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Why dual Italian citizenship has never been better

  •  By Caitlin Deppeler, written 23 April 2020

EVER wanted to buy property abroad in a way that would give you huge tax breaks? Or breeze through 26 different countries as easily as going from state to state within the US?

Or how about being able to start up a business in a place that is foreign, yet at the same time so beautiful and familiar that it seems just like home?

You could raise a family or, if you are at that later stage in life, retire in safety and comfort in a nation that boasts the second-best health care system in the world.

If you've said "Yeah, I sure have!" to all or any of the above questions, here's how to go about achieving those particular ambitions – by applying to become a dual citizenship Italian-American.

For me, it began with a dream I had for many years as a child in America - a dream of travelling to Italy, the land of my great-grandparents' birth.

I grew up hearing my nonna speak about how her parents, my bisnonna and bisnonno,emigrated to the US after meeting in Piano di Coreglia, a small village in Tuscany.

They first settled in the North End of Boston and later moved out of the city, but they never really left Italy behind. They had chickens, fruit trees, a garden, and always spoke Italian. 

I dreamed for years of going to their native land and when I eventually did I was overcome with a sense of belonging and of being "home". Just hearing the language sounded so familiar, even though my own Italian was elementary.

And since then I have heard many Italian-Americans say exactly the same thing – that they grew up in the US but it is Italy that feels like home.

Hardly surprising, considering that almost 6% of the US population – 15.7 million people – identify themselves as Italian-Americans.

Did you know some 5.5 million Italians emigrated to the States between 1820 and 2004, mainly coming from southern regions such as Campania, Apulia and Sicily?

Italian-Americans proudly make up America's fourth-largest European ancestry group after the Germans, Irish and English – forming an unbreakable bond that stretches thousands of miles across the seas.

On that first visit of mine, after I had checked into a hotel in Rome's Centro Storico, I immediately set out to explore.

In minutes I stumbled into the Pantheon – my favourite historical site in the world – and it was here that I realized I had to find a way to live in Italy someday.

That same evening I learned I could be a candidate for Jure Sanguins, the scheme which allows people to apply for Italian citizenship through ancestry, and my path was decided.

Now, years later, I am thrilled to be an Italian-American dual citizen and work for Property Organiser. I am continuing to pursue my long-term goal of owning property in Italy while helping others achieve their own dreams.

In terms of residency, you will be able to stay in Italy or other European countries without VISA requirements.

When it comes to medical matters, Italy’s state healthcare is ranked second-best in the world by the World Health Organization.  If you are considering moving there with a young family or are thinking of retiring there, you can feel safe and secure in the knowledge that your healthcare needs will be met. 

If education is your goal, access to colleges and universities comes with lower tuition fees.  Many travel to Italy to study its language, its incomparable art and its incredible history.

With regards to working, as a citizen you will be entitled to obtain employment with no restrictions. You could even start up your own business! 

As one final bonus, you will be fully eligible to vote in national elections and have a say in government policy – something you are sure to be keenly interested in as a resident property owner.

Since I obtained dual citizenship a multitude of opportunities have opened up for me and my family.

Now I welcome the opportunity to share my experience and enthusiasm for pursuing Italian-Americandual citizenship with you – and to help you achieve your dreams too.


 The citizenship paths and program options can be several and we can review them together depending on your circumstances.

There are various options to apply for registering residency and if any of these apply to you, you may want to consider starting an application.

Firstly, it is important to note that Italian law does not require you to renounce to your existing citizenship, but some countries do not accept dual citizenship.

Applications for dual Italian citizenship for citizens of United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa, will not affect current citizenship.

The application can be:

a. Jure Sanguinis

b. by Marriage and Civil Union (same sex marriage)

c. regaining Italian Citizenship

d. by Residency

Jure sanguinis: also known as citizenship by descent (from Latin, by blood). Italy legalized dual citizenship in 1992. Before then Italian citizenship was only kept by those born to an Italian parent in Italy or other country where the ius soli principle did not apply (commonly referred to as birth right citizenship, the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to citizenship).

This means that in order to prove right of dual citizenship, those who gained their non-Italian citizenship involuntarily by birth and their descendants will only be able to apply for Italian citizenship if born after 1992 and/or ancestors were naturalized after 1992.

The citizenship is passed from father to child and ascendants with no limitations,while the citizenship is passed from mother to child and ascendants only for applicants born after 1 January 1948.




For those who wish to apply for citizenship by mother but born after 1 January 1948, a request will need to be made via civil Italian tribunal. Because in 2009 a trial case challenged the 1948 rule as discriminatory, applications falling in these categories have very good chances of succeeding in obtaining Italian citizenship as long as other rules apply.


By marriage and Civil Union (same sex marriage):

Someone married to an Italian citizen has the right to apply for Italian citizenship (as long as they are still married at the moment of the application).

- If residents in Italy: after 2 years of being married or 1 year in case there are children (either born or adopted by the spouses)

- If residents abroad: 3 years of being married or 18 months in case there are children (either born or adopted by the spouses)

To remember that since December 2018, applicants must be proficient in the Italian language to the level B1 or higher and certificate of proficiency issued by an approved school must be provided, so if you are not yet fluent, it is time to enrol to Italian classes!


Regaining Italian citizenship:

For those who have renounced Italian citizenship before 16 August 1992 in order to obtain another citizenship, it is possible to re-apply by:

- By signing a declaration of regaining citizenship stating that they will register residency in Italy within a year from it; - After one year of actual residency in Italy.

By residency: Italian dual citizenship can also be granted once the applicant has permanently lived in Italy for a period of time.

As a general rule, for non-EU nationals, legal residence on the territory of the Italian State for at least 10 years is required but there are many cases for which the period of residence required is lower:

- 3 years of legal residence: for residents in Italy whose father, mother or any of the ascendants in a direct line of second degree were Italians by birth; for citizens from any other country but born in Italy;

- 4 years for the citizen of an EU Member State.


More information? You can contact me [email protected]





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