Italian Dual Citizenship, or simply Italian citizenship, is the right of an Italian descendant to become an official citizen in Italy beyond their nationality of origin (Brazilian nationality, for example), ie. to have Italian nationality as well, thus an Italian passport.
Italian citizenship is based on Law No 91 of 15/02/1992, and therefore in no way is directly stated in the Italian Constitution. Its basic principle is Jus Sanguinis (blood law), in which an Italian Dual Citizenship is entitled to every individual who has Italian descent, being a son, grandson, great-grandson, etc., regardless of degree with no generational limit), with the only restriction being providing documentary evidence in the formats required to obtain recognition of Italian citizenship.
The basic principle for any individual to be entitled to Italian Citizenship (Italian Status Civitatis) without the need for legal action is:
- He/She is the child of an Italian father who had Italian citizenship by being born in Italy through Jus Solis, or (right of the soil”), through naturalization, or through Jus Sanguinis (right of blood), regardless of the child’s date of birth
- He/She is the child of an Italian mother (born in Italy and / or with naturalization / Italian citizenship), whose birth date is after 1 January 1948 (date of the emergence of the Law of 01/01/1948), at the time of his birth.
If this child was born in Italy, it is sufficient to have his birth registered in a Civil Registration Office of an Italian Comune (municipality) before reaching the age of majority to be considered Italian. If this child of an Italian father or an Italian mother was born outside Italy, he must prove that one of the parents was an Italian citizen at the time of his Birth, and that the Paternal or Maternal bond was established at a minor age.
Right To Citizenship By Blood
The right guaranteed to Italian Citizenship by Blood is the main norm for the granting of nationality and its effects are retroactive to the date of Birth of the individual applying for that right. This right is given to all descendants of Italians without generational limits if the line of descent is always paternal, ie the right is automatically given if the descent comes from a man in his Family Tree, being his Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather , Great-Grandfather, etc., regardless of date of Birth.
Therefore, male Children, Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren are entitled to unlimited Citizenship, maintaining the Paternal Line. For cases concerning Law 01/01/1948 and other restrictions, the individual is only entitled to Italian Citizenship through a judicial process requesting this right.
Right To Citizenship Via Maternal
In the case of maternal Italian citizenship law, we first appealed in January 1, 1948, when the Constitution of the Italian Republic was promulgated, and until then, Italy was a Kingdom and women had no right to transmit Italian Citizenship. From this date, it was established that,
Any individual whose Italian Descent comes from his Mother, whether or not residing in Italy and whose Child was Born before 01/01/1948, is only entitled to Italian Citizenship if his Mother has Italian Citizenship or Naturalization, otherwise Child shall have recourse to legal proceedings requesting this right. The same goes for any individual whose descent comes from a (ascending) woman in her family tree, whether she is a Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, born before 01/01/1948 and who does not have Italian Citizenship.
However, both the applicant and the ascending wife (Mother, Grandmother, etc.) may resort to the process at the same time.
Currently, the restrictions imposed by Law 01/01/1948 can be overcome through Judgment No. 4466 of 25/02/2009, which recognizes the right of Citizenship to Italian women and their Children born before the promulgation of the law. Italian Republican Constitution on 01/01/1948. While the decision to be enforced through the Italian Consulates or Communes is not regulated by the Italian Ministero Dell’ Interno, the referral can only be made in court.
Right To Citizenship By Marriage
In the case of seeking the right to Italian Citizenship by Marriage, there are some Rules that must be adhered to, as follows,
- Through spouse’s Italian Citizenship: Only men transmit Italian Citizenship by Marriage to women. Thus, when the Husband has Italian Citizenship and the Marriage took place before or on April 27, 1983, the wife automatically has the right to Italian Citizenship by Marriage. But the man (husband) never acquires Italian Citizenship for his wife through Marriage. In the event of Death or Divorce after 27/04/1983, the Wife retains the right to Italian Citizenship. In the preceding Date of Death or Divorce the wife loses the right.
- Through the Italian Naturalization of the Spouse: If the Marriage is later than 27/04/1983 the Woman will not have the right to Italian Citizenship by Marriage, but can as well as the man Naturalize Italian, which is the right fit. In this case the Husband or Wife may Naturalize Italians, as long as the Spouse is Italian and other conditions addressed in the topic on Italian Naturalization by Marriage.
- Trentine Origin (Law No. 379): Any Husband or Wife Married at any time to a Spouse who has obtained Italian Citizenship through this origin may apply for Italian Citizenship.
- If a Husband and Wife are Married for 6 months and the Spouse who obtained Italian Citizenship lives in Italy legally during this time, the Spouse may apply for Citizenship of his or her Spouse. The agility for the process to begin and to obtain the Italian Citizenship of one of the Spouses depends on the Marriage time and if they have children. The longer the Marriage time and if the couple has children, the faster the process.
Other Requirements Which Do Not Require a Lawsuit
If the applicant for the right to Italian Citizenship does not have a parent with Naturalization / Italian Citizenship, to avoid further need for legal proceedings, the applicant must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Born in Italy as long as both parents are stateless or unknown.
- Be an adopted child born in Italy, or the child of unknown parents or whose nationality is unknown
- Has performed Military or Civil Service
- Residing legally in Italy for 10 years and applying for naturalization, provided that he has no Criminal Record and proof of adequate financial resources
- Be the son of foreign parents whose birth was on Italian soil and who lives in Italy uninterruptedly for up to 18 years.
- Be married to an Italian citizen after 2 years of residence in Italy or 3 years abroad from the Date of Marriage. The wives of Italian Citizens Married before 27/04/1983 automatically acquire Italian Citizenship.
Restrictions Which May Limit Or Halt Your Application
During the application process, we must be aware of restrictions that may limit the process for the formal recognition of Italian Citizenship, which affect a significant portion of Italian Descendants, among them,
- The Law of 01/01/1948;
- Brazilian Naturalization of the Italian Ancestry;
- Errors in documents;
- Ascendant with Italian Surname but no Italian Citizenship;
- The applicant is a minor, in which it is up to the person who has parental responsibility to enter the legal process.
If the applicant’s case has such restrictions or does not meet the basic requirements, he will only be entitled to Italian citizenship by a court case requesting that right. But there is no cause for concern, as it is currently possible to file a lawsuit in order to have the right recognized!