You might be an Italian national and not even realize it. Italian law operates on the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood), meaning that being born to an Italian parent automatically grants you Italian citizenship, no matter where you’re born. This concept stems from Roman law, reflecting Italy’s unique legal heritage where status civitatis (citizenship status) is passed down through generations.

The language of the law is simple and direct:

The children whose father or mother are Italian citizens, are Italian citizens themselves

(Article 1 of the Italian Nationality Act no. 91 of 1992)

This is what the law currenty in force provides. Before the law provided the same rule for centuries!

But what does that mean to you?

You can go back to your roots in Italy as a fully recognized citizen and even access all European countries with unparalleled privileges.

You may activate your rights as a dual citizen: claim your Italian passport, obtain residency in Italy for your whole family and perform any legal lawful activity there. That includes full rights to stay in whole Europe when you desire, work, study, or just enjoy an international life.

You may always renounce your dual citizenship for a career in public security, if necessary. You may recover your Italian citizenship later in life by moving your residence to the country for one year.

Read more here about the benefits of having dual Italian citizenship.

How can you activate your dual Italian citizenship?

Consider your family tree: is there some great (grand) mother or father of Italian origin?

If you find any such person in your direct line, from your mother or your father, you could actually be an Italian national.

To wake up your dormant Italian citizenship you need to register it to the nearest Italian Consulate.

No generation limits

Italy is still one of the few countries that regards the children of its citizens as citizens themselves, no matter where they are born, nor when, along endless generations. The only limit is the origin of Italy as modern state in 1861. The law regards as citizens those who where living under that date.

As the Italian Ministry of the Interior put it, “It may occur that an ancestor, who emigrated from Italy before the formation of the unified Kingdom of Italy, possessed a passport from a pre-unification state. Such a circumstance does not necessarily prevent the recognition of Italian citizenship.”

“In fact, the Civil Code of 1865, which governed citizenship matters before the enactment of Law No. 555 on June 13, 1912, did not exclude from Italian citizenship those who emigrated prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy.”

“However, it is important to note that individuals born before 1861 and who emigrated to another country can be considered Italian citizens only from the time their state of origin became part of the Kingdom of Italy. If, at the time of their possible naturalization in a foreign country or at the date of their death, their state of origin had not yet been incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy, they must be regarded as having never acquired Italian citizenship.”

Italian Ministry of the Interior Report “La cittadinanza italiana – La normativa, le procedure, le circolari”, 2002

Future limits to generations

The Italian Parliament is considering limiting the right to Italian citizenship. Discussions are underway since January 2024 and could be completed before the summer. A new draft law aims at introducing specific criteria that will require demonstrating a close connection to Italy. In particular:
For the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree descendants, this means proficiency in the Italian language at the B1 level.
Those beyond the third degree will have an additional requirement: a one-year residency in Italy.

Find out more about the possible changes to Italian law and how they can affect future applications for Italian dual citizenship.

Your Roadmap to Italian Citizenship

Checking your eligibility for Italian citizenship is easy if you take the right steps from the start. Follow my Ultimate Roadmap, crafted from 25+ years of practice. Since 1998, I helped thousands successful applicants in NGO’s of Italians in the world and in my private practice. Follow their steps with this tryed and tested roadmap. Download it for FREE right here: just tell me where to send it and it will land in your mailbox in a few minutes.

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