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Italian citizenship passes down through generations by way of jure sanguinis (by right of blood). You don’t need to have been born in Italy, speak Italian, or be 100%, 50% or even 25% Italian to be eligible. A single qualifying ancestor is all that’s needed.

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Italian dual citizenship can be claimed through both maternal and paternal ancestors, though certain rules restrict the avenues which people with maternal Italian ancestry can apply through.

Benefits of Italian Citizenship

Italy is renowned for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, gorgeous architecture, and delicious cuisine. It's no surprise that it's also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In addition, it's a hotspot for retired couples and families. With its mild weather, varied landscapes, and slow pace of life, Italy is a beautiful Mediterranean setting with a very low violent crime rate.

Enjoy the freedom of movement and the ability to live and work anywhere in the European Union (EU) without ever having to justify your presence. This also brings access to affordable healthcare and opportunities to study at world-class education institutions for a fraction of the cost.

Once you obtain Italian citizenship by descent, your spouse and children become Italian nationals too.

There is no personal income, capital gains or inheritance tax. In Italy, there's no tax on foreign income.

Who Can Get Italian Citizenship by Descent

  • Over 18 years old
  • Child, grandchild, great-grandchild, great-great grandchild (or further back) of an Italian citizen

  • Qualify as descendants

  • Are eligible via descent
  • If living within the same consular jurisdiction, siblings can share a “master set” of documents, but still require separate appointments
  • Siblings can join the same court case if they qualify for a loophole

Programme Requirements

To obtain Italian citizenship by descent, you aren’t required to donate, make an investment, or take a citizenship test. All that’s required is proof via documentation to support your claim. To be eligible, you need to meet the following requirements:


You need to have had an Italian ancestor who was alive after March 17, 1861.


Did your Italian ancestor ever gain citizenship in another country? If so, it must have occurred both after July 1, 1912, and after the birth of their child.


If your Italian ancestor never obtained foreign citizenship, you will most likely qualify for an Italian passport by descent automatically.


Are there women in your direct ancestral line? If so, the children of these women must have been born after January 1, 1948, for you to apply for recognition through the so-called administrative path, e.g. at an Italian consulate or embassy. If you otherwise meet all requirements above but have a woman whose child was born before January 1, 1948, you can still seek Italian citizenship, but must apply at an Italian court with the assistance of an Italian attorney.


If your Italian ancestor gained foreign citizenship after August 15, 1992 regardless of whether this was before or after your birth you would automatically qualify for Italian citizenship.

Speak to a global expert

The Latitude team has global experts in over 20 countries. We can advise in 14 languages. Let us help you find the perfect investment migration solution.

The Latitude team has global experts in over 20 countries. We can advise in 14 languages. Let us help you find the perfect investment migration solution.

Application Process

  • Month 1

    Client onboarding process

    We send you our genealogical intake form. Using the information you provide us, we ascertain your eligibility for Italian citizenship by descent.

    Upon receiving the signed agreement and retainer payment, our legal team will compile all necessary government forms and supporting documents. We will liaise with government bodies where necessary to build your file.

  • Months 1-8

    Building of your file

    We will continue to build your file, making sure that all of your documents are obtained in the exact format required and on time.

    As documents come in, we will appropriately translate and legalize them for local municipality submission, consulate/embassy, or court submission. At this time, we will assist you in obtaining a consular appointment if needed.

  • Months 9-24

    Citizenship processing

    Your local consulate/embassy, court, or Italian municipality will assess your application, and upon approval. If applying at a consulate, each applicant above the age of 18 must pay a statutory fee of 300 euros to the Italian government. After your citizenship is processed, we will then arrange for all relevant citizenship certificates to be sent out. Following this, we can help you apply for an Italian passport.

Frequently Asked Questions

As an Italian citizen, you are entitled to all the rights and benefits of being a European Union citizen. That means you can live, work, and study anywhere in the European Union without restriction and without ever having to justify your presence. Additionally, you can vote in local elections, pass citizenship to family members, and enjoy world-class affordable healthcare and education.

There are three paths to Italian citizenship:

  • Consular Processing. This is if you live outside Italy and you seek recognition at your local Italian embassy or consulate.
  • Court Processing. This is if you are a ‘1948 case’ (someone who descends from an Italian woman with children born pre-1948), or have a loophole to qualify through special consideration – i.e. the need to get around long consular wait times.
  • Direct in Italy. This is if you want to establish residence in Italy and apply direct at an Italian municipality.

To apply, you’ll need to have gathered important records (like birth, marriage, death, and naturalization certificates) to recreate your family tree and register your claim.

When compiled, your citizenship dossier is duly legalised, translated, and handed either to an Italian municipality (if you’re residing in Italy), the Italian court, or an Italian consulate (if you’re outside Italy).

By law, authorities process your citizenship application within 730 days. Due to this being such a lengthy process, applicants may be allowed to skip the consulate and instead seek immediate recognition of their application in court. This reduces the processing time significantly. Applicants may also find quicker processing times by applying for recognition of their citizenship directly in Italy.

Yes, Italy offers dual citizenship.

The Italian passport is among the world’s five most powerful travel documents. Currently, it ranks 3rd strongest. The Italian passport allows visa-free travel to 192 countries, including the European Union Schengen Zone, Hong Kong, and the UK.

Speak to one of our global experts and begin your citizenship-by-descent journey today

Our team operates in over 20 countries worldwide, securing second citizenship or residency in desirable locations and unlocking a brighter future.

  • Visa-free travel to 192 countries
  • 2-24 months application processing time
  • Contact us to see if you qualify

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