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A to Z Guide to Becoming an Italian Citizen
There are several different paths to becoming an Italian citizen when one wants Italian dual citizenship status. One concept that relates to citizenship by ancestry is called Jure Sanguinis. This concept is the foundation that is used to determine when someone can claim citizenship through an ancestor, such as a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent.
Jure Sanguinis is possible regardless of the applicant’s place of birth, as long as they meet certain qualifications and have documentation supporting their ancestry. However, over the years there have been changes in Italian laws that could affect whether you qualify.
Ask about your family’s heritage and lineage.
Speak to a grandparent or great-grandparent to learn more about your family’s heritage and lineage. Find out whether anyone in your family was ever an Italian citizen.
Do a birth certificate review.
If you find an ancestor, you want to check their birth certificate for the date and place of birth. Depending on when they were born, there may have been restrictions in place if the ancestor was female, which could disqualify you for citizenship status.
Call and get help.
It can be much easier to find out if you qualify for Italian citizenship when you get help from a qualified service.
Establish eligibility for Italian dual citizenship.
Once eligibility is established, you can start to move ahead with starting the formal application process. This can be tedious and time-consuming, so you will want to continue to get help from the same service that helped you determine your eligibility.
Gather all important documents.
You will need to gather birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and other such documentation to support your claim to citizenship. You may also need to obtain official naturalization records when your ancestor was naturalized as a U.S. citizen.
Have the documents translated into Italian.
To be considered “official,” all documents must be translated into Italian by a qualified translation service. The original document must be attached to the translation as well.
Learn the Italian language.
It never hurts to learn Italian so that when you are approved for citizenship, you will be able to speak the language.
Proceed to the Italian consulate at your assigned appointment time.
After you submit your application, you will have to appear at the Italian consulate for an appointment. This appointment is essentially a review of all documentation and your application to determine citizenship status.
It is important to make sure you have taken care of all the little details, like all translations, apostilles, and supporting documents showing name changes, and so on. If the consulate reviewer finds anything is incomplete or missing, they will give you “homework” that needs to be completed.
Then, you must reschedule your appointment and go through the review a second time. With dual citizenship demand high, this could delay your application by several months.
If everything is in order, then your application and documentation are submitted for consideration. Keep in mind, all documents and translations will be retained by the Italian consulate and not returned. It may be worthwhile to obtain official certified copies of records and other such things when you want to retain the originals.
Wait for a response.
The Italian government has up to two years to respond to your application once it has been accepted. Most of the time, you are notified after about eight months. It is rare to get a response any faster for the majority of applications.
Please note that this is just one possible path to Italian citizenship. There are others for you to consider as well.
If you are interested in finding out if you qualify for Italian dual citizenship status and for help with the application process, please feel free to contact the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 today!