Ever thought about an Italian Dual Citizenship? Want to honour your Italian heritage with a Dual Citizenship? Here we have some helpful hints to get you started.
Why apply for a dual citizenship?
It is a great way to connect with your Italian roots, a dual citizenship is a great way to make this happen. There are thousands of people wanted to apply and applying for their Italian citizenship for many reasons other than to reconnect with their ancestor’s homeland.
When you become a citizen of Italy, you will also become a citizen of the EU. This allows you to travel, work, live and study in any other EU member states without the need for a Visa.
All of your children that are under 18 years old will automatically become Italian citizens.
If you become a citizen of Italy and decide to live in the country, then it will be much easier to apply for public health care and public education.
Do I qualify?
It is often believed that you can gain citizenship with one or more Italian-born Ancestors to qualify. It is one of the requirements, but there are others!
Italian citizenship is granted by birth through the paternal line and there are no restrictions or limits on the number of generations (maternal line is different). This is referred to as Jus Sanguinis.
You will need to prove that your Italian ancestor was born in Italy and did not take the ‘Oath of Allegiance’ in the US before the birth of their children. Taking the Oath of Allegiance means that a person is renouncing all other allegiances and giving up their previous citizenship, in this case Italian.
For example: if your grandfather was Italian and moved to America, you will need to prove that he did not take the Oath of Allegiance until AFTER the birth of his child (your parent).
Limitations – The current law granting Italian citizenship states that women could hold citizenship, but they did not pass it to their children if they (the mother) was born before January 1st, 1948. So, if you want to apply for the maternal line, not only will you have to prove that your mother’s father was an Italian citizen at the time of her birth (did not take the Oath of Allegiance) but HER CHILDREN must be born after January 1st, 1948.
Limitation: this might affect some people. If your Italian ancestor became an Italian citizen before July 1st, 1912 you will not be able to apply for citizenship as you are not eligible. The rights of the passing citizenship to decedents only began after this date.
If you want to apply for citizenship, you must do so through the Italian Consulate that has jurisdiction over the State where you reside. Each consulate has slightly different procedures regarding what documentation is needed, appointment scheduling and waiting times. However, the legal criteria for granting Italian Citizenship is still the same.
It is true that it can take time and you will require patience, it can be a long drawn out process. You will (more than likely) need certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records for parents, grandparents and sometimes great grandparents, along with your own. You will need your Italian-born ancestors Naturalisation Papers (when they became a US citizen) or proof that they never did. You will also need International Apostilles, (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) is a French word meaning certification.
An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State. The Apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in all the member countries (like Italy).
After all that you might have around 60 or so documents.
But remember – this is worth it!