Getting Italian Dual Citizenship Through the Courts
According to the 1912 Italian Citizenship legislation, males had the privilege to pass on their Italian citizenship to their offspring (born either domestically or internationally) provided that they were Italian nationals at the time of the birth of their kids.
Women born in Italy, or with Italian citizenship, experienced discrimination, and according to the 1912 Italian law, were not allowed to pass on their citizenship to their offspring.
Once Italy's constitution declared that both sexes possessed the same rights, women were at last able to pass on their Italian citizenship to their sons and daughters, however, only to those born after the 1st of January 1948. In conclusion, applications for Italian citizenship which involve a female ancestor born in Italy or abroad, and whose offspring was born before 1948, are all refused by the consulates.
Before 1948, Italian women who wed men of other nationalities were subject to prejudice and were legally stripped of their Italian citizenship upon marriage to a husband of another country.
In 2009, a trial case tested the validity of the situations mentioned above and it was determined to be unfair. Therefore, those candidates who are in a similar situation are now likely to be successful in obtaining Italian citizenship, due to the ruling and the various cases that were won in the following years.
Courts have established that the Italian constitution of 1948, including the provision of gender equality, should be applied retroactively, covering events that happened before the constitution was created. Therefore, they have declared that female ancestors can pass Italian citizenship to their children, even if the constitution was not in effect during that time, as long as the woman in question did not naturalize beforehand. Additionally, it has been ruled that women do not lose Italian citizenship by marrying someone who is not an Italian citizen, regardless of the laws that were in place at the time.
The Ministry of Interior is the opposition in this kind of court case, and it must be brought to the Civil Court of Rome ("Tribunale Ordinario di Roma") for filing. In Italy, a person has a very good chance of becoming a citizen through the legal system for a few different reasons.
Since 2009, the courts have almost invariably given Italian citizenship in all cases that were brought before them.
The Italian government has ceased to enter appearances in court (no longer filing counter claims, and the Italian Ministry of Interior is not being represented by State Attorneys)
Almost all of the new court cases that have been initiated recently have been presided over by the same judges who authorized citizenship in the preceding cases.
Despite the numerous cases victorious in this arena, there is no warranty of victory in a lawsuit since the Italian judicial system allows Courts to make decisions that stand in contrast to the settled jurisprudence of a given period. Even though this situation is extraordinary, Courts tend to take into account consolidated jurisprudence. Generally speaking, legal proceedings in Italy can take up to a year and a half to be completed. The lack of organization in Italian public offices is the cause of the existing problem.
It is possible for additional family members to join the trial simultaneously. It is not necessary for the Petitioner to be present in Italy during any stage.
OTHER JUDICIAL DECISIONS (MUMBLINGS OF THE GOVERNMENT and REJECTION OF THE CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION) In Italy, you may choose to employ a lawyer for your trial even if your cause is a typical "jure sanguinis" case with no female ancestor involved. Moreover, if you have submitted a request for Italian citizenship to your local Italian Consulate yet have not obtained a response regarding the approval or refusal of your application within the last two years, you have the right to approach the Civil Court in order to claim your rights and be accredited with citizenship by the court. In Italy, as an alternative, one can initiate legal proceedings before the Italian Civil Court and submit his/her "citizenship documents" directly to the court if the local consulate has set a date for the appointment more than two years in the future. In this case, the jurisdictional authority is the judge rather than the consulate. It is worth noting that the Civil Court is the proper judicial body for the above cases and not the Administrative Court (also known as TAR). Moreover, there are several court verdicts that are favorable to the petitioners. In Italy, Administrative Courts should be consulted if the consulate has declined a citizenship application without a valid reason. The timeline and expenses associated with the event are the main points of consideration for the proceeding. As of September 2017, a new way of submitting pre-1948 citizenship cases to the Italian Court has been introduced, according to the most recent advancements in the field. Since September 2017, pre-1948 citizenship cases have been viewed as "Ricorsi" instead of "Atti di Citazione", which has resulted in a decrease of the court and filing charges to €286 from the previous €550. Besides the costs of a court case, certifying the translations of documents into Italian has its own expenses. Need help with sworn translations? Let's talk!