Do I Qualify for Italian 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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MaddalenaNYC
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Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by MaddalenaNYC »

It’s my son who wants it. He tells me that if I receive citizenship, he may apply as a derivative. Is this correct?

As to my qualifying:

I am of Italian descent on both my paternal and maternal side.

I am thinking of using the paternal side and here are the specifics

Great grandfather born in Neirone 1850
Great grandmother born in Neirone, unsure of date. But can find it.

Marriage in the US and Neirone, apparently.

My grandfather was born in the US in 1875. My grandmother born Italy circa 1887.

Marriage in US.

My father was born in the US in 1913.

I am born in the US in 1954.


There is no indication that my great grandfather ever naturalized. USCIS has no record of a naturalization for him.

Do I qualify? Would my son qualify?


I have almost all of the US documents on hand. I would need to hire someone in Italy to help with the Italian documents. The documents would be in Neirone and one in Soragna.

Thanks to all for any help you might provide.
MaddalenaNYC
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by MaddalenaNYC »

I do have two more options but I thought following a male line, GG, GF, Father would be the easiest.
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by mler »

Several thoughts:

Yes, you would qualify if indeed your ggf never naturalized. USCIS will not be too helpful here since their records do not go back before 1906, I believe. You will need to check local county records in areas in which your ggf resided.

You definitely must use the male line, because the female line would require a court case, and courts will not consider such cases if there is a viable male line.

You do not need to obtain Italian citizenship if you don’t wish to do so. Your son still qualifies through your line. My father did not himself want citizenship, but my son and I applied through his line. Not a problem. Your documents will still, of course, be required, but unless you submit your own application, only your son will have his citizenship recognized.
MaddalenaNYC
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by MaddalenaNYC »

Excellent advice. Thank you. It comes down to verifying that my ggf did not naturalize prior to my gf’s birth. I’ll check the local records. Thank you very much.
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by MaddalenaNYC »

I’ll go for the Italian Citizenship if it is so granted yo me. I have tracked down the local courts in Detroit and NYC where a Pietro Gardella may have applied for citizenship but I do not believe that he ever did so.
Everything that I have been able to find; ship records, census records, state that he was an Italian citizen but I will keep hunting.
I wonder what my great grandfather, Pietro, would think today that his descendants are actively pursuing Italian citizenship?
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by mler »

If you are applying at the same consulate, you and your son should be able to apply together. Best of luck.
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by MaddalenaNYC »

Thanks again for excellent advice. My son and I both live in NYC. Will use same consultant
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Re: Do I Qualify for Italian Citizenship?

Post by mler »

Super! That makes things a lot easier. My son and I applied there together quite a few years ago. I don’t know how much has changed, but I do know they work slowly (it took 8 months just to get my grandchildren registered). Schedule an appointment now; you will have plenty of time to gather your documents while you wait.
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