*This is a guest article*
As the second passport trend becomes big in the US, more and more Americans aspire to get one. Italy is among the most sought-after destinations for second passport aspirants. The reasons are evident as the country is a great place to live and work in. From a pleasant climate to an easygoing lifestyle and ample financial opportunities, you get everything you may want as an immigrant. Not to mention, the education and healthcare facilities in the country are among the best. Settling here is easy if you have an Italian bloodline because it offers the citizenship by descent option.
If you can validate Italian ancestors in your family lineage, you have good chances of getting through. The process is pretty straightforward if you have valid documents, and you can start life afresh as a citizen sooner than you expect. But there’s a catch here as you cannot claim Jure Sanguinis through a female relative in some cases. But rest assured, you can still make it through the 1948 Rule. You can visit Bersani Law Firm website to learn more about this rule. We will explain the route in detail and state facts such as eligibility, documentation, and process.
The 1948 Rule- An exception to citizenship by descent
Typically, citizenship by descent works for potential immigrants who have Italian roots with parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents. But you may not be eligible for the Jure Sanguinis route if your ancestor is a woman. You become an exception to the norms if the female ascendant gave birth before 1948 and her child is in your direct bloodline. For example, you will not qualify if you were born to an Italian mother before 1948 (though a sibling born after 1948 will qualify). Likewise, the exception also holds if your grandmother or great-grandmother had their child before 1948. You cannot apply through the administrative process in this case because you are technically not eligible for citizenship by descent. However, you can still claim citizenship by the 1948 Rule.
The basics of 1948 Rule
The prevailing citizenship by descent law in Italy discriminates against women as it does not allow them to pass their citizenship rights to children born before January 1, 1948. It is also a burden for people who want to claim their rights through such female ascendants. Some families land into strange issues as one sibling qualifies for citizenship by descent while the other does not, only because they are born a couple of years apart. The Italian government decided to set things right by implementing a rule that enables people with a maternal line to claim citizenship. The 1948 Rule is a judicial process that allows you to obtain Italian citizenship through the court rather than the consulate.
Documents required for the court process
Before understanding the process for the 1948 Rule, you need to know the documentary requirements. It makes sense to have your paperwork ready before applying as you can expedite the process. A second citizenship expert is the best person to guide you about the documentary evidence. Here is a list you need to gather:
- Birth and death certificates of the ascendant
- Marriage registration certificates
- Divorce records, where relevant
- Naturalization records, where relevant
- Name change information
Since these documents validate your lineage, you will need to present them as evidence in court. You may bring additional supportive documents as they can strengthen your claim further. Alternatively, the court may seek more papers during the case. Once you have the documents ready, you can go ahead with the court process.
The 1948 court process
An immigration aspirant who wants to apply through maternal lineage but does not qualify through Jure Sanguinis can approach the court under the 1948 Rule. It is best to collaborate with an Italian citizenship expert with experience in such cases. The professional knows the law and the nitty-gritty of the process as well. You can expect a quick and easy verdict in your favor when you have them representing your case. Here are the steps of a typical 1948 case:
Step #1- Document translation and legalization
You may have all the documents in the required checklist, but the court will not consider them valid if they are non-Italian. You must get them certified and translated by an expert. Further, documents of non-Italian origin have to be legalized with an apostille stamp. Once you have these steps covered, the papers are ready to go to court.
Step #2- Hire a local attorney
Although hiring a local attorney before document gathering gives you a head start, you may do it later. You will need one when the case goes into court. A local expert can handle the proceedings even when you cannot travel to Italy for the hearing. You only have to empower them with a Power of Attorney to make them a legal representative.
Step #3- File your application
After hiring an attorney, you are all set to file a petition with the Italian court. At this stage, you have to send your certified documents to your lawyer by mail. You will also have to mail a signed Power of Attorney in original.
Step #4- Get a date
After filing your application and submitting your documents, you have to wait for a court date. They will assign a hearing date along with a case number and judge to preside over your case. You can expect to get your number within a few months, though it may even take a year.
Step #5- Receive a judgment
When your lawyer appears for a hearing, they can get a verdict in a single hearing. But some cases may require a follow-up hearing for additional documents. The final judgment comes within a few months, and you get a court order after it. Once you get it, you have to register by submitting your records to your ancestor’s municipality.
The 1948 court process sounds complicated, but it is simpler than you imagine. You only need professional guidance and assistance through the process, and you may actually get there faster than any other route.
Thank you for reading.