Dual Italian Citizenship

European Passport for U.S. Citizens of Italian descent


Italian citizenship laws are based on the principle of recognition of citizenship by paternal derivation to the citizen’s son regardless of the place of birth. This was designed to guarantee the children of Italian emigrants the maintenance of the link with the country of origin of the ascendants, introducing an important exception to the principle of recognition of only one citizenship.

Article 7 of the law 555/1912 allowed, in fact, the child of Italian born in a foreign State who gained his citizenship according to the ius soli principle, to retain Italian citizenship acquired at birth, even if the parent lost his Italian citizenship while his child was still a minor.

The conditions required for recognition of Italian citizenship are therefore based, on:
1. proof of being the descendant of an Italian citizen; and
2. proof of the absence of interruptions in the transmission of citizenship, which happened when the ancestor naturalized as a citizen of another country before the birth of his child.

As an Italian American Citizenship Lawyer in New York, I assist American citizens of Italian ancestry obtain Dual Italian Citizenship.

My assistance is limited in procuring the required birth, marriage, and death certificates. I do not interact with Italian Consulates. I only take a limited number of Italian citizenship cases each year. I do not provide any assistance with the process except collection of records start to finish.

Please note that I would not be able to assist you if:

  • You already have the certificates and you want me to “submit” your application;
  • Any of your ancestors or ascendants was born (or emigrated to) a country different than Italy or the United States;
  • You think you have a “special situation”;
  • You were born in Italy;
  • You have most of the certificates and you need help “completing” your application;
  • You need help with a pending Italian citizenship application;
  • You simply need help booking an appointment with the Italian Consulate
  • You were an Italian citizen that became a U.S. citizen before 1992;
  • You are interested in having your spouse obtain Italian citizenship through marriage;
  • You (or your Italian ancestor) were adopted;
  • You want to claim Italian citizenship based on DNA results;
  • You want to “expedite” your appointment at the consulate;
  • You are looking for an inexpensive “citizenship service”;
  • You think I am in the business of selling Italian passports;
  • You are simply in need of apostille or translation services.

Jus Sanguinis Italy

Italian citizenship law is based on the jus sanguinis principle (citizenship by blood), and anyone with an Italian ancestor can claim Italian citizenship.

Under the jus sanguinis principle, anyone of Italian descent can claim his or her citizenship. It will be considered citizenship at birth, and no pledge of allegiance will be required. The process consists in claiming the right of Italian citizenship.

One crucial step of the process is the documents procurement. Also, when there are discrepancies in the documents, a One and the Same Court Order is often required by Italian Consulates.

Getting all your ancestors’ records is something that you might be able to do on your own.

In that case, you can find all the instructions and dual citizenship application form on the Italian Consulate’s website.

We are not an Italian citizenship assistance program. We are licensed attorneys based in New York City.

Dual Italian Citizenship

Dual Citizenship Italy USA

Dual citizenship with Italy can be claimed in different cases; below you can find the most common:

Italian citizenship through parents

CASE #1: Your father was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth and you never renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

CASE #2: Your mother was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth, you were born after January 1st, 1948 and you never renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

Italian citizenship through grandparents

CASE #3: Your parent was born in the U.S., your grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of his or her birth, and neither you nor your parent ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

CASE #3-1: Your parent was born in the U.S. after January 1, 1948, your grandmother was an Italian citizen at the time of his or her birth, and neither you nor your parent ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

CASE #4: Your parent was born in the U.S. before January 1st, 1948, your grandmother was an Italian citizen at the time of his or her birth, and neither you nor your parent ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

This is only available through a judicial action in Italy. This action is based on the Italian Supreme Court (“Corte di Cassazione“) ruling number 4466 of February 25, 2009.

Italian citizenship through great grandparents

CASE #5: Your grandfather was born in the U.S., your paternal great grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of his birth, and neither you nor your father ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship.

In great grandfather cases, it is very common to find discrepancies in the name or date of birth of your ancestor. Even if you collected all your vital records on your own or through an Italian citizenship assistance program, you will ultimately need to contact us or another licensed attorney to fix the discrepancies through a Court order.

Please do not contact me about great great grandfather or great grandmother cases unless you understand that it requires an outrageously high financial effort.

Please note that prior to the year 1992, ALL Italian citizens that naturalized as U.S. Citizens AUTOMATICALLY lost their Italian Citizenship, and no formal renunciation was required. 

This is what I repeatedly get: “my grandfather (of grandmother, father, etc.) did not renounce his citizenship when he (or she) became American (before 1992). Do I qualify? NO!

Naturalization as a minor

If your Italian ancestor naturalized with his or her parent as a minor, I cannot take your case.

If your last Italian-born ancestor naturalized before his child was born, you do not qualify for Italian citizenship. To find out whether you qualify or not, it is often necessary to conduct a comprehensive Genealogy Search.

You can only qualify through your last Italian-born ancestor (either side). Simply put, you cannot pick any other ancestor down the line. For example, if your grandfather was the last ancestor born in Italy, but he became a U.S. citizen before your father or mother was born, you do not qualify. You would not be able to claim it through your great grandfather. No exception.

People that qualify for citizenship jus sanguinis, have a great advantage over those that do not have Italian descents, and have to go through the naturalization process. Italian law states that a foreigner must live in Italy for 10 years, and meet many other requirements in order to naturalize as an Italian citizen.

Does US allow Dual Citizenship?

U.S. law does not formally recognize dual citizenship, but it does not prohibit it either. According to the U.S. State Department website, federal law “does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another.”

Does Italy allow Dual Citizenship?

After 1992 Italy allows dual citizenship with the United States. As long as you can prove your Italian ancestry, you can become an Italian citizen. Italy does not require you to renounce your citizenship(s) when you claim your Dual citizenship.

Therefore, Dual Citizenship with Italy can be lawfully pursued.

What are the advantages of obtaining Dual Italian Citizenship?

After obtaining Dual Italian Citizenship, it is possible to get an Italian Passport.

Italian passport holders enjoy visa-free or visa on arrival access to 174 countries, making the Italian passport very desirable in terms of travel freedom.

Being a U.S. citizen is great, but having Dual Citizenship with Italy can have many advantages. It is alone like an insurance plan. If anything goes wrong in this country, you can freely relocate to live and work in any of the European Union countries.

For many, Dual Italian Citizenship opens up business and employment opportunity abroad. It is also great for retiring in Europe without getting lost with all the bureaucracy required to obtain an elective residency Visa.


Unlike the United States, Italy does not tax their citizen based on their worldwide income. In other words, if you do not reside in Italy or do not earn money in Italy, you will not be required to pay taxes to the Italian government.

Even if you do not qualify for Dual Citizenship, you may be eligible for an Italian Visa.

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