How Your Ancestry Can Make You A Candidate For Italian Citizenship

If you have immigration dreams, choosing the apt destination should be on top of your mind. When you shortlist options, it always makes sense to understand their citizenship laws. Even better, if you have ancestral roots in a country, check if it offers citizenship by descent.


Italy is one such country that has this option, so it could make an ideal destination if you qualify. Trace your family tree, and you may hit the jackpot as a significant number of Americans claim to have Italian origin. If you want to know more about Italian citizenship by descent, here is a detailed guide by Bersani Law Firm to help. Further, these are some facts you need to know about qualifying for citizenship through your ancestry.

No generational limits

When it comes to applying for Italian citizenship by descent, you can qualify through your parents and other ancestors. The country follows the principle of Jure Sanguinis, and you can claim your right by birth through your paternal line. The best part is that there are no generational limits to the process. It means that you only have to validate your bloodline to go ahead with the claim. But some conditions apply in this context. Firstly, your ascendant should have been alive and a citizen of the country after it was formed in 1861. Secondly, they shouldn’t have been naturalized elsewhere before giving birth to their offspring.

Exceptions for the maternal line

How Your Ancestry Can Make You A Candidate For Italian Citizenship 1

The citizenship law of Italy was initially discriminatory against females as women were not permitted to pass on their citizenship to the next in line. If your mother gave birth to you before 1948, you cannot claim by Jure Sanguinis. Surprisingly, your sibling born after the year from the same mother qualifies. The law creates a strange situation for families where some members qualify for the descent route, and others do not. Likewise, those claiming through female ancestors need to find out about the year the woman gave birth. If it was before 1948, you will not be eligible. But you can apply through the 1948 Rule alternative.

Proof of ancestral line

Qualifying for Italian citizenship by descent is only a start. You have to apply for the process to claim your birthright. While you can apply at your local consulate, the most crucial step falls in between. It involves the collection of relevant documents to prove your ancestral line. Essentially, you will need to procure certificates of birth, death, and marriage from your ancestor’s local commune. If they settled elsewhere, you require documentary evidence of naturalization from that country. Any non-Italian documents will not be accepted unless you get them translated and apostilled. Documentary evidence is crucial as it can make or break your case.

Your ancestry makes you a candidate for Italian citizenship, but things are not as simple as they sound. The gender of the ancestor decides whether you apply through the administrative process or approach the court through the 1948 Rule. It is equally crucial to have documentary evidence to prove your claim. 

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.