Italian dual citizenship was not possible for many years. Right up until 1992, Italy did not allow the acquisition of dual citizenship. Fortunately, the law has changed, so anyone who is of Italian descendent can now qualify for an Italian passport.
Having the rights and privileges of citizenship in both your birth country and Italy can be an attractive idea, bringing many benefits. With the right advice, qualifying for this can be straightforward.
This guide will outline the fundamental information you will need to know about qualifying for citizenship in Italy.
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Becoming a citizen of any country gives you legal rights and freedoms that are not available to visitors. It is possible to hold citizenship in more than one country in most countries, and therefore hold more than one national passport.
Holding Italian dual citizenship is useful if you wish to live and work in Italy, temporarily or permanently, without surrendering the national legal rights (or passport) you already have.
Do you need advice on purchasing a property in Italy? Our specialist Italian property lawyers will steer you away from the common pitfalls and will provide you with advice on various aspects of your purchase, some of which may help you reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable when you leave the property to your heirs in the future.
As well as being able to freely take up residence in any Italian province with your dual citizenship, being an Italian citizen means your ability to buy a property there is far more assured. You will be able to vote in Italy and transfer citizenship to your children aged under 18.
One of the main reasons to apply to be a dual citizen of both your birth country and Italy is to re-gain the freedoms associated with citizenship of an EU county. You will be able to relocate anywhere in the European Union on the basis of your passport issued in Italy. The UK’s exit from the EU greatly restricts your ability to live and work in Europe. So, Italian dual citizenship will restore the entitlement.
Italian dual citizenship also gives you access the medical, social welfare and educational support provided to Italians, and EU citizens in general. It also will make you more attractive to Italian employers too, as there is far less paperwork and cost involved when you apply for jobs.
For some citizenship applicants, it is simply a way of celebrating their Italian heritage. Lastly, Italian dual citizenship makes it possible to seek help from the country’s consulate wherever you travel in the world.
A birth certificate showing your parent or parents are Italian can be a valuable document to support your application. However, there are other options, taking advantage of various aspects of Italian law on qualifying for Italian dual citizenship.
It is possible to apply for dual citizenship if you have evidence of a connection to earlier generations of people born in Italy. This is referred to as ‘jus sanguinis’, which means 'right of blood'. This entitlement relies of having documentary evidence related to Italian ancestors, such as death certificates or marriage certificates issued in Italy; Italian naturalisation certificates issued to relatives; or your own personal civil records. Please keep in mind that whilst having digital evidence of your ancestors’ birth, marriage or death is helpful to you in your research. However, you will still need physical documents which you can submit with your application for dual citizenship in Italy.
It is possible to apply for Italian citizenship if you marry an Italian citizen and you meet various criteria for eligibility. To do so, you have to have either been married for two years while living in Italy or for three years if you’re living outside of Italy. You will need a marriage certificate to prove this.
You can also apply to become a citizen of Italy if you have lived in the country legally by way of a residency visa for over ten years. This is known as naturalisation.
You should present the required documents at the appointment with your Italian Consulate if you live outside of Italy. The application must be signed in front of the officer during the appointment at the Consulate. You can sign an application form in your nearest town hall if you reside in Italy.
It is recommended to seek advice from Giambrone and Partners expert immigration lawyers when you want to secure Italian citizenship. Our experienced lawyers can help you both in Italy and the UK when preparing your application for Italian citizenship. If you are already resident in Italy, you need to present your documentation at the Italian consulate in your country of birth. UK citizens considerably benefit from having the support of a knowledgeable English-speaking Italian law firm to guide you through the process of applying for Italian dual citizenship.
Giambrone and Partners is an award-winning international law firm, which uses its global network of offices to provide dual citizenship assistance. We offer a specialist service within our private client department, providing expert legal advice and assistance in matters of Italian citizenship and dual nationality laws. You can find out more about how our immigration team can help you here.
You can also request a call back from us here to arrange an appointment from one of our lawyers.
Although prices may vary, the Italian government currently imposes a fee of around 300 euros for all Italian dual citizenship applications made outside of Italy. Everyone over the age of 18 must pay this fee.
Brexit does not prevent Italian dual citizenship, but it does make dual citizenship more attractive to many applicants. This is because having an Italian passport unlocks the rights and freedoms provided by all EU states which are lost to countries outside the EU.
You need to show evidence that you have Italian parents, or in some cases having Italian grandparents or great-grandparents can be a path to dual citizenship in Italy.
Many countries permit their citizens to also obtain an Italian passport, including the UK and USA.
You can use either passport when you travel, but it is generally recommended that you opt for the one attached to the country where you are starting and finishing your journey.
The Giambrone and Partners' immigration team offers a specialist service within our private client department providing expert legal advice and assistance in matters of Italian citizenship and dual nationality laws. You can find out more about how our immigration team can help you here.
You can also request a call back from us here.