Italian Citizenship: The 1948 Rule

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 U.S. law, courts in the U.S. 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.

Let My Italian Family Do The Work For You!

Give us a call! We offer a FREE Telephone Consultation for applicants who have questions regarding qualification, required documentation, estimated cost, timelines, and tips on how to make an appointment with an Italian Consulate here in the U.S. (among other questions). We will also perform some free preliminary research to establish if you have a path to Italian Citizenship! Call us at 1-844-741-0848, we are ALWAYS OPEN!

Alternatively, you can book your FREE consultation at your convenience.

At My Italian Family, we provide FULL assistance, handling 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 20 years, and we have expert knowledge of what each Italian Consulate requires and what the Italian Courts require. TO GET STARTED AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE.