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How to Apply For Italian Dual Citizenship

Updated on June 18, 2014

Ever wondered how you could obtain dual citizenship? Are you of Italian descent? Follow this guide to learn how you may qualify for dual citizenship and apply to be an Italian citizen!

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Citizenship By Blood (Jure Sanguinis)

If you are of Italian descent and want to obtain dual citizenship with Italy then you could be in luck! Multiple citizenship with Italy was made legal in 1992, and most interestingly, this can be made possible through blood descent, as long as your ancestor was an Italian citizen whom emigrated after 1861.

Jure Sanguinis is Latin, meaning "by the right of blood"

Now there is a catch, however. As long as your Italian born ancestor whom emigrated, let's say... your grandfather, never renounced his citizenship or became "naturalized" before the birth of his child, then your parent qualifies. If your parent never renounced his or her citizenship before your birth, then you qualify!

Some people may live their whole lives not even knowing they could qualify for Italian citizenship!

Citizenship By Birth

This is probably the most obvious and straightforward way of obtaining Italian citizenship.

If you were born in the country of Italy and have not become a naturalized citizen of another country than you most certainly qualify for dual citizenship.

If you did renounce your citizenship then this matter is in the hands of the Italian Consulate. If you renounced it after the birth of your children then they qualify through jure sanguinis.

Citizenship By Marriage

Italian citizenship through marriage must be obtained by:

  • Marrying an Italian citizen
  • Living in Italy for at least 6 months
  • After living abroad for at least 3 years (with no divorce obviously)

Just some of the paperwork needed may include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Residence certificates
  • Italian citizenship certificate
  • Criminal records
  • Translated documents

Citizenship by Citizenship

If your a citizen of the EU (European Union) and have lived in Italy for at least 4 years then you qualify!

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How to Apply For Dual Citizenship

I wont lie, applying for Italian dual citizenship is a daunting process that can even take several years. There is no doubt however that the benefits certainly outweigh the cons if you are sure of your qualifications and go about the process the right way.

Below I have listed a basic step-by-step process for applying for Italian dual citizenship.


Step 1: Documentation

If you're applying for dual citizenship through jure sanguinis then you have a bit of a journey ahead of you. You're going to need the birth certificate of your emigrated Italian ancestor, in this case I will use the grandfather example again. You would need the birth certificate of your emigrated grandfather, along with the birth certificate of your related parent, and your own birth certificate. You will also need all spouse's birth certificates. If you have children whom want citizenship, you will need their's as well.

Now if your Italian ancestor is older, such as your grandfather, there is a good chance that he was naturalized. In this case it's game over for you unless you can prove that your related parent was born after he was naturalized or that he was never naturalized at all. In any case he will need to obtain his document of naturalization or non naturalization. Along with these you will also need all death and marriage certificates.

Non Italian birth/marriage/death records related to the "Italian side" must bear an "apostille" (according to the Hague Convention of Dec. 5, 1961)

Certificates in other languages than Italian must be translated into Italian. (Certificates of Naturalization and/or similar documentation do not require apostilles or translation)

As you can see... there are a lot of documents required. Note: A specialized immigration lawyer can help you through this process as it takes a lot of research and cooperation.

Step 2: Contact the Consulate

Once you have all the proper documentation in order, you must contact your nearest Italian consulate. Note: Necessary documents may vary between consulates. The consulate will verify your documentation and communicate to the consulate in Italy.

From there, you will move on to step 3

Step 3: Wait...

The heading explains it all. Once you have made it this far there isn't much left to do. The waiting process can take months and when added on to the amount of time you spent researching and gathering documentation... well... let's just say you could be ready to start calling the consulate screaming your head off in frustration.

Be patient!

Reasons Why You Could Be Rejected

Now rejection is rare once you've been cleared by the consulate in your country. Some reasons may include:

  • You were found guilty committing a crime against the Italian State.
  • You've been found guilty of a predetermined crime for which you could be sentenced a minimum of three years in prison
  • You've been found guilty of a non-political crime abroad which you have been sentenced for at least a year
  • You pose a threat to national security

Benefits of Dual Citizenship

  • As an Italian Citizen you will be part of the EU (European Union), meaning that you will be able to vote in elections for European Parliament.
  • As an Italian citizen and part of the EU, you will be able to live and work anywhere within the European Union.
  • You will have an Italian passport (along with that of your home country)
  • Your siblings and children can obtain dual citizenship through you
  • You can seek health care benefits not available in other countries

© 2014 Giovanni

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