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How to Obtain Italian Citizenship If the Consulate Does Not Accept Applications?

12 Jan 2024 - Immigration Law - Min Read 3 min
How to Obtain Italian Citizenship If the Consulate Does Not Accept Applications?

Are you seeking Italian citizenship but facing delays in processing your application at the Consulate relevant to your residence, as stipulated by law?

In the case of documented impossibility to obtain recognition of the right to Italian citizenship iure sanguinis administratively, it is possible to turn to the judicial authority.

Mere hindrance is not sufficient to approach the Court to be acknowledged as an Italian citizen by descent.

 When applying for citizenship, it is essential to provide comprehensive documentation proving that the bloodline has not been intentionally severed, meaning that ancestors maintained Italian citizenship or, at most, lost it involuntarily (e.g., through marriage or forced naturalization).

The appeal for citizenship recognition by descent can be filed with the competent Italian Court.

The choice of the Court is based on the birthplace of the father, mother, or Italian citizen ancestor (Law reforming civil procedure no. 206 of 26.11.2021, effective from 24.12.2021), and it applies to cases filed from June 2022 onwards.

Consulate Overloaded with Work: A Recent Case

Discussing a specific case handled by our firm, it took just over a year, from the filing of the appeal with the competent Italian Court, to be recognized as an Italian citizen as a direct descendant, even though the case should have followed the administrative-consular route and presented no particular challenges.

The names of the ancestors had undergone changes over time, as they had provided different names in the new homeland, requiring a straightforward clarification of identity certification.

Although the ancestor had naturalized as a citizen of the new state, this did not hinder applying for Italian citizenship. The naturalization occurred after the descendant’s birth, who was already of legal age at that time and had remained a legally recognized Italian citizen, thus continuing the so-called “bloodline.”

A typical story, and a case destined to follow the administrative route before concluding successfully.

The petitioner had already gathered all the necessary documentation, both produced in Italy and collected abroad, from the birth certificate to the marriage certificate, from population census records to the birth certificate of the children, demonstrating how and when various changes had occurred.

The petitioner had all the required documents to proceed, and the decision to resort to the judicial authority would have been reserved only at a later stage, following an (unlikely) denial or in the face of prolonged silence from the Public Administration.

However, when the petitioner attempted to apply for recognition of Italian citizenship at the Embassy of Italy with jurisdiction over residence, he was informed that it could not even be considered. This was due to ongoing appointments for those who had submitted applications in previous years, and it was not possible to predict when new appointments could be scheduled.

Faced with such a significant delay, it was evident that the petitioner would not be able to obtain citizenship within the two-year deadline set by law for the conclusion of the administrative process.

The administrative route was entirely closed as it was physically impossible to know when the consulate would accept new appointment requests. To assert the right to recognition at that point, the judicial route became necessary, with an appeal to the competent Ordinary Court and summoning the Ministry of the Interior to court.

Once the Court, having ascertained the facts, namely the defendant’s right and the impossibility of meeting the deadlines prescribed by law through the administrative route, accepted the appeal, condemning the Ministry to cover the legal costs.

This is just the most recent example; we can say that the success of the appeal was favored by the unequivocal documentation proving the impossibility of proceeding administratively, in addition to the suitability of the collected documentation as evidence that the right to become an Italian citizen had never been interrupted.

For clarification, advice, and evaluation of the documentation in your possession, do not hesitate to contact the lawyers in our Immigration Department.

For further information:

Obtaining citizenship via the female successor line

Italian citizenship by judicial means

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Calogero Boccadutri

Calogero Boccadutri is the Managing Partner of Boccadutri International Law Firm. He has trial experience in Forex, Personal Injury and Administrative litigation.

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