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.
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:
- Marriage to an Italian national
- Duration of residence in Italy
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.