Documents Needed to Apply for Italian Dual Citizenship



For many Americans, Italy can be the country with the most direct path to acquire dual citizenship or reacquire Italian citizenship. Eligibility laws are clear although not the most simple to navigate. Italy has fairly lenient laws recognizing that any individual who can prove their Italian heritage may be eligible for Italian citizenship. The first step is to ensure you qualify and meet all of the Italian dual citizenship requirements as required by law.

Depending on your circumstances, slightly different rules may apply to this eligibility. For example, the Constitution of 1948 only recognizes females that were born after 1st January 1948. That is to say, a mother or grandmother who was born in Italy before this date is not a viable option when it comes to the application for dual citizenship under the old laws. However, after 2009 this law has since been successfully challenged allowing many who previously did not qualify to now be eligible.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the documents needed to apply for Italian dual citizenship:


Assembling the Documents Needed for Italian Citizenship


In order to ensure the best chance of approval, you should know the importance of accuracy with Italian dual citizenship required documents. In other words, even minor errors or inaccuracies will result in your application being rejected.

With this in mind, vital records such as marriage, birth or death certificates must be provided in long-form only and bear the necessary seal of approval from the relevant registry office. Additionally, each document should include an ‘Apostille’ which is an official document that validates these documents.

Yes – you need a separate document to confirm the authenticity of your original documents.

At the same time, it is important that you double check the accuracy of names, dates and details of these documents as this is one sure way of delaying the process. In fact, any corrections in this situation need to be made with an “affidavit to amend a record” from the Vital Statistics Office which also takes time. Moreover, these documents must be translated into Italian by a fully certified translator.

But what exactly are the documents needed for Italian citizenship?

Checklist for the Italian Dual Citizenship Documents

Documentation requirements can vary slightly from consulate to consulate, however the following documents must be provided to support your application:


1. Birth Certificates from the “Commune’ in Italy

You will need the birth certificate for your Italian born ancestors in the Italian commune in which they were born. In the event that you are claiming Italian heritage based on a paternal grandparent, you will need a certificate for both grandparents from their respective communes and for your parents. In short, you will need birth certificates for each generation in direct lineage to you.


2. Death Certificates

If your Italian ancestors are deceased, you will need a certified copy of the appropriate death certificate. Also, this document must be supported by an apostille and translated into Italian. In certain cases death records may be required.


3. Marriage Certificates from Italy

As with the birth certificates, you must obtain a marriage certificate which outlines that either your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, or great great grandparents were married in Italy. If this marriage took place in the United States, you will need a certified copy of the marriage certificate along with an apostille from the relevant Secretary of State.


4. Naturalization Certificates

If you do not have an Italian passport and official resident card for your parents or paternal grandparents, you will need a copy of the naturalization record for your mother, father, grandmother or grandfather if you are applying through them.


5. Your Personal Civil Records

You will need to provide an official birth certificate with your application along with a marriage cert or birth certificates of your children if applicable. In the case that you might be divorced, you will also need a certified copy of the divorce records and an apostille for these documents from the Secretary of State.


Please be advised if you are attempting to do this yourself, the Italian consulates are very strict with the document requirements and often reject applications causing applicants to reschedule. You must have certified copies in the correct formatting. Failure to have certified copies will likely result in a denied application.

  • All of your birth, marriage, and death records relating to you Italian family but not procured in Italy will need to have an apostille (according to Hague Convention of Dec. 5, 1961). Certificates of naturalization and naturalization records will likely not need an apostille.
  • All certificates that are not in the Italian language will be required to be translated into Italian prior to submitting. The only exception being the USA certificate of naturalization or any supporting documents regarding the naturalization status of the applicant.
  • Ensuring your documents meet the requirements and comply with the local regulations on the legalization of documents is critical. Any documents procured from countries other than Italy or the USA must abide by these regulations. It is mandatory that these documents are translated into the Italian language and the translation must be certified by the Italian Consulate or Embassy in the country of issuance. Please be aware there are different types of legalizations. To determine the type of legalization, you must verify with the country of origin’s local Italian consulate or embassy for confirmation.
  • This is a general list as Italian consulates operate somewhat independently and some have slightly different documentation requirements for Italian citizenship by descent. Often times the consulates will require supporting documents, letters of exemplification, and vital records.



Please be advised the Italian consulates have became extremely strict regarding any discrepancies and inconsistencies in documentation and they will likely result in your application being denied. Discrepancies and inconsistencies typically show up in the form of name changes (first & last), name misspellings, Americanized versions of names, nicknames, dates, birthplaces, etc. If there are any variations or errors in you our your ancestors documentation it is highly likely the consulate REJECT YOUR APPLICATION. Every inconsistency and variation must be legally amended with an official “affidavit to amend a record” along with official documentation for your application to be processed properly.

Please be aware the paperwork in your dual citizenship application must be flawless. Taking time to assemble the correct information and check the accuracy of these documents will save you time. If you need assistance learning how to apply for dual citizenship in Italy, contact us and we can assist you with the dual citizenship process.

This page was last updated with the help of Marco Permunian

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