As the dual citizenship concept gains popularity among Americans, they look for the best global options to get a second passport. Italy emerges as one of the clear winners because you will love much about living in the country. The top-notch education and healthcare facilities make it an ideal destination for families, while business and career opportunities are great from a professional perspective. If you are looking for a perfect retirement destination, the country scores on this front too. The weather is incredible, the lifestyle is easygoing, and safety isn’t a thing to worry about.
Besides the obvious benefits, the ease of immigration is another reason why Italy is an excellent choice for second citizenship. You can explore various immigration options, depending on your eligibility. Italian citizenship by descent is the most popular option because of its simplicity and ease. The latest census data states that more than 17 million people in the US are of Italian descent, making a whopping 6% of the population. If you are one of them, this is the chance to claim your citizenship rights by bloodline. Let us share a comprehensive guide that offers complete information on Jure Sanguinis.
Getting started with Jure Sanguinis
Jure Sanguinis refers to the right that entitles you to claim your Italian citizenship because of your family bloodline. If you have ancestors from the country in your lineage, you can apply under this category. It is perhaps the simplest and easiest route compared to the other options such as citizenship by marriage, naturalization, and investment. You need not marry an Italian, live here for a decade, or invest a massive sum in the country to get a second passport and start a new life here. Additionally, your future generations get the benefit automatically with this option, as the right passes on to them. But everything boils down to eligibility, which extends only beyond proving your ancestral roots.
Eligibility for Italian citizenship by descent
Even as you may think that your Italian bloodline qualifies you for the option, things are not as simple as they sound. There is much you need to consider for determining your eligibility. The laws and exceptions can be complex, so it makes sense to get expert assistance to help you assess your eligibility. After all, you will not want to pick the wrong option and waste time on something that would not work. Here are the factors that make you eligible.
- If your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents are Italians, you can qualify for the category. Even adopted individuals are eligible, provided that the adoption was done before the age of 18 after 1975 or 21 before 1975.
- The ancestor was alive and an Italian citizen after 1861, the year of formation and unification of the country.
- The ancestor never lost citizenship by naturalization elsewhere. If they got naturalized in another country, it should be only after the birth of the next person in the Italian bloodline.
The criteria seem pretty straightforward but some exceptions make them confusing. You cannot apply if you voluntarily renounced your citizenship before August 15, 1992. Likewise, you cannot qualify if the ancestor was naturalized before June 14, 1912. Another exception that applicants face relates to female ancestry. If your Italian parent is female and you were born before 1948, the descent route will not work for you. Also, you will not be eligible if there is an Italian female in your bloodline and she gave birth before January 1, 1948. While the issue appears discriminatory, the Italian government has done its bit to deal with the disparity. It lets you apply through the court system under the 1948 case. We will pick the concept later in this guide.
The application process for Italian citizenship by descent
Once you are sure about your eligibility for citizenship by descent, you can go ahead with the application process. Before starting, you must have a good understanding of the steps and clear expectations of the timelines. You can check here there’s all you need to know about the process from start to end. Also, expect at least a couple of years for the process to complete. Having experts overseeing the process gives you an advantage as they make sure that you do everything right and never miss out on any steps. It is vital because errors and omissions can delay the process, which is the last thing you will want to happen. Let us explain the application process in detail.
Even before you apply, you must have your paperwork in place because there is a lot you will need to go ahead with. Since documentation will include papers from Italy and the US, the process can be daunting. You can make things easier by hiring a local expert for citizenship assistance because they can help you procure Italian documents and guide you about the ones to be legalized and translated in your home country. Here is a list of documents you must have before moving the application.
- Copies of passport and driver’s license
- Proof of residency
- Birth certificate
- Birth certificate of the ancestor issued by the relevant Italian comune
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificates
- Divorce judgments if applicable
- Naturalization certificate if the ancestor was naturalized in the US
You will also require a copy of the declaration of Petition for Naturalization from the National Archive. Applicants whose ancestors were never naturalized in the US will need to show an original certificate by US Citizenship and Immigration Services to prove that records do not exist. Further, they have to provide a copy of the census after the birth of the descendant in the US.
Legalization and translation of documents
When it comes to the U.S.-issued records and certificates, only certified long-form copies are considered valid. Further, you must ensure legalization by getting an official seal from the Registrar’s Office. They must also have the date when they were filed and affixed Apostille. Make sure that they are all translated into Italian because it is the official language of the country. You cannot expect the officials in Italy to accept documents in English, so missing out on the step can slow down or even hinder the application process. Since you need to identify, obtain, authenticate, and translate the documents, the entire process may take some time to complete. Also, go the extra mile to double-check the documents before submissions. Once again, having Italian Citizenship experts can make things much easier as they take care of all these aspects.
Going forward with the process
Sorting out the paperwork gets you all set for the application, which you can do at your local consulate or by traveling down to Italy. Many applicants even get a consulate appointment before gathering their documents because wait times are often long. It can start at 6 months and extend to a couple of years. Conversely, you can travel to Italy and apply here because it has many benefits. You need not get a prior appointment when applying at an Italian municipality, which makes the process much faster. Further, it is easy to get your local documentation when you apply in the city of your ancestor. You can even start living in the country during the progression of the application, so starting afresh becomes a tad easier.
Application through the court in 1948 cases
Apart from the normal application process, you also need to know about the Italian Citizenship 1948 Rule. It applies to applicants with a maternal lineage and requires them to apply through the court. You will need an Italian citizenship attorney to represent your case in court and handle the legal formalities of the process. You will require almost the same documents as with the regular applications. Further, you will have to get them apostilled and translated too. But the difference here is that a judge will review them and give you a hearing date. Although the process sounds complicated, you need not worry because things will work out if you have valid proof.
Italian citizenship assistance makes the journey smooth
Now that you understand all about the eligibility and process for Italian citizenship by descent, it will be clear that you will need assistance to get through. It is worthwhile because experts can help you make the journey smooth and stress-free. They can help you right from the first stage because determining your eligibility is perhaps the biggest challenge. Experts can assist you in picking the right citizenship option by deciding whether it is worth filing through the consulate or the court. You can expect ease with gathering local documents because they will have the right connections around. There are also fewer chances of errors and delays when you have experts showing the way.
Although claiming Italian citizenship by descent sounds like a lot of work, the effort is worthwhile because it gives you the opportunity to start afresh in a wonderful country. Just find an expert to guide you through the process, and it will be much easier than you imagine.