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Italian Citizenship By Descent- Can You Claim Through A Maternal Bloodline

italian citizenship

Italy is among the countries that open citizenship to people having ancestral connections through Jure Sanguinis (right to blood). The best part is that there are no generational limits to eligibility, and you can claim through parents, grandparents, and distant ancestors. However, things are not as simple as they sound because eligibility boils down to the gender of your ancestor. 

Simply speaking, you may not qualify for Jure Sanguinis through a female relative. But you can still make it through an alternative route, and you can read more on Bersani Law Firm website to learn about it. You can depend on the 1948 Rule to claim Italian citizenship by descent through a maternal bloodline. Let us explain the nitty-gritty of the process.

The 1948 Rule- An exception to Jure Sanguinis

Anyone with a maternal bloodline may or may not be eligible for citizenship through Jure Sanguinis. The decision boils down to the year when your female ascendant gave birth to a child in your direct line of ascendancy. If she had the child before 1948, you come into an exception to Jure Sanguinis. It means you have to apply through the 1948 Rule instead of the conventional court process. People with a female relative who gave birth after 1948 do not come as an exception, so they can apply as usual.

Understanding the background of the 1948 Rule

The 1948 Rule was implemented to eliminate discrimination against women in the Italian immigration law. According to the law, women were not allowed to pass citizenship rights to their offspring before January 1, 1948. It was unfair to women and people with female relatives looking to apply for Italian citizenship by descent. In fact, siblings from the same family were in a different place as one of them could qualify, only because they were born after 1948. Others couldn't because their birth happened a year before. The Italian court decided to eliminate the disparity with the 1948 Rule that allows people to claim citizenship through a court process.

Getting in through the 1948 court process

Although the 1948 Rule entails a court process, it is not as daunting as it sounds. The paperwork is quite similar to the consulate process, and the steps are simple too. You may actually save a lot of time by avoiding the extended queues and endless waiting periods at the consulate. Awareness and preparation are essential to make the court journey a breeze. Moreover, having an expert to guide you through the proceedings can simplify them. You need to collect your ancestral documents to trace your Italian lineage, just as with Jure Sanguinis. They have to be translated and apostilled to hold validity in court. Hiring a local attorney is another essential step since you need an expert to manage court proceedings. The best part is that they can do it on your behalf, so you need not travel to Italy for the process. 

Once the court issues a favorable judgment, you only have to register in the municipality of your ancestor’s birth to seal the deal. The citizenship rights are transferable to the next generations like the Jure Sanguinis process. A maternal bloodline is not a hindrance to citizenship, provided you pick the right course of action and seek expert guidance.