How to Apply for Italian Citizenship by Descent From the United States

If you live in the United States and have family members of Italian descent, you may have grown up visiting Italy or want to share in your family’s heritage. You can do this by applying for Italian dual citizenship by descent, also known as jus sanguinis. If you can prove you have an unbroken chain of Italian ancestors, you may qualify for this status and obtain an Italian passport. The process, however, can be complicated and time-consuming, which can be challenging to handle on your own.

With the help of our seasoned team at With_Papers, you can focus on work and other important daily tasks while we manage the details of your application. We are a team of licensed New York and Rome attorneys with over 20 years of experience practicing international business and Italian dual citizenship law. Therefore, you can trust us to make your application experience seamless and stress-free. We keep you informed every step of the way, so you can make the best decisions for your future.

4 steps in the Italian dual citizenship application by descent process

Italian recognizes citizenship through the right of bloodline, not just birthplace. This means if you can show the blood relationship between you and a male or female Italian relative, including grandparents and great-grandparents, you may qualify for Italian citizenship. Before you receive your Italian passport, you must follow the application process, which typically involves the following steps:

Contact a Consultancy

If you want to apply to become an Italian dual citizen, it may be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, our full-service consultancy, With_Papers, is here to help. Our supportive team takes the time to listen to your story and understand your needs to develop a bespoke plan. We use our extensive knowledge to help interpret laws and rules and overcome language barriers. This dedication and comprehensive service help you achieve your dreams with minimum hassle.

Meet the Requirements

Italian dual citizenship by descent is available only to those who meet specific requirements. Our team can help you determine if you meet these qualifications, which include the following:

  • You must be born to an Italian citizen or a parent with the right to Italian citizenship by descent
  • You must be in direct lineage, and at least one of your most recent Italian ancestors did not naturalize as a citizen of another country before their child’s birth
  • The oldest Italian descendant must have been alive on or after March 17, 1861, when Italy was recognized as a nation
  • If you carry Italian ancestry through a female relative, their child must have been born after January 1, 1948, when women were afforded equal rights under the Italian Constitution, and thus, gained the right to pass citizenship to their children

If your female Italian ancestor’s child was born before 1948, you may still be granted Italian dual citizenship through an action in Italian court. Our skilled team can help you bring a court action in Italy against the Italian Ministry of Interior to recognize and grant your right to Italian citizenship. Many of these challenges have resulted in successful outcomes, recognizing the Italian citizenship of descendants.

Gather Necessary Documents

Once you meet the requirements for Italian dual citizenship by descent, you must collect all necessary documents to prove an unbroken family line. These documents include the following:

  • Your Italian ancestors’ birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates, if applicable
  • Your birth, marriage, and divorce certificates, if applicable
  • Your Italian ancestors’ naturalization records or proof they were never naturalized

We understand it can be challenging to find and organize these documents on your own, so we can help you determine what you need to include in your application, so the process goes smoothly. 

Determine How You Should Apply

There are multiple ways to apply for Italian dual citizenship by descent. Depending on your circumstances, we may suggest one of the following methods:

  • Italian Consulate: An appointment with an Italian Consulate in the U.S. based on your jurisdiction. This appointment is no longer in person, rather it is the date that your completed application must be postmarked and sent to the competent Consulate. Once your application is submitted, the Consulate can take up to two years to process it.
  • Italian municipality: This quicker application option requires less documentation, but you must establish residency in the municipality you decide to file your application in. Once the Italian police confirm residency, you can make your appointment with the municipality’s citizenship office.
  • Italian court: If you have a case that involves the 1948 rule, you may need a lawyer to help you file your application through the Italian court. 

Because every person is different, we take a personalized approach to your case to determine which application option works best for you.

Learn more about how to apply for Italian Dual Citizenship by descent from our experienced team at With Papers

There are several reasons to want to become an Italian dual citizen. You may be planning for the future or want to connect with the community your ancestors came from. If you have an unbroken bloodline of Italian descendants, our team at With_ Papers can help you apply for Italian dual citizenship. We understand the complex ins and outs of the process, so you do not have to worry about handling it alone. 

Our complete services begin with a free consultation where we identify your needs and create a report that analyzes them and outlines the costs associated with the application and a completion timeline. To learn more about Italian dual citizenship by descent, call our Italian citizenship attorneys at 917-310-2246 or fill out our contact form.