Italian Citizenship Through Descent

Italian citizenship is currently regulated by Law no. 91/1992. It stipulates that you can acquire Italian citizenship by descent, marriage or naturalisation.

As from 16 August 1992, Italian citizenship is no longer lost through acquisition of a foreign citizenship. 

How does it work?

Italian citizenship is granted by birth through the paternal line or through the maternal line for people born after 1 January 1948. There is no limit on generations, but the oldest Italian ancestor through whom Italian citizenship can be claimed must have been still alive after 17 March 1861.

How do I know if I qualify?

A child born to an Italian citizen is automatically considered an Italian citizen. The procedure of confirmation of Italian citizenship is available to eligible persons. In essence you can confirm or apply for your Italian citizenship successfully if one of the following applies to you:

  • Your father was born in Italy, had not acquired citizenship of another country and has not renounced his Italian citizen at the time of your birth.
  • You were born after 1 January 1948, your mother was born in Italy, had not acquired citizenship of another country and has not renounced her Italian citizenship at the time of your birth.
  • Your father was born outside of Italy, your paternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of your father’s birth and they have not renounced their Italian citizenship at the time of your birth.
  • Your mother was born outside of Italy, your maternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of your mother’s birth, you were born after 1 January 1948 and they have not renounced your Italian citizenship at the time of your birth. 
  • You are a woman who married an Italian citizen before 27 April 1983.
  • You are a woman who married an Italian citizen residing abroad – you can apply for Italian citizenship after 3 years of marriage (or 18 months if you have children). 
  • You are a non-EU citizen and have legally resided in Italy for ten years.
  • You are an EU citizen and have legally resided in Italy for four years.
  • You have lost your Italian citizenship but your parents or grandparents were born in Italy – you can apply after three years of legal residency in Italy.

How can Polaron help me?

  • We offer a free and confidential eligibility assessment. 
  • If you are eligible, we can provide you with a no-obligation quote.
  • Should you decide to proceed with us, we provide you with linguistic, administrative and legal support and navigate through Italian regulations on your behalf. 

What’s next?

Would you like to set up a time to talk about whether European citizenship makes sense for you and your family with one of our citizenship consultants?