The concept of dual citizenship and a second passport is more popular than ever. Thousands of Americans look to relocate to other countries to follow this trend. The inclination is high for destinations with citizenship by descent option, and Italy takes the front seat. You can claim your rights through the Jure Sanguinis process that lets you land in Italy and start afresh with your family. The process is pretty straightforward as you have to gather the relevant documents and apply at your local consulate. You can expect a favorable outcome within a year if you have valid evidence and paperwork.
But things can get complicated if you have a woman in your ancestral line because the Italian citizenship law has a discriminatory stance against women. You cannot apply through the consulate process, but you will have to take the legal route to file a claim. Thankfully, the new option has addressed the concern, and you can read a detailed guide on Bersani Law Firm’s website to know more about it. We have a short explanation of the measures the country has taken to resolve discrimination and balance things.
Exceptions for maternal line citizenship claims
Italian citizenship by descent covers people with ancestral roots in the country. You can be eligible if your parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents are Italians. They must have held citizenship after the unification of Italy in 1861. Also, they shouldn’t have given it up by naturalization in another country until the birth of their child next in the Italian lineage. But there is an exception to these eligibility criteria if your ancestor is a female. You cannot apply through Jure Sanguinis if the woman ascendant gave birth before 1948. It is because Italian women couldn’t pass on their citizenship rights to their children before this year. The discrimination in Italian law is evident, and the government realized it.
The 1948 Rule to address discrimination
When addressing citizenship discrimination against women, Italy has a tangible measure to set things on track. It came up with the 1948 Rule to enable people with a maternal bloodline to claim citizenship rights. It means you need not worry about the Jure Sanguinis eligibility norms anymore. You can apply even if you have a female relative who gave birth before 1948. But things will differ a bit with the application process. Instead of the conventional administrative route through a consulate, you have to apply through a judicial process with the Italian court. While things may sound complex, they are actually simple and straightforward.
Following the court route
It is still easy to think that the court route works against people applying through female ancestors. But you will realize that you may be in a better place once you understand how the process works. It is quite similar to the consulate route from the documentation perspective. You have to gather documents to prove your ancestral roots in Italy, just like you would with the Jure Sanguinis process. The only difference is that you have to apply and submit them to the Roman court rather than the local consulate. The best part is that you need not fly down to Italy for the hearing. Your lawyer can represent you and handle the proceedings on your behalf.
Expert assistance is a must
At this stage, you will realize that expert assistance is a must to go ahead with a 1948 Case. Dealing with the judiciary requires a good understanding of the law, and you cannot manage without a lawyer. Hiring an Italian expert becomes even more vital because you need someone who knows the nitty-gritty of the local laws. Moreover, they can cover you up in your absence, and you need not spend a fortune on travel expenses. You can also rely on a local lawyer to help you with the procurement of documents to be presented in court. Make sure you get someone with expertise and experience in the 1948 cases to get an advantage. Provide them with a power of attorney and the relevant documents, and you are good to go.
Although the Italian citizenship law was initially unfavorable towards women, things have changed down the line. The 1948 Rule has emerged as a savior for people looking to apply through maternal lineage. If you understand the rule well enough, you need not worry about the discriminatory law anymore. Collaborating with a citizenship expert is an extra step that takes you ahead of the concerns and enables you to claim your right.
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