Citizenship is a highly prized status providing an individual with protection in exchange for an individual's allegiance. Citizenship is ordinarily gained by birth within a country or by descent from a parent who is a citizen of a country. However, it is possible to gain the advantage of dual citizenship, meaning that you can enjoy the privileges that citizenship of two countries affords. Since the UK's decision to leave the EU Giambrone's expert immigration team has successfully assisted and advised hundreds of clients to become Italian citizens enabling them to preserve their citizenship of the European Union and retain the rights, such as the right to free movement, settlement and employment across the EU. Supplementary European citizenship will not be available to British citizens when the UK leaves the European Union, which will, in turn, prevent the automatic right of free movement, settlement and employment in the EU for British citizens.
Giambrone's well-regarded immigration team, led by Elze Obrikyte, has an exceptional reputation for successfully achieving Italian citizenship for the firm's clients. Elze recognises that meticulous attention to detail and dogged persistence with regard to the consulate is the best way to ensure that an application for citizenship results in a speedy problem-free process. Adequate supporting evidence of the right to apply for Italian citizenship is obviously a vital aspect. Frequently, when relying on your Italian heritage (Jus sanguinis) all your relative's documents may not easily be to hand. Elze and the immigration team have developed a strategy to help overcome this and other objections that may be encountered.
The main routes to Italian citizenship are as follows:
- Heritage - Italian citizenship is based upon the principal of jure sanguinis (blood right). An individual can apply for Italian citizenship through the paternal line with no limit to the number of generations from 17 March 1861. Prior to this date there were no Italian citizens as Italy was not a unified country, therefore the relative that you rely on for your Italian citizenship application must have been alive on or after this date. Italian citizenship through the maternal line can extend from 1 January 1948, but according to the current case law, also descendants who were born before that date can claim Italian citizenship at court under some specific circumstances.
- Marriage - Italian citizenship may be obtained by marriage to an Italian. This right extends to all spouses with the exception of those individuals who have a criminal record involving a serious crime, regardless of where it was committed. The only other circumstance that can result in being denied citizenship relates to those people who are considered a threat to national security and public order.
Following your marriage to an Italian citizen certain requirements must be met under Italian law to enable you to obtain Italian citizenship, an application can be made by the foreign spouse after legal residency in Italy for a period of at least two years, or three years if you and your spouse are living abroad. Also, the marriage must subsist throughout the entire process of applying for citizenship. There is now a requirement to speak Italian to intermediate level (Security Decree 113).
- Residency - A non-EU citizen who has legally resided in Italy for ten years or more may apply to be a naturalised Italian citizen and EU citizen after four years.
A foreigner whose native-born Italian parents or grandparents have lost their citizenship, which consequently prevents them from passing on Italian citizenship on by jure sanguinis, is entitled to apply for Italian citizenship after three years of legal residency in Italy.
It is highly recommended to use the services of an expert immigration lawyer to review all the documents before you begin the process to gain the best possible chance of the application being approved. Any errors in the documentation will be noticed by the lawyers before the application is made and a solution can be sought. It is particularly important to ensure that your application does not have any correctable mistakes as you will have to start all over again if your application is rejected.
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.