Gaining Citizenship from Spouses of Italian Immigrants

Scenario: What if your Italian born “female” ancestor married her Italian born husband and became a U.S. citizen concurrently with her husband before September 22, 1922? 

A little bit of history: With the Expatriation Act of 1907, women’s identity was cloaked in their husbands’ nationality. In other words, women followed the status civitatis of the man they married and automatically acquired U.S. citizenship via marriage, without even taking the Oath of Allegiance. On September 22, 1922, the U.S. Cable Act (also known as Married Women’s Independent Nationality Act) was passed and women no longer automatically became U.S. Citizens by marriage.  If their husbands became U.S. Citizens after this 1922 date, the wife had to apply on her own for U.S. Citizenship. 

The Italian Law: Based on the Italian Constitutional Court judgment n. 87 of 1975 and of the Italian Supreme Court judgment n. 4466 of 2009, women who acquired a foreign nationality “involuntarily and automatically” because of marriage, retain their Italian citizenship, and they are therefore able to transmit it to their children. Therefore, an Italian woman who automatically acquired citizenship through her husband (Prior to the 1922 Cable Act), according to the 2009 Court decision, would not have lost her original Italian citizenship (as she did not willingly renounce it) and could validly transfer it to subsequent generations.

However, with the new Republic of Italy’s “Constitution” that went into effect January 1, 1948, women were only allowed to pass citizenship to their children born AFTER January 1, 1948. If you are using an Italian Female Ancestor who migrated to the US in the early 1900s and who most likely had children born before this date, you will fall into this category and can not apply at an Italian Consulate here in the U.S.

Outcome: Therefore, your only option is to file a lawsuit in the Italian Courts on the basis that this 1948 law is “discriminatory against women” AND on the basis that your Italian born female ancestor acquired U.S. citizenship “involuntarily and automatically” because of marriage, retained her Italian citizenship and was also able to pass it on to her children, no matter what year the child was born.

Next Steps: Good news! We can assist you from “Start-to-Finish” in both creating your entire portfolio of required documents/apostilles/translations, as well as representing you in the Italian Courts for the “1948 Challenge Lawsuit”.  Our complete service means we handle all the difficult interactions with Italian authorities, U.S. States and kocal governments in finding and purchasing the needed documents.  Also, we help you correct or amend U.S. records when needed, including, solving the typical problems of “difficult to find” older birth and marriage documents from both Italy and U.S. In a nutshell, we do the work for you, often more efficiently and faster because we are a veteran team of professions 100% dedicated to this work! 

My Italian Family TOGETHER with Mazzeschi, our affiliate Italian Law Firm, 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 U.S. or you apply in Italy (including 1948 Challenge Courts Cases). Our experience spans the past 20 years, and we have expert knowledge of what each Italian Consulate requires, as well as what the Italian Courts require. TO GET STARTED AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE

Questions on how to get started? Book your FREE Consultation at your convenience HERE

You can also take our Italian Citizenship Quiz and learn if you qualify for Italian dual citizenship in less than two minutes!

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