Requirements for Italian Citizenship, do you Qualify?


The first step of obtaining Italian dual citizenship by descent is finding out if you qualify. As you may have found, determining if you’re eligible for Italian citizenship can be very complicated. For this reason, we offer a free consultation with our professional team in which we will do all the necessary ancestry research for you and your family and tell you if you qualify for Italian citizenship free of both charge and obligation. To schedule your free consultation you can contact us at (213) 277-8705.

People often contact us and ask ‘do I qualify for Italian dual citizenship’? The truth is, there are several legal instances in which you can automatically qualify for an Italian passport. However, many people fall under special circumstances where their qualification is not so clear. This is the point where many firms often advise you that you are not eligible for Italian citizenship. However, this is not always true. In reality, your case is a bit more complex and requires additional legwork to meet the requirements for Italian citizenship by descent (Jure Sanguinis).

We specialize in analyzing your individual circumstances and perform the necessary additional research needed to verify all possible options to help you qualify for Italian dual citizenship. We have a very high success rate helping people to qualify and apply for Italian citizenship. If you are unsure if you qualify, contact us at (213) 277-8705 to discuss your situation. We are dedicated to reviewing each client’s individual circumstances and carry out all the research necessary to make the determination of whether or not they meet the Italian citizenship requirements.

Apply for Italian citizenship and the Italian citizenship requirements per Law

Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis (by descent) - You may already be an Italian citizen!

On Feb. 5, 1992, Italian Law 91 was passed that stated an Italian citizen’s descendant is considered an Italian citizen. However, the Italian government would need to recognize the descendant’s citizenship. This means providing them with evidence that you have a direct bloodline of Italian ancestors to meet the requirements for Italian citizenship and therefore be granted all the benefits that come with being a citizen of Italy. Requirements for Italian citizens who involuntarily renounced their Italian citizenship as a minor will vary regarding the Italian government and Italian ministry laws.

However, straightforward this may be, there are exceptions to the rules. It’s important to look at the basic guidelines first, and then look deeper into specific categories Italian dual citizenship applicants must fall under to qualify for citizenship by descent (Jure Sanguinis).

5 Basic Requirements Everybody Must Meet

  • You’re a descendant of a person who was born after March 17, 1861, which was the unification date of Italy. Before this date, there were no Italian citizens.
  • The Italian ancestor in question did not naturalize to any country before July 1, 1912. Based on Law no. 555 of July 13, 1992, Italian citizenship cannot be transferred to descendants.
  • The Italian ancestor in question did not naturalize before the births of descendants interested in becoming an Italian citizen.
  • If the direct line Italian ancestor in question is a woman and was born before Jan. 1, 1948, citizenship can only be claimed from her father’s line, and citizenship passed onto her children if born after this date. (Your application can be denied on this basis, however you can have it heard in Italy’s courts and still be granted citizenship. You can learn more about this little wrinkle by giving us a call for a consultation.)
  • No one – you or your ascendants have renounced their Italian citizenship – be it via naturalization or another method.

Still not sure if you're eligible for Italian citizenship'? Let us clarify...

The family history for each person is unique (depending on fathers birth, mothers birth, grandparents birth, great grandparents birth and naturalization dates and methods), and Italian citizenship applications are going to vary from one another. However, IDC is well-versed in the different citizenship laws and can help you to wade through the grey area to learn if you and your family are eligible for Italian citizenship based on the various requirements. First, you’ll need to set up a free phone consultation with us to learn more about current laws and requirements for Italian citizenship and gather the details of your case.

The Basic Requirements For Italian Citizenship

Please understand this is a general list and there are several factors not mentioned here that can positively affect your eligibility for Italian citizenship. Understanding your eligibility can be very complex as everyone’s family history is unique and must be assessed individually to determine your most direct path to successfully obtaining Italian citizenship. Even if your case doesn’t appear to fall within the eligibility criteria, you should still contact us for a Free Consultation as we’ve often helped people qualify for Italian citizenship that previously were told they were not eligible. The Italian Consulates and Embassy cannot provide you with legal advice on obtaining Italian citizenship.
Gather some basic information about your Italian ancestor:
  • What is their full name, approximate date of birth and birthplace in Italy?
  • Verify your ancestors immigration process dates
  • Identify the direct line of relation between you and your ancestor

If you don’t know the above information, contact us for a free consultation or use the websites below to help:

Confirm 3 Key Points:
  • Did your ancestor die before March 17, 1861 (before Italy was considered a country)? – If yes, you may be ineligible for Italian citizenship by descent. If no, you could be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent.
  • Did they naturalize to another country before June 14, 1912? – If yes, you may be ineligible to apply for Italian citizenship by descent. If no, you could still be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent.
  • Is your birth date on Jan. 1, 1948 or any time after? – If yes, you may be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship by descent. If no, you may be ineligible for Italian citizenship by descent.


Confirm Last 2 Points:
  • Do you have a traceable direct bloodline from you to your first ancestor? – If yes, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent.
  • Has anyone in your family renounced their Italian citizenship? – If yes, you could be ineligible for citizenship by descent.


If you’re unsure of the answers to the the questions in Step 1 & 2, we offer a free phone consultation to assist you. We will also assist you in finding the right category you fall under and what your best possible path to citizenship is.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I qualify for Italian citizenship?

Most people with Italian ancestral ties qualify for Italian citizenship. While certain rules apply, the main requirement is that you can prove your ancestral links to an Italian ancestor who did not go through the naturalization process prior to the birth of their child. For female ancestors, the rule is different in that this individual must not have renounced their right to Italian citizenship and must have been born after January 1st 1948.

If you are an Italian citizen, you can apply for an Italian passport and this process can take between one and six weeks. If you are not already an Italian citizen, you will need to obtain citizenship before submitting any application for an Italian passport.

Most people with ancestral ties to Italy qualify for Italian dual citizenship. You will need to meet certain requirements and provide supporting evidence of these ties but the process is much more straightforward than almost anywhere else in Europe. If you have an Italian parent, grandparent, great grandparent this may qualify you for dual citizenship. On the other hand, if you are married to an Italian citizen, you can also be eligible to apply for Italian dual citizenship.

If you have an Italian parent, grandparent, or great grandparent, you might qualify for dual citizenship. However, your Italian ancestor must not have renounced their right to Italian citizenship and certain restrictions apply to female ancestors in particular. Alternatively, if you are married to an Italian ancestor, you should be entitled to apply for dual citizenship after 18 months of marriage.

This page was last updated with help by Marco Permunian

Dual Citizenship Services

– Determine if you qualify
– Free phone consultation
– Full Service Package
– Qualifying under special circumstances
– Apply for Italian citizenship
– Basic Services (records/translation/Genealogy, etc)

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