Today, companies like AncestryDNA and 23andme are incredibly popular. They provide users with a way to access more information about their ancestry, find relatives they never knew, or learn more about their health.
Not surprisingly, many people who use these websites discover they are part or wholly ethnically Italian. After all, there are almost 16,000,000 Italian Americans in the USA alone.
But does a DNA test entitle you to Italian citizenship?
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know when you find out that you’re Italian.
Generally, there are three ways to become an Italian citizen. They are:
For our purposes, this post will focus ob getting Italian citizenship via heritage. This is called by a number of names, including Italian dual citizenship, Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, and Italian citizenship by descent.
This law is the “granddaddy” of Italian citizenship. When we assist clients in filing their claims, we follow the rules set forth in this law. Whittled down to its most basic information, it states that any child born to an Italian citizen parent [our note: or an Italian citizenship-eligible parent] is also entitled to Italian citizenship automatically from birth.
For more information about how to qualify for Italian citizenship, click here.
Since those who qualify are technically already Italian citizens from birth, the process is an administrative one. This means that you must be able to show a claim – in black and white – and be able to back it up with documentation.
In other words, those seeking recognition of Italian citizenship must be able to do two things:
Thus, anyone applying for Italian citizenship by descent must be able to have the paperwork to back it up. If you find out that you have an Italian parent, it is vital that you can establish a paper trail linking that parent to you.
Unfortunately, no. DNA results are not counted as supporting evidence, as simply being ethnically Italian does not automatically qualify you for Italian citizenship (though the vast majority of Italian Americans do indeed qualify).
Instead, any potential applicant for dual citizenship must establish a paper trail linking his/her ancestors directly back to them. This means that your parents’ names are on your birth certificate or that your father is willing to sign a statement of paternity after the fact.
Therefore, if you discover that you are of Italian descent, you must work on obtaining records–birth, marriage, etc.–establishing a clear link between your qualifying Italian ancestor and you.
Still have questions? We may have answers. Contact us here for more information.