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.
No generational limit: Couldn't have left prior to 1861.
Emigration Date: 1861
Naturalization Date: 1912
6 to 36 months
There has been a new ruling from the Cassation Court (Italian Supreme Court), one of the highest courts in Italy, (Decision 17161 of June 15, 2023) that could affect huge numbers of people seeking citizenship by descent, both through courts and administrative lines through consulates/comuni"
Can't get a consular appointment for multiple years?
Cant get one at all?
The Problem We Solve
Are you eligible for Italian citizenship but stuck in a bureaucratic maze? Have you found yourself waiting years for an Italian Consular Appointment or The US Italian consulates often present a daunting challenge with some Consulates with 10 plus years wait time. Even if you secure an appointment, the process can be frustratingly slow, and the clerks may seem like insurmountable obstacles. The road to Italian citizenship through this route can take up to 4 to 10 years.
More than 17 million Americans have Italian ancestry.
Without any generational limit, earning EU Citizenship is within the grasp of many Italian Americans.
The foundation of Italy's nationality law is primarily built upon the principle of Jus Sanguinis, or "right of blood," which is also known as citizenship by descent. Under this principle, a person can acquire Italian citizenship by merely being born to an Italian parent, irrespective of the birthplace or whether the parent was cognizant of their citizenship status.
Italian citizenship is automatically transmitted to the offspring of an Italian citizen, and this process persists without any generational constraints, provided there has been no disruption in the lineage of citizenship.
The topic of Italian dual citizenship is increasingly gaining attention as people worldwide discover the possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship and maintaining dual citizenship. Many are intrigued by this prospect and are opting to go through the Jus Sanguinis process themselves. The laws governing Italian citizenship recognition for individuals of Italian descent have existed for over a century, although they have undergone changes over time to increase accessibility. In our contemporary, interconnected and mobile world, it is much simpler to traverse the globe than it was when our ancestors departed Italy. As a result, obtaining Italian citizenship has become more feasible, and future generations can now enjoy the benefits associated with Italian citizenship without limitations by transferring it to them.
Italian citizenship is currently regulated by Law No. 91/1992 (and related implementing regulations: in particular, Presidential Decree No. 572 of October 12, 1993 and Presidential Decree No. 362 of April 18, 1994) which, unlike the previous Law, revalues the importance of individual intention in the acquisition or loss of citizenship and recognize the right to hold more than one citizenship at the same time.
To be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, your ancestor must still have been an Italian citizen and not have renounced their citizenship or become naturalized as a citizen of another country before the next generation was born.This means that you need to trace your lineage back to an Italian ancestor who was a citizen of Italy at the time of your birth. If your ancestor naturalized before you were born, you are not eligible for citizenship under jure sanguinis (the right of blood).
One important date to keep in mind is July 1, 1912.
This is when Italian law 555/1912 regarding citizenship was put into effect. This law includes provisions that are still in effect today. Any ancestors who became naturalized before July 1, 1912 cannot transmit citizenship to the next generation, even to children minor born before that person's naturalization. This is because the line of citizenship would have been broken.
Italy deploys a principle called Jure Sanguinis when it comes to citizenship. Simply put, this law ensures that anyone with legitimate ancestral ties to Italy can be entitled to Italian citizenship through descent.There is not a generation limit for applying for Italian Citizenship by descent. However, you should keep these points in mind:
Where your Italian-born ancestor was born?
What was the name of the city or village where they were born?
Did your ancestor naturalize as a citizen of another country? If so, when?
What was your ancestor's birth date? Did they use any aliases?
What are the names and dates of birth and marriage of all of the individuals in your Italian line, starting from the ancestor who was born in Italy?
This is the right of blood. You are eligible to apply for citizenship under jure sanguinis if you have an Italian parent or grandparent.
Jure matrimonii: This is the right of marriage. You are eligible to apply for citizenship under jure matrimonii if you are married to an Italian citizen.
If no, apply at consulate
If yes, apply through court in Italy
If yes, requires 3 years of residency in Italy
If yes, may be eligible through naturalization, If no to both, apply for Citizenship directly
If you are applying through a Paternal Descendent, you can submit application to the Italian consulate abroad. It is the administrative office that represents the Italian government abroad, or through the court with POA.
This administrative path is the most common way to get Italian Citizenship by Descent, especially if you live outside of Italy. You can submit your application at the Italian Consulate under the jurisdiction of where you are a formal resident.
Take it to court
As a result of the increasing number of Americans seeking Italian Citizenship by Descent, the waiting time for a consular appointment to submit your citizenship application can often exceed two years. In such cases, you have the option to petition the court in Italy to apply directly through the court.
Take it to court
If you fall under the 1948 Rule, you cannot apply at the Italian Consulate. For your Italian Citizenship through your mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother, etc recognition can be only set by an Italian Judge. You can apply for the 1948 Case through the local Italian Immigration Court, based on where your Italian ancestor was born.
In this scenario the applicant’s father was born to a female Italian citizen before 1948, therefore, a 1948 court case would be necessary since she did not have the ability at that time to pass citizenship to her son. However, due to modern rulings, this antiquated understanding has been retroactively ruled against, allowing people with this specific family situation to obtain citizenship by petitioning the Italian courts.
First available appointments are in 2027
Establish long-term residency in Italy, apply at local Comune Applicants eligible for citizenship by descent can become a legal permanent resident of Italy in as little as 2 weeks. Whereby establishing permanent residency in Italy, you can greatly accelerate the acquisition of your Italian Citizenship.
Making a residency application requires you to present proof of your Italian citizenship by descent eligibility at the neighborhood comune (co-MOO-nay), or Town Hall. After residency is granted, you can submit an application for Italian citizenship at the same neighborhood comune. There is no need to remain in Italy throughout at any period.
How long does it take to get Italian Citizenship by Descent?
Global RCG: 4-30+ Months to Citizenship
Utilizing the Global RCG Advisory services, along with our technology enabled record retrieval applications, the entire process, from initiation to completion, can span a duration of
4- 36 months, depending on the chosen path to apply under.
The comprehensive set of requirements encompasses a total of ten meticulously assembled documents, each bearing the apostille certification and obligatorily translated into Italian. However, it is worth noting that, should one opt to submit their application at an Italian consulate within the United States, the translation prerequisite may be waived for select documents.
Example: Current Fees per Detroit Consulate
Example: Current Fees per Detroit Consulate
More tha 17 million Americans have Italian ancestry.
Without any generational limit, earning EU Citizenship is within the grasp of many Italian Americans.
Italy has a residency-based tax system, meaning that anyone who spends 183 days or more in the country is considered a tax resident. This means that they are liable for taxes on their worldwide income.
However, there are a number of incentives available for new residents:
Employed and self-employed individuals can claim a 70% to 90% tax reduction on their Italian income, depending on their region of residence.
Retirees can claim a flat 7% tax rate on their non-Italian income.
High-net-worth individuals can opt for a €100,000 annual tax payment, which covers all taxation on their non-Italian income, regardless of its size
Italy is also part of the European Economic Area (EEA), which gives its citizens the right to live and work in any other EEA country, plus Switzerland.
€0–€15,000 — 23% tax rate
€15,000–€28,000 — 27% tax rate
€28,000–€55,000 — 38% tax rate
€55,000–€75,000 — 41% tax rate
over €75,000 — 43% tax rate
Italy is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, rich historical heritage, and artistic achievements. The country's pleasant climate and exceptional cuisine make it a desirable tourist destination. In addition to being the 3rd largest economy in Europe and the 8th largest in the world, Italy is ranked 31st out of 146 countries on the World Happiness Report 2022. Italy also ranks 14th out of 78 countries in education, putting it between Norway and Finland, according to the World Population Review.
The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2021 ranks Italy 35th out of 134 countries, with a strong position in technical skills and retention, thanks to its leadership in Lifestyle alongside France. Finally, Italy is ranked 31st out of 167 countries for the quality of its healthcare system.
Italy is known for its friendly and welcoming people, making it easy for expats to form friendships. Those who choose to live in Italy enjoy a high quality of life in a relaxed and enjoyable environment, with the vivacious nature of the Italian people making life all the more interesting.
Major cities such as Rome and Milan have significant expat communities, but many Westerners opt to retire to the picturesque Italian countryside where they can spend their golden years in peace and tranquility.
As a member of the European Union, Italy uses the Euro as its currency. However, its cost of living is generally higher than many other EU countries. Expats will find that living costs vary depending on the region of Italy they reside in, with a higher standard of living in the northern regions compared to the south. Milan, the most expensive city in Italy, was ranked as the 38th most expensive city in the world in the 2012 Mercer cost of living survey, dropping 13 places from the previous year, while Rome was ranked 42nd, a drop of 8 places.
Furthermore, expats considering a move to Italy should also be aware of the high income tax and social security requirements compared to other EU countries.
No, not necessarily. Only if the woman had her child before the 1948s. If she had her child after 1948, you have an ordinary case.
Yes, you can. Did your grandmother have her child before 1948? Then, you can apply through the Court, as a 1948 case. If she had her child after 1948, you can apply too. In that case, you have an ordinary application. Through the Italian Consulate.
No, the process will be conducted by lawyers exclusively. Thanks to the Power of Attorney you will sign.
If you apply for Italian citizenship while your children are still minors your children will automatically become Italian citizens when you are granted Italian citizenship, provided that you present certified copies of their birth certificates with an Apostille and a translation into Italian when you apply to the Italian consulate abroad or the municipality in Italy. If you are applying via a municipality in Italy a certified translation of their birth certificates will be required.
**Generally speaking, minor children do not need to be physically present on the day of your appointment at the consulate. Similarly, they may not need to be present with you when you file your application at a municipality in Italy.
The probability of attaining Italian Citizenship via the 1948 rule in Italy is exceptionally high. Courts almost always granted Italian Citizenship 1948 Cases, and the Italian Government is not representing itself in Court anymore, Or only in a few cases. Judges assigned to the cases were the same ones granted Citizenship in the previous issues. It’s valid in nearly all the new trials started recently.
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’ naturalization were Italian citizens by blood right. Additionally, 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. If you have a 1948 case, or you would like to establish residency in Italy, you can apply directly in Italy. With the latter, citizenship can be obtained in a matter of months, as opposed to years through the consular paths.
Option 3 is for those with an Italian ancestors that do not qualify under the first 2 categories. The applicant will need to have 3 years of permanent residency before being able to apply for citizenship. The physical presence necessary is at least 6 months per year.
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.
Visa free countries
Freedom of movement in the European Union
No investment requirements
Leads topermanent residency and
Live in an
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 (2-4 month process)
2. petitioning an Italian court (2 year process)
3. scheduling an appointment at the nearest consulate (2-3 years)
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.
STAGE 1 | YEAR 1
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
STAGE 2 | YEAR 2
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.
STAGE 3 | YEAR 4
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.
You need to provide relevant documents that prove your Italian ancestry and that the connection was not broken for claiming Italian citizenship by descent.
Avoid the consulate, apply directly in Italy:
Proof of Italian ancestry, establish residency in Italy, apply for citizenship within a couple of months. 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.•
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.
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.
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Global RCG helps you gather the required documents with the help of our genealogist.
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.
In collaboration with our qualified team of Italian professionals, we develop a fully comprehensive package and process for recognition of Italian citizenship in a dynamic and efficient way. We oversee and accompany you at every step of the process.
Collect all essential vital records, meticulously prepare the application, and ensure that all documentation within the client's application packet is appropriately authenticated and translated.
Before embarking on your journey to Italy for the final submission, we facilitate an "application pre-assessment" process. This entails sending your complete file to our dedicated Italian Team, who will present it to the local municipality for a comprehensive review of your application and accompanying documentation. The Clerk will conduct a thorough assessment, identifying any potential areas for improvement or the need for additional supporting documents, if necessary. By gaining insight into any necessary adjustments ahead of time and having the opportunity to rectify them prior to the final submission, you can potentially save months, if not years, in your quest to obtain dual citizenship.
Upon addressing any document or application requirements identified during the preliminary evaluation, you are now prepared to initiate the process in Italy. The legislation permits you to enter Italy as a tourist and establish residency specifically for the purpose of applying for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis. At this stage, the administrative process commences, with our competent staff presenting the duly completed documentation to the relevant Italian government authorities at the municipality of your chosen residence. Throughout the procedures in Italy, our dedicated team will accompany you, providing valuable support, including acting as interpreters, among other responsibilities.
Depending on your flight path to Italy, it may be necessary to complete a "dichiarazione di presenza" (declaration of presence) to inform the Italian government about your arrival.
This entails submitting an official statement to the local immigration office within 8 days from the date of your arrival.To expedite the process and avoid lengthy waits at the immigration office of the Police Headquarters for the declaration of presence, it is highly recommended that your flight is either directly bound for Italy or includes a layover at an airport located outside the Schengen area. If your flight is direct, we have the ability to notify the entry of non-European citizens directly from our office, eliminating the need for you to personally visit the immigration office.
Establish residency within our preferred comune, sign a regular lease agreement for residential use at one of our high-end, fully furnished, well-equipped residential properties.The local police will conduct a verification process to confirm your actual residence at the declared property.
According to legal requirements, the local police have a maximum of 45 days to carry out this verification at the location where you established your residency. However, in most cases it will be carried out within a week or two. This verification process typically lasts a brief five minutes, and they call ahead of time to let you know when they will be coming.
Once you have successfully established your residency, the next step towards obtaining citizenship involves making a formal application through the designated citizenship office, typically situated within the city hall. During this stage, you will be required to provide all the necessary documentation to support your citizenship claim and allow the clerk ample time to assess your case.
The clerk, with utmost diligence, will meticulously examine each document you have submitted and collaborate with the consulates abroad that hold authority over the regions where these documents originated. This collaboration serves the purpose of investigating whether you or any of your ancestors have previously renounced Italian citizenship. It is important to note that this aspect of the process is generally more of a customary procedure, with less stringent implications.
Upon submitting your application for dual citizenship, it becomes imperative to pursue a distinct residency permit that aligns with your dual citizenship aspirations. This need arises primarily because the citizenship acquisition process often extends beyond the permitted 90-day timeframe, which applies to non-European individuals residing in Europe, including Italy. Obtaining this residency permit is essential, as it enables you to remain in Italy beyond the prescribed 90-day limit, ensuring uninterrupted residency as you embark upon your journey towards dual citizenship.
After the formal acquisition of citizenship, you are entitled to directly apply for an Italian passport within the confines of Italy. Alternatively, you have the option to enroll in the AIRE registry (Registry of Italian Citizens Residing Abroad) and proceed with your citizenship application at the nearest Italian consulate in your home country. Both avenues present viable paths for securing the privileges and rights that come with Italian citizenship.
So, you can't get an appointment at an Italian Consulate?
Our tailored service is designed exclusively for Italian Americans, providing a seamless and worry-free path to acquiring Italian citizenship. Say goodbye to the long waits at American Italian Embassies and embrace a streamlined journey towards becoming an Italian citizen.