Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

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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Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby 846newyorker » 03 Jul 2011, 23:18

My apologies in advance for this simple question that has likely already been covered elsewhere in the forum but I cannot find it specifically -- if someone wouldn't mind pointing me to previous threads or answering again, I would be very grateful!

My situation is not covered on the 5-point list on the consulate website: My GM was born in Italy to Italian parents; my GM was a naturalized U.S. citizen at the time of my mother's birth (after 1948).

Is it also possible that my mother or I myself am eligible for dual citizenship?

I am curious because less stringent criteria (as it seems to me) would qualify -- for example, having a U.S.-born mother or grandmother to non-naturalized Italian parents.

Thank you!

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby mler » 04 Jul 2011, 15:02

When you say "at the time of my mother's birth," do you mean before that birth or after? If before, you don't qualify through this line; if after, you do.

I understand your issue well. My husband was born in Italy but naturalized before our marriage. My children could only qualify through my gf, their ggf. It does seem strange, but Italy does not confer citizenship based on the proximity of generations. Citizenship is only transferred from parent to child, and that parent must have citizenship at the time of that child's birth.

So, for example, my gf who was born in Italy, still had citizenship when my father was born. My then Italian father passed that to me on my birth, and I passed it to my children. My husband, though born in Italy, lost his citizenship when he naturalized. Thus my children could not qualify through him.

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 04 Jul 2011, 15:45

You would however qualify for expedited naturalization. This would require that you reside legally in Italy for a full three years (instead of the normally required ten years) after which time you would be eligible for naturalization on the basis of having an Italian ancestor up to the 2nd degree - a grandparent.

This is not a simple process however it can be done if you are adamant about gaining Italian citizenship. It would be naturalization and not jure sanguinis citizenship; this means that it would be effective on the actual date of naturalization and not since birth as with jure sanguinis. The major difference being that jure sanguinis citizenship would automatically flow to your already-born children and possibly your spouse.
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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 04 Jul 2011, 15:50

PS: In your other thread, you mentioned, "if my mother or father successfully completes this process..."

Does this mean that your father is also of Italian ancestry? What is his situation?

If your father is eligible on his own and if he and your mother married before April 27, 1983, then your mother would automatically gain Italian citizenship through her marriage. And, of course, you would gain citizenship through your father.
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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby mler » 04 Jul 2011, 16:24

It seems I misread your post and that you made it clear that the naturalization took place before your mother's birth. Carmine has some excellent suggestions. Many of us have found an alternate route when one path to jure sanguinis citizenship was closed for one reason or another. Best of luck.

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby 846newyorker » 04 Jul 2011, 18:13

Thanks so much for the help!

In fact all four of my grandparents are of Italian ancestry and I'm trying to find if any will qualify me -- or my parents, in which case, as it seems, I could possibly then qualify myself.

My mother's and father's situations both are: their parents were born in Italy to Italian parents. However, at the time of both my parents' births (in the U.S., both after 1948), I am not certain if all their grandparents were also naturalized U.S. citizens. (It is possible, but at the moment I'm not certain, that both my parents' parents and my parents' grandparents were naturalized by the time of my parents' birth.)

Either way, does that mean they (my parents) would still qualify for de jure sanguinis citizenship, simply because their parents were born Italian citizens?

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 04 Jul 2011, 19:15

Imagine this: your grandparents did very well in Italy and arrived in the US with so much money they just didn't know what to do with it all.

Thankful for the political freedoms they found in the US, they became widely known philanthropists and slowly gave away all their millions of dollars to various charities.

When they died, did your parents inherit those millions? Of course not; your grandparents had given it all away already.

The same thing applies here: if your grandparents "gave away" their Italian citizenship before the births of your mother and father, then your parents could not inherit that citizenship, could they? And, that is what naturalization was until 1992 (from Italy's point of view): when your grandparents became naturalized US citizens, they gave up their Italian citizenship.

However, there is still hope and so you need to get your research efforts into full gear. If your grandparents were already married and your grandfathers naturalized before 1922 (roughly), then your grandmothers would have automatically naturalized along with them.

On the other hand, if your grandparents were already married and your grandfathers naturalized after 1922, then your grandmothers would have kept their own Italian citizenship unless they became US citizens on their own in a separate proceeding. In my experience, it was far more common for the women to not follow through and do this, therefore there is a good chance that your grandmothers were still Italian citizens at the times of your mother and father's births. So long as those births were after January 1, 1948, your parents may possibly have inherited citizenship from their mothers.

There is a third possibility not mentioned above: if your grandfathers became US citizens before marrying, and the eventual marriages took place before January 1, 1948, then unfortunately under Italian law your grandmothers effectively renounced their Italian citizenship by marrying a "foreign citizen".
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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby 846newyorker » 04 Jul 2011, 19:58

I really appreciate these explanations -- thanks again.

Here's another scenario, and based on your explanation I think I may be misreading this criterium on the consulate website: "your paternal or maternal grandparents were born in the United States from Italian parents and they never renounced their right to Italian citizenship."

If at the time of my maternal grandfather's birth (in the U.S.) his father was not yet naturalized, according to the language of this criterium it sounds like I would qualify. However, at the time of my mother's birth, he (my grandfather's father) was indeed a naturalized citizen. So does this mean I would NOT qualify?

(The confusion may be the words "they" and "their" -- does this refer to my grandfather or to his parents? I have been reading it as referring to my grandfather, not his parents.)

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 04 Jul 2011, 20:13

Italian citizenship is passed from generation to generation.

In this new scenario:

a) maternal great-grandfather born in Italy emigrates to the US

b) maternal grandfather, born in the US, inherits the right to Italian citizenship because his father has not yet become a naturalized US citizen. Some consulates also enforce the so-called "1912 rule" which requires that great-grandfather did not naturalize prior to June (exact day varies), 1912

c) your mother inherits the right to Italian citizenship from her father

d) you inherit the right to Italian citizenship from your mother if and only if you were born on or after January 1, 1948

To answer your question directly: if your maternal great-grandfather was still an Italian citizen at the time of your maternal grandfather's birth, then you (and your mother) most likely qualify for jure sanguinis citizenship.
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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby 846newyorker » 05 Jul 2011, 02:02

Very interesting.

What is confusing to me is that this scenario would qualify while U.S.-naturalized grandparents born in Italy to Italian parents would not. I suppose it is because those who've naturalized "gave away" that citizenship whereas someone born here was automatically a U.S. citizen and never needed to "give away" that right?

And one more thing: Does the 1948 rule apply only to my mother and myself? For instance, if my maternal great-grandmother was not naturalized at the time of my maternal grandfather's U.S. birth, would she still be able to pass along right to citizenship to her son, having been born before 1948?

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby mler » 05 Jul 2011, 02:22

No, the 1948 restriction applies to all women in the line. Before 1948, a woman could only obtain Italian citizenship from her father, so in the scenario you describe, your maternal ggm was Italian, but was prohibited from passing that citizenship to any child born before 1948.

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Jul 2011, 14:04

mler wrote:No, the 1948 restriction applies to all women in the line. Before 1948, a woman could only obtain Italian citizenship from her father, so in the scenario you describe, your maternal ggm was Italian, but was prohibited from passing that citizenship to any child born before 1948.


I know this is not exactly how you meant to word this statement. :)

It should read, "Before 1948, a person could only obtain Italian citizenship from his or her father.

For 846newyorker, the reason is really quite simple. Just as there was a long period in US history when women did not have the right to vote, Italian women also had very limited rights. Among the missing was the right to pass citizenship directly to their children; citizenship was in fact passed only from father to child. This changed with the implementation of the modern Italian constitution on January 1, 1948. Hence, a child born on or after that date could inherit Italian citizenship from either parent, but a child born before that date could inherit only from his/her father.

846newyorker wrote:Does the 1948 rule apply only to my mother and myself?


No, it applies to every generation. This is why it is virtually impossible to include a female earlier than grandmother in most jure sanguinis cases; odds are that a great-grandmother would have given birth to her child pre-1948 and thus not able to pass citizenship to that child.
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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 05 Jul 2011, 14:17

846newyorker wrote:What is confusing to me is that this scenario would qualify while U.S.-naturalized grandparents born in Italy to Italian parents would not. I suppose it is because those who've naturalized "gave away" that citizenship whereas someone born here was automatically a U.S. citizen and never needed to "give away" that right?


Exactly. In theory, it is possible that a US-born ancestor formally renounced his or her right to Italian citizenship and my understanding is that consulates will investigate this possibility as part of the jure sanguinis approval process. Supposedly, they do so by inquiring at every consulate having jurisdiction over the various places where your ancestors resided and (?) also Rome. You will also note that most consulates require living ancestors complete a form attesting that they have never renounced Italian citizenship and also you (the applicant) must complete a similar form for your deceased ancestors. Examples: Forms 3 and 4 at the bottom of http://www.consnewyork.esteri.it/NR/exeres/9F0288DC-69D1-46F7-AE8B-4F8687831E3E,frameless.htm?NRMODE=Published.
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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby mler » 05 Jul 2011, 15:15

johnnyonthespot wrote:
mler wrote:No, the 1948 restriction applies to all women in the line. Before 1948, a woman could only obtain Italian citizenship from her father, so in the scenario you describe, your maternal ggm was Italian, but was prohibited from passing that citizenship to any child born before 1948.


I know this is not exactly how you meant to word this statement. :)

No, it applies to every generation. This is why it is virtually impossible to include a female earlier than grandmother in most jure sanguinis cases; odds are that a great-grandmother would have given birth to her child pre-1948 and thus not able to pass citizenship to that child.

At least I got the second part right. :lol:

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Re: Citizenship from Italian-born GM ?

Postby 846newyorker » 07 Jul 2011, 18:15

OK so perhaps this was covered in all of the above, but there are so many scenarios possible! (Sorry to beat a dead horse.)

Above we established that a mother could not pass her citizenship along to a child before 1948. However, she COULD do so to a grandchild, provided the grandchild (i.e. my mother) was born after 1948, correct? (Even though she could not do the same for her own son.)

Now, I'm wondering about the 1922 marriage rule mentioned above. Does anyone know any more about that? Why is there a 1922 cut-off date?

Say my great grandmother never naturalized on her own -- that is, never swore an oath nor went through a naturalization process. Simply by virtue of being married to a newly naturalized U.S. citizen -- before 1922, which is the case here -- she would have been considered naturalized? Would she have received papers, or is this simply a legal assumption the consulates make?

If my maternal great-grandmother never "gave away" her right to Italian citizenship but only received it through marriage, would a consulate possibly interpret this as a path to de jure sanguinis citizenship for my mother?


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