As the Brexit transition period is rapidly drawing to an end, British citizens will lose the right of trouble-free travel, work and residency in Italy.  The increasing possibility of a no-deal Brexit will further cement the obstacles for British citizens.  Giambrone's immigration team strongly recommends commencing your application for dual nationality or elective residency in Italy before the end of the transition period in December.  Elze Obrikyte, an associate in Giambrone's immigration team commented "in 2018 the Italian government made significant changes in the law governing the ability to acquire dual nationality, for example, applicants, other than those with Italian heritage, must now speak Italian to a reasonable standard, level of B, and must provide a valid certificate to prove their fluency in Italian," she further commented, "the Authorities have expanded the levels of due diligence related to the documentation required to support an application of dual citizenship; applicants can be rejected for relatively minor breaches." 

In order to avoid a setback, which will result in an application being rejected which results in you have to start all over again from the back of the queue, it is strongly advised that you are advised by the assistance of lawyers with sound expertise in this particular area of law to make absolutely sure that all the documentation you submit is correct.  Particularly as the process may get considerably more complicated once the UK finally leaves the EU. Giambrone's immigration team under the guidance of Elze Obrikyte, has developed strong relationships with the Authorities leading to a range of strategies aimed at delivering a successful conclusion for our clients avoiding any predictable complications that could derail an application.  The immigration lawyers at Giambrone have enjoyed some exceptional successes with applications and have been able to overcome significant obstacles and complexities in the past. 

The three main principals for a British citizen to obtain dual Italian citizenship are as follows:

Italian heritage: through the laws of jure sanguinis

Regardless of where you were born if your forefathers were Italian, you have the right to apply for dual nationality with Italy, providing you have supporting documentation that can prove that you have a valid family connection to your Italian relatives.   An application can be made through the male line from the foundation of the nation of Italy in 1861. The female line could only transfer citizenship from 1948 until a decision by the Supreme Court judged that the provision was contrary to the principles of equality.


The spouse of an Italian citizen can apply for Italian citizenship.  The application can be made following a qualifying period which varies depending on whether the couple lives in Italy or elsewhere. The marriage must be viable throughout the application.

Naturalisation: through long term residency in Italy:

An individual must have been continuously and legally resident in Italy.  They must have paid taxes in Italy for the past three years.  If you are a citizen of an EU member state you may apply for Italian citizenship after four years.  If you are a citizen of a non-EU member state you must live in Italy for at least ten years before an application can be made.  However, if your parents or grandparents are or were native-born Italian but have renounced their Italian citizenship, following three years of legal residency, you can apply for citizenship.  An applicant must also be able to demonstrate that they are financially self-sufficient.

Elze remarked "the Consular officers do have wide discretion regarding all applications, which is why the lawyers in Giambrone's immigration team have  taken the time and the trouble to develop a comprehensive understanding of each stage, noting the issues that can cause a problem and striving to maintain a good relationship with the Consulate." She further said "we also make every effort to thoroughly brief our clients before the crucial face-to-face interview with the Consulate as our clients must attend the interview on their own." Elze and her team have a remarkable track record of success and have successfully guided many British citizens to dual Italian citizenship.

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.