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Answers to Your Questions About Dual Italian-American Citizenship
Figuring out the qualifications for dual citizenship can feel like a daunting challenge. Indeed, it can be a complicated, time-consuming process.
Our expert citizenship specialists have compiled a list of common questions to help you understand Italian citizenship requirements. Contact us for assistance and read on to learn more.
1: Do I qualify for Italian citizenship if I have an Italian ancestor?
You may qualify for Italian citizenship under “jure sanguinis” (blood right) if you have an Italian ancestor, but the conditions are very specific.
Italian citizenship through parents: If you have a parent who was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth (i.e., was not a naturalized U.S. citizen) and you have never renounced your right to Italian citizenship, you may qualify under jure sanguinis. Note that if you’re claiming jure sanguinis through your mother, you must have been born after January 1, 1948.
Italian citizenship through grandparents: If you have a grandparent who was an Italian citizen at the time of your mother or father’s birth, AND neither you nor your parent ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship, you may qualify.
These are just some of the scenarios under which you may qualify for jure sanguinis. You may also qualify through a great grandparent or even a great-great-grandparent. Call us at (305) 812-5512 to learn more.
2: What if I don’t have an Italian ancestor? How can I become an Italian citizen?
If you don’t qualify under jure sanguinis, there are two other ways to become an Italian citizen: through marriage or through naturalization.
Through marriage: If you marry an Italian citizen, you can apply for Italian citizenship after living in Italy for two years as a married couple OR after living in another country for three years as a married couple; if you have children together (natural or adopted), this time is cut in half. Also note that prior to April 27, 1983, the foreign spouse of an Italian citizen was granted automatic Italian citizenship.
Through naturalization: The most complicated way to get Italian citizenship is by naturalization. In order to qualify, you must already be legally living in Italy with a visa AND you can only apply for naturalization once you’ve been living in Italy for 10 years.
3: What are the benefits of becoming an Italian citizen?
Aside from connecting with your Italian roots (if you’re of Italian ancestry), there are many other benefits to becoming an Italian citizen.
- You’ll be eligible to live, work, and study in Italy and other countries in the European Union (EU) without a visa.
- Your children under age 18 will automatically become Italian citizens.
- You’ll have access to health care and public education across the EU.
- You’ll have easier access to buying property in Italy.
- You’ll be able to vote for your regional Italian Parliament representative.
4: How long does the process take and how much does it cost?
If you’re applying under jure sanguinis, the cost will vary based on how many generations exist between you and your qualifying Italian ancestor. You’ll need to acquire your ancestor’s records (birth, marriage, and death certificates), your ancestor’s naturalization papers, your own vital records, and other records; most of the documents you’ll need to gather come at a fee. There will also be application fees and translator fees. Once you receive your Italian citizenship, you’ll need to get your Italian passport, for which there is also a fee. For the most accurate information on costs, please contact us at https://itamcap.com/
5: How does becoming an Italian citizen affect my U.S. citizenship?
If you’re an American citizen and you gain Italian citizenship, you will not lose your U.S. citizenship—you will become a dual citizen.
6: What documents do I need to prove my Italian ancestry?
You’ll need recent certified copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce, death) for your Italian ancestor who emigrated to your country, as well as their naturalization papers. You’ll also need official copies of vital records for yourself and all your ancestors in your lineage from the U.S. The process of collecting these documents can be lengthy and time-consuming.
7: How do I get an appointment at the consulate?
Consulates are branches of an embassy (an embassy represents one country like Italy in another country like the U.S.). There are regional consulate offices located throughout the U.S. Your consulate office is where you’ll present all the documentation you’ve gathered proving your Italian ancestry in order to apply for Italian citizenship.
Wait times for a consulate appointment can range from one to six years—this is why you should make an appointment at your regional consulate office as soon as you decide to pursue Italian citizenship, and then immediately get to work gathering the necessary documents.
We, at Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program, we’ll be happy to assist you getting the appointment in a timely manner.
Get Help Determining Whether You’re Eligible for Italian Citizenship
The easiest way to find out if you qualify for Italian citizenship is to consult an expert like the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program. We’re here to help you navigate and understand the often-complex Italian dual citizenship requirements, gather the necessary documents, and more.
Our Italian citizenship program has helped hundreds of people discover whether they are eligible to become an Italian citizen! Contact us today to learn more.