Italian Citizenship by Descent

There are several paths to applying for Italian citizenship, however, citizenship by descent remains one of the most popular ways that many Americans with Italian descent have pursued in recent years.

As a general rule, you can apply for citizenship by descent if your ancestor who was born in Italy was never naturalized or was naturalized after his/her child’s birth abroad, and if none of your ascendants in your direct line of descent ever formally renounced their right to Italian citizenship.

Nevertheless, please note that there are a number of exceptions to these rules. If you would like to learn more about these feel free to read more information here.

In order to apply for Italian citizenship, you will need your family’s vital records. These include birth, marriage, death, and divorce certificates (if applicable) and the ancestor’s naturalization records or proof that he/she was never naturalized.

Once all the vital records have been collected they will need to be authenticated with Apostilles and they will then need to be translated into Italian and submitted to the Italian consulate that covers the jurisdiction where you reside.

When the citizenship application is approved, you will be granted Italian citizenship, you will be registered with the AIRE (Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad) and will then be issued an Italian passport.

Despite the process sounding quite daunting, there are several advantages to holding dual citizenship such as the ability to travel, study or work anywhere in the European Union without any time limitation.

Italian citizens can also benefit from high quality, low cost universal health care and higher education.

Finally, you can reside in Italy for an unlimited period of time and enjoy the country’s lifestyle, its fascinating culture, art and history.


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