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Question About Italian Citizenship


100+ Posts
I am an American citizen and my parents were also born in the US. However, all of my grandparents were born in Italy and my father's parents never became US citizens. I know my mother's mother became a citizen, but I am not sure about her father. So from all I have read I would be able to attain Italian citizenship. My wife has been after me to do that for many years now. I wish I had done it so that I might now have been able to travel to Italy.

Here is my question. While I could obtain Italian citizenship would my wife, who has no Italian lineage, also be able to attain citizenship by virtue of my citizenship?

Rather than try to contact the Italian Consulate in Boston, I thought I'd get the best answer here!


500+ Posts
It seems she can, good luck.



100+ Posts
Wow, thanks for that link. That was informative, and the site is an interesting read. I wasn't aware of it.

However, the information was a bit discouraging. At our age that is a long wait, plus getting the language certificate may be a tough hurdle.


Forums Admin
We did this for the UK. I claimed citizenship because my mother was born here. That took about 6 months. Steve, my husband, then had to wait three years and prove he had been living here to get his citizenship.

For Ireland I claimed citizenship based on my father and Steve claimed based on being married to me and neither of us had to live in Ireland at any time. This was changed after so that Steve would have had to live in a Ireland for a few years.

Every country has different rules and they change frequently.

Good luck!


500+ Posts
Actually the question interested me, as also my wife and I have different nationalities, and I was curious how Italy treats this issue.


100+ Posts
@NoSpin, If your either of your grandfathers were not naturalized before the next in line was born, then you have a solid claim to jus sanguinis citizenship. It's a wonderful birthright, so you should definitely pursue it. It is best to go through your father's line, to avoid the "1948 rule" (women couldn't legally pass citizenship on until the law was changed in 1948). It's doable, but easier through the male lineage.

Once you're a citizen, your wife would apply as the spouse of a citizen, and any children you may have would be granted citizenship, as well. So get those offical birth and marriage records from the town where your grandparents were born! :)


100+ Posts
A history test, that's interesting, never heard of that. Well at least I know we could get a language certificate for the UK, I think! :D


100+ Posts
Thanks for that info Valerie. Yes, I was going to pursue it on my father's side.

Originally we were planning to go to Puglia over Christmas and that was when I was going to do some serious research. Then when we told two other couples that we frequently travel with, they said they wanted to go to Italy for Christmas. So we changed the destination to Rome. I understand you can pay someone to do everything, but it costs around $5000.

Now the whole trip is up in the air anyway. We have a deposit on a 3 bedroom apartment and we have until mid-November to cancel. Fingers are crossed.

Katt B

10+ Posts
While I could obtain Italian citizenship would my wife, who has no Italian lineage, also be able to attain citizenship by virtue of my citizenship?

I obtained Italian citizenship through my grandfather, then my husband was able to obtain Italian citizenship through marriage to me.

I found the Italian Citizenship Message Board to be a very helpful resource when I was going through the process of applying for citizenship.

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