Descendants of Italian Women
Until recently, those who had a female Italian ancestor born before January 1, 1948 were generally unable to obtain Italian citizenship through ancestry. Seeking Italian citizenship through descent from a grandmother or great-grandmother was a difficult and sometimes impossible task, based solely on her date of birth.
However, in 2009, this law came under question, and the High Court of Rome went against precedent and granted Italian citizenship to the descendant of an Italian woman born before 1948. This is great news and a forward-looking step on the part of the court to end what many view as a discriminatory and antiquated law.
Changing Views on Italian Citizenship Through Ancestry
Since 2009, many individuals and families have succeeded in obtaining Italian citizenship through a female ancestor born prior to 1948. You can take action to secure the benefits of dual citizenship on your own, or with our help, keeping these factors in mind:
- You do not need to travel to Italy to participate in a trial to establish your right to citizenship, and several family members may join the same legal action.
- As of 2017, you may file a legal complaint known as “Ricorsi” rather than the more costly legal petition called “Atti di Citazione” to petition for citizenship based on your female ancestor.
- While the decision of the Italian Court cannot be guaranteed, most of these complainants are being granted Italian citizenship through ancestry, and the Italian government is reportedly no longer sending legal representatives to oppose these complaints.
Is It Time to Revisit Your Italian Citizenship Application?
If you have worked with another program and been denied, or even if our team at the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program was unable to help you in the past, the situation may have changed. If the birth date of your Italian grandmother or other female ancestor was before 1948, contact us for more information on how you might still obtain Italian citizenship for yourself and your own children.