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Get Access to the Most Powerful Passport by Becoming an Italian Citizen
In recent years, an annual index rates the most powerful passports in the world. It accounts for factors such as the number of countries a passport holder can visit without having to secure a visa or apply for one to travel. Italy is one country that has topped the annual index year after year. There are many benefits to obtaining an Italian passport; we’ll cover a few here plus tips on how to become a citizen and what the Italian passport application cost is.
Many countries offer the option to secure a visa upon arrival, if necessary, or visit the country without needing a visa. Having an Italian passport allows you access to 188 countries around the world where a visa is not required, or you can obtain a visa after arriving. Italy has placed fourth for several years on the annual index rating.
The only countries that offer access to more countries are Singapore (190 countries), Japan (191 countries), Germany (189 countries), and South Korea (189 countries). Yet, obtaining a passport for one of these countries can be much more difficult than the process to apply for Italian dual citizenship.
Another benefit of getting an Italian passport is it provides access to all Schengen Area countries, which consist of the 26 countries that make up the European Union (EU). Travel between EU countries does not require a passport. However, you do need to have some type of ID to show that you are an Italian citizen, and in most cases, an Italian passport works best.
How to Get an Italian Passport
There are several different paths to becoming an Italian citizen and getting an Italian passport. One common scenario is when you’re a descendant of an Italian-born ancestor who might have immigrated to the United States. If you meet certain requirements and can prove your lineage, you can secure an Italian passport and dual Italian American citizenship status.
Whenever you want to travel abroad in EU countries, you can just carry your Italian passport and not worry about any international travel requirements, as they would not apply since Italy is part of the EU.
Another path to Italian citizenship is through marriage. If your spouse is either an Italian citizen or holds dual citizenship status because they had an Italian-born ancestor, you could also qualify for dual citizenship status. Children under age 18 benefit from your Italian dual citizenship, and it will be available to their children as well.
But you won’t obtain Italian citizenship automatically. To apply, you must provide the required documentation, like your marriage license, spouse’s lineage, and so on. These documents must be translated into Italian to be considered “official.”
As long as you meet all Italian passport eligibility requirements, you could easily get dual status and be able to travel to 188 other countries without any restrictions or having to apply for a visa prior to entry.
Once you obtain your Italian passport and dual citizenship status, there are many benefits and opportunities. For example, you can live and work in Italy without needing a work visa. You could attend university in Italy without a student visa. You could buy property. You could even qualify for free healthcare coverage.
Cost of Applying for an Italian Passport
To apply for citizenship, the Italian Consulate charges an application fee of 300 euros. The cost to you varies based on the exchange rate; as of early 2021, the application fee was roughly $357 USD. A dual citizenship passport application alone is subject to a fee of about $145. Paying the fee (a requirement for any applicant over age 18) does not guarantee acceptance and it is non-refundable. However, your passport, if granted, will remain valid for five years.
Another way to apply for a passport is to travel to Italy and do so directly. This avoids the Italian Consulate. However, the process is complex and it often helps to work with a service provider, which will likely charge a fee. You’ll also have to factor in other costs such as:
- Plane tickets
- Rent or costs of accommodations
- Translating documents
- Interpreters at meetings
- Residence permit, or permesso di soggiorno, if required
Regardless of the path you take, obtaining Italian citizenship and a passport is worth the costs. In addition to the benefits previously mentioned, you may receive tax discounts on purchasing your first home, and can import vehicles or other high-value personal property tax-free. You also have the right to vote in Italian elections and certain EU elections, or run for public office yourself.
Find Out If You Qualify
If you are interested in finding out if you qualify for Italian dual citizenship status to take advantage of the many benefits of having an Italian passport, please feel free to contact Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 today!