ItalianGal/ Benefits and Implications, Starting Out/ 8 comments

It all started on a cold, rainy Northwest winter day while watching the show “Who Do You Think You Are?” on TV.  If you haven’t seen the show, every week a different celebrity is taken through a journey of discovery where they explore their genealogy and learn more about who their ancestors were.  The Brooke Shields episode was on that night.  As they explored her Italian ancestry, they mentioned a website where you could search Italian surnames to find out what part of Italy they were from.  Not having written down the website I decided to Google it.  That is when it happened.  A search result discussing the ability for Italian Americans to claim their Italian Citizenship.

By now, after several weeks of researching my own genealogy,  I knew all four of my maternal great grandparents were Italian and moved to the the United States as adults.   Immediately,  I knew, if I were eligible, this would open up huge opportunities and freedom for me and my family.  Not only would this provide a lot more flexibility to live and work in Italy if we ever chose to, but it would open this up to any of the European Union countries.

As I dug in further I realized that I met the requirements for Italian citizenship through my Italian ancestors.  What is more, I found out I could pass this on to my children! There are so many advantages to this but one is that you can work and live in any European Union country without the need for special sponsorship or visas.  Anybody who has worked for an international company knows that this world is only going to become more and more global so the idea of giving this gift to my children was incredibly exciting.  It would open up so many opportunities for them in the future and give them a distinct competitive advantage in the work force.

After reading what was involved, I knew the journey wasn’t going to be easy, but the advantages far outweighed the amount of time and effort it would take.


  1. I knew someone once that was born in Italy but never pursued his citizenship since he said a requirement of being an Italian citizen is mandatory service in the military…is that no longer true? Maybe it’s different for women?

  2. Hi Ann- I actually looked into this because of my two boys and found out that, as of 2001, military service is now completely voluntary. There is a stipulation that if your friend was born between 1976 and 1985 and he lives in Italy, he may be grandfathered into the mandatory military service law. If he does not live in Italy or he served in the US military, I think he can just fill out some paperwork. If he is still interested it is worth checking out. One thing to note that I recently found out about (and I will write about soon) is getting your dual citizenship from another country could add complications to any kind of US security clearance. Just something to keep in mind.

  3. Pingback: How Do I Get Italian Citizenship? Implications of Dual Citizenship

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  5. What is the earliest Italian citizen generation can you can rely on to request Italian citizenship or the earliest year(how far back) if that is the requirement for Italian Citizenship. Thank you

  6. Peter,
    The earliest you can go back is around 1871 or so, the Unification of Italy.

  7. Pingback: Italian Citizenship for Americans A Deeper Reason to Obtain Italian Citizenship

  8. Pingback: Italian Citizenship for Americans Implications of Dual Citizenship

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