Italian citizenship by descent.


I've been looking at getting my Italian citizenship by descent if possible.

So my great grandfather came from Italy in the 1930s to Australia. He never got Australian citizenship.

My grandfather never claimed Italian citizenship. He is an Australian citizen.
My father never claimed italian citizenship. He is an Australian citizen.
I am an Australian citizen.

So from what I have read technically I should be able to apply and should get Italian citizenship.

If that's true, then regarding documents such as my great grandfather birth certificate etc. What if I don't have access to those or simply can't find them? What issue does that pose.

Overall how long does it take to get citizenship and a passport if I follow all the steps. I'll be applying in Australia.

Thanks for help and any tips.

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

I believe you are correct in that you may qualify for Italian citizenship; I say this because of how you have described your situation and the fact that Italian law permits Italian citizenship to be granted by birth through the paternal line, with no limit on the number of generations; this is referred to as citizenship by descent, jus sanguinis.

That said, the onus is on you to prove you qualify; I'd advise you to contact the nearest Italian consulate/embassy and ask for their advice.  I know that other Governments do provide recommendations of recognised firms that will help you for a fee; just Italy is not really my speciality, so you need some proper advice from somebody who can help you.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

I'll have to have a look at the local consultant website once again. Can't remember seeing a list of recognised firms that can help but that would be helpful if there is one in Melbourne for this type of case.

Thanks for your help and I am happy to hear any other opinions and tips from others as well.

Daniel,  I live in the US and acquired my Italian citizenship through my grandfather who came to the US in 1906 at the age of 10.  I had to get a copy of his birth certificate from the town in Calabria where he was born, as well as several US docs.  In the process we found out that he never actually became a US citizen.
The Italian Consulate here in Houston where I live was extremely helpful.  Best wishes.

I am in the US and have been using a law firm in Rome (Coco Ruggeri and Assoc) that specializes in citizenship to help me gather documents from my Italian ancestors.  I gathered everything (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc) from the US.  They have gathered documents from Italy for my great-grandfather that was born in Sicily. They are also putting together the application that will be submitted to the the court in Rome.  The only reason we have to go through the Roman court is because at my grandparents generation I switch to my grandmother (grandfather naturalized in US while still a minor - therefore can't pass citizenship).  However, your lineage sounds more straight forward and you can probably apply from your home country.

As Cynic stated, the onus is on you to find all the docs. Which will include birth, death, marriage, divorce, name change, etc., for all generations.

Just curious , can you update your effort for citiZenship  through the law firm you mention ? Thanks

I am also using Coco Ruggeri and Assoc.  So far, so good.  I had some docs, but they did a great job of finding some I did know about.  AND somewhere along the way my last name was changed, probably through a misunderstanding, and they were able to document it.  They were able to get documents from Italy, which I was not able to get.  I supposes when an Italian official gets a letter from an attorney they pay attention, vs me   :-)   I have an appointment in Dec 2020 at the consulate in Chicago to present my paperwork.  I believe I will be ready with their help.    Could have I done it myself?  Maybe.  But I do not speak fluent Italian and could not have traveled to Italy for a month trying to round up the docs, especially now.   I felt it better to leave it in the hands of the professionals.  Buon fortuna.

Leaving it in the hands of professionals, is a good idea. I am fortunate that my sister married an Italian citizen and is an Italian citizen living in Italy and could assist me when I went up to the commune of the district my mother was born in. The commune officials were very helpful and supplied me with an official family ancestry chart going back three  generations. My situation was a bit more cumbersome in that my mother was Italian but lost her citizenship through marriage to a foreigner and accordingly, my advocate had to petition the court. Your situation seems more straightforward. However, getting all the documentation is a tedious and long process, ie birth and marriage certificates, death certificates etc. and then translation by an Italian approved translator

I'll just have a gander at the nearby specialist site by and by. Can't recollect seeing a rundown of perceived firms that can help however that would be useful if there is one in Melbourne for this sort of case.

A debt of gratitude is in order for your assistance and I am glad to get some other thoughts and tips from others also.

Hi...can you tell me how the outcome was using that law firm?
Thank you,

Law firm is fine.  The problem for me is that New York and the US government (USCIS) keeps telling me that because of covid they cannot get the one last document I need to move this forward.   Frustrated.

Save some money and do it yourself. More enjoyable as well.

Possibly to save money, but I could not have done it myself.  Getting records in Italy and the US are not simple tasks.  You can always try doing it yourself and collecting as much as possible, then engaging the lawyers as needed.  They charge for actual time.

You will need to find all records required. It can be a challenge but to me it was enjoyable. I did it all from the States using email and post. Took me one year and cost about $300 which was for translations, apostile where needed, fees to communes and records from US town halls, etc. I didn’t feel the need to hire anyone . Going on my 11th year now. Good luck!

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