If you are applying for Italian Dual Citizenship through your "female" line, you may fall in the category of those born to an Italian female ancestor before 1948. For example: your mother's father was born in Italy; he did not become a naturalized US citizen before her birth which makes you eligible, but because your were born before 1948, you do not qualify. If you fall in this category, there is a way out. Let's learn more.
The 1948 Rule and who is affected
The current law granting Italian citizenship jure sanguinis states that women could hold but not pass citizenship to children born before January 1, 1948. According to the 1912 citizenship law, only men were allowed to transfer Italian citizenship to their children. Not only does this eliminate many from qualifying for citizenship but under this provision of the law there are clearly situations where one sibling and their offspring can qualify while others born before the 1948 date and their subsequent families cannot qualify. When exploring Italian citizenship jure sanguinis individuals may believe the 1948 Rule on its surface to be unfair or discriminatory but it is the law as it currently exists.
How and where the appeal the 1948 Rule
The Italian Supreme Court recently held that this provision is contrary to the Constitutional principles, particularly to the principle of equality between men and women. Thus, also children who are born before 1948 to an Italian mother, may file a motion to appeal the "1948 Rule" and obtain, if eligible, Italian citizenship. There have been recent court challenges to this aspect of the law that have been filed and adjudicated by the Italian Courts. Even though a challenge to the law has been successful in Italy, the Italian government has not yet chosen to modify or amend the current law. US Italian Consulates and other Italian Consulates outside of Italy strictly adhere to the current 1948 Rule and will probably continue to do so until the law is amended. Because jure sanguinis citizenship involves Italian law as opposed to US law, courts in the US have no jurisdiction over the matter. They will not entertain challenges or questions regarding its components.
Since the orientation of Italian Authorities (Ministry, Town Halls and Italian Consulates) is still to reject Italian citizenship applications, the legal action to be filed at the Italian Court that has jurisdiction over the place of birth of your Italian born Ancestor is your only way to obtain citizenship.
Let's get started
If faced with the 1948 Rule outside of Italy your options are very limited. Because there has been some success challenging the law in Italy your only possible course of action may be to consult an Italian attorney who is familiar with the issue. He or she may be able to guide you through an alternative route using the Italian legal system and may be best able to help you determine if you have standing to sue in Italy and if your family fits the criteria for citizenship.
We have partnered with a Law Firm in Italy that will assist you throughout the process. The standard fees for challenging the 1948 Rule in the Italian Courts are €6,750 which also include all the expenses connected to the law suit. Please note that these fees do not include the cost of the actual document portfolio which will have to be put together before the law suit can even begin.
Timeline: The process can take up to 2 or 3 years to be finalized.
My Italian Family can assist you with our Start-to-Finish program, including all aspects of gathering documentation and petitioning the Courts in Italy. TO GET STARTED AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.
For questions related to qualification requirements, our Start-to-Finish Program, cost and timeline, book your FREE Telephone Consultation at your convenience!