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Italian Citizenship: Maternal Line Before 1948 and the 1948 Rule
The Italian Citizenship Maternal Line before 1948 relies upon the 1912 rule and not the current 1948 rule for determining if you qualify for Italian citizenship. The Material Line is when you trace your family ancestry through the females in your family.
To illustrate how the Maternal Line before 1948 works, let’s assume for a moment that your grandmother was born in Italy and did not become a naturalized U.S. citizen before the birth of your mother. This could qualify you for dual Italian-American citizenship.
However, if your mother was born before 1948, then you would not qualify under the 1912 rule. The 1912 rule only allowed men to transfer their Italian citizenship to their children and descendants.
On the other hand, if your mother was born after January 1, 1948, then the 1948 rule would apply and you could qualify for dual citizenship status. The 1948 rule went into effect after Italy became a republic. Yet, even though it has been over 70 years since this rule took effect, the Italian government has never updated or changed it to reflect the modern equality between men and women.
How Do I Become an Italian Citizen?
If you are relying on female ancestors to apply for dual citizenship status, then you must make sure that they satisfy the 1948 rule and were born after January 1, 1948. If that is not possible, you may want to review your Italian male ancestors to see if that could potentially be an option. Even if you still have to rely on your maternal lineage, you may still have one more option of acquiring citizenship.
What if I Can’t Qualify Because of the 1912 Rule?
The Italian Supreme Court has been reviewing cases brought before it regarding this matter where qualified people are challenging the 1912 rule. The challenge to the law in Rome has been successful in many cases. The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that the 1912 rule goes against constitutional equality.
As such, this has been a potential part of the dual citizenship for some people who initially qualified, but were later disqualified because their ancestor or they were born before 1948. However, taking this path does require filing an appeal in Rome with the Italian Supreme Court. U.S. courts and Italian consulates still must adhere to the 1948 rule.
So, if this is your only option for dual citizenship status, you will want to discuss the matter with us.
However, before you go this route, it is beneficial to seek Italian citizenship assistance to explore other potential paths you might take without having to take the matter to the Italian Supreme Court. There are sometimes alternate paths you may not be aware of that an expert in citizenship assistance knows about.
For more information about the Italian Citizenship Maternal Line before 1948, the 1912 rule, and the 1948 rule, and to find out what your options are for obtaining dual Italian-American citizenship, please feel free to contact the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 today! We offer a free 30-minute telephone consultation.