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Apply for Italian citizenship by descent through your great-grandparents

Apply for Italian citizenship by descent through your great-grandparents

Discover how you can get Italian citizenship by descent through your Italian great-grandparents or grandparents. Our informative guide outlines the requirements, documentation, and steps involved in the process to help you determine your eligibility and achieve your goal of obtaining Italian citizenship.

1. What is Italian citizenship by descent and how can you qualify for it through your ancestors’ lineage (jure sanguinis)?

Italian citizenship by descent, also known as jure sanguinis, is a legal process that allows individuals with Italian ancestry to obtain Italian citizenship. This means that if you have an Italian parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent, you may be eligible to apply for Italian citizenship through descent.

Definition and eligibility requirements

To determine your eligibility, you will need to gather documents that prove your ancestry, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and naturalization records. You will also need to provide documentation to prove that your Italian ancestor never renounced their Italian citizenship. Keep reading for more details.

Benefits of obtaining Italian citizenship

The benefits of obtaining Italian citizenship are numerous. Italian citizens have the right to live, work, and study in Italy and other countries in the European Union. They also have access to free or low-cost healthcare, education, and other public services.

How to determine eligibility based on ancestry

To apply for Italian citizenship by descent, you will need to follow a series of steps. First, you will need to gather all the necessary documents and have them apostilled and translated into Italian. Then, you will need to make an appointment at the nearest Italian consulate and submit your application. The consulate will review your application and notify you if any additional documents are needed.

Steps to apply for Italian citizenship through descent

If your application is approved, you will need to take an oath of allegiance and receive your Italian passport. It’s important to note that the process can take up to 24/36 months, depending on the backlog of applications at the consulate.

Learn more: step-by-step: How to Apply for Italian Citizenship through descent


2. Can I get Italian dual citizenship by descent through grandparents or great-grandparents – Learn if you qualify.

Italian dual citizenship is a possibility for individuals who have ancestors from Italy. By obtaining Italian dual citizenship, one can have the benefits of being a citizen of both Italy and their current country. To qualify for Italian dual citizenship by descent through grandparents or great-grandparents, there are certain requirements that need to be met.

Understanding Italian dual citizenship

  • As of 1992, Italian dual citizenship allows a person to hold citizenship in two countries simultaneously.
  • Italy recognizes the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood) for determining citizenship, meaning that a person can claim Italian citizenship if they have an Italian ancestor.
  • Italian citizenship by descent is a common way to obtain Italian dual citizenship.

Eligibility requirements for obtaining Italian dual citizenship

“Citizenship is passed on from parent to child without limitation of generation, on the condition that none of the ancestors has ever renounced their citizenship.”

  • Eligibility for Italian dual citizenship through grandparents or great-grandparents depends on a variety of factors, including the birthplace of the ancestor, the time period in which they were born, and the individual’s own citizenship status.
  • Generally, individuals can qualify for Italian dual citizenship if their grandparent or great-grandparent was an Italian citizen at the time of their birth, or if their ancestor naturalized as a citizen of another country after their birth but before the birth of the next generation.

Who is eligible for Italian citizenship by descent?

  • Your great-grandfather was born in Italy on either your paternal or maternal side.

You may qualify if your paternal or maternal grandfather was born in a foreign country, but your paternal or maternal great-grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of your grandfather’s birth, and neither you nor your father/mother or grandfather/grandmother ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

  • Either your paternal grandfather or grandmother was born in Italy.

You may be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent if either your paternal grandfather or grandmother was born in Italy and your father was born in a foreign country. Your paternal grandfather or grandmother must have been an Italian citizen at the time of your father’s birth, and neither you nor your father ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

  • Either your maternal grandfather or grandmother was born in Italy.

If your mother was born in a foreign country but your maternal grandfather or grandmother was an Italian citizen at the time of your mother’s birth, you may be able to claim Italian citizenship by descent through your mother. You were born after January 1, 1948, and you and your mother must have never renounced your right to Italian citizenship to be eligible.

  • Your father was born in Italy

You may be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent if your father was born in Italy and was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth. To qualify, you must have never renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

  • Your mother was born in Italy.

If your mother was born in Italy and was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth, and you were born after January 1st, 1948, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent. To be eligible, you must have never renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

*Even if you are affected by the 1948 rule, you can still claim your rights to Italian citizenship via the judicial route. To learn about how to claim Italian citizenship via the judicial court, click here.

The benefits of having dual citizenship

  • Having dual citizenship can provide numerous benefits, such as the ability to live and work in Italy without needing a visa, access to Italian healthcare and social services, and the ability to vote and participate in Italian politics.
  • Dual citizenship can also provide a stronger connection to Italian heritage and culture and may offer advantages in business or travel.

The process of applying for Italian dual citizenship through grandparents or great-grandparents

  • The process for obtaining Italian dual citizenship through grandparents or great-grandparents involves several steps, including gathering and translating necessary documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and naturalization records.
  • Applicants must also provide proof of their relationship to the Italian ancestor, such as through birth certificates or other official records.
  • The application process can vary depending on the country in which the applicant resides, but typically involves submitting the necessary documents to the Italian consulate or embassy and attending an appointment to complete the application process. The process may take several months or even years to complete, depending on the individual case.

The processing time for Italian citizenship applications depends on several factors. Learn more about Processing Time When Applying for Italian citizenship here.

If you have a complicated family history or are unsure about your eligibility for Italian citizenship by descent, seeking legal assistance can help increase your chances of success. Our team of experienced Italian citizenship and residency lawyers has 8 years of experience and can provide advice and support throughout the application process. Contact us or book a free 10-minute discovery call to check if you qualify.


3. How much does it cost to apply for Italian citizenship, and what are the fees and expenses involved in the process?

Fees and expenses involved in the Italian citizenship application process

  • The cost of applying for Italian citizenship can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of application, the documents required, and the country where the application is made.

    Certainly, here is a list of potential fees that may be involved in the Italian citizenship application process. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the fees can vary depending on several factors, and this list is not exhaustive:
    • Application fee
    • Translation fees (for non-Italian documents)
    • Legal fees (for obtaining and verifying necessary documents)
    • Apostille fees (for obtaining apostilled documents)
    • Courier fees (for sending and receiving documents)
    • Notary fees (for certifying documents)
    • Fees for obtaining necessary documents, such as birth or marriage certificates.

How to budget and plan for the expenses

To budget and plan for the expenses, it is important to research and understand the fees and expenses involved in the Italian citizenship application process. This can involve researching the specific requirements and fees associated with your individual case, as well as seeking advice from a legal professional or immigration expert.

Different options for payment

When it comes to payment, there are typically several options available. These can include paying by credit card, bank transfer, or cash, depending on the requirements of the specific application and the country where the application is made. It is important to ensure that you have the necessary funds available and that you choose a secure and reliable payment method.


4. What documents and paperwork do I need to submit to apply for Italian citizenship through my ancestors, and how do I obtain them?

If you are planning to apply for Italian citizenship through your ancestors, there are several documents and paperwork that you will need to gather and submit as part of the application process. The specific documents required may vary depending on your individual circumstances and the particular consulate where you will be submitting your application.

Download the free checklist here: What documents do I need to obtain Italian citizenship.

What documents and paperwork are required for the application

Some of the most common documents and paperwork that are required for an Italian citizenship application through ancestry include birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, naturalization certificates, and passports. These documents are typically used to establish a clear chain of citizenship from your Italian ancestor to yourself. Learn more from the London Italian consulate website for British citizens of Italian origin.

How to obtain and certify the required documents

In order to obtain these documents, you will need to contact the appropriate government agencies or other organizations in the countries where your ancestors lived. You may need to provide proof of your relationship to your ancestor in order to obtain some of these documents.

It’s important to note that all documents submitted as part of your Italian citizenship application must be certified and translated into Italian. The certification process involves having the document notarized and apostilled by the appropriate authorities in the country where the document was issued. Translation services may be available through the consulate or through private translation services.


5. Does Italy allow triple citizenship, and what are the rules and limitations for acquiring multiple citizenships?

Triple citizenship, also known as multiple citizenships, is the concept of being a citizen of three different countries simultaneously. Italy does allow triple citizenship, and there are regulations and limitations surrounding this practice.

Understanding the concept of triple citizenship

Italian citizenship is granted based on the principle of jus sanguinis or “right of blood.” This means that if you have Italian ancestors, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship. Italy also recognizes dual citizenship, meaning that you can hold citizenship in both Italy and another country.

Italian laws and regulations regarding multiple citizenships

To acquire triple citizenship in Italy, you must first meet the eligibility requirements for Italian citizenship by descent or naturalization. This typically involves proving your ancestry or meeting certain residency and language requirements.

The benefits and limitations of holding triple citizenship

It’s important to note that some countries may not recognize multiple citizenships, and may require you to renounce your citizenship in one or more countries before granting citizenship. Additionally, holding multiple citizenships can come with benefits, such as increased travel and work opportunities, but also limitations, such as potential issues with taxation and military service requirements.

How to acquire triple citizenship in Italy

If you are interested in acquiring triple citizenship in Italy, it’s best to consult with a legal professional who specializes in citizenship law to ensure you understand the regulations and limitations involved.

If you’re considering applying for Italian citizenship or have encountered challenges with your current application, Contact us or  book a free 10-minute discovery call with one of our experienced lawyers. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized and effective legal solutions to meet your needs, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

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