| |

Italian Citizenship by Descent (a.k.a. Jure Sanguinis)

Getting Italian Citizenship by Descent (Jure Sanguinis) was a major part of our path for moving to Italy after looking into the getting our citizenship first.

Italian Citizenship Through Descent - Dual Passports

Dual Passports

I described in a previous post all the documentation that is required to get your citizenship recognized by the Italian government through the Jure Sanguinis process. This is what I did to get my Italian Passport, and I’ll pick up the process from where we left off.

How To Apply For Italian Citizenship By Descent

Now that all your documentation is organized, apostille certified and translated into Italian, you will need to scan all your documents. We were required to send the consulate all of the scans so that they could confirm everything looked good before they allow you to make an appointment so as to not waste anyone’s time. The next section details the steps in the process and time required.

Italian Citizenship By Descent - Birth Document

Sample California Request for Birth Document

Citizenship Process And Time Requirements

I began collecting the documentation I needed in December 2013 and I finished the collection, certification and translation in July 2014, so more or less 8 months. This included all the mail requests to the states, and Italy, for the documentation I listed in the previous post. I needed to get it all certified and then ultimately translated. This also included a court filing, that I did myself, to release the birth records I needed and to get confirmation that my grandfather unofficially changed his name, but it was the same person on the documentation. Because a lot of this time is spent waiting, I also sent off a few requests for my wife’s citizenship process that we will start after mine.

I contacted the consulate for an appointment, provided them with the scanned copies of my documents so they could review the package and I had my appointment within 2 weeks. This meeting was focused on paying the application fee and giving them the physical copies of the documentation. Six months after my meeting with the consulate, I received news that all of my information had been loaded into their system and I can move forward with my application. That was The Big One, the call I had been waiting for which turned out to be very anticlimactic and bureaucratic. Fantasy and reality were not in sync for this.

Italian Citizenship By Descent - Apostille Certification

Sample Apostille Certification

Italian Passport Requirements

I made an appointment to receive my Italian passport, which was about a month later. My consulate used an online appointment management system, which they all might, and it was a challenge finding a time. I had to check in multiple days and at specific times because availability was so tight. I went to the office, gave them all of my documents and photos and also requested my Italian tax number (Codice Fiscale). After about a week, my passport arrived at my home and I was official.

If you don’t want to do the math, the entire process lasted from December 2013 until July 2015, so just under 20 months. Not bad, as far as I’m concerned, but I didn’t have any issues to redo. Variations in names and dates can cause delays and you are also beholden to the Italian bureaucracy, which can be inefficient on its best days. My best advice is to keep checking in with the consulate and be patient. It will happen eventually.

Dual Citizenship Requirements

It was important that we confirmed before starting this that Italian citizenship wouldn’t impact our US citizenship, and it doesn’t. The Jure Sanguinis process that I needed to follow is really only a recognition that you are entitled to Italian citizenship, meaning I had it all along. I didn’t need to swear allegiance to Italy and make any other types of declarations, I only needed to prove my citizenship and pay the fees.

Italian Citizenship By Descent - Certification

Professional Translation Certification

The Costs of Getting Italian Citizenship By Descent

When talking about the costs I encountered during this process, you should only use this information as a very rough guide because this started nine years ago and there are a limitless number of variations for each individual that can run up the expenses. You might have more or fewer generations of people to be concerned about, and you might not have the legal costs I encountered.

With those caveats behind us, the approximate costs were:

  • Total costs were $2.5k to obtain my passport
  • The costs at the consulate, including translation, were $1.5k
  • Birth, Death and Marriage records, including certification, were $900
  • Social Security records cost $46
  • INS (now ICE) records were $12

Language Requirements For Italian Citizenship By Descent

For  the Italian Citizenship By Descent (Jure Sanguinis) process there are no language requirements. There are requirements for Jure Matrimonii, and I’ll discuss that in the subsequent post. Like I mentioned previously, this process is really only a recognition that you are entitled to Italian citizenship, meaning I had it all along. 

Paying Italian Taxes

It was important to know if this new citizenship would require us to pay any additional taxes, and the answer is no. While living in the US, you are not required to file or pay Italian taxes. Once you move to Italy, however, then they do kick in. There are tax agreements between the US and Italy, so you won’t be double-taxed, but US income taxes follow you wherever you live, so when you move to Italy, you will need to file your taxes in Italy and the US.

Other Ways To Get Italian Citizenship

Now that my Italian citizenship by descent is in order, we needed to continue with this process for my wife, but hers is a little different. She is now considered to be married to an Italian citizen, so her process is to apply for her Italian citizenship through marriage in a process I’ve mentioned, called Jure Matrimonii, which I will describe in my next post. For more information, check out these posts:

Similar Posts