Over the past few years, there have been several attempts to pass reform on the Italian citizenship regulation. One of the main points of reform is to cut the possibility to give citizenship status down to the second generation.

Such rule would include no more than the grandchildren of an Italian-born ancestor.  As a consequence, most of the descendants of Italians who emigrated before the 1930s would be deprived of the right to obtain Italian citizenship.

The second-generation limit was formally proposed by the previous Italian government in the September 2018 Bill “Decreto Sicurezza”. The wording was the following:

“The law limits the transmission of citizenship to the descendants of second degree who can prove by documents the citizenship status of their ancestor”

This reform process was stopped under the pressure of the Italian community overseas. However, in Italy, there is still large support to limit Italian citizenship to second-generation descendants.

A comprehensive citizenship reform was announced repeatedly during the past few governments of any color. Such reform is aimed, among other things, at limiting and “modernizing” the Italian citizenship regime and based mainly on the principle of citizenship by blood for unlimited generations.

The comprehensive reform process was interrupted for the pandemic emergency. So it is likely that drastic limits to citizenship by blood will be introduced after the emergency, within 2-3 years.

In that case, the reform will most likely apply immediately to all citizenship processes in course, both at Consulate and in Courts. That is how it works each time similar law changes are introduced in Italy (and in most countries). All the applications of third and further generation descendants will most likely be rejected.

In the light of the foreseeable changes in Italian law, it is recommended to check whether you have a right to Italian citizenship now. If you start as soon as possible, the process for your citizenship will be most probably completed before the second generation limit will enter into force.

What can we do to check our options for Italian citizenship by blood?

  • Check your family tree: is there some great (grand) mother or father of Italian origin? You may find more than one.
  • Check if any of those Italian ancestors renounced her (his) Italian citizenship before their child was born.
  • Don’t give up if your ancestor was a woman! Even if Italian Consulates refuse the application, you can have a good chance by applying in Court (for more information: How the 1948 rule really works)



You may consider that our emigrated ancestors used to form families with partners from their country/region of origin. That is the case in the vast majority of the cases I handled over more than twenty years. So you may find more than one Italian-born ancestor in your family tree from whom you can derive Italian citizenship by blood. Even if such ancestor is a woman, there is presently the opportunity to obtain citizenship by applying to the Rome Tribunal.


As time is of the essence, please note that this article is published on February 21st, 2021.


For more information:

  • Check your options with Italian citizenship here: You may not know it but…. you are an Italian citizen!  
  • When in doubt, ask us. We can help you. Contact us
  • Discover your real options. If you dispose of basic information on your Italian descent (your Itali-born ancestor’s date and place of birth, and the date and place of birth of each descendant) and possibly dispose already of family records, we can evaluate your actual options and devise the best strategy for you to obtain the Italian citizenship.  Book a private consultation with me