Courts Impose Changes To Law, Making It Slightly Easier To Become An Italian Citizen

Special circumstances for Italian dual citizenship regarding 1948 court cases from the Supreme Court of Italy

According to the Italian Citizenship law of 1912, men were the only ones granted to give Italian citizenship to their offspring (whether they were born in or out of the country). Children born to Italian men were granted Italian citizenship.

This law did not apply to women, which meant children born to Italian women were not considered Italian citizens. Changes were made to the Italian constitution, and now Italian citizenship is granted of an Italian man or woman’s descendant born after January 1, 1948. These court cases are often referred to as a 1948 case.

At that time, citizenship applications where the ancestor is an Italian-born female and a child was born before 1948 were denied. Italian women who marry non-Italian men before 1948 were discriminated against as well, losing their rights to citizenship due to their marriage.

2009 Law Change Alters How To Become An Italian Citizen

2009 ushered in a new law change that has affected how Italian citizenship is granted. Each of the prior situations were recently tried in court as being unfair and discriminatory. Any applicant seeking Italian dual citizenship but fell under one of these situations can now apply for Italian citizenship and potentially be approved. Since the 2009 precedent was set, and many applicants have now been approved for Italian dual citizenship. These changes have made the process of becoming an Italian citizen much more clear.

The legal precedents stipulated that the 1948 Italian constitution’s principles such as gender equality must be applied retroactively. This includes events that took place before the Italian constitution was issued. Courts stated female ancestors passed their Italian citizenship onto their birth children so long as they didn’t freely naturalize before the birth. The courts also stated women were still Italian citizens despite marrying a man who wasn’t Italian and could therefore pass on their citizenship benefits as well..

The Office of the Ministry of Interior was a counterpart in the lawsuit, and lawsuits of this type must be filed before the Civil Court of Rome. There are several reasons in which attaining Italian citizenship by descent or Italian citizenship by marriage is likely to be approved by Italy’s courts:

  • Courts tended to grant citizenship in any lawsuit filed in and after 2009
  • The Italian government no longer represent itself in court - counterclaims are no longer filed, and state attorneys no longer represent the Italian Ministry of Interior office
  • In most new trials, the judge presiding over the case is the same one that granted Italian dual citizenship in other cases

Although there have been a significant number of positive court outcomes, it’s not guaranteed that bringing a lawsuit will give you the result you want. Each court has the power to rule as it chooses at any time. However, in most cases, Italian courts will stick to the widely accepted ruling.

A Look At Recent Court Cases

As qualifying under a 1948 rule and filing a 1948 case is a court case in Rome, it is necessary to hire a lawyer to represent you in Italy’s Courts even if your case involves a citizenship request where the descendant is a male. If you have not heard from the Italian Consulate about your application within 730 days, you can request a hearing in the Civil Court of Rome to attain immediate Italian citizenship and receive Italian citizenship benefits.

You can also start the legal process in Italy, going before the Civil Court of Rome and use the gathered evidence of citizenship to make your request. This is especially true if the consulate has your appointment scheduled for a date after 730 days. The judge can listen to the case and will make a ruling instead of the consulate.

In cases such as these, the Civil Court of Rome will be the one to handle the request, and there have been many judgments ruled in Petitioners’ favors. People who fall under this 1948 rule can now potentially qualify and obtain Italian citizenship with the proper assistance.

The only time you should go before the Administrative Courts of Italy is when you feel your application for becoming an Italian citizen has been unfairly denied.

If you are unsure if you meet the requirements for Italian Dual Citizenship, contact one of our IDC professionals at (213) 277-8705

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