Derivative naturalization? please help!

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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mervirgo
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Derivative naturalization? please help!

Postby mervirgo » 22 Dec 2009, 19:07

Hi all,

I am trying to figure out if I am eligible for Italian citizenship, and I'm hoping you can help!

My situation is as follows:
Through paternal grandfather:
Paternal great-grandfather was born in Italy and came to the US with his son, my grandfather. The great-grandfather naturalized in 1923. On the certificate he lists his children, including my 14-year-old grandfather, which I believe means that they too are naturalized through "derivative naturalization." However, I am unclear as to if my grandfather ever took any following actions regarding renouncing his Italian citizenship; I only know that he was a US citizen and did vote, etc. My father and I were therefore born US citizens.

Then, my paternal grandmother:
She was born in Italy and came to the US as a baby. We don't have any certificates of naturalization by her parents or by her and my father is not sure that she ever was a citizen. We do know that her father died shortly after coming to the US and that her mother, a widow, could not speak English or write (she could write poorly in Italian, but not in English).

Any ideas as to if I have a case for either side -- or how to go about finding out?

Thanks so much!
Amanda

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Derivative naturalization? please help!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 22 Dec 2009, 19:42

You probably have a stronger case in regards to your paternal grandmother as it seems quite possible that she never became a naturalized US citizen. However, this only works if your father was born on or after January 1, 1948 as prior to that date Italian citizenship could be passed only by the father. These cases (child born to Italian woman prior to 1/1/1948) have been challenged with some success in the Italian courts but I have no idea at what cost. This Italian law firm is mentioned on these boards occasionally; this is not an endorsement as I have no knowledge of them other than seeing their name.

The case of your paternal grandfather is more clear-cut. If his father naturalized when he was a minor, and especially if he is mentioned on his father's papers, then - well - you are kinda out of luck there. Sorry.

Any chance that your mother is of Irish descent? If so, you may be able to obtain Irish citizenship quite easily. Doing so gets you into the EU and thus into Italy, albeit through the back door.

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mervirgo
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Re: Derivative naturalization? please help!

Postby mervirgo » 22 Dec 2009, 19:50

Thanks for your help, Johnnyonthespot.

Unfortunately, my father was born in 1946... argh!

There's really no chance of eligibility for my situation? It seems so odd...

Alternatively, I've heard somewhere that even if my Italian heritage didn't qualify me for naturalization now, if I spend 3 years in Italy legally I could naturalize that way. Is this something anyone has heard of?

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Derivative naturalization? please help!

Postby johnnyonthespot » 22 Dec 2009, 20:00

mervirgo wrote:Thanks for your help, Johnnyonthespot.

Unfortunately, my father was born in 1946... argh!

There's really no chance of eligibility for my situation? It seems so odd...


Other than the legal route, I don't think so. On another board, someone mentioned that they telephoned the law firm mentioned in my other post and they were very helpful and forthcoming with free advice.

Alternatively, I've heard somewhere that even if my Italian heritage didn't qualify me for naturalization now, if I spend 3 years in Italy legally I could naturalize that way. Is this something anyone has heard of?


That is correct; if I recall correctly, you must establish legal residency in Italy. At the end of the second year, you apply for naturalization. This topic is discussed in detail on another board, ExpatsInItaly.

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PeterTimber
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Re: Derivative naturalization? please help!

Postby PeterTimber » 22 Dec 2009, 20:16

Try www.justanswer.com for further reference to your derivative italian inquiry. =Peter=
~Peter~


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