What are some of the benefits of being a dual Italian citizen?

Several benefits of Italian dual citizenship are listed on our Italian dual citizenship benefits page.

Is there a military obligation when I become an Italian citizen?

On May 8, 2001, the Italian government passed a law (Art. 7 del D. Lgs. 8 maggio 2001 n. 215) making military service completely voluntary effective January 2007.

If I am an Italian citizen, can I live and work in other European countries?

Yes. Having an Italian passport allows you to live and work anywhere in the EU which is covered in Article 17 and 18 of the Treaty on European Union. Article 17 states: “any person holding the nationality of a member state is a citizen of the Union,” whereas Article 18 specifies: “EU citizenship, which supplements national citizenship without replacing it, grants citizens the right to move freely and to reside on the territory of the member states.”

Will Italian Dual Citizenship by descent affect my US citizenship?

Being recognized as an Italian citizen by descent or “jus sanguinis” will not affect your current US citizenship. Please note, however, that certain jobs requiring hiring security clearance do not permit an employee to hold two citizenships.

How many generations can I go back to qualify?

There is really no limit of the number of generations, provided your ancestor was born in Italy and emigrated after Italy was unified as a country on March 17, 1861.

How do I obtain my Italian ancestor’s birth/marriage record?

Certified Italian Vital Records (birth, marriage, death) are not available online. The Town Hall (Comune) keeps records of birth, marriage and death at the Ufficio dello Stato Civile (Office of Vital Records). The Registrar of the Vital Statistics office of the Comune in which the event took place is responsible for preparing birth, marriage and death certificates from the civil registry records kept in the Town Archives. There is no regional office established that keeps these records. If you would like to request certified Italian vital records click here.

How do I find out if my Italian ancestor became a US Citizen (i.e. naturalized)?

Naturalizations before 1906 could be done in any just about any court in the country, and were not standardized. After 1906 the federal government took over the naturalization process and all forms became standardized nationwide. The repositories for naturalization granted from1906-1995 are generally located at the place in which the person naturalized (e.g. County Court, District Court, etc.). Most District Court naturalizations have been transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration.  In addition, copies of the Petition for Naturalization and Certificate of Naturalization were sent to Immigration and Naturalization Services which is now US Citizenship and Immigration Services. To have us conduct the naturalization record search pertaining to your ancestor click here.

My Italian ancestor did not become a citizen of the US, what documentation do I need?

In general, the Italian Consulate will require a Certificate of Nonexistence of Records and letter of No Records Found and at least one of the following supporting records: certified census showing non-citizenship status; Alien File; death record showing Italian citizenship at time of death. For assistance in gathering these documents, please click here.

What if my Italian ancestor became a US citizen prior to June 14, 1912?

Under Italian Law 555, if your Italian ancestor naturalized before June 14 1912, you do not qualify for Italian citizenship even if his or her child (your intermediate ancestor) was born before this individual naturalized.

How long does this process take?

It can take 6-12 months to gather all required documents and Apostille. It is suggested that as soon as you know that you are eligible (i.e. have met the naturalization requirement and located the Italian birth record of your ancestor) that you book your appointment at the Italian Consulate or Embassy. Waiting times for appointments can vary from 6 months to 2+ years depending on your consulate jurisdiction. Once your application is accepted at the Italian Consulate it takes on average 6 months for your information to be registered in Italy after which you are eligible to apply for your Italian passport. Considering these factors, the entire process may take 1-3 years.

Can I apply for citizenship in Italy or through another Consulate?

You must apply at the Italian Consulate/authority that has jurisdiction over where you live in the US, and you are required to prove this by submitting a copy of your Driver’s License/State ID, passport and utility bill with current address at the time of your citizenship appointment  You can only apply for citizenship in Italy if you are a permanent legal resident of Italy.

Can I use other family members’application?

If one of your family members has already received their Italian Citizenship at the same consulate at which you will be applying, then you use their documents.  If you are applying at another Italian Consulate jurisdiction then you will need to obtain your own set of certified documents (both US and Italian) as part of your application.

What is the correct format for my U.S. Documents to be issued?

You must request a “certified copy” issued in a “long form” or a “full form”; (not “certification” or “abstract) of non-Italian documents.  This format contains the names of the parents of the individual who relates to the document itself.   It is the form required of all birth, marriage and death records. They are normally acquired from your state or county offices that provide vital statistics.   If you would like our consulting attorney to obtain these records for you click here for more information.

Am I required to register all my marriages, divorces, and minor children?

Yes, Italy requires that civil records be filed of all citizens; you are required to report all marriages, divorces, and children under the age of 18.

Which documents need an Apostille?

In general, all U.S. Birth/Marriage/Divorce/Death records related to the applicant and direct line to the Italian ancestor must bear an “Apostille. For more information on Apostille, or for assistance in getting your documents legalized with Apostille click here.

Who is qualified to translate documents for the Italian citizenship process?

The documents are to be “professionally translated” into Italian. There is no national certification given by the Italian government to professional translators. Although some consulates furnish lists of translators, you are not required to use translators from this list and the Consulate is not responsible in any way for the services provided by these translators. For information on our translation services please click here.

Does the Italian government charge a fee for the citizenship process?

As of July 8th, 2014 all applications for the recognition of the Italian citizenship  Jure Sanguinis (by descent) and Jure Matrimonii (automatic spousal citizenship in case of foreign national whose husband is an Italian citizen married prior to April 27, 1983) are subject to the payment  € 300 to be made in US Dollars regardless of the outcome of the application. There is no fee for the recognition of citizenship of minor children (under age 18). The fee for spousal applications for marriages that took place after April 27, 1983 is € 200.

Will the Italian Consulate return my documents that I include in my application?

No, they will not return any documents to you as they will all become part of your official file

How will I know when my Italian citizenship is recognized and how do I get my passport?

At the time of your appointment, the citizenship official reviewing your application will let you know if it is accepted, if remediation is needed or if you are not eligible. If your request for citizenship recognition is approved then your information will be sent by the Consulate to the Town of your Italian ancestor through Italy’s certified email. You will be contacted by the Italian Consulate through which you submitted your application via email or a letter stating that you have been registered in the Italian town as an Italian citizen and that you can now apply for and receive your Italian passport. Information on passport applications is found at the Consulate website.

Is my spouse eligible to become an Italian citizen?

After you acquire Italian citizenship, your spouse is eligible, but you must be registered at the Italian Consulate that has jurisdiction over your residence.  For detailed information click here.