Rules and Documents

Rules regulating Italian citizenship by descent and documents required in order to apply

If a relative of yours has already provided all documents related to the same ancestors to another Italian Consulate or to an Italian Municipality (Comune) a different consular office cannot use the documents submitted by the relative.

As of October 2012, consular offices are not able to reference the files of other Italian Consulates or Municipalities in Italy. If you are applying after a relative of yours has already been granted Italian citizenship by descent from the same ancestor, you must still submit all the family documents required, even those that were submitted with the application of your relative. In this case, you can submit documents either in original from the relevant U.S. agencies, or authenticated copies issued by the Consulate or Municipalities (Comuni) that were used in your relative’s application for Italian citizenship.

The documents required, and related translations, may vary depending on the consulate though which you are applying. We recommend you contact the local consulate (link to the consulates page) if you have any questions regarding your eligibility or the documents required.

Documents must be submitted in person by applicants on the day of the appointment. Generally the

Citizenship office cannot check documentation in advance.

Before you get started, you should know at least the birth (and possibly) marriage dates of every relative in a direct Italian line, including your ancestor from Italy. It’s OK if you don’t have exact date of birth of your ancestor, but you should at least know the year, or a range of years and the place or area if birth in Italy.
Furthermore, you should know the date in which your Italian ancestor became a naturalized citizen of your country.

Before you start the process of obtaining dual citizenship, you should also find out whether acquiring Italian citizenship will affect your current citizenship by checking with the nearest Italian authority and/or consulting your government’s citizenship laws.

DISCREPANCIES

We recommend you double-check all documents word by word to make sure that there are no discrepancies or inconsistencies in names, dates and places of birth.

If there are major discrepancies, the consulate may require the applicant to have those certificates amended through an official "affidavit to amend a record”, to be obtained from the Vital Records Office that issued the document or through a Court Order.

FORMS AND DOCUMETNS REQUIRED

What documentation must I submit?

The required forms and documents vary by case.

To simplify, we have grouped together below the most common categories.

  • Category #1: your father was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth and you never renounced your right to Italian citizenship;
  • Category #2: your mother was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth, you were born after January 1, 1948, and you never renounced your right to Italian citizenship;
  • Category #3: your father was born in the United States or a country other than Italy which considered him a citizen by birth “jure soli” (by the law of the soil), your paternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of your father’s birth, your father did not renounce his Italian citizenship before your birth;
  • Category #4: your mother was born in the United States or in a country other than Italy which considered her a citizen by birth “jure soli” (by the law of the soil), your maternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of your mother’s birth, you were born after January 1, 1948, and your mother did not renounce her Italian citizenship before your birth.

 

If you fall under Categories 1 or 2 listed above, you must submit the following documents, all in original form:

  • Application
  • Your father’s and/or mother’s birth certificate(s); 

Contact the Italian Municipality (Ufficio Anagrafe‐Stato Civile) where your father/mother were born, request a birth certificate in the form of "estratto dell’atto di nascita" (showing your father/mother's names).

  • Your parents' marriage certificate;

Same as above. If the marriage was celebrated in the U.S.A., you must obtain a “long/extended form” marriage certificate legalized with the apostille. If applicable, you are required to provide the final judgment of divorce or, in case of death of a spouse, the certificate of death of your father/mother.

  • If your father/mother became U.S. citizens: certificates of naturalization of your father and/or mother;
They can be requested from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You must provide a certified copy of the U.S. certificate of naturalization showing his/her full name, place of birth and date of birth, date of naturalization, and certificate number.

You may also be required to present a certified copy of the “declaration of intention”, “petition for naturalization” and the “oath of allegiance”, OR

  • If your father/mother never became U.S. citizens, you must provide the following documents:

a) an official statement issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, specifying that they never became U.S. citizens. This document must show their full names (and any and all aliases) and dates and places of birth;
and, if possible:

b) an extended search with the National Archives (www.nara.gov). Request the National Archives to provide a letter of confirmation which contains their full names with all aliases, dates and places of birth, and census records, which may provide information relevant to your case: Immigration Records, Naturalization Records, Ship Passenger Lists, Military records, U.S. Passport applications, Voter Lists, and other;

c) if available, your father’s and/or mother’s Italian passports and Alien Registration Cards;

  • A declaration from you that your father and/or mother never renounced Italian citizenship before any Italian authority prior to your birth, listing all places of their residence and corresponding years.
  • Your birth certificate; the birth certificate must be submitted in "long form" and certified copy, legalized with the apostille from the Secretary of State of the State in which it was issued and translated into Italian. The Consular Office will certify conformity of the translation.
  • A declaration from you that you never renounced Italian citizenship before any Italian authority, listing all your places of residence and corresponding years. Your signature must be Copy of your passport and proof of residence (driver’s license and/or utility bills, etc.) are requested.
  • Your father’s and/or mother’s death certificates, if applicable;
This document must be submitted in the long form format and legalized with apostille.

If you fall under Categories 3 and 4 listed above, in addition to the documents described under Categories 1 and 2, you must submit the following documents:

1) Your paternal and/or maternal grandparents’ birth certificates (issued by the Italian municipality where they were born);
2) Your paternal and/or maternal grandparents' marriage certificates (issued by the Italian municipality where they were married or by the U.S. authorities if they married in the U.S.);
3) Your paternal and/or maternal grandparents’ certificates of naturalization;
4) Any applicable death certificate/s related to your Italian ascendants;

If you are calming Italian citizenship by descent from your great grandparents, you must submit the above‐mentioned documents as for your grandparents, but referring also to your great grandparents.  

PLEASE NOTE:

  1. The Italian Embassy is not authorized to obtain certificates from U.S. Vital Records Offices. 

  2. All certificates must be submitted in "long form" or “extended form” which can be obtained from the Vital Statistics Office of the State in which the birth/marriage/death occurred. 

  3. S. birth/marriage/death records must bear an apostille of the Secretary of State of the State where the document was issued. Petitions for naturalization and/or “no record” certificates must be in certified copy. To learn more about the apostille, click here 

  4. All certificates must be submitted with the official translation in the Italian language except for the apostille. Conformity of the translations to the originals must be certified by the Italian Consulate competent for the State that issued the document. 

  5. The U.S. Certificates of Naturalization and the letter of “no naturalization records” issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) do not need apostille or translation. 

  6. Some U.S. vital records offices may require applicants to provide a letter from the Consulate stating the reason the ancestral certificates are being requested. In this case, we suggest that you present the U.S. office a copy of this information kit. 

  7. Incorrect information: it is your responsibility to ensure that all documents contain the correct information with regard to names, last names, dates and places of birth, and that such information matches in all submitted papers. Incorrect certificates may delay the processing of your application or affect your eligibility for Italian citizenship. If there are significant differences in the certificates, please provide an official statement from a Court Judge or a Vital Statistic Officer asserting which is the true and correct information.