Italian Citizenship by Descent

Unlocking Your Italian Ancestors Heritage and obtain the Italian passport

A Pathway to Italian Citizenship

Italian citizenship is one of the most sought-after nationalities in the world. Whilst numerous migrants today secure Italian citizenship and residency rights by investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in Italy or relocating to Italy, those with an ancestral connection with Italy may attain Italian citizenship through a more straightforward and affordable route

Italian citizenship by descent (“Italian CBA”).

If you meet specific requirements as someone of Italian descent, you can apply for Italian citizenship without needing to buy property or invest in a business in Italy. While legal costs for Italian CBA vary depending on the complexity of the case, such costs are typically significantly lower that those required by other immigration options. This is because Italian CBA applicants are entitled to secure Italian citizenship by blood (jure sanguinis) and they typically go through a simpler citizenship application process compared to other migrants. see below what are the benefits of italian citizenship.

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Italian Citizenship by Descent
Unlocking Your Italian Heritage

Italian Citizenship by Ancestry Keypoints

  1. An ancestral link to Italy allows for Italian citizenship by descent.
  2. Acquiring Italian citizenship by descent provides benefits, such as EU rights, healthcare, education, and a powerful passport.
  3. The process to secure Italian citizenship by descent involves gathering documentation and preparing an application reviewed by the Italian authority.
  4. Italian language proficiency is not a requirement for obtaining Italian citizenship by descent.
  5. Obtaining Italian citizenship by descent requires an investment of time, money, and effort but provides various benefits depending on personal goals and circumstances.

How to obtain citizenship in italy ?

There are three main paths to Italian citizenship, but the easiest and most affordable for many is by descent (jure sanguinis). This route applies if you have an Italian ancestor born in Italy after March 17, 1861, with no interruption in your family’s citizenship history. This means ancestors who didn’t renounce their Italian citizenship or have it revoked. Unlike other options, this doesn’t require living in Italy or investing there.

Italian citizenship benefits

Securing Italian citizenship can bring a host of benefits. One may not only gain the right to live, work, and study freely in Italy and anywhere in the European Union (“EU”) by becoming Italian citizens, but they may also apply for social securities, healthcare subsidies, and education benefits from any EU member states. 

Additionally, those who qualify for Italian CBA may secure one of the most coveted travel documents in the world

The Italian passport by Descent

The Italian passport is ranked the third most powerful passport in the world in 2023 (Source) and holders of Italian passports are granted visa free/ visa-on-arrival access to 174 destinations around the globe. Moreover, in cases of emergencies, Italian passport holders may seek consular assistance and protection from any EU embassy.

Qualifying for Italian citizenship by descent

The advantage of the Italian CBA program is that the program imposes no generational barriers on its applicants, so those with an ancestral link with Italy may qualify for Italian CBA regardless of how far back their ancestral lines extend.


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    The general rule is that those of Italian descent may apply for Italian CBA, provided that their Italian ancestor was born in Italy on or after Italy was unified as a nation on 17 March 1861. Additionally, there should be no interruption in the ancestral link due to renunciation or loss of Italian nationality by one of the ancestors.

    However, there are a number of notable exceptions from this general rule. For example, since Italy did not recognize dual citizenship till 1992, Italian citizens who emigrated abroad and secured another citizenship before 1992 may not pass their Italian citizenship to their descendants. Additionally, if one’s lineage involves an Italian ancestor who secured foreign citizenship as a minor after 1992, the applicant may claim Italian CBA only if the ancestor of concern secured the foreign citizenship by “right of soil” at birth. 

    Due to the numerous exceptions at play, it is very important to carefully review all variables involved in an applicant’s lineage and this is why a case-by-case approach when assessing prospective candidates’ eligibility for the program.

    How to apply for italian citizenship by Ancestry?

    1. Determine if you have an ancestral link to Italy that allows you to apply for Italian citizenship by descent.
    2. Gather all necessary documentation to establish your connection to your Italian ancestor.
    3. Review the exceptions and general rules for Italian citizenship by descent eligibility to ensure you qualify.
    4. Submit your citizenship application to the Italian authority and wait for processing.
    5. If your application is successful, you will receive Italian citizenship and can apply for an Italian passport.

    How long to get italian citizenship by descent?

    On average, the Italian authority takes about 1-2 years to process Italian Citizenship by Descent applications, but the processing time could vary depending on the complexity of your case and the overall presentation of your file. The processing time might take longer, if your application is incomplete or the documentation is incorrectly translated or legalized.


    Receiving Italian Citizenship

    If you meet all the requirements, the Italian authority will grant citizenship, allowing successful applicants to apply for Italian citizenship and the corresponding passport, and enjoy the rights and freedoms typically associated with EU citizens.

    Where can I get professional advice about the Italian passport by Descent?

    If you wish to learn more about Citizenship by Descent, we strongly recommend you reach out to your local Harvey Law Group office here. Our lawyers would be delighted to provide more information about the program details.
    Founded in 1992, Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm with offices across Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to cater to your specific needs for immigration and beyond.


    Citizenship-by-Ancestry Citizenship by ancestry Harvey Law Group Citizenship By Investment Citizenship by Descent law of blood


    Citizenship-by-Ancestry is a program that allows individuals to obtain foreign citizenships through their bloodline.

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