“What are the pros and cons of Italian citizenship?”
If you’re on this page, you’re probably wondering this question. Once you’ve figure out you’re eligible for an Italian passport, the next step is deciding to move forward.
When it comes to Italian dual citizenship, I would say that the benefits far outweigh the cons. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find any serious cons for most people. However, there are some things that a few people should keep in mind before obtaining an Italian passport.
In this post, I’ll go over all the Italian citizenship pros and cons.
Pro #1: You can live, work, and study anywhere in the European Union
This always comes up first in a list of Italian citizenship pros and cons simply because it’s so important.
As an Italian citizen, you have the right to live, work, and study within the European Union. You no longer need any special permits or visas.
Want to live in Germany? Go right ahead; just bring your Italian passport. Got a job offer from Sweden? No problem.. you’re European.
Essentially, you’ll be treated just like every other citizen of the European Union. That means you enjoy incredible freedom of movement.
Pro #2: Uh, can we say “affordable education”?
Are you thinking of obtaining higher education? Or perhaps you’re sending your kids off to college soon.
You might want to consider an Italian passport for the affordable education opportunities.
On average, colleges in Europe charge less than $2,225 a year.
According to debt.org, the average American college graduate in 2016 owed $37,172. If that graduate took the standard repayment plan–10 years at 4.29% interest, they’d be paying $382 a month for the next decade.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend that (almost) $400 on something else every month.
Pro #3: Enjoy world class medical care… without going bankrupt
Italy’s healthcare system is consistently ranked within the top 3 worldwide every year.
It’s no wonder why–Italians live a long time, they lead healthy lives, and they enjoy excellent and holistic preventive care.
Holding an Italian passport entitles you to use the Italian healthcare system. For those with chronic illnesses or those who are underinsured in the United States, this could truly be a lifesaver.
Pro #4: Pass it on to your family
This is my personal favorite of all Italian citizenship pros and cons.
Because Italians love family! Since the beginning Italian dual citizenship was, for me, a sentimental thing. I wanted to feel closer to my heritage and closer to my family. In getting an Italian passport, I wanted to find myself.
Once you have Italian dual citizenship, you can give that gift to your children and your spouse.
That’s worth its weight in gold.
Con #1: It can be time consuming
Memorize this mantra: Italian dual citizenship is a marathon, not a sprint.
Got it? Good. I want it to become a daily affirmation you tell yourself because, boy, it’s really the only constant truth about the whole Italian dual citizenship process.
You will seriously have to remind yourself this at multiple times throughout the process.
You’ll find that your e-mails will go unanswered by the Italian government, it may take you multiple tries to get an appointment, and your application may be arbitrarily processed long after you applied.
This is because Italian dual citizenship is hugely popular in the United States. But unfortunately, all Italian consulates are understaffed and overworked. It’s been said that each consulate sees anywhere from 2,500-3,000 applications per year.
This coupled with their normal day-to-day work makes for some pretty busy offices (and cranky consular workers).
All in all, it may take 6 years or more to obtain your passport. But if you’re becoming Italian, it’s a good introduction to how things work in Italy! The wheels of Italian bureaucracy turn very slowly.
No matter what happens during this process, just put your application out of your mind and it will be a happy surprise when you’re recognized!
Con #2: It may be costly
While Italian law itself is pretty clear on what documents are required, Italian consulates have a lot of latitude in terms of what they accept.
Many people have documents from the late 1800s and early 1900s for their applications. This means that there are bound to be spelling discrepancies, incorrect information, or other errors.
It may also mean that you are missing some of the required documentation for a successful application.
On top of this, consular officers can either choose to accept your documents as-is, or they can make you jump any number of hoops to correct them. In the case of missing documents, it can be costly to have them created or to have courts issue judgments making up for the lack of paperwork.
For many of our clients, this is one of the most obvious of the Italian citizenship pros and cons because it can add up.
Other Italian citizenship pros and cons
Outside of the “big ones” above, here’s just a rapid-fire list of various Italian citizenship pros and cons to be aware of.
The good stuff
The bad stuff
Read the Italian dual citizenship pros and cons and you’re convinced you want an Italian passport?
Good! Then I’d love to help you. Feel free to contact us here. At Get Italian Citizenship, Inc. we offer à la carte services such as document procurement and translations, as well as full service Italian dual citizenship packages where we take care of everything for you from start to finish.