How To Apply For Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis

Fancy getting an Italian passport? Would you like to learn more about Italian citizenship requirements? Are you seeking Italian citizenship help? Look no further – you are in the right place to begin your journey! Below there is some general information to help you understand when and how you can get Italian citizenship jure sanguins. The information will help you shed some light on your doubts regarding how to become a citizen of Italy. If you still need help after reading the following sections, please feel free to contact us.

Getting An Italian Passport

Let’s be frank. Getting an Italian passport is appealing. Who would not love becoming a citizen of Italy? Surely would everyone, we trust. Going through the journey is no so easy, though. Fist of all, find out if you qualify for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis – Did you have an ancestor in your generation who was an Italian citizen by birth? Did he mantain its Italian citizenship? If so, you may already be an Italian citizen, even if you do not know it yet! Once assessed your eligibility, you are required to apply for Italian citizenship through an administrative process, so submitting an application to the relevant Italian Authority.

Italian Citizenship Requirements – Find Out If You Qualify  

Italian citizenship is regulated by law no. 91 of February 5th, 1992, as amended since (Law 1992).

The principle of iure sanguinis – already enshrined in the previous legislation – is reaffirmed as a key principle for the acquisition of citizenship, while the ius soli remains an exceptional and residual case.

To make it simple, a person acquires Italian citizenship when born to an Italian father or mother. This means that descendants of Italian citizens can apply for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, provided that certain conditions are met. In a nutshell, Italian citizenship is essentially passed on from parent to child without limitation of generation, on the condition that none of the ancestors have ever renounced their citizenship before the birth of the next descendant. What is important is to prove that your anscestor (the one born in Italy and emigrated abroad) was an Italian citizen at the time he/she left Italy and maintained it, thereby passing it on to descendants, from generation to generation, without any interruption.

How do I know if there was an interruption in the transmission of Italian citizenship?  

Before 1992, becoming a citizen of another country implied the automatic loss of Italian citizenship. No formal renunciation was required as dual citizenship was not recognised under Italian law at that time. Thus, proving an ongoing transmission of Italian citizenship means that no formal renunciation or naturalisation must have occurred before the birth of the ancestor’s direct descent. In assessing your eligibility, you ought to bear in mind that:

  • there were no Italian citizens prior to 17 March 1861, because Italy did not exist as a nation. Thus, the oldest Italian ancestor in any Italian citizenship by birth right application must have been still alive on or after that date;
  • if the ancestor was born in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Trentino Alto-Adige, or Veneto, you might need to submit evidence to show that your ancestor was born in Italy but then left the country at some point after 16th July 1920; and
  • before March 10th, 1975 the reaching of Italian adulthood was age 21; afterwards, age 18;

I was born before 1st January 1948 to an Italian woman. Am I eligible?

Before the Law 1992, Italian citizenship was governed by the law no. 555 of June 13rd, 1912 (as follows, “Law 1912”), which affirmed the principle of recognition of Italian citizenship through paternal lineage to the citizens’ children. Only men were able to transfer Italian citizenship to their children (regardless of the birthplace) on the condition that, at the time of their birth, they were Italian citizens. Italian-born women and woman born abroad who held Italian citizenship, instead, were not able to transfer Italian citizenship to their children.

The judgment n. 30 of February 9th, 1983 by the Italian Constitutional Court ruled the illegitimacy of such provision as it was contrary to the Italian Constitution of 1948 which states that men and women have equal rights. Following the judgment, the women became able to transmit Italian citizenship to daughter and son, but only to those children born after January 1st, 1948. Therefore, the transmission of Italian citizenship through maternal lineage was possible only for children born after January 1st, 1948, (e.g. the date of entry into force of the Constitution).

If your case falls within such a scenario (called 1948 rule), you might claim Italian citizenship in court. Contact us to learn more about your options.

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Where Do I Apply For Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis?

If residing abroad, you are required to apply for Italian citizenship at the Italian consulate with jurisdiction over the place of your residence; if living in Italy, your application may be submitted to the local comune, e.g. municipality.

Documents required to apply for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis

To apply for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, you are required to produce a set of documents, which may generally be summarised as follows:

  • application form duly completed and unsigned (it must be signed in front of the officer during the appointment at the consulate);
  • original birth, marriage and death certificates of the ancestor born in Italy (the ancestor’s birth certificate must be issued by the Italian municipality (comune) where he/she was born. It is called “estratto per riassunto dell’atto di nascita”);
  • original birth, marriage and death certificates of all Italian born ancestor’s descendants;
  • original birth and marriage certificates of the applicant;
  • declaration from the local authorities in the country of residence of the Italian born ancestor that he/she never naturalised in that country;
  • passport of the applicant (original and photocopy);
  • applicant’s proof of address.

Please note that:

  • all foreign documents must be translated into Italian and certified by the Italian consulate;
  • foreign certificates must be legalised. The legalisation of the documents is by means of an apostille if the Country which issues the document, signed the Hague Convention of October 5th, 1961. If not, the document must be legalised by the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of issue; and
  • the Italian consulates are strict regarding any discrepancies and inconsistencies in documentation, be these likely result in your application being denied. Discrepancies and inconsistencies typically show up in the form of name changes, name misspellings, dates, birthplaces, etc. Every inconsistency should be amended – an official “affidavit to amend a record” might be of help.

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