10 de October, 2023
You know that great-grandfather in your family who was Italian? They could be a way for you to get your Italian Italian citizenship. This is because, unlike other nations, Italy does not set generation limits for the transmission of nationality. All you need to do is trace your family tree and gather all the necessary documents to apply.
There are, however, a few details to keep in mind. The ancestor in question cannot have renounced their original citizenship in favor of a new one. This happened a lot during the Great Migration, when millions of Italians left the country in search of economic opportunities and a better life. You also need to be aware of the dates of the documents and the changes in the law, which have altered access to Italian citizenship over the years.
This article will explain who is entitled to Italian citizenship what documents are required, deadlines, fees and the procedures needed to start the process.
It’s worth remembering that Italian citizenship can open many doors for your future, allowing you to live, study, work and invest in any EU country.
Italian citizenship is granted to people who have an Italian ancestor (antenato) as long as he or she has not renounced Italian citizenship. It is necessary to prove the family relationship by presenting birth, marriage and death certificates from the Italian antenato to the applicant.
It is worth noting that there is no generation limit for the transmission of citizenship by descent. However, it is necessary to provide all certificates necessary to prove kinship.
When tracing the genealogy, it is crucial to check whether there are women in the line of descent. Until 1948, children did not receive citizenship through maternal transmission, only paternal. This was because until then, foreign women who married acquired the nationality of their spouse.
Although this does not prevent the process, which can take place through the courts, it can reduce the chances of success. Therefore, this is a relevant aspect to consider during the procedure.
The judicial route is also the most suitable for more complicated cases, when there is a missing document or when the transmission line is interrupted in some way (as in the example above).
In the case of descendants (jus sanguinis), the documents required will be:
All documents need to be translated and apostilled.
Yes, people of Italian descent can live in the country without having to apply for a visa. You must enter Italy as a tourist, so you can stay in the country for 90 days.
If the process is not completed within this period, you will have to apply for a “Permesso di Soggiorno”, a residence and residence permit.
Italian law allows this, but you must have all the translated and apostilled documents proving your descent. The applicant for citizenship must also obtain accommodation and proof of it. Only then can they go to the “Comune” (town hall) to present all the documentation and apply for their residence permit.
Are you married to an Italian citizen? If so, you can apply for citizenship within the following time limit:
The deadline is reduced for couples who have children in common:
The address and marital status of the Italian citizen and information about minor children (if applicable) must be duly updated at the Italian Consulate. Finally, to be able to apply, you will also need to prove that you can speak Italian. The required level is intermediate (B1). The type of citizenship granted in this case is by naturalization.
Italian law does not accept stable unions to start the citizenship process for couples of different genders.
The law only recognizes stable unions as an alternative to marriage in the case of same-sex couples since the country does not allow gay marriage.
The online application can be made by attaching the following documents:
When you are granted citizenship, you must swear an oath to the Italian Constitution. On this day, you will have to present your documents again, updated. In other words, if there is a divorce during the process, the applicant loses the right to the new citizenship.
However, if there is a separation after the process has been completed, citizenship is already guaranteed.
According to nationality law, Italian citizenship is granted to foreigners from outside the EU who have been legally resident in Italy for at least 10 years.
This period can be reduced in certain specific situations:
|Time required residence
|For people who are of Italian descent up to the second degree or who were born in Italy.
|For citizens who live in Italy and were born in one of the countries belonging to the European Union.
|For those adopted by Italians after the age of 18, for political refugees, stateless persons or people who have served the country for that period.
|For people who were adopted by Italian citizens before 1983.
To apply for Portuguese citizenship by length of residence, the following documents are required:
Italy follows the principle of “jus sanguinis” which means that citizenship is based on ancestry, not place of birth. Therefore, a person born in Italy is not automatically an Italian citizen, unless at least one of their parents is an Italian citizen. However, there are some exceptions for children born in Italy to foreign parents, if the parents are stateless or unable to pass on their citizenship. In other words, Italian citizenship for those born in Italy only applies in special cases such as stateless persons.
Citizenship by merit is generally granted to people who have made significant contributions to the country in areas such as culture, economics, science and public service. They are awarded by the President of the Republic himself, in very rare cases.
The average waiting time to obtain Italian citizenship will depend on the type of process you choose.
As a rule, the deadline for defining the process of recognizing citizenship should be up to 730 days (about 2 years) from the date the application is received. However, in many cases it can take longer:
The amount to be spent varies greatly. It will depend on a number of factors:
The price is usually between €1,000 and €6K.
Hiring specialized advice for the Italian citizenship application is crucial due to the documentary complexity involved in the application. In the case of Italy, specific laws vary according to the year of the ancestor’s emigration and there are gender restrictions until 1948. The legal nuances, challenging bureaucratic procedures, regional variations and the time involved make professional assistance vital to avoid mistakes, optimize the process and increase the chances of success. The specific experience of these professionals in dealing with the intricate details of the Italian system can guarantee efficiency throughout the procedure of obtaining Italian citizenship by descent and avoid losses. Can you imagine going through an expensive process, waiting for years and having the document denied because of a mistake, resulting in a huge loss?
It can be very useful to hire a consultancy to help you through the process.
Obtaining Italian citizenship can open up a host of opportunities, including the freedom to live and work in any country in the European Union. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming. It’s important to be well informed and prepared before starting your journey. Atlantic Bridge can give you the support you need to obtain your new nationality. Talk to our consultants!
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.