Applying for Italian citizenship at the Consulate vs the Courts: do I have a choice?
If you qualify for Italian citizenship through multiple family lines (male & female), can you really choose where to apply (Consulate vs Italian Courts)?
Now that we are all becoming very familiar with the 1948 Rule affecting descendants of female ancestors, and the possibility to challenge it in the Italian courts, the question is should I just apply through the Italian courts even though I qualify through the male line via the Italian Consulate here in the US? The answer is: maybe not.
Although quite expensive, submitting the claim in the Italian Courts has upsides: for instance, you can apply together with other family members at the same time with one court case, even if the family resides in multiple Consular jurisdictions. This means that you can share the cost not just for the 1948 Challenge Lawsuit, but also the cost of acquiring all the records to be presented in court, since you will be sharing the same document portfolio. Please note that if you were to pursue the Consular route and there are multiple family members applying at separate Consulates, you will need to present separate document portfolios all in original. But is challenging the 1948 Rule the right choice in the event it is not your only choice?
In the last year or so, we heard from people who had presented their case in front of the Italian Judge but were rejected (technically: " dichiarazione di inammissibilità per carenza di interesse ad agire”) claiming that the applicants – who also qualified through the male line - should have used the male ancestor and taken the consular route.
For this reason, it would be advisable to always prove with additional documentation the need to submit the claim in Court as the applicant’s only option (not only for prior naturalization of the male ancestor, but - for example - for the inability to find his birth certificate, or other relevant documentation). In other words, you should always try to provide proof that you cannot use a “male” ancestor, thus justifying why you are filing a 1948 case and avoid any possible rejection.
My Italian Family TOGETHER with Mazzeschi, our affiliate Law Firm in Italy, can assist you. During our years of collaboration, we have successfully helped many applicants like you, fulfilling their dream of becoming Italian Dual Citizens. We don’t just give advice, we handle all the purchasing and preparation of your entire portfolio of documents, whether you apply at an Italian Consulate here in the US or in Italy (including 1948 Challenge Courts Cases & Denial of Justice). Our experience spans the past 20 years, and we have expert knowledge of what each Consulate requires, as well as what the Italian Courts require. TO GET STARTED AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
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In the picture an Italian immigrant woman working at a clothing factory in Rochester, New York. On average, weekly wages started at $3.62. Courtesy of the New York Public Library.