Dual Italian Citizenship Jure Sanguinis

There is no limit in the number of generations you can go back, as long as your Italian Ancestor migrated away AFTER Italy became a nation, on March 17, 1861.

1 FIND OUT when and if your Italy-born Ancestor ever became a citizen of the US or another foreign country. Before 1992 there was no such thing as “dual citizenship”; if your ancestor became a naturalized US (or other country) citizen, he would have literally “renounced his Italian citizenship”. If he or she did it BEFORE the birth of the son or daughter here in the US (or other country) then you do not qualify because the Italian citizenship was “interrupted”. Documentation proving this (i.e. Letter of Non-Existence + Certified copies of Census records) will have to be provided.​

Determining if you are eligible for Italian dual citizenship is very easy. You meet all the following criteria to be eligible.

  1. Your ancestor was alive anywhere in the world on or after March 17, 1861. Additionally, your ancestor had not yet naturalized as a citizen of another country by this date.
  2. If your ancestor later naturalized, it must have occurred after July 1, 1912.
  3. Additionally, your ancestor’s naturalization must have occurred after the birth of her or her son.
  4. However, if your ancestor naturalized after August 15, 1992, it doesn’t matter if it was before or after his or her child’s birth.
  5. If there are any women in your direct line, pay attention to dates. In order for a woman to pass on citizenship to her child, that child must be born after January 1, 1948. Therefore, any of your direct ancestors born to a woman in your line must have been born after that date for you to qualify.

** Requirement and requested documents may change, please always refer to the page of the Italian General Consulate in New York

Three additional rules come into place:

  1. If your Italy-born Ancestor naturalized prior to July 1st, 1912, you do not qualify for Italian citizenship, even if his or her child was born before this individual naturalized. Prior to this date, when a native-born Italian naturalized in another country, he gave up not only his own Italian citizenship but also that of all of his minor children, regardless of where they were born. This is the law and there is no way around it.
  2. If you are applying through your maternal line, you need to know that the current law granting Italian citizenship jure sanguinis states that women could hold but not pass citizenship to children born before January 1, 1948, the date Italy became a Republic. You may file a motion to appeal the “1948 Rule” through the courts in Rome and obtain, if eligible, Italian citizenship.
  3. If your Italy-born Ancestor migrated abroad as a “minor” you most likely won’t qualify for Italian Dual Citizenship. Until 1976, the age of majority in Italy was 21. Minors who emigrated would naturalize concurrently with their parents. If your ancestor was a still a minor when his or her parent naturalized, it is likely that he/she also was naturalized at the same time. You will need to provide proof/appropriate documentation if this individual was naturalized at a later date.
  4. Researching Italian and US vital records, Naturalization Records, acquiring Apostilles and translating US records to Italian can be very overwhelming but we are here to help
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