Introduction to Jus Sanguinis and Italian Citizenship
Jus sanguinis is a Latin term that means “right of blood.” In the context of Italian nationality law, jus sanguinis refers to the principle that individuals can acquire Italian citizenship by descent from an Italian ancestor. Italy is one of several countries that follow the principle of jus sanguinis, which means that if you have Italian ancestry, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship.
Requirements for Italian Citizenship by Descent
To be eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, you need to meet certain requirements. First, you need to have an Italian ancestor who was alive and an Italian citizen at the time of your birth. This can be your parent, grandparent, or even a great-grandparent.
Second, you need to be able to prove your Italian ancestry through birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other official documents. This can sometimes be a challenging process, especially if your ancestor was born a long time ago, but there are resources available to help you with this.
Changes in Italian Citizenship by Descent Law
The Italian law on citizenship through jus sanguinis has undergone a few changes over the years, so it is important to determine which law applies to your case. The law that is currently in effect is the one that entered into force on August 15, 1992.
Restrictions and Requirements for Italian Citizenship by Descent
For example, if you are seeking citizenship through a great-grandparent, you must demonstrate that none of the ancestors in the chain of transmission ever renounced their Italian citizenship. Additionally, the transmission of Italian citizenship cannot have been interrupted by the acquisition of foreign citizenship prior to the birth of the person seeking citizenship.
It is important to note that if your ancestor became a citizen of another country before your parent/grandparent’s birth, you may not be eligible for Italian citizenship. This can complicate the process of obtaining Italian citizenship through jus sanguinis, but it is still possible in some cases.
Another important requirement is that the person seeking citizenship through jus sanguinis must not have renounced their right to Italian citizenship. This can happen if an ancestor naturalized in another country and renounced their Italian citizenship, or if a person obtained citizenship in another country and renounced their Italian citizenship in the process.
The Application Process for Italian Citizenship by Descent
If you are eligible for Italian citizenship by descent, you will need to go through a formal application process. This can be done at an Italian embassy or consulate, or through the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you are living outside of Italy.
Dual Citizenship and Its Advantages
One important thing to note is that Italy recognizes dual citizenship, which means that if you are already a citizen of another country, you can still become an Italian citizen without giving up your existing citizenship. This can be a major advantage for people who want to maintain ties to both countries.
Backlog of Applications
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among people of Italian descent in obtaining Italian citizenship. This has led to a backlog of applications, and the process can sometimes take several years. However, if you are eligible, it is definitely worth considering, as it can open up many new opportunities for you and your family.
Renouncing Italian citizenship
Renunciation of citizenship is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly, as it can have significant consequences, including the loss of certain rights and privileges. In general, Italian citizens who renounce their citizenship are no longer considered Italian citizens. As such, they lose all the rights and privileges of Italian citizenship.
In order to renounce Italian citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old and have another citizenship or be eligible to obtain one. You must also have resided in another country for at least 12 months, or for a longer period if required by the country in which you reside.
The process for renouncing Italian citizenship varies depending on your situation. If you are living in Italy, you must submit your request to the local civil registry office. If you are living outside of Italy, you can submit your request to the Italian embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
It is important to note that renouncing Italian citizenship can have significant consequences, particularly if you have family ties or property in Italy. For example, if you renounce your Italian citizenship, you may lose the right to own property in Italy or inherit property from Italian relatives. You may also lose access to Italian healthcare and other social services. Additionally, individuals who renounce their Italian citizenship may be subject to certain financial obligations, such as the payment of outstanding taxes to the Italian government.
Jus sanguinis offers Italian descendants a relatively simple way to gain Italian citizenship. However, it’s essential to consider the long-term consequences of becoming a citizen.
Partnering with a specialist lawyer can assist individuals in navigating the complicated legal and administrative procedures associated with jus sanguinis. With over 55 years of experience in supporting foreign nationals to obtain Italian citizenship, De Tullio Law Firm is here to help. Please contact us if you require assistance or wish to discuss your situation.