Italian dual citizenship comes with a wealth of benefits that may surprise you. As an Italian citizen, you can live and work anywhere in the European Union without ever having to worry about a visa again. And once you have an Italian passport, you can even access free or nearly free healthcare and education.
But Italian dual citizenship doesn’t come for free. Even though it’s very easy to qualify, you should know that you’ll still have to invest time and money into your application.
In this post, we’ll explain answer the question “How much does Italian dual citizenship cost?” as well as go over the other fees you might be expected to pay when becoming a citizen.
This Post Covers Italian Citizenship “Jure Sanguinis” Only
There are many ways to become an Italian citizen. However, this post goes over Italian citizenship by descent only. Here are some other ways to become Italian: you can live in Italy for a pre-established time period set by law, you can marry an Italian citizen, or you can even become an Italian citizen after carrying out a heroic act.
While equally valid, none of the above are the subject of this post. In this post, we’ll be talking strictly about Italian citizenship jure sanguinis. This means Italian citizenship by descent.
Service Provider vs DIY
Before going deeper into specific fees, this section goes without saying.
Hiring a service provider is more expensive than doing the work yourself. However, if you have a complicated case or simply want to hand off the hard work to someone else, a service provider’s expertise is invaluable and may end up saving you time and money.
Be aware that service providers’ fees range from the very low end to the very high end, with varying degrees in between. Some charge per hour while others charge on a project basis. Others provide very convenient and affordable assistance packages where clients do much of the work themselves under the guidance of their expertise. Feel free to around to find the best fit for your needs and budget.
Fees for Gathering Documents
The first fees you will encounter will be for gathering naturalization records.
I always tell clients to start by obtaining these records before all others. This is because you can figure out pretty quickly if you qualify based on naturalization records.
Using this method will save you time and money if you end up not qualifying. This way, even though you can’t obtain citizenship you won’t have shelled out money for a completed set of documents—you’ll only be out the fee for the naturalization search.
Requesting naturalization documents is a two-step process.
First, you carry out an Index Search to reveal if the records that you need for a specific individual exist. This search costs $65.
Second, you take the Case ID obtained after the Index Search and use it to obtain the actual record. This costs an additional $65.
Total cost for naturalization records = $130.
Note: if you have a copy of the naturalization record lying around somewhere, you can request a new copy without a Case ID. The fee for this search is $65.
Once you obtain naturalization records, you’ll want to work backwards from your Italian ancestors back to you.
Italian birth and marriage records are fairly easy to obtain. You can do this in three ways:
- To save the most money, you can contact the comune yourself. Send them a letter or an e-mail (in Italian) requesting the documents you need. Usually, this service is free and they will send you hard copies in the mail. The downside is you’ll have to speak Italian and they may take a very long time to get to you.
- If you speak Italian and are internet savvy, websites like Pratiche.it are a godsend. It’s an Italian website where you can order vital records. Make sure you know what you are doing here because you can request the wrong format! You want the “estratto dell’atto di nascita” and the “estratto dell’atto di matrimonio.”
- Hiring a service provider to obtain the document for you. Fees can range between 50 to 300+ euros depending on whether you want them to pick it up in person for you and if there is genealogical research involved.
To continue your Italian dual citizenship application, you’ll need a full set of US records. These will include birth, marriage, death, and divorce records. Depending on your case, you may also need amendments or other documents such as court orders to rectify a name discrepancy (we’ll discuss that below).
What you will spend on US records is very difficult to quantify. Each state has their own fees for documents ranging from $5 to $30+. Additionally, the number of documents you need increases with every generation you go back. Therefore, those who are applying through their parents (one generation) will spend less than those applying through three (great grandparents). This is where the Italian dual citizenship cost can add up.
Services like VitalChek can be used to order documents online without dealing directly with the states or mailing in paper forms. However, I do not recommend VitalChek as I find them to be expensive and oftentimes harder to deal with than the actual government office issuing the record!
Once you obtain your American birth, marriage, death, and divorce records you will need to obtain apostilles. The apostilles are separate certifications that get put on top of the originals to make them legal for use in Italy.
Note that apostilles can only be placed on documents issued in the same state. For example, an apostille from New Jersey can only be placed on a document from New Jersey. Apostilles are issued by the Secretary of State in each state (or sometimes the Treasurer). Federal documents are apostilled by the Department of State.
Fees for apostilles vary from state to state. On the low end, they may be $2 and on the high end $20 or more. Here again your costs will vary. Those needing more apostilles will pay more than those needing fewer ones.
Translations are an essential part of every Italian dual citizenship application.
It is vitally importantthat your translator speak Italian fluently and be able to translate your documents flawlessly. I’ve had clients come to me to fix translations done elsewhere and—believe me—it’s not pretty! If your translations are incorrect, it is likely that the consular officer will reject your application and tell you to fix them.
Costs for translations vary. Do not trust websites like Fiverr or UpWork with your translations; many of the translators there simply put the documents through Google Translate and give them back to you. Professional translations range anywhere from $50 a page to $100 and more, depending on how difficult the source documents are.
Technically, this section is the short answer to the question: “How much does Italian dual citizenship cost?”
Italian dual citizenship used to be free. But a few years ago, the Italian government started imposing a fee of 300 euros for all Italian dual citizenship applications.
Everyone over the age of 18 must pay this fee even if their application is not successful.
If you want to know what happens at your consular appointment, click here.
Once you are a citizen, there is a cost to obtain your Italian passport. As of March 2019, an Italian passport costs approximately $131.90 (116 euros) at an Italian consulate.
Applications in Italy
If you want to skip the consulate and apply directly in Italy, keep in mind the following costs:
If you work with a service provider, they will impose a project fee. Usually this includes everything you’ll need such as residency, accommodations, interpreting at your meetings, all assistance on the ground, etc.
If you DIY your application in Italy, you’ll spend on:
- A plane ticket to Italy
- Rent for the time you’re living in Italy
- Food and transport
- Gathering and translation of your documents
- Miscellaneous fees such as for a permesso di soggiorno, should you obtain one
Normally, there is no 300 euro fee to apply in Italy. That fee only applies to consular applications.
Ready to Get Started?
Now that you’re aware of the Italian dual citizenship cost, are you ready to get started? Since 2005, Get Italian Citizenship has helped hundreds of clients obtain their coveted Italian passports. Whether you need a one-off document from Italy, a fast track application in Italy or a start to finish application at a consulate, we’re here to help. Contact us today!