Italian Dual Citizenship

Which Type of Dual Citizenship?

Foreign spouses of Italian citizens residing in Italy may apply for Italian citizenship 2 years following their marriage, civil union, or civil partnership. If they have minor children (under 18 years of age), the waiting time is shortened to 12-18 months. 

For couples residing outside of Italy, the foreign spouse or partner can apply for Italian citizenship after 3 years. This time is reduced to 18 – 24 months if they have minor children.

Same-sex civil unions or partnerships are recognized in Italy (since 2016) and are afforded the same rights as marriages. On this point, an Italian Court of Cassation ruling in May 2018 held that same-sex marriages must be registered as civil unions in Italy, and such unions have the same rights as marriages, including obtaining citizenship through your Italian partner.

Also in 2018, Italian law introduced the language requirement for Italian citizenship marriage (jus matrimonii) applications. Together with the application for citizenship, the applicant must prove that she/he has sufficient Italian language knowledge and obtain the equivalent of the B1 certification at specially certified language programs. B1 is an intermediate language level and the requirement only applies to spouses or partners seeking to obtain Italian citizenship by marriage or civil union.

If you live in Italy, the application can be made online through the Italian Ministry of Interior’s portal. If you live outside Italy, the application must be made through the Italian Consulate that serves your area. For instance, if you live in Brooklyn or Bergen Country, NJ, the Italian Consulate with jurisdiction would be the Italian Consulate of New York in Manhattan; etc. 

Before 1983, a foreign woman who married an Italian man automatically attained Italian citizenship upon marriage. This law was later ruled unconstitutional since it only applied to foreign women and not foreign men who married Italian women. After April 26, 1983, foreign women and men were treated equally and no longer granted automatic Italian citizenship upon marriage.

However, if you are a woman who married an Italian man before the 1983 cut-off date, and was in a valid marriage up until that date, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship, even if your spouse is deceased or you are no longer married. 

Contact us for a free consultation with one of our Italian citizenship by marriage lawyers and we will walk you through how to get dual citizenship in Italy.

Jus sanguinis is the claim of Italian citizenship through the right of blood line or descent, and not place of birth. Italy recognizes Italian citizenship from one generation to the other. If you can show the blood relationship from a female or male relative, you may qualify for Italian citizenship through descent. In that sense, the child or grandchild of an Italian citizen is automatically an Italian citizen by birth.

In order for the Italian government to acknowledge the Italian citizenship of an individual born abroad, the person of Italian descent, depending on where she/he resides, must present proof of Italian citizenship to an Italian governmental authority, such as the Italian consulate or embassy or the local Italian municipality.

The oldest Italian descendent must have been alive on or after March 17, 1861 – when the Italian state was born. Before 1948, the right to citizenship jus sanguinis was passed on through the father. Then with the enactment of the Italian Constitution in 1948, women were afforded equal rights, and therefore, in principle, the right to pass their citizenship to their children. Finally, the 1992 law allowed for dual citizenship, by eliminating the loss of Italian citizenship by naturalization in another country.

The individual seeking to reacquire Italian citizenship through jus sanguinis must re-create a genealogical (unbroken) line from their Italian ancestor. For instance, the blood line might arise from your grandmother born in Italy who gave birth to your mother in the US before becoming a naturalized US citizen. Even though your mother is a US citizen, she inherited the right to Italian citizenship from her mother, and in turn you have the right to Italian citizenship through your mother. The line of jus sanguinis cannot skip a generation. Your mother’s birth date will determine the degree of complexity. If she was born after 1948, then you can apply for Italian citizenship directly with your local Italian consular authority. If she was born prior to 1948, a court action can be brought in Italy to recognize and claim your right to Italian citizenship. With a favorable court decision in hand (a majority of so-called 1948 cases are successful), you can proceed with your application for dual Italian citizenship with your local Italian consular authority.

Contact us for a free consultation with one of our Italian citizenship by descent lawyers and we will walk you through how to apply for dual citizenship in Italy.

Previously, under Italian law, Italian-born woman and woman of Italian descent could only transmit Italian citizenship to children born after 1948. A recent court case challenged this law as discriminatory against women (since men had no such limitation). Cases falling under this category can now be brought claiming that principles of gender equality provided under the 1948 Italian constitution be applied retroactively

In 2022, as part of an effort to reform Italian courts, new legislation requires that citizenship court cases be filed in the jurisdiction where the descendent was born. Local courts shall now process citizenship cases for their citizenry that immigrated. Previously all cases were heard by the Court of Rome, irrespective of the descendant’s birth place. 

If you have legally resided in Italy for at least ten years, you may apply to naturalize as an Italian citizen. The ten-year residence requirement is reduced if certain criteria are met.

• Three-year residence requirement for grandchildren of Italian grandparents or children of Italian parents.

• Four-year residence requirement for nationals of EU member states.

• Five-year residence requirement for stateless persons or individuals adopted as an adult by an Italian citizen.

Contact our Italian dual citizenship lawyer today

Contact our Italian dual citizenship attorneys today to streamline the complex process of acquiring your Italian citizenship. Our team of skilled and experienced attorneys from With_Papers is dedicated to providing personalized guidance and support throughout every step of the application journey. Do not miss out on the opportunity to reclaim your ancestral heritage and enjoy the benefits of dual citizenship. Contact one of our knowledgeable Italian dual citizenship lawyers today, and together, we will bring your Italian citizenship dreams into a tangible reality. Give us a call at 917-310-2246 or contact us here.  

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