If you are a US citizen with Italian ancestry you could be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent! Since the time of Italy’s unification, citizenship has derived by being born to an Italian parent not by being born in the Country. This right has been extended to the descendants of Italian citizens born abroad provided that specific requirements are met. Originally, Italian citizenship was passed down to a child from the father. After Italy became a Republic on January 1, 1948 women were given the right to transmit citizenship “by descent” to their children who were born after January 1, 1948 and to the descendants of these children. Some of you may have tried to apply for Italian citizenship through a female ancestor and found out that you were ineligible because of this 1948 Law. For example, perhaps your grandmother was an Italian citizen at the time of your father’s birth in the US, but your father was born prior to January 1, 1948.
Because this law excludes many people from acquiring Italian citizenship by descent, there has been a strong reaction to it which prompted legal action in Italy in 2009. A trial case challenged the law as discriminating against Italian women by denying them the right to pass citizenship to their children. The High Court of Rome decided that this discrimination should cease, and granted Italian citizenship to the woman’s descendant.
Since this case, there have been over 200 similar decisions in the Italian court. At ICAP, we have collaborated with the law firm in Italy that won the first case and continues to be successful in winning these court cases. Considering this legal precedent, there is now a high probability of obtaining Italian citizenship via an Italian female’s ancestor that falls into this category.
You do not need to be present in Italy to participate in the trial and every member of your family (brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, etc.) who share the same Italian ancestor can join the case.
This path to Italian citizenship can be made only in the Italian Court, whether you’re starting your dual citizenship process for the first time or returning for a second ICAP can help you in your quest chance at eligibility as a descendant of an Italian woman!