Italian Citizenship By Bloodline- What If You Have A Female Ancestor

An Italian bloodline may qualify you for citizenship by descent as the country follows the Jure Sanguinis principle. But you cannot be too sure because the gender of your ancestor is the key. Things are pretty straightforward in case you have a male ancestral line. However, claiming through a female ancestor is a different ball game. You may have to skip the conventional administrative route and opt for the 1948 Rule court process. If you want to know more, here you can read everything about the 1948 route for complete understanding. Everything boils down to identifying which way works for you. Let us explain how to move ahead if you have a female ancestor.

Qualifying for the 1948 Rule

Having a male Italian relative gets through Jure Sanguinis in most cases. But expect things to get complicated if your bloodline goes through a woman, whether your mother, grandmother or even a more distant relative. An Italian-born woman could not pass on her citizenship rights to a child born before 1948. If your Italian relative gave birth before 1948, you are technically not eligible for citizenship by descent. But all hope is not lost as the 1948 Rule enables such applicants to apply through a judicial process.

Understanding the rule

The Italian government realized that its citizenship by descent law was discriminatory against women. It also deprived potential applicants of the right to claim citizenship if they had female ancestral roots. The worst part is that it separated families as one of the siblings did not qualify because their birth was before January 1, 1948. The same mother gave birth to other children after 1948, and they qualify. The court brought a new provision to allow such applicants in regardless of the year of their birth. They can appeal in court through the 1948 Rule and get Italian citizenship.

Knowing how it works

The court process often sounds complex to most applicants, and it can even dissuade you from going ahead. But awareness is the key because it is actually simpler than the conventional Jure Sanguinis route. If you know how it works, you can cruise through. Here are the steps for the process.

  • You will have to gather the documents tracing and validating your Italian lineage. Typically, these include birth and death certificates, marriage records, and records of immigration and naturalization of your ancestor.
  • Non-Italian records have to be translated and legalized with apostille stamps as the court only accepts documents in the Italian language.
  • At this stage, a 1948 specialist lawyer comes into the picture. You will have to hire them to represent you in court and handle the proceedings. They can even do it if you cannot travel to Italy.
  • You have to send your documents and a signed Power of Attorney to the lawyer. They will help you file a petition and submit the documents in court.
  • You get a hearing date for your case, which may come within a few months. The judge checks the documents and may ask for another hearing with additional documents.
  • You get a final hearing and a court order to register your records with the municipality of your ancestor’s birth.

Hiring the right lawyer to represent your case is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the process. They ensure that your documents are in order because the verdict depends on them.

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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