ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP THROUGH PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, & GREAT GRANDPARENTS
EDUCATIONAL GUIDE TO OBTAIN ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP THROUGH YOUR ANCESTORS OF ITALIAN DESCENT
Italian citizenship may be easier to obtain than almost any other country in Europe but there is still a very specific process to follow. Whether you wish to apply for Italian citizenship through parents, grandparents, or great grandparents, all documentation is required, while the time frame varies depending on your local consulate. Furthermore, the Italian citizenship process is not always abundantly clear and determining if you qualify for Italian citizenship through descent can be quite confusing. Our professionals offer a free consultation to help you determine if we can help you qualify for Italian citizenship free of both charge and obligation.
But how can you start this process and what do you need to know?
In this short guide, we outline the basic rules involved and how you can obtain Italian citizenship through parents, grandparents or even your great-grandparents.
Jure Sanguinis and Applying for Italian Citizenship through Ancestors of Italian Descent
As you may know, Italy deploys a principle called Jure Sanguinis when it comes to citizenship. Simply put, this law ensures that anyone with legitimate ancestral ties to Italy can be entitled to Italian citizenship through descent.
While jure sanguinis is practiced elsewhere around the world, the application process in Italy is known to be a lot more straightforward than most countries. For this reason, even distant descendants of can help you qualify for dual citizenship and the lines are clear so long as you can prove that such ties exist.
In fact, many Americans manage to obtain Italian citizenship through great grandparents quite easily, not to mention their mother or father. However, it’s important to know that different rules apply depending on the ancestor through which you are trying to obtain dual citizenship.
Do You Qualify for Italian Citizenship through Grandparents, Parents etc?
In case you might be asking yourself, asking around the family is the best way to start checking if you qualify for Italian citizenship through ancestry. What can you find out about this ancestor? Where was this person born or when did they arrive in America?
You can use government resources in the United Stated to search for naturalization records with just the name or date of birth of your parent, grandparent, or great grandparent. At the same time, the responsibility is on you and not the Italian consulate to investigate the legitimacy of these ancestral ties.
With this in mind, ALL documentation is also needed to prove these ancestral ties and are required for those who wish to apply for Italian citizenship by descent.
Applying for Italian Citizenship through Parents
While you can apply for Italian citizenship through parents, you should know that it’s often more likely that you will qualify through your father as opposed to your mother. You see, Italian law states that women born prior to January 1st 1948 are not able to provide dual citizenship to their children. This law has since been successfully challenged opening the door for so many more people to obtain Italian citizenship through their maternal side. This cases can be rather complicated so please contact us for details if you feel you fall into this category.
At the same time, there are other restrictions in place and specific requirements in terms of supporting documentation. For example, your parents must not have renounced their right to Italian citizenship or become naturalized before your date of birth. Once again however, this can be challenged if they had the right to claim Italian citizenship.
Applying for Italian Citizenship through Grandparents
It is very common that your grandmother or grandfather will enable you to qualify for citizenship as most grandparents at this time were born prior to January 1st 1948. There are often different option to pursue in terms of how to get Italian citizenship through grandparents depending on when and which one of your grandparents were born in Italy.
If your grandfather was born in Italy and was an Italian citizen when your parent was born, it’s possible to apply for Italian citizenship through grandparents. However, you can only qualify in this way if your parent has not since renounced their right to Italian citizenship.
Another important stipulation is that if using your father’s mother, it’s essential that your father was born after 1st January 1948. Similarly, when using your mother’s mother, your mother must have been born after this same date.
As with your mother or father, applying for Italian citizenship through grandparents is common. This is an especially good option when your grandparent is Italian and has not renounced their right to citizenship in Italy.
Applying for Italian Citizenship through Great Grandparents
You can apply for Italian citizenship through great grandparents if this relation was born in Italy and had Italian citizenship or the right to claim Italian citizenship when your respective grandparent was born.
As already mentioned, your great grandparent, grandparent or parent must not have renounced their right to Italian citizenship. Another important stipulation is that if using a female ancestor, the “next in line” must have been born after January 1st 1948 (once again this can be successfully challenged, contact us for details).
Documents You Will Need to Obtain Italian Citizenship
You will need to complete an application form for Italian citizenship but there are also documents which need to be obtained for your parent, grandparent or great grandparent. It’s also essential that these documents are *apostilled and translated into Italian by a translator approved by your local Italian consulate.
Birth Certificate – Certificate from the commune in which your parent, grandparent or great grandparent was born.
Death Certificate – If your parent, grandparent or great grandparent has since passed, you will need to obtain a death certificate.
Marriage Certificate – Applicable if your parent(s) or grandparent(s) happened to get married in Italy.
Naturalization Certificate – If no passport or citizen ID is available, you will need a naturalization certification for your parent, grandparent or great grandparent.
Personal Certificates – You should submit your birth certificate and marriage/divorce certifications if applicable.
*Apostilled – Documents need to be stamped and verified by the United States Secretary of State.
If your ancestors are from Italy you may be eligible to qualify for Italian citizenship. It’s best to contact us to determine if you do qualify and what your most direct path to successfully obtaining Italian citizenship would be. Our IDC team is here to assist you and make the process quick and simple.
This page was last updated with help by Marco Permunian
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