Well, I do! By blood, I am about 50% Italian. So when I first caught wind of the possibility to share citizenship between both the USA and Italy, I was interested to say the least.
A little background, why in the world would I go to the hassle?
Firstly, it’s a great backup plan! There is a lot of value in having the possibility to vacate the country for any reason. Some day, as American civil liberties get eroded away, tax increases compound, and America’s big-bully presence on the international stage gets more profound, it may end up being beneficial to announce a loud ‘to-hell-with-this’ and start a new life in Europe. (Sidenote: I’m not an anti-patriot, mutineer, traitor or all-around jerk. I remain only a skeptical man who likes to have options, plan B’s and exit plans. America still rocks!)
So what else is great about Italian Dual Citizenship?
Probably the most useful feature of the D.C. is that Italy is part of the European Union. Being an Italian citizen grants you to the right to enter, exit, visit or work in any EU country (including France, England, Germany, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Portugal, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and more!) without any special visas or entry papers. Even if you work domestically in the US, having an Italian Dual Citizenship allows your company to assign you for a finite-term project in any of those EU countries without the hassle or costs of obtaining and renewing work visas. Professionally, this is invaluable, as work visa sponsorships and associated costs can cost your company thousands of USD.
Wanna go buy an apartment in Switzerland for a few years for no reason at all? COOL! Pack your bags! You’re allowed. Hell, if you want to live in Italy for a while, you’ll be entitled to all the perks like a universal health care system, tuition-free state colleges, and full pension/benefits at your company! Certainly, having two passports could be priceless. (And Italy is beautiful).
How do I qualify for this?
You qualify through blood line, based on a set of complicated rules, namely that it is passed paternally until 1948, in which your mother can pass the blood down also. This is the scenario that I qualify for:
“Your maternal grandmother (my grandmother, Joan) was born in your native country (USA), your maternal great grandfather (Salvatore ‘Sam’ Sirna) was an Italian citizen at the time of her birth (Had not naturalized until 1943, Joan was born in 1926), your mother was born after January 1st, 1948 (true, 1960), and neither you nor your mother nor your grandmother ever renounced your right to Italian citizenship (true).“
Think that’s complicated? Wait till you see what documents you need:
- Your maternal great grandfather’s birth certificate from Italy.
- Your maternal great grandmother’s birth certificate.
- Your great grandparents’ marriage certificate. (If married outside of Italy, you will need a apostille and a translation into Italian.)
- Your maternal great grandfather’s certificate of naturalization OR statement of “No Records”
- Your maternal grandmother’s birth certificate (with apostille and translation)
- Your maternal grandfather’s birth certificate
- Your grandparents’ marriage certificate (with apostille and translation)
- Your mother’s birth certificate (with apostille and translation)
- Your father’s birth certificate
- Your parents’ marriage certificate (with apostille and translation)
- Your birth certificate (with apostille and translation)
- Your marriage certificate, if applicable (with apostille and translation) (Not yet…)
- Your spouse’s birth certificate, if applicable
- Birth certificates for all your children under the age of eighteen, if applicable (with apostille and translation) (I’m no baby’s daddy…)
- Any applicable divorce decrees/certificates (with apostille and translation)
- Death certificates for anyone listed above (with apostille and translation, if for your mother, grandmother or great grandfather)
An apostille is sorta like a internationally valid notarization; a stamp proving authenticity, really.
Needless to say, its a lot of crap, which is why I’m documenting my journey on this blog, I think the information and advise presented in a non-bureaucratic manner could be very helpful for some. If you wanna read only posts about this adventure, click the “Italian Dual Citizenship” category above.