Italian Dual Citizenship – Is it worth it?
Over 10 years ago while living in southern California, I actively belonged to an Italian cultural organization, which offered classes in Italian language. I had fallen in love with the country of my ancestors and wanted to visit often. I realized it was time to learn Italian so I enrolled in some classes. (The first eight years of my life were spent in a two family home with my parents and grandparents. Sicilian was spoken in the home but unfortunately, the children were only spoken to in English.) The organization also sponsored events including talks by experts on Italian culture, food and wine and Italian cooking. Its members included those who have either immigrated to the US, those of Italian decent and basically anyone who was an Italophile. It was and still is a wonderful organization and I miss the close friendships that were made during my time in California. As a matter of fact, I am still taking Italian language classes through this organization from my home on the east coast of the USA. https://icc-sd.org
At the time, I had heard through some of the organization’s members about the possibility of obtaining dual Italian citizenship through outside organizations. However, before that could happen, you first had to qualify by meeting the criteria set forth by the Italian government. “Jure Sanguinis” or “The Right of Blood”, is a principle which recognizes a child of an Italian citizen to automatically become an Italian citizen at birth. It means that as a citizen, you must register your birth in the Italian commune of your ancestor’s birth. In my case, I am now a registered citizen of a small town in the Agrigento Province of Sicily. Bear in mind, Jure Sanguinis status may or may not apply to you dependent upon your country of birth or current residence. The information contained here applies to citizens of the USA so check with your nearest Italian Consulate to see it you qualify. The consulates offer a wealth of information on Jure Sanguinis qualifications on their web pages.
The idea of dual American/Italian citizenship intrigued me. However, I wondered what was involved, what was the cost, how long will this take and most importantly, what were the benefits? I also wondered if this would affect my U.S. citizenship status, which it does not.
Most importantly, the benefits of Jure Sanguinis give you all of the rights and privileges of those born in Italy including an Italian passport. An Italian passport also meant you were a citizen of the European Union, which also had its benefits. Jure Sanguinis also includes the ability to own land and property in Italy (yes, you have to pay Italian taxes), no restrictions regarding the length of a visit to Italy without a visa (normally 3 months maximum), the ability to vote in Italian elections, the ability to work, obtain healthcare, be eligible for a pension, etc.