind. However, before you look at the documents needed, let’s look at some of the requirements you need to fulfill.

Documents You Need for Italian Citizenship – Some Requirements You Need to Know

Don’t assume that any document will be the right one. You will have to make sure that they are the correct type and meet all the necessary requirements. Some of those requirements include:

  • Certification. When submitting copies of documents, they have to be certified. This means that they must be official copies released by the government, state, or local bodies that have the legal power to do so. You’ll know they’re official because they have a signature on them from someone important in the issuing office.
  • Apostilles. Every document you hand in for your Italian citizenship application must be accompanied by an apostille. The purpose of an apostille is to make your non-Italian documents legal for use in Italy. An apostille is a separate certification attached your original record. You can get an apostille from the Secretary of State which issues each single document.
  • Format. Make sure to request “long form” or “extended form” for all your non-Italian documents.
  • Translations. Make sure to translate all your non-Italian documents into Italian. It’s only logical—Italian officials will look at them so they have to understand what they’re reading!

Documents You Need for Italian Citizenship

To ensure the success of your citizenship application, you need to have all your documents ready to go. Each consulate in the US processes approximately 2,500 applications per year so you don’t want to give them any excuse to bin your application. 

Missing one or failing to meet the requirements for any document can delay your citizenship. Even worse, it can cause a rejection.

So what documents do you need to process your Italian citizenship application?

1. Birth Certificates

If you’re applying for Italian citizenship by descent, you need proof that your parent was born in Italy. You prove this by showing his or her Italian birth certificate.

(Note: make sure to request the “certificato dell’atto di nascita” from their hometown. This is the correct format you’ll need.)

The same applies if you are applying for your Italian citizenship via your grandparents.

Or, if you have to go back farter it also applies to your great grandparents. No matter how many generations back you go to get your Italian citizenship, you will need to provide the birth certificates for your ancestors in each generation. Thus, the more generations back, the more birth certificates you need to procure. 

2. Your Parents’ Marriage Certificate

Just like birth certificates, you’ll need to obtain marriage certificates.

If your parents got married in the U.S., you need to get a certified copy of the marriage license and certificate. You will also need to translate these certificates into Italian and apostille them.

If they married in Italy, simply obtain the “estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio.”

If your heritage goes back further than parents, not to worry. Simply repeat the birth certificate and marriage certificate process for each generation. You cannot skip generations, either, so be sure to get them for for each generation.

3. Certificate of Naturalization

In the event that your parent(s) naturalized, you will have to include the certificate of naturalization in your Italian citizenship application. If you have them, you can also use an Italian passport and permanent resident card in place of the naturalization certificate if your parent never naturalized. 

If your parents or ancestors never naturalized, you will need to provide the following:

  • USCIS Certificate of Non-existence of a Record
  • NARA Letter of No Record Found
  • Letter from the county clerks’ offices in the counties your ancestors lived stating that there are no naturalization records on file

4. Death Certificates

If one or both of your parents (or grandparents if applying via them) are deceased, then you will need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate(s). As always, don’t skip generations here. Each single generation of ancestors’ must be corroborated with the accompanying death certificates.

5. Ancestry Records

What do you do if you want to apply for Italian citizenship jure sanguinisin the case that your closest Italian relative is a couple of generations away? In this case, you will need to dig into your family history and pull out any documents that can link you to that ancestor. Simple documents such as postcards and letters can be of great help to bolster your application.

Once you’ve established your ancestry, find a paper trail that connects you to your ancestor. To do this, you may have to travel to the municipality in which your ancestor was born to dig up the evidence that they indeed are your relative (or hire someone to help).

When you’ve narrowed down names, places, and dates, you can obtain the necessary documents such as birth, marriage, and death records.

6. Your own civil records 

Naturally, your collection of documents will, of course, be incomplete without your own civil records. These include: 

  • Your birth certificate 
  • Marriage certificate 
  • Your children’s birth certificates

Make sure to include any other appropriate records too, such as a divorce certificate if applicable. 

How to Ensure You Have All the Documents Needed for Italian Citizenship

While the list above is not a definitive list of documents needed for Italian citizenship processing, it gives you an idea of all the documents you need to collect. To know exactly which documents you need, you will have to enquire with your local consulate or Italian town hall.

As with all things Italy, minor document requirements may differ from place to place.

Need Help With Your Document Collection?

It’s critical that you pay attention to detail when it comes to putting together the documents needed for Italian citizenship processing. Omitting to include a document or apostille could result in your application being delayed or even rejected. 

It is for this reason that it is advisable to work with someone who knows exactly what is needed and how to go about collecting every individual document. Not only will this help you submit your application faster, but it also increases the chances of your application being approved.

Need help with assembling your documents?

Get Italian Citizenship has successfully helped hundreds of applicants collect the necessary documents and process their Italian citizenship applications. If you need help, reach out to our citizenship experts and book a consultation. Here’s to the realization of your Italian citizenship dream.

Italian Citizenship by Marriage—the Guide You Need to Read

Many people who fall in love with an Italian national end up falling in love with Italy as well. It’s actually not surprising! Italy has an attractive blend of modern class and ancient culture, not to mention some of the world’s most delicious food, recognizable fashion brands, beautiful architecture, and stunning natural beauty. 

What’s more, Italian spouses can “pass on” Italian citizenship to their partners. So if you’re married to an Italian, you’re probably contemplating getting Italian citizenship by marriage.

That’s why you’re reading this post after all, isn’t it?

Well, you certainly won’t regret taking the step towards your Italian passport. So, how does one get Italian citizenship by marriage?

You’re in luck as that’s exactly what this post seeks to clarify. So sit back (vinohand, of course) and read on to find out how.

Start Processing Your Application for Italian Citizenship by Marriage

Before rushing off to your nearest consulate or Italian comune (town hall) to process your citizenship application, here are a few important points you need to note:

  • You’ll pay an application fee of 250 euros.
  • In late 2018, the government increased wait times for recognition from 24 months to 48 months.
  • You now must pass a B1 Italian exam (lower intermediate). You must show proof (a diploma from an accredited school).
  • If your spouse is an Italian citizen jure sanguinis, you need to wait until their recognition to apply.
  • Some of your documents need to be less than 6 months old at the time you apply.
  • If you live in Italy, you need to wait 2 years before your application.
  • If you live outside Italy, you need to wait 3 years before your application.
  • The wait times are cut in half if you have children under 18.

Now that you know what to expect, let’s get to the application process itself.

The Straightforward Guide to Getting Italian Citizenship by Marriage  

So, how can you get Italian citizenship by marriage?

Of course, it goes without saying that in order to process your Italian citizenship “jure matrimonii” you (as the applicant) have to marry an Italian citizen. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage your marriage to an Italian citizen to bring your dream to pass.

How Old Should Your Marriage Be (and Other Important Factors)?

To be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship by marriage, you need to have been married for a minimum of two years if you’re living in Italy. If you reside in and were married abroad, your civil union must at least be three years old. Having children younger than 18 cuts down that time by half in both instances. 

You must be married when you put in your application and remain married for the consecutive 48 months after applying. Your consulate (or town hall) will require evidence (in the form of an affidavit) that you have not filed for divorce or separation, and this will be done at the time of your application.

Another important requirement you need to fulfill is to ensure that your marriage is registered with the Italian comune (town) from which your Italian partner hails. 

Additionally, if you two don’t reside in Italy, your Italian partner must be registered in AIRE (Registry of Italian Citizens Abroad) at the consulate for your jurisdiction.

Documents Needed to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Marriage

To apply for Italian citizenship by marriage, you’ll need several important documents to support your citizenship application. Some of the documentation you will need includes vital records such as:

Estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio

This is your Italian marriage certificate. If you two got married outside Italy, you’ll need to send your foreign marriage certificate to your local consulate for certification, then obtain an apostille, and then send it to your spouse’s Italian comune for them to issue an “estratto per riassunto dell’atto di matrimonio.”

Full birth certificate 

You will need to get your birth certificate from your issuing office. Remember to obtain a “full form,” “extended form,” or “long form” copy. Not only that, but it has to be translated into Italian, certified, and authenticated by an apostille. 

Certificate of no criminal record

Another important document you need to submit with your Italian citizenship by marriage application is a certificate that states that you have no criminal record. You’ll need to get this certificate from every country or state you have lived in since you were 14. Like your birth record, you’ll need to translate and apostille this document.

This document only valid for six months, so make sure you get it a couple of months before submitting your application. Should it expire before you submit your application, you’ll be forced to get a fresh set.

FBI background check

Ditto with the above. You’ll need to get a background check from the FBI (complete with some cool fingerprint-taking) to ensure that your criminal record will not impede your right to Italian citizenship. 

You’ll need to get this record translated and apostilled. It, like the certificate of no criminal record, cannot be older than 6 months when you submit your application.

Passports and proof of residence

Both spouses must supply a copy of their passports and residence permit if staying outside Italy.

However, this is not an exhaustive list. Always make sure to check with your consulate or town hall for the exact list of documents needed for you to submit as this sometimes varies from place to place.

Submitting Your Application for Italian Citizenship by Marriage

When applying for Italian citizenship outside of Italy, there are two simple stages of submitting your application:

1. Submission of Online Application

Your first step to becoming an Italian citizen by marriage is to register and create an account on the Italian Ministry of Interior’s website. Note that the portal is in Italian so you may need your spouse to help you.

Have the documents listed above handy, as you’ll need to scan them and upload them into the portal. Once you submit everything, your consulate will contact you to set up an appointment.

Important! Make sure that the e-mail you use to sign up to the portal is one you check often, as you don’t want to miss the e-mail from the consulate.

2. Consulate Visit to Finalize Citizenship Application

After submitting your application and all your documents online, you can then move on to step two which is booking an appointment with your local consulate. The purpose of the appointment is to review your application. You’ll need to bring the originals which you uploaded to the portal with you.

If everything looks good, the consulate will take your documents and give you a receipt.

After this, all you have to do is wait for a response. It takes up to 4 years, so you might be waiting for a while.

Getting Italian Citizenship by Marriage – The Easy Way

Getting Italian citizenship by marriage can be a rather complex process. To increase your chances of lodging a successful application, you’ll need to enlist the help of an Italian immigration expert. Feel free to reach out to us at Get Italian Citizenship and we’ll be more than happy to facilitate the entire process for you.

Go ahead and contact our experts for a consultation. Your Italian dream awaits.

Do You Qualify for Italian Citizenship? Here’s an Easy to Use Checklist to Help You Find Out

If you’re considering getting Italian citizenship, you’re probably wondering if you qualify for it. After all, the process can be long and daunting, not to mention the financial costs involved, and you wouldn’t want to waste time and resources only to be turned down.

In this post, you will learn if you qualify for Italian citizenship or not, as well as some of the benefits you’ll reap by becoming an Italian citizen.

Becoming an Italian Citizen – Is it Really Worth It?  

Gaining Italian citizenship has some benefits that make it worthwhile for you to start the process. Here are just a few of them:

Live and Invest in Italy

As a citizen of Italy, you get the advantage of being able to live and invest in Italy without having to jump through too many bureaucratic hoops. For instance, purchasing property or investing in business becomes easier, particularly since you’ll get to enjoy tax reprieves.

Access World-class Medical Services

Getting medical assistance is increasingly becoming more expensive and complicated. Despite this, nobody in Italy ever becomes bankrupt from healthcare costs.

As an Italian citizen, you get free access to Italy’s world-class medical services. Italian healthcare is some of the best in the world, and I can personally attest to the fact that getting medical care when you need it can be hassle and pain free (figuratively speaking, of course!).

Gain More Employment Opportunities

Employers hate the red tape of having to sponsor workers for visas. When you gain dual citizenship, potential and current employers will see this as a strong asset. This means that particularly if you are dual citizen, you will have access to more employment opportunities. Not only will you be able to find employment opportunities in Italy, but also in other European Union countries as well.

Sound interesting?

Not so fast! Before you run off and put in your application, let’s quickly determine if you really do qualify for Italian citizenship.

Do You Qualify for Italian Citizenship? Use this Handy Checklist to Find Out

Get Italian Citizenship has helped hundreds of people acquire citizenship. In our years of service, our company has gained knowledge and expertise concerning the process from start to finish. Here’s our checklist for figuring out if you qualify. 

1. Have You Done Your Research? 

One thing you have to establish from the onset is whether you’re ready for Italian citizenship or not. Do your research. Weigh your options, and determine whether you’re ready to take the big step as it can be a financial and time commitment gathering everything and getting it all ready.

Remember, your decision will also affect your family so make sure to involve them in your decision making. Once you become a citizen, so will your minor children. If you are a male and you and married your spouse before April 27. 1983, your spouse will automatically gain citizenship, too.

Are you ready to become an Italian citizen?

If your answer to that question is yes, then you can proceed to the other questions on the checklist.

2. Do You Have Italian Ancestors?

Ancestry is one of the easiest ways to qualify for citizenship. If your family tree reveals that you have Italian blood, you can apply for Italian citizenship “jure sanguinis.” This is the most common way our clients obtain citizenship.

However, before you go running to the consulate or town hall to prove you come from a line of Italians, here are a few things you need to ascertain:

Was Your Ancestor Alive After March 17, 1861?

Prior to March 17, 1861, there was no Italy. Thus, there was no such thing as an Italian before this date! Only on this date – the date of Italian unification – did Italy bestow citizenship on people born in the territory we now know as Italy.

If your ancestor was alive anywhere in the world and not yet a citizen of another country by this time, s/he automatically gained Italian citizenship. Therefore, if your ancestors died before this date or gained another citizenship prior to Italian unification, you do not qualify for Italian citizenship.

Please note there are different rules for ancestors hailing from territories such as Istria, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Veneto. Contact us for more information if your ancestors hailed from these areas.

Is Your Ancestry from the Paternal Side of Your Family? 

Italian citizenship laws make it easier for applicants whose ancestry can be traced from the paternal side of the family. If you can prove that your Italian blood flows from your father’s side of the family, you stand a higher chance of being immediately eligible.

Is Your Ancestry from the Maternal Side of the Family?

Tracing your Italian ancestry from the maternal side of your family doesn’t spell the end of your Italian citizenship bid. However, you have to pay attention to dates.

Before January 1, 1948, women could not pass down Italian citizenship to their children unless the father was stateless, unknown, or his foreign citizenship did not automatically pass to the children.

Therefore, children born to women before the above date did not automatically obtain Italian citizenship. If you have children born to women before this date in your line, you cannot apply at your Italian consulate as one usually would. In these special cases, you must hire an Italian attorney to represent you in Rome on the basis of the discriminatory nature of this law. We can help with these so-called “1948 cases.”

3. Are You Married to an Italian Citizen? 

Another avenue through which you can qualify for Italian citizenship is by marriage, also known as jure matrimonii.

In a nutshell, you qualify for Italian citizenship if you’ve been married for two years and have been residents of Italy in those two years. However, if you’re living outside of Italy, you qualify for citizenship three years after your marriage or civil union. In both cases, the term is reduced by half if you have children under the age of 18.

4. How Long Have You Lived in Italy?

Don’t despair if you have no Italian ancestry or are not married to an Italian. You can also qualify for Italian citizenship by virtue of your having stayed in Italy for a certain period. If you are from a European Union country, you qualify for Italian citizenship after living in Italy for four years. However, if you’re from a non-European Union country, you need to reside in Italy for a period of no less than 10 years to qualify.

If you are the child or grandchild of a former Italian citizen and do not qualify for Italian dual citizenship jure sanguinis due to a naturalization “breaking the chain,” you need only live in Italy for 3 years to obtain Italian citizenship.

5. Do You Have all the Necessary Documents?

Finally, before you can be sure whether you qualify for Italian citizenship or not, you will have to gather all the necessary documentation. Most of the documentation you will need is meant to prove your:

  • Ancestry
  • Marriage to an Italian national
  • Duration of residence in Italy
  • Identity

Gathering all this documentation requires an in-depth knowledge of Italian immigration law, therefore, it is advisable that you get professional assistance.

Now that You Qualify for Italian Citizenship

Now that you’re sure you qualify for Italian citizenship, it’s time to get the process started. If you’re not yet certain, we can help you every step of the way to discover if you qualify. 

Are you ready to get started processing your Italian citizenship? Give us a shout and let’s talk.

The Consular Appointment: What Happens If You Can’t Get One?

If you are thinking of obtaining Italian dual citizenship, it is an inevitability: at some point you’ll have to deal with your local Italian consulate. But with wait times exceeding more than 10 years in some jurisdictions, it may be incredibly difficult to snag a consular appointment. 

Today, Italian dual citizenship is more popular than ever. Each consulate processes approximately 2,500 applications per year. With 10 Italian consulates and embassies in the U.S., that’s almost 30 applications. Therefore, it’s no wonder that people snatch up appointments the minute they go online. As a result, some people seeking Italian citizenship have reported trying frustratedly for multiple weeks to get a spot on the calendar.

In this post, we’ll explain what happens if you can’t manage to get an appointment and what options you have.

You Can Hire a Company to Get You an Appointment

There are companies that specialize in acquiring consular appointments, and not just for Italian citizenship. These companies have staff that snag open appointments the second they go online and then resell them to people. I’m still not quite sure how they do it, though I suspect they write scripts to trawl the websites at the right time.

My advice? Don’t use them unless you are in an absolute jam and need the appointment ASAP. 

Frankly, consular appointments are free if you go straight to the source and they should stay that way. Ethically, I can’t recommend any company that takes a free resource and then resells it for a markup.

In any case, these services will run you about $400 per appointment so if absolutely necessary, be sure to include that in your budget.

You Can Sue the Italian Government

Did you know that if you’re unable to get an appointment or if your appointment was rejected, you have recourse? That’s right, you can sue the Italian government for recognition of your Italian dual citizenship. 

Here are five ways resorting to the Courts can help you obtain your Italian passport:

When a Consulate Takes over 2 Years to Act on Your Submitted Italian Citizenship Application

If the consulate takes over 2 years to process your application, you can hire us to take it to court. As per Italian law, the application process should normally be completed within this time frame. 

If Wait Times Are Unreasonably Long

If your wait time to get an Italian citizenship appointment is more than two years long, you can sue the Italian government. This is ideal for people in consular jurisdictions such as Boston, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

When You Have a 1948 Case

Before January 1, 1948, Italian women could not pass on citizenship to their children. When your case involves a child born before this date to an Italian woman, you can petition the courts to obtain your Italian dual citizenship.

If Your Italian Female Ancestor Lost Her Citizenship Due to Marriage with a Foreigner

In the United States, Italian women marrying a foreigner lost their citizenship before the Cable Act of September 1922. If your female Italian ancestor lost her citizenship under these circumstances, you can petition the courts. 

When a Consulate Rejects Your Application

You have the right to fight this decision in Italian courts.

What Happens When There Is No Consular Appointment Available at All?

Sometimes consulates like San Francisco show no appointments at all. What is a potential applicant to do in cases like these?

According to Italian law, action can be brought against the court only if the consulate has either rejected an application or has not finished/decided an application within two years. In these cases, the appellant shows the judge either the denial or the booking receipt of an appointment that is more than two years out.

But when you have no booking receiptat all, there is no actual proof of rejection by the consulate. However, by following the right procedures, attempting to get an appointment, and by attempting to contact the consulate, we can sustain the existence of proper contact with the consulate and show that the unavailability of an appointment date is equivalent to a consular rejection.

Thus, the complete lack of an appointment is tantamount to a rejection and entitles the applicant to a judicial remedy. 

What Happens in Court Applications for Italian Dual Citizenship?

Proceedings start when a write of summons is filed with the Civil Court in Rome. You, the applicant, are the plaintiff and the Italian Ministry of the Interior is the defendant. Then, the court sets the hearing date by decree.

Your legal representative serves the writ and the decree to the Ministry of the Interior. In turn, the Ministry files a reply before appearing. You do not need to be present.

At the hearing, the judge will hear the case and check the paperwork. If more paperwork is needed, the judge adjourns. If not, the judge closes the hearing and decides on the case through an ordinance.

When one hearing is enough, Italian citizenship may be granted within 12-18 months.

After that, the ordinance is served to the Ministry to become final within 30 days if the Ministry does not appeal. Once final, the court will release an executable ordinance that will be served to the comune(town) of your ancestor’s birth to recognize you as a citizen. This last step may take another couple of months.

Thinking about obtaining Italian dual citizenship but don’t know where to start? Contact us! The experts at Get Italian Citizenship can help you become an Italian citizen without breaking a sweat.

How to Pick an Italian Dual Citizenship Service Provider That’s Right for You

Italian dual citizenship is an attractive option for people looking to turn their heritage into a tangible benefit. Those seeking to live, work, and study in Europe are becoming increasingly savvy about obtaining an Italian passport. Today, Italian dual citizenship is more popular than ever, with companies popping up daily.

However, prospective clients would do well to conduct research before choosing a service provider.

Finding an Italian dual citizenship company doesn’t mean simply picking the first one that appears in a Google search. Instead, this is an important decision that deserves serious consideration.

3 Traits to Look for in the Best Possible Italian Dual Citizenship Service Provider

Fortunately, you’re not the first person to seek Italian dual citizenship services. So, while this is a crucial moment in your life, it’s an easy decision to make if you know what to look for. If you are looking for the highest qualify services, you’ll want to choose a company with the following three traits. 

1. Experience with Clients from your Country

People from many different countries can qualify for Italian dual citizenship. What’s more, each of these countries has their own legal systems and laws which interact with Italian citizenship in different ways. Furthermore, the rules for collecting documents and obtaining consular appointments is different in every place.

So it’s no surprise when we say you should work with an Italian dual citizenship service provider familiar with helping clients from your specific country. Otherwise, it’s extremely easy to make mistakes because they don’t understand the relevant laws regarding your application.

2. Responsiveness

As demand steadily grows for Italian dual citizenship, many companies have their hands full with work. Nevertheless, no company should rush a client or put them on the back burner. Each client should receive personalized attention and quick responses.

Our industry is a personal one. Our clients aren’t other businesses—they’re people. The nature of our business means each client has a personal family story and no two cases are alike. This is why it’s important that your Italian dual citizenship service provider takes the time to answer your e-mails thoroughly, speak on the phone with you, and responds in a timely manner.

Also, when considering a company, make sure they also give upfront quotes. It’s better to know exactly how much money you will be spending before going into your project and finding any nasty surprises. We have had clients come to us from other companies unhappy about hidden bills being tacked on in the middle of their projects.

3. A Guarantee on Their Services

No Italian dual citizenship service provider can guarantee the Italian government’s response. However, they can guarantee that they will carry out their work in a timely fashion. 

Mistakes may happen. Documents can get lost or information can be illegible leading to obtainment of incorrect records. However, any good service provider will rectify these mistakes as soon as possible. This is why you want a contract which stipulates exactly what will happen in the case of a possible error. 

You must also secure a guarantee about your timelines. If they say they’ll have your documents back within 12 to 16 weeks, that too needs to be in writing. Contract clauses must clarify what the result will be if they’re late in producing the work.  

Don’t Take Any Chances with Your Italian Dual Citizenship Service Provider

At Get Italian Citizenship, we are extremely proud of the reputation we’ve built since 2005. This includes translating well over 4 million words into Italian and obtaining more than 400 Italian passports!

Instead of growing at an unsustainable pace and taking on more work than we can chew (which would be easy in our industry!), we’ve always focused on keeping our operation small. This means we can offer highly specialized Italian dual citizenship services from seasoned professionals. This is how our company has become synonymous with high-quality services for those seeking Italian dual citizenship throughout the world. 

Best of all, we guarantee that we’ll always respect price quotes and time frames.

So, whether you need a one-off document from Italy for your family’s genealogical research project or want to purchase a full service Italian dual citizenship package, our staff is ready to help.

Contact us today to learn more about our Italian dual citizenship services and receive a free quote.