In the last couple of weeks, our
Italian Citizenship & Immigration Group has received a ten-fold
increase of enquiries as Italian citizenship now seen as more
desirable in light of Brexit vote to leave the European Union.
UK Officials play down urgency of
applying for EU country passports
Brexit's effects will come
into effect for at least another 24 months
EU passport holders have a number
of automatic rights in EU states
"We have noted a remarkable
increase in new enquiries, mainly from second generation British
citizens of Italian descent – says
Brendan Dine, Head of Client Relations at Giambrone - which has
triggered a surge in applications for Italian passports, which
would allow their holders to remain EU citizens"
A demand for Polish and Irish
passports has also been reported in the UK following Brexit. The
rush for Irish passports was so great at one stage that the Irish
Government urged Briton to hold off applying over fears processing
systems were under threat of too much pressure.
On 23 June 2016, Britain voted in a
referendum by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the 28-nation EU,
whose citizens enjoy free movement rights. They can also seek
employment in other EU states without the need for a work permit,
use public healthcare facilities across the bloc and benefit from
welfare and other rights.
The process of Britain actually
leaving the bloc is expected to take at least two years, and will
only start when London formally triggers the Article 50 of the
EU's 2007 Lisbon Treaty.
Italian citizenship is currently
regulated by Law no. 91/1992, which, in contrast with previous
laws, reassesses the importance of an individual's intention in
the acquisition or loss of citizenship and recognises the right to
hold more than one citizenship simultaneously.
The three main routes to obtaining
Italian citizenship are either by descent,
marriage or naturalization.
Italian citizenship is based upon
the principal of jure
sanguinis (blood right), meaning the child born
of an Italian father or mother is also an Italian citizen. Up until
January 1 1948, It was not possible for an Italian mother to
transfer Italian citizenship to her child. However, the Italian
Supreme Court recently ruled that this provision was contrary to
the constitutional principles and, more precisely, to the principle
of equality between the sexes. Accordingly, children born by an
Italian mother before 1948 may also be eligible for citizenship.
However, an Italian bloodline is not in itself sufficient grounds
for claiming Italian citizenship – a foreigner with Italian
origin is eligible to apply for Italian citizenship only if he/she
was born before the naturalization of
Italian citizenship may be
obtained by marriage to an Italian. This is an actual right of all
spouses and can only be denied to those who have a criminal record
for a serious crime committed either in or outside of Italy. It can
also be denied to those who are considered a threat to the national
security and public order. After marrying an Italian citizen,
certain requirements must be met under Italian law, for instance, a
legal residency in Italy for a period of at least two years, or
three years if the spouses are living abroad. Moreover, the
marriage must subsist throughout the process of application for
citizenship. Fortunately, there is no requirement to speak Italian
or to pass any tests, unlike for instance, the UK, where a foreign
spouse must pass the "Life in the UK" and English
A non-EU citizen having legally
resided in Italy for ten years may apply for Italian citizenship
and a EU citizen after four years. A foreigner with native-born
Italian parents or grandparents who have lost their citizenship and
therefore unable to pass citizenship on, is entitled to apply after
three years of legal residency in Italy.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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