Italian Law mandates that if a female with Italian heritage was born before January 1, 1948, she is not able to transfer Italian citizenship to descendants born after the same date. This rule is strictly observed by all Italian Consulates in the USA. To illustrate, if one's paternal grandmother was born in 1920 and their father was born in 1942, it would not be feasible to apply for Italian citizenship through the grandmother.
In 2009 a significant advancement occurred in relation to this law.
A legal battle contested the law on the grounds that it was discriminatory towards Italian women since it denied them the privilege to transmit citizenship to their children. The High Court of Rome then made the ruling that this inequality should end and gave the woman's descendant Italian citizenship. The law firm we work with in Italy has a great success record, having won the initial case and since then accumulating several victories for those who are descendants of women who, under the 1948 law, were unable to apply for citizenship at Italian consulates or Towns. This legal precedent has made it highly likely that Italian citizenship can be achieved through an Italian female ancestor that meets this criterion.
There is no requirement to be in Italy to take part in the trial, and any family members (i.e. siblings, uncles, cousins etc.) who have a common Italian ancestor can also be included in the case. Upon a successful trial and the awarding of citizenship, the applicant(s) will be added to the Italian civil registry as Italian citizens and can then acquire Italian passports.
It is exclusively within the Italian court system that the approach to obtaining Italian Citizenship can be made. Therefore, enlisting the aid of an Italian attorney who is a member of an Italian bar association is essential.