Becoming an Italian citizen offers a lot of benefits, such as unrestricted access to the EU member states and the ability to purchase property in the country. Like many other countries, Italy has strict rules when it comes to immigration. Here are two reasons your application for citizenship may be rejected and what you can do about it.
Your Italian Ancestors Weren't Citizens
To be eligible to become an Italian citizen, someone in your maternal or paternal ancestry must have been a citizen of the country. While this may seem like a simple enough requirement, who counts as a citizen differs depending on who the ancestor is, when they were born, and whether they were naturalized in another country.
For instance, women born prior to 1948 can only claim Italian citizenry if their fathers were citizens of the country. Additionally, children of those women cannot claim citizenry unless they were born after 1948 when the law changed.
Thus, if you wanted to use your grandmother—who was born before 1948—as the basis of your claim for Italian citizenship, your application will be rejected if her father wasn't a citizen at that time or she gave birth to your parent before she was eligible to pass citizenship onto her children.
Italy's ancestral citizenship requirements are complex. If you want to avoid wasting time and money pursuing citizenship, it's best to connect with an attorney who knows about Italian citizenship who can advise upfront whether you're eligible or not.
You Don't Meet Residency Requirements
In addition to having an ancestor who was considered an Italian citizen, you generally must live in the country for a number of years before you can even apply for citizenship. The number of years you're required to be in the country, though, varies depending on your particular circumstances.
For instance, you can obtain citizenship by marrying an Italian who has not renounced their right to be a citizen of the country. If you want to obtain citizenship by naturalization, though, you must live in Italy for a certain number of years. However, there are specific rules related to residency that you have to follow. Be sure to check with your immigration lawyer to make sure that you are meeting all the requirements.
You can find information about residency requirements online. As each person's situation is unique, you should still consult with an Italian citizenship lawyer for the most current and accurate guidelines.
For more information contact an Italian citizenship lawyer.