Ciao a tutti! Today I have a special guest blogger who is going to explain the process of obtaining Italian citizenship through the blood line. I’m sure many of you have heard of this option and perhaps some of you may have even done a little of your own research. If so, then you’ve already discovered how confusing it can be. I attempted to do it myself last year, but I got frustrated at a certain point and abandoned my efforts. But Valerie has successfully completed the journey and has had her blood line officially recognized by the Italian government. What’s more, she kept careful records of each step along the way and now has a wealth of practical knowledge on the subject. I read her book a couple of weeks ago and found it to be extremely clear and helpful. I only wish I had known about it sooner! So without out further ado, I will let her summarize the process for you. A presto, Rick
Hi everyone! I know many of you are either expats already living in Rome or folks like me who are either dreaming of moving to Italy or have already begun the planning process for the big move. If you are of Italian descent, the good news is that you may be eligible to obtain Italian citizenship as blood right from your Italian ancestors.
If you are planning to move to Italy (or anywhere in the European Union), you will greatly benefit from having dual citizenship since you will not have to go through the visa process for work, travel or living. The best news is that since it is your blood right, the only thing you have to prove to gain citizenship is that you are an eligible Italian descendant.
But first you must determine eligibility. You will do this by tracing your roots back to the ancestor that was born in Italy and follow that bloodline down to yourself. You must confirm that the ancestor born in Italy was eligible to transfer his or her Italian citizenship to his or her child and, if applicable, that child was able to transfer his or her citizenship to his or her child. Continue this process until you reach yourself in the tree.
The only two things that would prevent someone from transferring Italian citizenship through the bloodline is if the Italian revoked their citizenship (either intentionally or through purposefully claiming citizenship from another country that required revocation) OR if the parent was female and ineligible to transfer Italian citizenship.
When Italians first came to America, they were not required to naturalize by physically applying for American citizenship. However, if they chose to acquire American citizenship and it was granted, on the date citizenship was granted they revoked their Italian citizenship. Therefore, any children born before that date would retain the rights to the Italian citizenship (until they purposefully revoked it) whereas a child born after American naturalization would not be eligible.
What if your mother was Italian but your father was not? You may still be eligible. So long as the female gave birth to the child in question January 1, 1948 or later. It’s okay that the female was born before that so long as she gained her eligibility from her father. This is due to a law that initially did not allow women to pass on their citizenship.
Hopefully, you are still following along and have determined that you are likely eligible. The next step is to make an appointment with your local consulate. There is a fairly lengthy wait time, roughly 15-18 months for appointments. During the wait, you will need to compile all your documentation tracing your roots to prove your eligibility. You will need to get original birth, marriage and death records and have them translated into Italian. You will also need to verify that the names and dates match on all records. If not, you will need to request record corrections which take quite some time to process.
Not to discourage you, but you should know that there is a lot of work involved in getting all this paperwork together. There are no fees issued by the consulate to have your citizenship recognized but you will have to pay all the various states and counties to obtain all the original records which can easily cost hundreds of dollars when it’s all said and done. Depending on whether you need to travel to obtain records or corrections, you could spend a couple thousand in the end.
It’s all worth it after the appointment when you get your letter in the mail noting that your citizenship is on record and you can obtain your Italian passport. Once your citizenship is recognized, you can typically get same day service to obtain your passport by going into the consulate and paying the passport fees.
I hope you decide to unlock the benefits of dual citizenship by undergoing this rewarding journey of tracing back your roots! I have recently authored a book called “The Italian-American Guide to Seeking Dual Citizenship as Blood Right” which is available in both print and e-versions. The book gives a step by step guide on how to obtain dual citizenship with lots of tips on how to minimize your expenditures and save time collecting documents. It is also talks about the pros and cons of obtaining dual citizenship and tools to keep you organized.
Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]
Italian Citizenship (e-book version)
Italian Citizenship (print version)