If I Was Born in Italy but Naturalized as an American Citizen, am I Still an Italian Citizen?

If I Was Born in Italy but Naturalized as an American Citizen, am I Still an Italian Citizen?

If I Was Born in Italy but Naturalized as an American Citizen, am I Still an Italian Citizen?

If you are an avid reader of our articles, you’ll find plenty of information on how to claim your Italian citizenship. The majority of information deals with three different types of claims:

  • You have a direct ancestor who was born in Italy (jure sanguinis/by descent)
  • You’ve become a citizen through marriage
  • You reside in Italy (residency)

Of course, each path to citizenship claim has its own requirements and challenges. However, there is one particular case that is not often spoke about. What happens if you were born in Italy with Italian citizenship upon birth and relocated to another country and naturalized as a citizen of that country? Are you still legally an Italian citizen or not?

Well, it all depends on the timing, so to speak. The key date you need to look at is August 16th, 1992. Before this date, Italy did not allow dual citizenship. So, if you naturalized before that date, legally speaking, you’ve formally renounced being a citizen. In other words, you cannot claim it using a typical jure sanguinis application. There is, however, a method of reacquiring it. All you have to do is provide the Italian government proper evidence that you, as someone with native blood, want to reconnect with your roots. Of course, you will have to establish a residency in the country in order to do that.

I Was Naturalized After August 16th, 1992, What Do I Do?

As stated earlier, if you naturalized before this date, you’re in luck. The process of acquiring your citizenship is instantly a whole lot easier. Bear in mind, the procedure below also applies if you never naturalized to begin with.

You will first need to register with the Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad, or AIRE. Once you do, you can apply for a passport. Of course, you would have to provide your vital records to the consulate. That way, they can be registered by the Italian municipality where you were born. These records include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Any marriage or divorce certificates, if they apply
  • Your naturalization records, if they apply.

Don’t forget that you absolutely must provide only certified copies of all of these records. In addition, they need to be apostilled and translated into Italian before the municipality can register them.

I Was Naturalized Before August 16th, 1992, What Do I Do?

Because of Italian law at the time, you aren’t seen as a citizen if you naturalized before the given date. In order to reacquire your citizenship, you will have to establish residency in Italy, and going about it is a bit of a process.

First off, you will need to visit your local consulate and submit several documents. The exact number of documents will vary depending on where you apply, so here’s a helpful resource to learn how to reacquire Italian citizenship if you renounced. In addition, you need to sign a specific declaration that states your intent of reacquisition. According to law, you will have one year from the date of signing the declaration to establish a residency in Italy.

Next comes the actual establishing of your residency. Once you get to Italy, you need to provide the municipality proof that you can legally own property within its jurisdiction. A property deed or a lease agreement will do. After you provide the document, the local police need to verify that you’re actually living at the property you’ve listed. You will need to live at the property within 45 days after you submitted your application for residency in order for the verification to be valid.

With the verification out of the way, you can safely proceed to the reacquisition. That will include providing all of the necessary documents to the municipality. Said documents will have to include another declaration. This document has to state your intent at reacquisition. Once you have all the necessary documents, the municipality will process them in a period of a few months. Finally, after you become a citizen, you can start applying for a passport.

Final Thoughts

So, if you were born in Italy to at least one Italian parent, but became naturalized as an American citizen, you have a few ways of reacquiring your citizenship. Depending on when you were born, you will either have to establish residency in Italy or register with the AIRE and start your application for a passport. In case you need any further help on the subject, feel free to contact us today.

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