ARTICLE
22 March 2023

Obtaining Italian Citizenship Through Your Ancestors

HG
Harvey Law Group
Contributor
Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm headquartered in Hong Kong with over 20 offices worldwide. Founded in 1992 by Jean-François Harvey, HLG has an extensive track record and deep sector expertise in immigration law. The HLG team provides legal and advisory services to individuals and families on immigration, residency and citizenship, as well as a comprehensive range of business services for international corporations across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. HLG is a Foreign Law Firm registered with the Law Society of Hong Kong Its lawyers are qualified and registered in various jurisdictions including, Québec and Ontario Bars in Canada, England & Wales, France, Thailand, Vietnam and Grenada. https://harveylawcorporation.com/
Italian citizenship is one of the most sought-after nationalities in the world.
United States Immigration
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Italian citizenship is one of the most sought-after nationalities in the world. Whilst numerous migrants today secure Italian citizenship and residency rights by investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Italy or relocating to Italy, those with an ancestral connection with Italy may attain Italian citizenship through a more straightforward and affordable route - Italian citizenship by ancestry ("Italian CBA").

If certain requirements are met, those of Italian descent may apply for Italian citizenship without purchasing a property or making a business investment in Italy. While legal costs for Italian CBA vary depending on the complexity of the case, such costs are typically significantly lower that those required by other immigration options. This is because Italian CBA applicants are entitled to secure Italian citizenship by right of blood and they typically go through a simpler citizenship application process compared to other migrants.

Advantages of Acquiring Italian Citizenship

Securing Italian citizenship can bring a host of benefits. One may not only gain the right to live, work, and study freely in Italy and anywhere in the European Union ("EU") by becoming Italian citizens, but they may also apply for social securities, healthcare subsidies, and education benefits from any EU member states. Additionally, those who qualify for Italian CBA may secure one of the most coveted travel document in the world – the Italian passport. The Italian passport is ranked the third most powerful passport in the world in 2023 and holders of Italian passports are granted visa free/ visa-on-arrival access to 174 destinations around the globe. Moreover, in cases of emergencies, Italian passport holders may seek consular assistance and protection from any EU embassy.

Qualifying for Italian CBA

The advantage of the Italian CBA program is that the program imposes no generational barriers on its applicants, so those with an ancestral link with Italy may qualify for Italian CBA regardless of how far back their ancestral lines extend.

The general rule is that those of Italian descent may apply for Italian CBA as long as their Italian ancestor was born in Italy on or after Italy was unified as a nation on 17 March 1861 and there is no interruption in the ancestral link due to renunciation or loss of Italian citizenship by one of the ancestors.

However, there are a number of notable exceptions from this general rule. For example, since Italy did not recognize dual citizenship till 1992, Italian citizens who emigrated abroad and secured another citizenship before 1992 may not pass their Italian citizenship to their descendants. Additionally, if one's lineage involves an Italian ancestor who secured foreign citizenship as a minor after 1992, the applicant may claim Italian CBA only if the ancestor of concern secured the foreign citizenship by "right of soil" at birth.

Due to the numerous exceptions at play, it is very important to carefully review all variables involved in an applicant's lineage and this is why a case-by-case approach when assessing prospective candidates' eligibility for the program.

Steps to Securing Italian CBA

The process to claiming Italian citizenship and passport through your bloodline typically starts with gathering of the necessary documentation to establish your link with the Italian ancestor. If you do not have sufficient documentation proving your connection with your Italian ancestor or the registration of your ancestor as an Italian, it may be necessary to conduct a search for the relevant records at the Italian authority prior to preparing your citizenship application. Once all required documentation is available, the citizenship application must be carefully reviewed and prepared to ensure that it meets the submission standards required by the Italian authority.

On average, the Italian authority takes about 1-2 years to process Italian CBA applications, but the processing time could vary depending on the complexity of your case and the overall presentation of your file. A longer processing time is possible if the application submitted is incomplete or the documentation provided is improperly translated or legalized. If all requirements are met, a positive decision awarding the Italian citizenship would be granted and successful applicants may then apply for the Italian Citizenship and the consequent passport and enjoy all rights and freedoms typically conferred on EU citizens.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

ARTICLE
22 March 2023

Obtaining Italian Citizenship Through Your Ancestors

United States Immigration
Contributor
Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm headquartered in Hong Kong with over 20 offices worldwide. Founded in 1992 by Jean-François Harvey, HLG has an extensive track record and deep sector expertise in immigration law. The HLG team provides legal and advisory services to individuals and families on immigration, residency and citizenship, as well as a comprehensive range of business services for international corporations across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. HLG is a Foreign Law Firm registered with the Law Society of Hong Kong Its lawyers are qualified and registered in various jurisdictions including, Québec and Ontario Bars in Canada, England & Wales, France, Thailand, Vietnam and Grenada. https://harveylawcorporation.com/
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