Thought you missed your chance to get Italian citizenship through your family history? It’s time for a second look. Right now, Italy is considering a new law that could make it easier for people with Italian roots to become citizens without having to move and reside in Italy. This is about reclaiming your identity as Italian-born national while respecting your life as you built it over many years in your country.

What is this about?

Proposal number 919 includes a provision in Article 1 for opening a 4-year window of opportunity to submit applications for Italian citizenship. This allows individuals who lost their Italian citizenship before 1992 through naturalization to obtain it once again without moving to Italy. The discussion on this law started in the Italian Parliament in January 2024, and it’s expected to wrap up in a few months.

Source: Bill no. 919 presented in October 2023 by Senator Francesca La Marca

The question:

Italian-born citizens who moved abroad and voluntarily acquired citizenship of another country before 1992 lost their Italian citizenship and are considered foreigners, despite speaking Italian and having Italian families. Since 1992, they’ve been able to reclaim Italian citizenship, but only if they return to live in Italy. The new bill proposes a significant change: these former Italian citizens could regain their citizenship without needing to leave their lives in their current countries. They must, however, submit their application within a 4-year window.

Who Does This Draft Law Affect?

According to the proposer, the draft law aims to address specific situations: it caters to Italian-born individuals who moved abroad and had to forfeit their Italian citizenship to fully integrate into their new country of residence. This is especially noteworthy as they would now have the opportunity to reacquire it without the need to move to Italy.

For instance, consider a man named Mario, who moved to the U.S. in 1965 for better job prospects and became an American citizen in 1971, renouncing his Italian citizenship in the process. Now he could have a chance to reclaim it through this new draft law. The same applies to women.

Who Does This Draft Law Not Affect?

The proposed draft law, however, doesn’t change the situation for the children of Italian-born individuals who moved abroad and lost Italian citizenship.
In our example, Mario’s children, if born after the date of their father’s naturalisation in 1971, do not have a new way to get Italian dual citizenship according to the draft law. That is, unless the text in discussion may change. Parliamentary members can always propose  and approve amendments to a draft law and include the children.

Under the current Italian law, these children, or even grandchildren, have the option to acquire Italian citizenship by living in Italy for 3 years. This offers a more favorable condition compared to the standard 10-year residency usually required for obtaining Italian citizenship. It’s a special consideration for descendants of Italian-born citizens, as outlined in Article 9 of the Italian Nationality Act. You may read the language of the law at this page in English.

Practical Aspects for Potential Applicants

If you are one of those affected by the constraints of past legislation, this reopened window presents a meaningful opportunity. The proposed three-year timeframe offers ample space to navigate the legal prerequisites for reacquiring Italian citizenship.

What Lies Ahead

It’s crucial to remember that this is still a draft law and not yet in force. However, its alignment with contemporary needs and the strong political backing it enjoys make it a proposal worth watching closely. If enacted, it will mark a significant step in updating Italian citizenship laws, potentially benefiting a wide array of individuals who have been affected by previous legislative limitations.

Do you want to know more?

If you’re curious about your options to get Italian dual citizenship, I’m here to help.

Follow me on Instagram @lawsomelara for more insights, or to reach out with your questions.