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A Guide to Becoming an Italian Citizen and Naturalization
Have you visited Italy using your U.S. passport and would like to stay longer? Maybe you would like to live in Italy part of the year or even move there? One way to do this is by becoming an Italian citizen either through naturalization or through your ancestors.
Italy offers several paths to citizenship that you need to understand to determine which one would be best for you. In some cases, more than one path might be available, so you will want to choose the one that will allow you to obtain citizenship the fastest.
Option 1: Marriage
If you legally marry someone who is an Italian citizen or has dual citizenship status, you can also qualify for Italian citizenship. The process requires you to either live in Italy for two years or in the U.S. for three years before you can submit your application to secure your citizenship. It is not as fast as the next option but it is one of the easier ones to secure citizenship.
Option 2: Citizenship Through Your Ancestors
Many people obtain their Italian citizenship through the process of Jure Sanguinis. This simply means that you can become a citizen by descent. It is the easiest and fastest option for securing citizenship.
However, the process can be a bit time-consuming because you must research your lineage to find out whether your ancestry will allow you to qualify for this option. There are specific laws and requirements that have changed over the years, so you need to review those too.
For example, if your parents had not yet naturalized to become U.S. citizens at your time of birth in the U.S., you automatically qualify to apply for Italian citizenship. Another example is if your grandfather or great-grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth, but your parents were not, you can still qualify for Italian citizenship through your grandfather or great-grandfather.
These are just a few examples of securing citizenship through your ancestors, and there are others. One great benefit of this option is that once you secure your citizenship, it will continue to be passed down to your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. So, your descendants also qualify for Italian citizenship through their ancestors.
Option 3: Italian Citizenship Naturalization
If you do not marry an Italian citizen or do not have ancestors who immigrated from Italy, Italian citizenship naturalization is your only option. Naturalization is also an option in cases where you had Italian ancestors, but due to how the laws are written, your ancestry does not qualify you for citizenship. Fortunately, you will not have to wait the full 10 years like non-descendants.
With naturalization, you will need to apply for a visa to be able to live and work in Italy until you meet the required waiting period for becoming an Italian citizen through naturalization.
Please keep in mind, the processes to obtaining Italian citizenship can take a few years, and as long as 10 years, to finalize due to the high demand by people wanting to become citizens. If you are serious about pursuing Italian citizenship, it is best to start the process as soon as possible with help from the Italian American Citizen Assistance Program.
Please feel free to contact us at (305) 812-5512 for Italian citizenship assistance, to discuss what paths are available to you, and what you need to do to get the process started for becoming an Italian citizen today!