What Makes You Eligible for an Italian Passport?
You may wish to live or work in Italy because of the lifestyle. Or, you may want to be surrounded by its culture and enjoy its world-famous food. Whatever your reasons, you’ll need to begin the process of getting an Italian passport. Here’s what makes you eligible for one.
Dual Citizenship by Descent
In 1992, Italy declared dual citizenship to be legal. This was an important event because it meant that it was possible to inherit the right to citizenship from Italian family members. However, those wishing to exercise this right must be able to demonstrate it in legal terms.
This can be done with research into when and where your family members and Italian ancestors were born, married, and died. You’ll also want to see if any information is available about when any of your Italian-born ancestors became naturalized U.S. citizens.
Once you obtain this information, you will need to see whether you meet other criteria for claiming Italian citizenship, such as having at least one Italian-born ancestor who was a citizen of Italy and alive after 1861.
Eligibility by Marriage
If your spouse is an Italian and you live in Italy together, this is another route to eligibility for an Italian passport. However, you will need to wait until two years from the date of your wedding to claim eligibility. If you have children, you will only need to wait one year to apply. If you live outside of Italy, you will have to wait three years to submit your application, or one year and a half if you have children.
Length of Residency
If the above criteria don’t apply to you, you may be eligible depending on your length of residency in Italy and current citizenship. If you are a citizen of the USA or outside of Europe, you will have to have lived in Italy for a period of at least ten years in order to be eligible for citizenship. A four-year residency in Italy is required for those who are EU citizens.1
Gathering Legal Documents
Italy requires anyone applying for a passport in the U.S. to submit their U.S. vital records in a certified long-form copy. This means submitting all of the paperwork associated with your records and not just a summary of them. These records must also contain the Registrar Office’s official seal and be dated according to when the certificate was filed.
Documents also must be original copies—no facsimiles in the form of photocopies or genealogical reports are permitted. They must also contain the mark of approval, or Apostille, from the Treasury Department or U.S. Department of State.
Get Italian Citizenship Assistance
The complex process of obtaining Italian citizenship can be frustrating and overwhelming. If you’re interested in obtaining naturalization papers, an Italian tax ID, vital records, or becoming an Italian citizen, the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program can help.
Our comprehensive consultation identifies your exact needs, and you’ll receive a full report that includes cost analysis, timelines, and more. Begin your Italian citizenship process today. Call (305) 812-5512.