Italian Citizenship

There are several ways to obtain the Italian citizenship. Of most interest for my clients are:

a. Iure sanguinis (i.e., by blood): based on a direct lineage from an Italian ancestor;
b. Iure matrimoni (i.e., by marriage): based on valid and current marriage to an Italian citizen;
c. By residence: based on the fulfillment of specific conditions regarding full-time legal residence in Italy for a certain number of years, depending on the specifics of your case;
d. By re-establishing the Italian citizenship lost due to naturalization completed anytime before August 16, 1992.

What is the initial eligibility evaluation for Italian citizenship?
If you are considering pursuing your Italian citizenship, I recommend that you first of all have your actual eligibility professionally evaluated to make sure that, indeed, you do meet all the requirements set out by the various Italian laws on citizenship, as amended. Ideally this should happen at the very beginning of the process, as this will give you a clear indication on where you stand and what are the specific issues regarding your case, not to mention the peace of mind that you will have knowing that the time, money, and your personal emotional involvement invested in the process are all worth it.

From my perspective as an experienced Italian attorney who has assisted many clients in obtaining their Italian passport, this initial step is essential. It allows me to become familiar with your case and its unique details, evaluate the type and amount of work involved in it, and prepare a strategy to overcome possible hurdles such as name and date discrepancies, lost or unavailable records, and so on. Once I have a detailed picture of a person’s case, I am also able to provide a flat fee agreement covering my assistance during the preparation of your application. For your convenience and to facilitate your complete understanding of the process, this evaluation is always delivered in writing, through a written legal opinion signed under my personal responsibility as an Italian attorney fully qualified, accredited and in good standing with the Italian Bar (Bergamo).

For my assistance during this phase I charge a flat, earned-upon-receipt attorney’s fee.

In addition to the initial eligibility evaluation, I also offer the following services to those interested in pursuing their Italian citizenship, whether by blood/marriage/residence/re-establishment:

  • Italian genealogy researches.
  • Collection of any US immigration records or official proof of lack of thereof.
  • Collection of any vital record (birth/marriage/divorce/adoption), not solely in Italy or the U.S. but anywhere in the world.
  • Assistance in the correction/amendment procedures of any vital records concerning yourself or any of your ancestors, if needed.
  • Legalization of foreign documents or procurements of Apostille(s) on foreign records pursuant to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.
  • A.T.A. certified translations into Italian of foreign records.
  • Final review of an applicant’s file before the appointment before the Italian Consulate to make sure that everything is in place in the appropriate forms.
  • Preparation of affidavits to reconcile discrepancies on names and dates in a file.
  • Preparation of all the needed forms, including the AIRE form to register you as an Italian citizen residing abroad.
  • Personal assistance during your appointment to apply for Italian citizenship before the Consular officer and/or the Italian Mayor, as an Italian attorney fully qualified and in good standing with the Italian Bar (Bergamo).
  • Assistance with the pursuit of a valid Italian visa which will allow you to become a legal resident of Italy and immediately mature the residence term required to apply for Italian citizenship based on residence in Italy, including all the related documents and logistics involved in taking up residence in Italy.

Differences between the administrative procedure and the judicial procedure
When we refer to the procedure of applying for Italian citizenship iure sanguinis, we imply an administrative procedure that takes places before the Italian Government which, outside the geographical boundaries of the Italian state, is represented by the competent Italian Consulates.

This type of procedure strictly follows the letter of the law as interpreted by official guidelines issued by the Italian Government; it does not take into consideration any case law or legal precedents - except when such legal precedents have prompted radical changes to the point of becoming current law, a formal step that takes places through official guidelines and/or implementing regulations issued by the Italian Interior Ministry.

If an applicant’s case clearly and plainly meets all the requirements set out by the law and therefore allows the recognition of the Italian citizenship iure sanguinis, with no need of additional interpretation based on case law or legal precedents, then the case is filed and approved directly by a Consular officer at the end of a document-based procedure. Most applicants consider applying for Italian citizenship iure sanguinis because, indeed, this is an entirely document-based procedure finalized to the recognition of a right received upon birth to an Italian parent (father or mother, depending on the specifics of each case): there are no income requirements involved, and the applicant doesn’t have to pass any exam on the Italian language, history, government or else. In reviewing your case, the official processing your file will exercise a certain level of discretion in establishing the number, quality and material relevance of the records that must be submitted to support the approval of your petition, especially if your case presents one or more discrepancies. This is also where I make a difference because I bring to you the type of competent, experienced and professional approach that is needed to handle these situations.

If an applicant’s case qualifies for the recognition of the Italian citizenship iure sanguinis not solely based on the letter of the law, but also - and necessarily (in the sense that it wouldn’t stand without it) - in light of a legal precedent that judicially stretches the options offered by the letter of the law to include his particular case, then the only alternative is to file for the recognition of the Italian citizenship before an Italian court. This is a situation where a person’s right to obtain the Italian citizenship must be judicially affirmed by a judge in each individual case based on legal precedents because, if solely based on the letter of the law, it would not exist. Reference is hereby made to the decisions issued by the Italian Supreme Court on February 25, 2009, case no. 4466 as consistently applied by subsequent jurisprudence.

Do you assist clients whose Italian citizenship can be recognized only before an Italian Court?
Yes I do, directly through my Italian law office located in Bergamo, Italy. The advancements in the Italian judicial system have now made it possible to electronically file documents before any Italian Court through the so-called “Processo Civile Telematico”, thus reducing the time and costs involved in a typical case. You will be speaking to your Italian attorney located in Arizona, with no time/language/mindset barriers between us. I would be more than happy to provide you with an individual consultation on your case that also includes an indication of my attorney’s fee and judicial costs, tailored to your unique needs.