Italian Citizenship by Descent Eligibility
Are you eligible to become an Italian citizen by descent?

So, you’re interested in Italian Citizenship?  Do you have an Italian ancestor?  This could be a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, or beyond.  If so, you could be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent.

What makes a person eligible for Italian citizenship by descent?

The Italian ancestor who came to the US must have still been an Italian citizen when the next line was born.

Meet Antonio, Antonio moved to the US in 1910.  Two years later in 1912, Antonio had a son, Aldo.  Since Antonio was still an Italian citizen, he would pass the right to Italian citizenship on to Aldo and all of Aldo’s descendants.  After Aldo was born, Antonio decided to become a US citizen in 1914.  Two years later in 1916, Antonio had another son, Carlo.  Carlo and his descendants would not be eligible for citizenship since Antonio was not an Italian citizen when Carlo was born.

However, Italian Citizenship through a female ancestor is slightly different.  Italian women did not have the right to transmit citizenship to their children until January 1, 1948. This means that in order to transfer citizenship, their children must have been born after that date.

Meet Amalia, Amalia was born in 1925 and moved to the US in 1945.  Two years later in 1947, Amalia had a daughter, Anna.  Since Anna was born before January 1, 1948, she would not inherit the right to Italian citizenship, even though Amalia was still an Italian citizen.  Three years later in 1950, Amalia had another daughter, Carmela.  Since Carmela was born after January 1, 1948, Carmela and her descendants would be eligible for citizenship.  Keep in mind that the previous requirements apply, and that Amalia had her Italian citizenship when both her daughters were born.  Had she become a US citizen before their birth, neither daughters would be eligible for citizenship.

These are the general guidelines for Italian citizenship by descent.  Please note, there can be additional rules that apply to specific cases.  If you have additional questions, give ICAP a call and we can help you determine your citizenship eligibility.

If you believe that you are eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, you can begin to move forward with your application.  ICAP will assist with the entire process including application consultation, gathering Italian & US documents, authenticating US records for use in Italy, professional document translation, and preparation for your consulate appointment.  We are dedicated to making sure your application process goes as smoothly as possible regardless of your geographic location.  Give us a call to schedule a consultation so we can start your application process!  Arrivederci!

Italian Citizenship by Descent Eligibility