The process for requesting recognition of Italian citizenship by descent

The process for requesting recognition of Italian citizenship by descent

How to initiate the process for requesting recognition of Italian citizenship by descent.

In this article, we will explain how and where to present the request for recognition of Italian citizenship by descent.

Francesco has the requisites to obtain Italian citizenship, he has already prepared all of the necessary documentation, but he is not familiar with the process he can use to obtain citizenship. We will explain to Francesco what processes he can use and how to choose the best process suited to his needs.

Before we begin, I suggest you read our article regarding the requisites necessary to obtain Italian citizenship. If you have not yet found your Italian ancestor’s birth certificate, you can read our guide that explains how to request a birth certificate in Italy.

Now let’s take a closer look at the various procedures made available by Italian legislature to obtain recognition of Italian citizenship.

The first thing that we need to distinguish is the applicant’s location of residence.

If the applicant resides abroad, the request for recognition needs to be presented through the local Italian Consulate, that is the branch responsible for the area they live in.

If Pablo lives in Buenos Aires, the request must be presented to the Italian Consulate of Buenos Aires. All very simple, or at least it may seem so.

Until not very long ago, all requests were sent through traditional post or email. Later, based on the Consulate’s waiting list, the applicant would receive notification of the date of the appointment. On the day of the appointment, the applicant would go in with all of the necessary documentation, which was given to the responsible official to examine.

In recent years, the process has changed. Almost all consulates have adopted an online booking system, which is managed through a platform called prenot@mi. The applicant needs to register on the platform, see the available dates, and request an appointment. Unfortunately, due to the excessively high number of requests, the platform is creating numerous problems. Many users are not able to book an appointment. The situation is rather tragic, at least in consulates where many Italian descendants are present.

Once the applicant is able to book an appointment through the prenot@mi platform, they must go to the consulate on the given date and time with all of the necessary documents. (Read our article regarding the documents needed to obtain recognition of Italian citizenship.) The consular office will accept the request which will then be examined, this usually takes a few months. Here again, there are no definite timelines, it depends on the consulate where the request was presented.

The process will be concluded with the acceptance or reasoned refusal. It is also possible that you are asked to provide other documents, necessary to complete the process.

If the applicant resides in Italy, the request is presented to the registry office of the city where the applicant is resident. This solution has been preferred by many descendants in recent years because it is much quicker than going through the consulate, or at least regarding the Consulate of Buenos Aires or Saint Paul, where the wait period exceeds ten years.

The descendant moves to an Italian city, requests a residence permit with intent to request Italian citizenship and simultaneously establishes their residence in the city where the request for recognition will be presented. This all usually happens within 12 months.

To sum up, the request to obtain recognition of Italian citizenship must be presented through the Italian Consulate if the applicant lives abroad, specifically in the consulate responsible for the area where they live. For those who live in Italy, the request must be presented to the registry office. Due to the slowness of the consulates, more and more people are deciding to move to Italy for a few years in order to obtain recognition of their citizenship by descent in less time.

If the request is accepted, the descendant will obtain recognition of Italian citizenship and will be added to the registry of Italian births.

A unique case is that of citizenship through maternal lineage before 1948 (I suggest you read our article related to this topic.) The only way to obtain recognition in this case is through the filing of an appeal. This is true for all cases in which there is a woman in the family tree that had a child before 1948.

The request is presented through an appeal, which is presented to the Immigration office of the Court, which is present in all district Appeal Courts. The court responsible is that which is located in the city where the Italian ancestor was born.

If you have any doubts, questions or would like to a consultation, please contact one of our lawyers specialized in Italian citizenship by descent.

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