Below you will find some of the frequently asked questions I get via email regarding Italian dual citizenship (you can also read more about my experience).
Remember, consulates, embassies, and comunes vary *greatly* regarding what they require, so their answers will rule. If you see something you know is incorrect, *please* contact me. As with any area of law, things change, so always make sure to find the most up to date information preferably from your consulate, embassy, or comune.
- I’m interested in pursuing Italian citizenship, can you help?
I do *not* offer the services of document collection, translation, or correction. If, however, you’ve read through the Citizenship F.A.Q. section, still aren’t sure whether you qualify for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, and would like my take on your situation, you have a choice between two Italian citizenship email consultation plans, which you can read more about here:
- Can you recommend the services of a document collection/genealogy research company?
I have never used one of these companies personally, but I have heard nothing but great things about Peter Farina and italyMONDO!, so I recommend contacting him if you are interested in hiring someone to help you with documents.
If you contact Peter, do let him know I referred you, and you will receive a discount on his price (and, full disclosure, I will receive a percentage commission as well).
I also recommend checking out the Citizenship forum at Expats in Italy.
- If you were going through the process again knowing everything you know now, would you do anything differently?
Besides doing it sooner, no. But I will again stress the importance of following directions and only doing the work you know you’ll be required to do. Not only will it save you time and money, it will probably also save you stress and hassle, which can sometimes be the biggest stumbling block of all.
- What’s the deal with this 1948 rule?
Before January 1, 1948, women could not pass on Italian citizenship; therefore, anyone born to an Italian mother (but not an Italian father) before January 1, 1948 did not receive Italian citizenship through his/her mother. If someone in your line meets this description, and you have no other line through which to claim Italian citizenship, you’re out of luck. That said, this rule may not be as bright line as it once was, so be sure to find the latest information.
- My Italian ancestor served in the United States armed forces; did s/he renounce Italian citizenship by doing so?
Everything I have read says that serving in the U.S. military does *not* mean your ancestor renounced Italian citizenship; that is, if you qualify otherwise, this should not be a problem. However, rules like this can change, so be sure to find the most up to date information — preferably from the consulate, embassy, or comune to which you’ll be applying.
- My grandfather (or other relative) changed his name without telling anyone, so I have different names on required certificates. What do I do?
When I applied, I had variations of name spellings on my documents, but the Philadelphia Consulate didn’t care. From what I understand, this part of the process has changed greatly, and many consulates are now requiring that documents are corrected through a legal process. I know nothing about this as I didn’t go through it, but as always, *please* check with the consulate, embassy, or comune through which you’ll be applying to see what they will require before you go and do something (a) you may not have to do at all; or (b) is a different procedure than what they require.
- Do you have a checklist of documents needed to file a request for recognition of Italian citizenship jure sanguinis?
I don’t, but there is such a checklist (PDF) at Italian Citizenship & Genealogical Services (it appears this site is down at least for the time being, but you might want to check back).
- Can I apply for jure sanguinis citizenship in Italy?
Yes, you can, and it is often a much faster route. Read all about it at Jure Sanguinis: Applying in Italy at Expats in Italy.
- How long does the Italian citizenship process take?
The answer varies greatly depending on where you apply and your specific circumstances, but general wisdom is that it takes far less time to apply in Italy than elsewhere. Of course document collection time varies greatly as well, so be sure to factor that into your personal time estimate.
- It’s been X years since I applied for citizenship but haven’t heard anything. What should I do?
Get in touch with your consulate and check on the status of your file. If you can’t get a hold of them but can speak Italian (or find someone who can), call the comune in Italy where your documents should be registered. No news can actually mean you’re already a citizen — I, for instance, have still never received confirmation from the Philadelphia Consulate that my citizenship was recognized, and yet I’ve been recognized as an Italian citizen since 2005 and have the carta d’identità to prove it.
*This page will be updated as I transfer some of the many questions I receive quite often via email so please check back!*