How To Navigate The Italian Citizen By Descent Journey

Italy is among the countries that offer a wide range of immigration options. Not surprisingly, it is one of the favorite destinations for Americans looking to start life afresh in another country. Another reason for its popularity is that millions of Americans have Italian roots.

Since Italy has the citizenship by descent alternative, it is easy to claim the right for people who can trace their ancestral connections in the country.

lawyer helping apply for italian citizenship by descent

You can check Bersani Law Firm website to understand the nitty-gritty of the Jure Sanguinis process. But you will realize that it has some complexities regarding eligibility and paperwork. A little preparation can help you navigate the journey smoothly.

Here are some expert-recommended tips to make it a smooth sail. 

how to get an italian passport

Have a clear understanding of eligibility requirements

The eligibility for citizenship by descent sounds as simple as having Italian parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. But things are complex when you dig deeper.

Although there are no generational limits to Jure Sanguinis applications, you have to follow some guidelines to be eligible for the process. These include-

italian flag
  • Either or both parents should be of Italian origin, but you can also apply as an adopted person
  • Your ascendant should have been an Italian citizen at the time of the unification of Italy in 1861
  • They should not have naturalized in another country before the birth of the next person in the line

Check these guidelines to ensure you qualify for citizenship by descent because you may only waste your time if you get the eligibility wrong. It makes sense to seek expert assistance at this stage because experts know the laws better to assess your eligibility status.

Italy 1948 rule

Beware of the 1948 Rule exception  

The citizenship by descent process may not be a  breeze if you plan to claim it through a maternal ancestor.

The Italian law was initially discriminatory against women as it did not allow them to bequeath their citizenship right to the next generations before 1948.

If your female ascendant (mother or a distant relative) gave birth before 1948, you do not qualify through the Jure Sangiunis process. But the good thing is that you can still claim citizenship because the government rectified the law with the 1948 Rule.

It allows potential immigrants to apply through a  court process rather than a consulate application. 

Collect your ancestral documents

Another tip to ease your citizenship by descent journey is by getting your paperwork in place. The process requires applicants to validate their ancestral roots with certificates of birth, marriage, and the death of their Italian ancestors.

Procuring them can be challenging as you must get them from the Italian comune of your ancestor. It can be much easier if you have a local citizenship expert by your side. They have the right connections to speed up the process for you.

In addition to the Italian documents, you will also require the certified translations and apostilled copies of naturalization records of the ancestor in the current country.

The document checklist includes your IDs as well. Since gathering these papers sounds like a lot of work, getting a head start makes sense. 

How to apply for an Italian passport with Italian citizenship by descent

Go ahead with the application process

Once you sort out the paperwork, you can go ahead with the application process.

The good thing is that you can apply at your local Italian consulate rather than fly to Italy. But the waiting period for the interview is often long because of the extended queue of applications at the consulate.

You need to be patient because it can take several months or even a year to get your appointment. However, it is a small price for one of the most powerful passports in the world.

Experts recommend double-checking your documents in the meantime to ensure no errors or omissions. Missing a document or sharing an inaccurate one can delay the process further.

You may also consider traveling to Italy and setting up a temporary residence to apply from there. It can expedite the process significantly. 

If you have ancestral connections in Italy, the citizenship by descent route is your best bet to start a life in the country. It lets you bring along your family and pass on the right to the next generations as well.

But the process may sound daunting, specifically when it comes to eligibility assessment and paperwork. However, you should not let it overwhelm you because an expert can help you breeze through the process.

Find an expert with a good track record and experience to enable you to navigate the journey smoothly. 

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