Citizenship by Descent

Italian citizenship is one of the most valuable in the world. It allows visa-free travel to the US and Australia and enables you to live anywhere in Europe.

Italian citizenship by  Descent or Ancestry (Jure Sanguinis) is open to individuals with Italian ancestry if the citizenship by blood was passed down all the way to him or her. The citizenship is passed down as long as the Italian parent has not lost his citizenship before the birth of his/her child. Italian citizenship was lost in the past if another citizenship was taken. Those that lost their Italian connection this way can still be fast-tracked to Italian citizenship. Foreigners normally need to have 10 years of residence in Italy before they can apply for naturalization.

Italy accepts dual citizenship, so you don’t have to forfeit your current citizenship to apply.

Italy Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship by descent options

There are commonly 3 categories under which an applicant can qualify for Italian citizenship by Descent:

Citizenship by descent: The male ancestor was not a naturalized American before the birth of his child. If the father was a naturalized American before the birth, his Italian connection is broken.
Citizenship by descent (1948 ruling): Applies to mothers who in the past couldn’t pass They pretty much become the same as males, but the filing is done in court and the process is faster.
Fast-track naturalization: If you have an Italian grandfather or father but can’t qualify under the first 2 categories, you can opt for fast-track naturalization after 3 years.
Italian Citizenship by Descent
Obtain Italian Passport

The first 2 options require that the “legal” connection is not lost. In the past, an Italian who became a naturalized American would lose his Italian citizenship. Therefore, he/she couldn’t pass it to one of his/her future children. Those born before his or her parents’ American naturalization were Italian by blood; if they were born in the USA, they were also American at birth. After that, it was unlikely that the connection could be broken. The process to obtain Italian citizenship can be started at an Italian consulate near you if your Italian connection comes from a male ancestor. It can take 2 or 3 years. Now you can also petition an Italian court and get a decision in 1 year. The process to obtain Italian citizenship can be petitioned in an Italian court if the connection comes from a female ancestor. It can take 1 year.

Option 3 is for those with an Italian father or grandfather that do not qualify under the first 2 categories. This option requires the applicant to have held a residence permit for at least 3 years before their application for fast-track naturalization. Simply holding the permit for 3 years is enough to qualify for citizenship, and physical presence in Italy is not a requirement. Nevertheless, a 6-month physical presence in Italy requirement is often imposed in most resident permit categories.

Therefore, most applicants choose the Italy Investor Visa (a.k.a. Golden Visa). This permit requires an investment ranging from €250,000 to €1m in exchange for a fragmented 5-year resident permit and no physical presence requirement. You only need to visit Italy once a year to maintain the resident permit. The naturalization process can take 1 or 2 years, making the 5-year Italian investor visa an important tool as compared to other temporary resident permits that must be renewed annually and require 6 months of physical presence in Italy.

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Italy Citizenship by Descent
Application Conditions

The process for Italian citizenship by ancestry can take a few months to a few years,
depending on the route and your eligibility.

Italy Citizenship By Descent Application Conditions

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The regular naturalization process in Italy takes ten years of residency.
Those who qualify under Italian citizenship by descent, if their blood connection
was not broken, can either obtain their citizenship by:

1. applying for residency in Italy and then applying for citizenship at an
Italian municipality (6-month process)

2. petitioning an Italian court (1-year process)

3. scheduling an appointment at the nearest consulate (2-3 years)

Italy Citizenship By Descent Application Requirements

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Other requirements:

If the blood connection was broken, there is still a path towards citizenship for
those with Italian ancestry. It will require the applicant to spend at least three
years of residence in Italy before lodging an application to be fast-tracked
towards naturalization. The naturalization process can take one or two years.


Application Processing Time: 3-4 Years

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The process to obtain Italian citizenship by ancestry varies from one category to another. But today, both category 1 and 2 can be filed in court and be faster than the consulate route. The first step is to determine whether your Italian connection has been broken. If it hasn’t been broken, you can book an appointment at your nearest Italian consulate. It might take 2 or 3 years before you’re given an appointment, leaving you ample time to gather the relevant ancestry documents. The consulate will only accept your application if your ancestry comes from a male line. If your ancestry comes from a female line or if you want the process to go faster, you can use the 1948 ruling to petition directly to an Italian court. You can save 1 or 2 years in the process. If you need a resident permit, you can apply for one in Italy. It usually takes 1 month to receive it

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If you petition the court under category 1 or 2, you’re likely to have your case approved by the court after 1 year and become an Italian citizen. If you filed your application at the consulate, you’re likely still in line to be processed, and if you needed a resident permit, you’re now waiting for another 2 years of residency to be eligible for fast-track naturalization.

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If you chose the consulate route, your appointment should be coming up. If you have all the required documents, the consulate should approve your request and transmit it to the Ministry of Interior for approval. You will receive your certificate of citizenship and passport shortly. If you needed 3 years of residence, you can now apply for naturalization into Italian citizenship. It takes 1 or 2 years for the Italian authorities to process the application.


A series of requirements must be fulfilled to apply for Italian citizenship by Descent. Check all the requirements to apply for Italian citizenship by descent.

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Italian Ancestry:
You need to provide relevant documents that prove your Italian ancestry and that the connection was not broken for claiming Italian citizenship by descent.

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Fast-track Naturalization:
• Proof of Italian ancestry: You will need to provide relevant documents proving your Italian ancestry• Income declaration for the last 3 years. You will need to meet the requirements relating to income, accommodation, and lack of pending suits for the purposes of the residence permit for long-term residents.•

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Police Record:
No convictions for one of the crimes provided for in Book II, Title I, Chapters I, II, and III of the Criminal Code. No convictions for an intentional crime for which the law provides for a statutory penalty of not less than 3 years of imprisonment. An oath of allegiance to the republic.


The applicant’s children will automatically become Italian citizens upon confirmation. The spouse can also obtain Italian citizenship right away under category 1 and 2 if they have been married to the applicant for at least 3 years. This can be shortened to 2 years if they have lived in Italy during those 2 years. The spouses of those who gain Italian citizenship under category 3 will have to wait 3 more years before applying for naturalization.

Do you qualify for Italian citizenship?

Take a free eligibility test today! Your eligibility for ancestry-based citizenship will be determined within 48 hours by the internal genealogy team at Global RCG.


Application Process

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Week 1

Verify eligibility

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Week 2

Start client onboarding process
with Global RCG

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Week 3

Global RCG helps you gather the required documents with the help of our genealogist.

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Week 8

Application for citizenship is filed. Depending on your case, the process can take six months if it's lodged at a municipality, 12 to 16 months if petitioned in an Italian court, 2 to 3 years if scheduled at a consulate, and 5 to 6 years via the residency route if your Italian blood connection was broken.


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Spanish Citizenship by Ancestry Options

There are 4 primary Paths to obtaining Spanish Citizenship through Ancestry

Path 1: Spanish Citizenship by Birth:

  • You are Spanish by origin/birth and can apply directly for Spanish citizenship (where you do not require a residency period) if you were:
  • If one of your parents is a Spanish citizen born in Spain,
  • Born in Spain to foreign parents, if at least one parent was also born in Spain.The exception is children of diplomats and consuls accredited in Spain;
  • Were adopted by a Spaniard and are under 18, or are over 18 and were adopted within the last two years;
  • We're born in Spain to foreign parents whose identity is unknown or their country of origin is undetermined (stateless or refugee status). This also applies if neither parents’ nationality could be legally passed on to you.

Path 2: Spanish Citizenship by Descent

  • You have a grandparent who was a Spanish citizen or a Spanish parent born outside of Spain.
  • Grandchildren of Spanish women who were born in Spain and married to non-Spanish citizens before 1978.
  • Grandchildren of Spanish nationals who received nationality from another country after leaving Spain before their children were born (which means their children at the time of birth were not Spanish citizens).
  • Grandchildren of citizens of Spain who did not apply to become Spanish citizens before 18 years of age (and lost the automatic privilege)

Path 3: Spanish Citizenship by Residency

  • The length of time you must wait before applying for citizenship may differ based on where you are from and your family ties:
  • The standard rule is ten years.
  • If you are a refugee, you will be detained for five years.
  • If you are from Latin America, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, or Portugal, you can stay for two years.
  • One year for people married to a Spanish national or their children/grandchildren born in Spain.
    Other criteria include:
    - You must have lived without interruption for the required number of periods. This means that you cannot leave the nation for extended periods of time (more than three months).
    - Authorities will investigate your criminal history and police records.
    - The year count begins when your initial residency card is valid.
    - Any time spent in Spain on a tourist or student visa will not be counted because these are considered stay periods.

Path 4: Spanish Citizenship by Option

  • You have a spanish born parent, you were born outside of Spains and are under 18 years of age
  • You are over 18 years of age and qualify under the new Let de Nieto Law