Benvenuto a Italia! Acquiring an Italian passport through grandparents?
October 21, 2019 11:29 AM   Subscribe

My grandparents were Italian and I'm wondering if I could qualify for an Italian passport. My snowflake details for my eligibility are inside. But I also want to know the best way to go about getting an Italian passport, what I should expect in terms of the cost associated with it, and whether it's even worth all the hassle.

My grandparents were both Italian citizens. For some reason my grandma (deceased) was actually born in the United States, but she lived in Italy all her life until she moved to the U.S. as an adult in 1952. My grandpa (deceased) was born and raised in Italy and came to America on a boat as an adult sometime before my grandma did, and he later became a U.S. citizen. They specifically lived outside of Palermo and ended up in Michigan. As far as I know, neither he nor my grandma ever renounced their Italian citizenship.

My grandparents, who were born in the 1920s, had two kids after they came to America, who were born in the United States: my mom and my aunt. My aunt got an Italian passport a few years ago. I think she solicited the help of an uncle who lived/lives in Italy to get the records she needed. My mom hasn't gotten an Italian passport and is only a U.S. citizen.

I see mixed info on the internet about whether I would qualify for Italian citizenship. So question 1: Do I qualify as my mom's daughter and my grandparents' grand-daughter? And then, assuming I do qualify, question 2: what is the best way to go about this? Some of the companies that say they will do this for you seem like a rip-off, but maybe that's really the best route, and maybe some folks here can vouch for companies they used? Question 3: What is a normal or reasonable range of cost for this to be done? I have heard it can cost thousands of dollars, which again, seems like way too much. If you have any idea on how long it takes, and whether it matters if I may move in the next year or so, I'd also like to hear it.

And finally, question 4: Any thoughts on whether it's worth it? I can't say I have any specific plans for an Italian passport - it just seems like it'd be nice to never have to worry about visas, and to be able to go through the faster EU citizen line at customs. But it's not like I travel a ton. The option to get a job in Europe is also appealing, although that might be pie in the sky stuff.
posted by AppleTurnover to Law & Government (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Call the closest Italian consulate and ask! They are usually incredibly helpful. They actively WANT people to get their citizenship if they qualify and they will make it as easy as possible for you.

Jure Sanguinis is complicated: you will likely not qualify through your grandmother but will through your grandfather, the rules are absurd because women couldn't transmit Italian citizenship until 1948. Since your aunt got citizenship it is extremely likely that she and your mother were born before your grandfather became an American citizen and that would mean you qualify under category 4:

"Category 4 - Your maternal grandfather was born in Italy, your mother was born in the united states or a country other than Italy, and your maternal grandfather was still an Italian citizen at the time of her birth (had not become American/other Foreign Country citizen yet), you were born after January 1, 1948, and neither you nor your mother ever renounced your Italian citizenship."

The fixed costs are 300 Euro for the application, plus potential translator fees if you need documents in Italian. I have no clue about the third party services but again, I'd ask the consulate.

I would do it in a heartbeat! You have access to all of Europe and so will your potential children and your spouse. I'm an Italian dual citizen living in the US (raised in Italy) and am in the process of getting my husband his citizenship, our children have it through me. Just the peace of mind of being able to emigrate if something goes terribly wrong is worth it to me.
posted by lydhre at 12:02 PM on October 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

An Italian passport is worth it if you ever want to travel to some places that an american one would be troublesome, like Iran or the Stans.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 11:05 PM on October 21, 2019

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