HOW LONG does the process of obtaining Italian Citizenship take?

The length of time it takes to reach a goal should always be compared to a similar process. With that in mind, do you know how long it takes to obtain U.S. citizenship for a foreigner? It's an average of about four to thirteen years or longer. So when you ask yourself the question: how long does the process of obtaining Italian Dual Citizenship jure sanguinis (by right of blood) take? The answer is WAY LESS than thirteen years, in fact, in most cases, less than four.

Let's analyze the process step by step:

1. Gathering Italian vital records to prove your ancestor(s) was indeed born in Italy and if applicable, married there - An average of two (2) months (bit it can be as long as six months given that by law Italian town halls have now six months to respond).

2. Gathering of U.S. Naturalization Records or proof of No-Naturalization which also includes certified copies of U.S. Census records - An average of three (3) months to ten (10) months.

3. Gathering of all U.S. Vital records, issued in the correct format, with certification - The range is extremely wide based on where the request is sent, i.e. state level, township level, and of course which state and which township, but overall it can take an average of six (6) months. If US Vital records need to be amended to correct name or date errors, tack on another two (2) months to six (6) months depending on the US States involved.

4. Gathering the Apostilles or legalization of all U.S. Vital Records (which sometime also includes Naturalization Records) - An average of two (2) month, but it could be more depending on the Secretary of State office.

5. Translating all the U.S. documents to Italian (depending on the translator) - An average of one (1) month or less.

Of course some steps may be taken at the same time: for instance since Apostilles do not need to be translated to Italian, you can start the translation of your US vital records to Italian while they are out for Apostille. 

So overall, the process of gathering documents is about six to twelve months, if you take into consideration that some documents may need to be amended.


It is advisable that as soon as you determine your eligibility (with Italian vital record(s) and proof of naturalization), you make an appointment with the Italian Consulate that has jurisdiction over the state where you reside. Wait times for appointments vary greatly; some Italian Consulates such as Chicago may have appointments available in a few months, while Los Angeles in 5+ years. Remember you cannot choose your Italian Consulate. 

Once your application is accepted at the Italian Consulate, it takes an average of six months to a year before your vital information is recorded in Italy; once that takes place, you are eligible to apply for an Italian passport. Yay!

Remember: You have the choice to apply for Italian Dual Citizenship in Italy and cut the wait time at the Italian Consulates in half. Great news, although you will have to become a permanent resident of Italy and you will be required to present to the Italian comune a complete document portfolio (Italian and U.S. Vital Records, proof of Naturalization, Apostilles and Translations to Italian). 

Words of wisdom: very few things in life can be accomplished right away; it always takes time and dedication, but in most cases the payoff is priceless. 

If you already know that you qualify and you are ready to get started, sign up for our Full Assistance Start-to-Finish Program: we will acquire all the needed vital records from both Italy and the U.S., process all the required amendments, and complete your portfolio with apostilles and translations to Italian. We’ll prepare you for your appointment at the Consulate, instruct and coach you if applying in Italy, or introducing you to our affiliate law firm in Italy for handling the 1948 Challenge Lawsuits. 

For questions related to qualification requirements, our Start-to-Finish Program, cost and timeline, book your FREE Telephone Consultation at your convenience!

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