Italian citizenship by descent is a fundamental right for the many descendants of Italian immigrants abroad. This being said, obtaining recognition of this citizenship can turn out to be complex and almost unattainable due to extremely bureaucratic procedures. However, there is a way to obtain the right to be recognized as an Italian citizen by descent and that is to bring a judicial action so as to overcome bureaucratic obstacles.
What is meant by citizenship ‘jure sanguinis’: by descent
There are several ways to obtain Italian citizenship. That of citizenship ‘jure sanguinis’ is based on the ‘right of the blood’, i.e. the right to acquire Italian citizenship by virtue of descent from an Italian ancestor. It can be transmitted paternally or maternally and can be recognized to anyone able to prove their descent from an Italian citizen, whether it be a man or woman, perhaps later married to a citizen of the country where they moved from Italy in remote times, starting from 1860, the year of foundation of the Italian State. Judicial recognition has become an increasingly popular option to overcome the long waiting lists at Embassies and Consulates abroad.
The request is forwarded to the Italian Consulate of the country where the applicant for citizenship by descent resides. The consulate receives the request and places it on a waiting list. At this point, the procedure stalls for years, as the Consulate does not take steps to examine the files and documents forwarded. Recently, however, the waiting lists at Italian embassies and consulates abroad have been declared illegitimate insofar as they deny or delay the exercise of a recognized primary right.
This ruling by the Court opens up the possibility of having citizenship recognized through a decree of recognition issued by the competent court in Italy. Taking the judicial route to become an Italian citizen and obtaining a passport is, therefore, the fastest way to speed up the process of citizenship recognition.
Transcription of the decree recognizing citizenship in the birth certificate
Once the decree recognizing citizenship has been obtained, it is necessary to transcribe and annotate the deed, in the margin of the applicant’s birth certificate. This step is essential for the enrollment in AIRE (Register of Italians living abroad) and for obtaining an Italian passport.
The transcription process itself can also require time and specific skills. Therefore, it is important to contact an expert lawyer in the field of Italian citizenship to ensure that this procedure is carried out correctly.
The procedure to request citizenship judicially in Italy
Judicial recognition of Italian citizenship by descent in Italy is often the only solution for overcoming the difficulties associated with lengthy waiting lists at Consulates, which do not recognize applicants the right to citizenship. For example, the Consulate of São Paulo in Brazil has stated that it will not issue certificates except to Italian Municipalities.
In this scenario, the only way to obtain Italian Citizenship is to contact an Immigration Lawyer and bring an action to an Italian Court. Thanks to the numerous and prestigious collaborations of our Law Firm expert in Immigration Law, we can take care of the procedure for the recognition of the right to citizenship by descent directly before the Judge in Italy.
Request for residence permit pending recognition of citizenship by descent
Another possibility to speed up the process of obtaining a passport by a person entitled to recognition of citizenship by descent is to:
- Contact a lawyer expert in citizenship law in Italy to obtain the exact list of documents to be produced in the homeland for the recognition of citizenship by descent;
- Enter Italy with a tourist visa;
- Submit the paperwork to the municipality of residence in Italy;
- Apply for a residence permit while awaiting recognition of the right to citizenship jby descent.
In practice, the subject entitled, instead of submitting the application for recognition of citizenship by descent to the Italian consulate in the country of residence, submits it directly in Italy to the Municipality where they wish to apply for residence.
However, this path is only viable for the administrative procedure. In fact, no residence permits are issued pending recognition of citizenship by judicial procedure. This is also why it is better to start the citizenship recognition procedure in one’s home country and obtain an Italian passport.
In conclusion, obtaining Italian citizenship by descent is a right, but it is also a complex bureaucratic process. The judicial process offers an opportunity to quickly overcome bureaucratic obstacles and realise the dream of becoming Italian citizens. By turning to expert professionals, it is possible to successfully start the judicial recognition process with greater ease and safety.