Does Italy Allow Dual Citizenship? Here’s What You Need to Know
Wine tasting on an exotic Italian estate.
Going for an evening out and sampling some of the best foods in the world.
Taking in nature’s best artwork as you travel from the countryside to the Marina Grande Beach in Positano.
These are just some of the Italian highlights that make many people dream about a life in Italy. But life in Italy need not just be a dream. It can be a reality.
You’re probably asking yourself one question – does Italy allow dual citizenship?
Let’s backtrack a bit so as to be able to fully answer this question.
What is Dual Citizenship?
Dual citizenship or nationality refers to a person’s citizenship status being concurrently regarded as a citizen of more than one state. It’s usually determined by the laws of those states as there are no international conventions that govern dual citizenship laws.
While in some instances one has to apply for dual citizenship, in other cases it is automatic. For example, a child born in the United States from foreign nationals whose country allows dual citizenship automatically has dual citizenship.
Are there Advantages of Having Dual Citizenship?
The question “Does Italy allow dual citizenship?” usually has a follow-up question of “What are the advantages of having dual nationality?” Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of having dual citizenship before we hone in on our main question of the day.
As a dual citizenship holder, you are privy to receive all the benefits offered by the countries in which you have citizenship. These include medical and employment benefits amongst others.
Another advantage of having dual nationality is that you can travel on the passports of both countries. Having this makes traveling easier for you as you won’t have to apply for visas or spend time in long queues at immigration explaining your purpose of visit.
Everywhere in the world, property ownership is an important aspect of economic freedom. Dual citizenship makes it easier and more affordable to own property in either, or both countries. Not only is easier to invest in property in the 2 countries of your citizenship, but dual citizenship also makes it easier for you to invest in those countries.
However, since each state’s laws concerning dual citizenship are different, you will have to find out the fine print of what it means to be a citizen of Italy and your current state.
Now that you know the general advantages of having dual citizenship, let’s find out if idyllic Italy allows dual citizenship.
Does Italy Allow Dual Citizenship? Some Legal Points to Consider
While the question itself is simple, the answer (and the process) is far from it. So does Italy allow dual citizenship?
The short answer is yes. However, let’s take a closer look at the technicalities and legalities involved.
Dual Citizenship Jure Sanguinis
The Italian constitution allows anyone who can prove their Italian ancestry. As long as you can identify that your ancestors were Italian citizens from 1861 upwards, you are eligible for Italian citizenship.
Italy, as a state, came into being in 1861. Therefore, before this year, there were no Italians. Meaning that if your Italian ancestors became citizens of another country prior to March 17, 1861, they forfeited their Italian citizenship. The same goes for ancestor who died before this date.
What if your Italian relative is from the maternal side of the family?
There have been various adjustments to the laws pertaining to obtaining citizenship through your maternal side of the family. However, to keep things simple, Italian citizenship through the maternal line extends from 1 January 1948. It means if you were born to an Italian mother and non-Italian father before 1948, it can be tricky for you to obtain Italian citizenship “jure sanguinis”
With enough research into your ancestry and by producing the relevant documentation, Italian law does allow for you to be an Italian citizen.
Dual Italian Citizenship by Marriage
Does Italy allow dual citizenship by marriage?
Yes – if your spouse is Italian. Anyone married to an Italian is permitted by Italian law to obtain dual citizenship if they meet all the requirements.
Basically, if you have been married to an Italian and have been residing in Italy for a minimum of 2 years, you are eligible for Italian dual citizenship. If, however, you and your Italian spouse reside outside Italy, you will have to have been in a civil marriage for a period no less than 3 years for you to be eligible for citizenship.
Italian Dual Citizenship by Naturalization
Another way in which Italian law allows for dual citizenship is by naturalization. If you’re a non-EU citizen and have legally resided in Italy for a period of 10 years or more, you are eligible to apply for Italian dual citizenship by naturalization. European Union citizens are eligible after 4 years.
Italian law also allows you to obtain Italian dual citizenship by naturalization if your Italian parents or grandparents lost their Italian citizenship. Losing their citizenship prevents them from passing it on to you by jure sanguinis. In this case, you are entitled to apply for Italian citizenship after three years of legal residency in Italy.
Does Italy Allow Dual Citizenship?
Italian law allows eligible candidates to obtain Italian dual citizenship. With it, you get to enjoy all the benefits that come with being an Italian national. If you fall in any of the 3 categories permitted by the Italian constitution to apply for Italian dual citizenship, go ahead and start processing your application.
While the process may be long and the procedure complicated it definitely is worth it.
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