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Does Every Italian American Qualify for Italy Dual Citizenship Status?
One common question that arises is whether every Italian American with ancestors who immigrated to the United States automatically qualifies for Italy dual citizenship status. Becoming an Italian citizen is easier, thanks to how Italian law recognizes the descendants of Italian citizens. In general, if you had Italian parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or great-great-grandparents who were born in Italy, but who later emigrated, you could qualify for dual citizenship status.
However, there are specific requirements that must be met to qualify. Just because you have an ancestor who was born in Italy and later emigrated to the United States is not sufficient to obtain Italian citizenship naturalization and dual status.
1. Women have special requirements.
Italian ancestry citizenship laws require that a woman who was born before 1948 is only allowed to transfer citizenship to children born after January 1, 1948, as well as to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. Otherwise, citizenship by descent must be through the male’s lineage.
2. Your ancestor cannot have naturalized before June 14, 1912.
If your ancestor naturalized before this date and after the birth of your great-grandparent or grandparent, then you would not qualify. On the other hand, if your great-grandparent or grandparent was born before naturalization, then you could qualify for dual Italian citizenship.
3. You must be able to provide documentation.
Part of the process of citizenship by descent is being able to provide supporting documentation to establish your claim to your Italian citizenship. Documentation could include birth certificates, naturalization records, death certificates, marriage licenses, and so on.
4. You will need to apply for Italian citizenship.
The process of obtaining Italian citizenship requires you to apply for dual status. Your application must be completed correctly with all necessary documentation attached. Furthermore, documents in English must be translated into Italian for the Italian government to accept them. It is recommended you obtain Italian citizenship assistance from a qualified service.
Other Paths to Becoming an Italian Citizen
While obtaining dual Italian citizenship status by descent is one of the easier routes, it is not the only option. Other options could include:
- Citizenship by Naturalization – If you had Italian ancestors who lost their citizenship, it is possible to reclaim it through the process of naturalization. This option is also open for people without Italian ancestors, but they will have to wait ten years while living and working in Italy to obtain their citizenship.
- Citizenship by Marriage – If you marry an Italian subject, you can obtain your dual citizenship status after your third wedding anniversary (time is reduced in half if there are children).
Please keep in mind, these are just a few of the different paths for becoming an Italian citizen. In some cases, you may have the option of taking your claim of citizenship to court to have it restored, such as when you want to appeal your descent through a female ancestor born before 1948 with children also born before 1948.
There are many benefits you can gain with dual Italian citizenship, such as being able to travel freely between other European Union countries. To learn about more benefits of Italy dual citizenship, or to see if your qualify for dual citizenship status, please feel free to contact the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 for a FREE 30-minute telephone consultation today!