Italy is a favorite immigration destination for Americans for evident reasons. Beyond being a great place to live and work, it offers citizenship by descent. The best part is that thousands of Americans have their roots in Italy, which qualify them for Jure Sanguinis. But things can get far more complicated than they appear. You may have an Italian bloodline, but still, fail to qualify for citizenship by descent. The catch here is the gender of your ancestor because things change if you want to apply through a female relative.
Does it mean that maternal bloodline leaves no option for citizenship by descent? You need not lose hope because the 1948 Rule comes to your rescue. You can visit Bersani Law Firm website to know more about this rule and understand your options. Experts here can guide you and help make the journey seamless and speedy. Let us help you understand the basics of the 1948 Rule so that you have a fair idea before going ahead.
Citizenship by descent with maternal bloodline
Italy follows the Jure Sanguinis rule for granting citizenship to people with their roots in the country. But you may not qualify if you were born to an Italian mother before 1948. The worst part is that two siblings from the same mother may not be eligible only because they were born a year apart. Likewise, you also miss out on eligibility through a female relative who gave birth before this year, and the child was in your direct bloodline. The reason is that Italian women were not allowed to pass on citizenship to their offspring before 1948. The government realized this discriminatory flaw in their law and decided to correct it. The 1948 Rule was an initiative they came up with. It empowers people with a maternal bloodline to claim citizenship by descent.
The 1948 Rule court process
The 1948 Rule requires you to take a judicial route for obtaining your citizenship rights. Unlike the administrative process where you apply at a consulate, you have to reach out to the Italian court for claiming your right. The idea of the judicial process is daunting as you may think it is long, complicated, and expensive. But getting your dual citizenship through the court may actually be easier. Awareness and preparation put you in a good place. Even better, you can collaborate with a 1948 specialist to ease and speed up the process for you. Let us explain the steps of the court process in detail.
Step #1- Gathering documents
The first step is similar to that in the administrative process, as you need to gather your documents to validate facts. Typically, it will be the same checklist that details the ancestor’s life events and traces your lineage. These include birth and death certificates and records of marriages and divorces. You will also have to provide paperwork showing details regarding their immigration, and naturalization, and name change. The non-Italian documents have to be legalized by getting them apostilled. You will have to provide certified translations because the court accepts only Italian documents as it is their official language.
Step #2- Collaborate with a 1948 specialist
Since the 1948 Rule involves the court, you cannot go ahead without a local attorney. It makes sense to hire a 1948 specialist because they have the relevant knowledge and experience with such cases. The best thing about hiring a local lawyer is that they can represent you in court. You need not even travel to Italy for the hearing as they can handle everything for you. But you have to empower them with Power of Attorney to act as your local representative.
Step #3- Send your documents to the lawyer
Once you hire a local attorney for the court process, you need to provide them with the paperwork. Ensure that you mail all the certified documents in the checklist. Also, send the original signed Power of Attorney to begin the proceedings. At this stage, your lawyer will help you file the petition online.
Step #4- Get a hearing date
After filing your application and submitting the relevant documents, you will get a hearing date for your case. The court will also assign a case number and judge. Like the Jure Sanguinis process, you will have to wait for a few months for the hearing date. But the good thing is that most cases are closed in a single hearing, provided that the documents are complete and accurate. You may get a follow-up hearing if the judge wants more documents. An expert lawyer can expedite the process by ensuring no errors and omissions.
Step #5- Complete the formalities
After the final hearing, you may have to wait for a few months for the final judgment and court order. At this stage, you have to complete the final formalities of the process by submitting your records and registering at the municipality of your ancestor’s birth. The entire process may actually close sooner than the typical Jure Sanguinis timelines. So you need not worry about applying just because the court is involved. The success of the 1948 process depends on the expertise of your lawyer, so make sure you hire only the best. It is a small price to pay as you can save a fortune by avoiding travel and accommodation expenses to be here for the hearing. Not to mention, having an expert handling your case gives you confidence and peace of mind.
The 1948 Rule opens the opportunity to claim citizenship by descent regardless of the gender of your ancestor. You only need to get a head start by understanding your eligibility and not wasting time in the first step. The best way to do it is by seeking guidance from a citizenship expert right from the start. They can assess your eligibility and recommend the ideal route. You can also depend on them to access your ancestor’s local documents. The road to citizenship becomes much easier and shorter when you have them showing the way.