Regaining Lost Citizenship

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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mraadams
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Regaining Lost Citizenship

Postby mraadams » 24 Mar 2009, 18:24

This topic may have already been discussed, but here's my situation:

My mother was born in Italy and when she was a girl in the 1950's, she and her parents moved to the USA. In the mid 1960's (while she was still a minor younger than 18), her parents received US Citizenship. Shortly afterward, my grandparents applied to the State Dept for a Citizenship Certificate for my mother by virtue of Section 341 of Immigration Law "one may apply to the Attorney General for a Certificate of Citizenship if they have derived United States citizenship through the naturalization of a parent or through the naturalization or citizenship of a husband"

So basically she never formally renounced her Italian Citizenship but claimed derived US citizenship through her parents. Does this mean that she never surrendered her (and my) right to Jus Sanguinis Italian Citizenship? Does it matter that she was a minor at the time and not an adult? The rules seem vague in this regard.

Has anyone else had a similar situation? Do you think I have a chance of applying for Dual Citizenship?

Thanks!

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JamesBianco
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Re: Regaining Lost Citizenship

Postby JamesBianco » 24 Mar 2009, 18:46

I believe that because she was born in Italy, she lost her citizenship (as a minor) when her father naturalized.

Had she been born in The USA this would not be the case, as long as she was born before the naturalization (even by a day!).


I am pretty certain this is the case.

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mler
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Re: Regaining Lost Citizenship

Postby mler » 24 Mar 2009, 21:47

James is right, but the law is actually not vague at all. Italy considers that it is the parents' right to naturalize (and thus renounce Italian citizenship) on behalf of their minor children. Technically, unless the child does nothing to undo this upon reaching majority, he affirms his acceptance of his parents' decision. Before 1992, it would have been most unlikely for anyone naturalized as a minor to do this because it would have meant giving up his U.S. citizenship.

Your mother could have reacquired her citizenship between 1992 and 1997, but if she has not done this, she can reacquire it now by expressing this desire to the consulate and establishing residency in Italy. Once her residency is confirmed, her citizenship will be restored. Unfortunately, this would not allow her to transmit her citizenship retroactively to her children since she was not an Italian citizen at the time of their birth. Her children would require three years of residency in Italy.

So, yes, you can apply for dual citizenship, but the application must be made after two years of residency in Italy. Jure sanguinis is not an option.


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