Thousands of people apply for Italian citizenship every single year. But if you’re not “in the know,” how do you decide where to file your application? There are a few different options depending on your circumstances.
If you qualify for Italian dual citizenship, you might be wondering where you go once you’ve gathered all of your documents. This is normal—the Italian citizenship process can be confusing and daunting even on the best of days.
But not to worry. After this post, you’ll know exactly where to apply for Italian citizenship.
You basically have a choice of three options. Not everyone is eligible to use each, as special circumstances may dictate where you are able to apply. All of the possible options are as follows:
Most people will apply at their local Italian consulate. This is the tried-and-true path. If you don’t know where to apply for Italian citizenship or you have a straightforward case, this is probably the option you will choose.
In the United States, there are ten Italian consulates (click here for a list of all Italian consulates and embassies in the U.S.) spread throughout the country.
When you apply for citizenship at your Italian consulate, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, you’ll need to get an appointment. Each consular website has a link to a system called “Prenota Online.” Once there, you’ll be prompted to sign up and pick from a calendar of dates.
Note: Be quick! Dates fill up fast. If you don’t get your desired dates right away, keep trying and be persistent.
If you are a resident of Italy (or choose to elect residency), you can effectively skip the consulate and apply in Italy. If you need to know where to apply for Italian citizenship but are in a rush to get your passport, this is likely the best option.
There are some things to keep in mind when considering applying in Italy.
If you are not eligible to apply in Italy or at your consulate, you may be able to file in the Court of Rome. This is predominantly for those who have a “1948 case” but also applies to those who cannot get an appointment at their consulate, or who have an appointment which is more than 2 years in the future.
If you can’t get a consular appointment, you can hire an Italian attorney to take your case to court. According to Italian law, a delay of more than 24 months between the time you have your appointment and the time you make it is a violation of your rights. The courts apply the same logic for those who cannot obtain an appointment at all.
The same principle applies as above. If your appointment is more than 24 months into the future, you can take it to court.
Before January 1, 1948 Italy did not allow women to pass on citizenship to their children (except for rare circumstances). Thus, if you have a female ancestor whose child was born before this date, you must hire an Italian attorney to represent you in court. It’s actually a fairly easy process. You need not be present in Italy and an unlimited number of family members can add themselves to your petition.
You must hire an Italian attorney. Your attorney does not need to be located in Rome, but it’s helpful since the court that hears your case is in Rome.
Still wondering where to apply for Italian citizenship and need clarification? Not to worry! Contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.