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Eight Essential Steps to Applying for Italian Citizenship by Descent
Becoming an Italian citizen opens up a world of opportunities. Not only do you have the full rights of a U.S. citizen, but also the full rights afforded a European Union citizen in any European Union country. One path for Americans to obtain Italian dual citizenship is by descent from their Italian ancestors.
Although the process of applying for Italian citizenship by descent may seem complex, you can obtain assistance through the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program with all the steps to citizenship. We will work with you on every part of the process to help you secure the necessary documentation, naturalization records, and translations required to apply for Italian citizenship.
How do you obtain Italian citizenship by descent and what are the steps for citizenship? To help get you started, we have outlined the citizenship step-by-step process in this guide.
Step 1: Conduct Ancestor Research
One of the fundamental Italian citizenship by descent requirements is that you can trace your ancestry to an Italian citizen. You will need to know their full name, the town of birth, date of birth, and the names of their parents. Sometimes you may uncover more than one ancestor you can use, so use the one with the most information.
Step 2: Request Naturalization Records
The next step involves obtaining the naturalization and citizenship records for your ancestor. These will help establish your eligibility for dual citizenship status. You can request these records yourself, or we can help you with the request, as well as review your Italian citizenship by descent documents to determine if you are eligible.
Step 3: Secure Official Italian Records for Your Ancestor
The third step is to request a copy of the original birth certificate and marriage record for the appropriate consulate jurisdiction. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may also need to secure marriage certificates and death records.
Step 4: Request Official Copies of Vital U.S. Records
The Italian consulate will provide us with a list of required vital records you must obtain to complete your application for Italian citizenship by descent. We can assist you with the necessary record requests to complete your application. Each one must be a certified copy in long form.
Step 5: Authenticate Vital U.S. Records with an Apostille
Once all of the vital records have been received, the next step is to have them authenticated by an Apostille, as required by Italian law. We will help you obtain this legal authentication, as well as send the originals to the appropriate government office if needed.
Step 6: Have Vital U.S. Records Translated into Italian
Each Italian consulate jurisdiction will have its own set of requirements on which records must be translated into Italian. You will want to use a professional translation service like ours to avoid problems with your application for Italian citizenship by descent. Translations must be attached to the original, certified vital records as the individual consulate requires.
Step 7: Apply for Dual Citizenship Status
When your application packet is complete, you will be ready to apply for dual citizenship status at an Italian consulate. Every adult applicant must submit their own application in person. If there are any issues, you will be informed immediately. Otherwise, your application is submitted for processing.
Step 8: Confirm Citizenship and Apply for Italian Passport
Waiting for confirmation of your new status can be the longest part of the citizenship timeline. It may take 6 months to a year for you to receive a response. With a well-documented and properly prepared application, your wait time may be as little as 1-6 months. The consulate will contact you once you have been approved for an Italian citizenship. After the administrative way is completed, all you have to do is schedule an appointment and apply for your Italian passport.