ICA: 5 Ways to acquire Italian Citizenship
- WTI Magazine #116 Jun 15, 2019
Welcome again to our Italian Citizenship Assistance column!
In our previous article, we discussed the growing world-wide phenomenon of people with Italian ancestors wanting to gain Italian citizenship and the benefits connected to Italian Dual Citizenship. Gaining Italian citizenship is something that is truly possible for anybody who makes the effort, it is in fact one of the easiest ways of gaining European citizenship by far. Some routes for gaining Italian citizenship are easier than others. In this article we want to talk about 5 ways to gain Italian citizenship.
1) By Descent - Administrative Process
Let’s open this chapter talking about those of Italian descent whose family moved to America from Italy. Citizenship by descent is one of the most popular ways for a person to gain Italian citizenship. Services to assist with this process are our most requested and growing in popularity day by day as more and more people are finding out that there is a pathway for people of Italian descent to gain Italian citizenship.
The application for Italian citizenship by descent is filed at your local Italian consulate and you must provide documents to demonstrate that Italian citizenship was transmitted to your Italian-born ancestor to you without interruptions.
One of the main advantages of gaining an Italian passport through descent is that, unlike citizenship through marriage, it is not required to be able to speak Italian. We will talk more in detail about Italian citizenship by descent in one of our next articles.
In the mealtime, for more information on Italian citizenship by descent click here
2) Applying in Italy
Another set of circumstances is for people who choose to go through the process for citizenship by descent while they reside in Italy. This is a great way to experience the land of your ancestors and a way for you to invest time in getting your life started in the country where you will be a citizen. This is especially true if you are already thinking or have ever thought about relocating to Italy once you have gained Italian citizenship. There are many people who choose to apply for citizenship in Italy because the process can be faster and eliminate quite long waits in consulates outside of Italy just for a first appointment.
3) By Descent - Judicial Process
There may be some circumstances where a person appears to be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent but they are not because their family line back to Italy goes through a female ancestor who gave birth to her child before Jan 1, 1948. This unfortunately is a different situation in the eyes of the Italian Government as women could not transfer their Italian citizenship to their children prior to the promulgation of the 1948 Italian constitution.
In this case, it is necessary to actually go through a judicial process rather than through the aforementioned administrative process in order to pursue Italian citizenship, by arguing in court, based on the numerous legal precedents, that the Italian law was discriminatory against women.
Even though going through a male is mostly seen as a more “standard” process, going through a female ancestor and challenging the courts can be much easier that it may first appear and results in a very direct procedure.
For more information on 1948 judicial proceedings please click here.
4) Citizenship through residency (With Italian Ancestry up to the Second Degree)
What about gaining citizenship through residency? There are circumstances where a person is of Italian descent but not eligible for citizenship Jure Sanguinis (citizenship by descent), for instance because of a “broken” lineage. The child or grandchild of a person born in Italy would be eligible to go through a simpler process than people not of Italian descent. They would in fact be required to reside in Italy only for 3 years, whereas individuals without any Italian descent would be required to legally reside in Italy for up to 10 years before being able to apply for citizenship.
5) By Marriage
Another way to obtain Italian citizenship is through marriage. This process is relatively simple compared to procedures in other countries around the world and it is not a legal requirement for the non-Italian spouse to reside in Italy at any time.
For those of you who are married to an Italian citizen and would like to acquire Italian citizenship by marriage, the requirements are quite minimal and the only prerequisite is that the marriage of the non-Italian citizen to the Italian must be for a minimum of 3 years if the couple is residing outside of Italy. If the couple lives in Italy, the length of time a couple needs to have been married is decreased to 2 years. Either ways, time requirement is cut in half if the couple has minor children together.
Another consideration is the linguistic requirement (this is a recently introduced requirement). The non-Italian spouse is now required to speak Italian to be able to apply. For more information about this, we will be talking more specifically about Italian citizenship through marriage and the new B1 linguistic requirement in next month’s article.
In the meantime, you can click here to find out more about some of the services we offer and how we may be able to assist you with citizenship by marriage or any other questions that relates to Italian citizenship.
Since 2016 Italy also recognizes unions between same-sex couples.
Keep in mind: attaining Italian citizenship by marriage will allow you to relocate with your Italian partner to Italy or to another European Union country.
That's it for this month’s article. Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming article next month where we will be focusing on Italian citizenship by marriage and the B1 linguistic requirement.