Anyone got Italian dual citizenship?

(90 Posts)
smooch Wed 20-Dec-17 19:28:16

I'm trying to apply for Italian citizenship through descent from my father, to give me options for working in the EU post-Brexit. I'm finding the Italian Consulate website BAFFLING. I think you need to book an appointment, but the phone line for this is always busy and the online slots are always unavailable. I'd love to know if anyone has successfully managed to do this? My father never registered my birth at the consulate - wish he had! - but he is registered himself and is an Italian citizen. Any advice much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
lalalonglegs Wed 20-Dec-17 23:33:25

I have dual British/Italian nationality but I was registered at birth. The consulate in London is notoriously flaky. According to the consulate website, you book appointments online here is the link - you have to register first. I don't know if this will be any better than the phone line, if not and you live in London, it might be worth turning up and trying to talk to someone, I know people who have managed to wheedle their way in but I guess it depends who is on the front desk that day.

smooch Thu 21-Dec-17 09:05:51

Thanks lalaland, I've tried booking online and fresh slots become available at 7pm on certain days of the week but they vanish in a flash (and I'm a quick typer) - I have no idea who gets them or how anyone ever gets through this process successfully. Also tried going to the Consulate but was simply given a piece of paper with an incorrect web address... I guess I'm getting my first taste of Italian bureaucracy and will have to dig in and keep trying! fgrin

OP’s posts: |
lalalonglegs Thu 21-Dec-17 11:14:23

I wonder if it might be worth throwing a bit of money at it. The citizenship process only costs 300euros - so a bargain compared to UK nationality process and far simpler. Perhaps there are legal firms specialising in getting you through the hoops? Btw, I went to the consulate to hand in the paperwork for my children and, even though it was all correct, they refused to accept it and said it had to be posted to the consulate so I ended up going up the road to a post office confused. That was nine months ago and they're still not registered...

Palermonese Thu 21-Dec-17 16:23:27

Here's a good start:

In theory it's quite straightforward. However there is a thing about where your home commune is, and whether it's registered with the AIRE service which operates out of Italian consulates.

If you are registered via AIRE, then it should be straightforward, as your birth details are already available.

In my case, my DFs decision to register my birth in 1966 ("If you think I am ever going to trust the English, then I'm no father" was how he explained to me) made everything incredibly easy. When I enquired via AIRE, I was told I was registered, so to get a passport was fill a form and submit at the consulate. My passport arrived 6 days later (beating the UK one which I posted for renewal leaving the consulate !).

Oh, yes - you'll need any other passports you hold.

Personally I wouldn't pay anyone. I'd suspect a bit like those scam sites which charge you for sending off a UK passport form.

Having got my passport, it's now my ID of choice. It's also nice to start getting job offers that wouldn't have been available if I only had my UK passport. Which is not how I wanted it, but if that's how it has to be.

I hope this helps. This is a NC account, but I will see updates.

In the meantime, I'm restarting the journey, as now I have got my passport I want to get one for my wife de jure matrimonii. And then my stepson de jure sanguinis

In bocca al lupo !

smooch Thu 21-Dec-17 16:38:53

Lalalonglegs good idea, I have thought of asking a consultant/fixer type person, I know they exist and I am starting to see why wink
Palermonese, thanks for the links, the forum could be very useful. I'm certain I'm eligible for citizenship through my Dad, it's just getting through to the Consulate to make the appointment that seems impossible! I was curious whether anyone had ever managed it. If only he had registered me when I was a kid - his attitude, bless him, was that he would leave it up to me fhmm

OP’s posts: |
Palermonese Thu 21-Dec-17 16:58:43

I'm certain I'm eligible for citizenship through my Dad,

Italian citizenship is embarrassingly easy (when compared to the Byzantine UK rules).

Basically you have it by blood, or by marriage. So you will have it "by blood" as your DF is Italian. My DW has it (although not actually claimed it ... yet) "by marriage", which means stepson has it "by blood"

Not having your birth registered doesn't invalidate your right to citizenship, by the way. But as you are finding out, it makes it a lot easier.

If mine hadn't been registered, I would have been writing an awful lot to the Palermo ministry of the Interior. And (as my DF said) - good luck if they can speak Italian, let alone English.


Melassa Fri 22-Dec-17 12:26:01

My birth wasn't registered either, as the rules when my DM got married to a foreigner were that she had to renounce her citizenship and take the citizenship of her husband. Dual citizenship was not allowed. This was in the 60s, so I am astonished Palermonese's Dad got to keep his. Unless, as it was likely, the rules applied only to women. angry

Happily, my DM's citizenship was returned when the UK joined the EEC, so I was able to apply under ius sanguinis, which is the bloodline application. Mine is possibly easier as I'm now resident in Italy, although the process is still fairly slow and in the major cities there is a huge backlog.

It is hugely cheaper than UK citizenship and really quite good value for money grin. Passports are cheaper, as are ID cards for travel within the EU. The gold leaf doesn't rub off the passport either, unlike on my British passport which is now practically gold free hmm

Eve Fri 22-Dec-17 12:30:02

Where in the country do you live, there are some consulate extended staff based in certain Italian communities that could help.

Or can you do it in Italy? Our were all registered at the town hall in the village in Italy.

Palermonese Fri 22-Dec-17 12:53:47

This was in the 60s, so I am astonished Palermonese's Dad got to keep his.

My DF never renounced his Italian citizenship, and didn't take British citizenship. Which is why, now my DM has passed away, his last worry is that he will be deported before dying, so he can't be buried next to her sad.

Melassa Fri 22-Dec-17 12:58:56

My DM didn't want to renounce but she was obliged to by the state, so she had to take British citizenship urgently. The Consul even came to her wedding to take possession of her Italian passport.shock

I suspect this rule only applied to women, as with many other daft rules.

Palermonese Fri 22-Dec-17 13:15:20

My DM was British, and met my DF when touring Europe (although they had managed to be pen pals somehow first).

So if you can picture a lone mid-20s British woman getting as far as Palermo (and a bit further, DFs hometown is population 5,000) and grappling with the dialect (my DF always said her Sicilian was good) then you know why I am so, so, so proud of my roots.

Anyway, that said, they were married in Palermo Cathedral, (which made for great wedding pictures) and then moved to the UK.

I have no idea how citizenship worked historically, but that's our story. I do know my DM suggesting my DF get British citizenship, but initially he would have to have given up his Italian citizenship, which - as he has always stated - he wouldn't do as he wanted his children to have the option of being Italian, since we were British anyway.

Melassa Fri 22-Dec-17 13:44:12

Your Dad did the right thing. I wish my DM had the same choice, would have made things less complicated.

SerendipityJane Wed 10-Jan-18 10:17:12

Just a heads up if anyone needs to use the Apostille service from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Currently, they are working at record speed. A friend sent her marriage certificate off on Friday, and it was returned, completed yesterday.

That's a turnaround within a day.

So make sure you're in, or it'll have to be redelivered.

allegretto Thu 11-Jan-18 19:27:34

I suspect this rule only applied to women, as with many other daft rules.

I think you're right - in fact I am sure that I read that there is a rule that women who had their citizenship snatched away are now allowed to have it back!

I am also applying but from Italy and through my DH (although I could also apply on the residency grounds but it has been hinted that it is better to try through marriage?) That's good to hear about the apostille SerendipityJane as I am sending mine off tomorrow!

SerendipityJane Mon 19-Feb-18 14:11:48

Thought I would pick this thread up again, rather than start a new one (try and keep under the Leaver radar smile)

Got my voting pack on Friday (which caused a brief discussion in work).

Anyway, having waded through more Italian YouTube than is probably safe for one year - let alone one day - I can't help but feel the closest representative to my views - the Italian LibDems, if you will - is Associazione "+Europe" ... certainly I can't see anything too objectionable in their headline policies (for myself legalising Euthanasia is worthy but I can't see it ever managed to be implemented). Also, for personal reasons, their stance on Cannabis seems positive.

If we start with the fact I would rather fry my own eyes in garlic than vote for Berlusconi, would it be too much to ask what other folk are considering ?

I would ask family, but they are pretty apolitical (apathetic would be more accurate).

lalalonglegs Mon 19-Feb-18 16:40:26

I don't usually vote (I don't live there so it doesn't seem right). However, I am registered in a very pro-LN area sad so am considering giving my vote to a party that might put the brakes on them. There are so many though and I find it difficult to find out what they actually stand for beyond the slogans as I only follow the politics very broadly. I have a friend standing for Riconquistare l'Italia which is another anti-EU party so, much as I'd like to support him...

SalvatoreGuiliano Fri 23-Feb-18 17:09:28

Seen elsewhere

Gentile Signora/e,
Stanti l’esponenziale incremento delle richieste di cittadinanza da un lato, soprattutto a seguito del fenomeno BREXIT, e le esigue risorse a disposizione dall’altro, desideriamo assicurare l’istante che questo Consolato Generale provvederà all’esame della pratica non appena possibile, in modo tale che possa ricevere il codice K10/C quanto prima e sia così in grado di monitorare autonomamente lo stato di avanzamento della pratica.
Cordiali saluti

Melassa Fri 23-Feb-18 20:39:57

With regard to the election and who to vote for as a Berlusconi stopper, it's a mess. The PD have imploded, lots of left wing splinter parties have sprung up and there is no guarantee they will agree to form a coalition with the PD and no prior agreement, unlike Berlusconi and the LN.

My personal favourite is Emma Bonino's + Europa, but only because I have a lot of time for la Bonino. However, would she enter into an alliance with the PD and others of the left? Unlikely based on previous performance. So, who to vote for as the anti Berlusconi, LN and any fascist party that wants to tag along? In the end it will probably need to be PD. I quite like Gentiloni who is current PM, if only because he appears to be one of the few grown ups in Italian politics at present.

I have a friend running for LeU but the local lot have annoyed me as made up of over earnest ex Fondazione Comunista types with a tenuous grip on reality.

In the end the system is pr and not fptp, so tactical voting works differently here, plus with M5S in the mix it may be they water down Berlusconi and co's vote sufficiently to block a majority. I have no respect at all for M5S but in this case they could be the useful idiots.

I've been encouraging friends and acquaintances to get out and vote tactically, even if they are disenchanted with the offering, by citing Brexit and Trump as examples of what happens when you're apathetic. They've been sufficiently horrified at what's happened in the Anglosphere to agree to hold their noses and vote.

SalvatoreGuiliano Mon 26-Feb-18 15:52:54

Well, did as much research as I could, and voted +Europa (Emma Bonino) for both seats.

I was intrigued to notice some candidates were born outside Italy ...

SofiaAmes Mon 26-Feb-18 15:58:35

If it make you feel any better, it's just as bad at the Los Angeles consulate and the San Francisco consulate. I've had to deal with London too. Make a copy of all the paperwork especially if you move. I registered my dc's births with the London consulate and then when I moved back to LA tried to register them with AIRE there and they claimed that London said I'd never registered them, but luckily I had the paperwork. You just have to be persistent and not expect anything to happen in a hurry. The LA consulate seems to have cancellations popping up occasionally. I also found that emailing them got a response. I am not sure if that works in London as they each operate like their own little Italian hill town.

DGRossetti Mon 26-Feb-18 16:00:18

I am not sure if that works in London as they each operate like their own little Italian hill town.

I wonder if bureaucratic inefficiency is perhaps one of the roadblocks to a totalitarian regime ?

DGRossetti Sun 04-Mar-18 17:08:32

Be curious to see what effect my votes had today. First time I've voted in an Italian election ...

mrs2cats Mon 27-Aug-18 18:08:12

I'm resurrecting the thread in the hope of some help.

My father was Italian, I was born in the UK and I believe that he registered me at the consulate but quite late on and just before his death - when I was around 18 (many years ago!). My mum isn't alive now either but she seemed to think I was registered. In the meantime, my surname has changed due to marriage, I've moved etc etc but none of the details will have been updated.

Is there a specific department at the Consulate to find out whether you're registered? Palermonese, how did you find out if you're registered on Aire? If I am registered with the Italian consulate, do I still need to have my birth registered in the town hall in Italy? I'm a bit confused by that bit when it mentions how to apply for a passport (under Italians born outside of Italy.) I believe I have been but how do I confirm it?

I live in the North East so going down to London isn't very easy. I've been thinking about getting an Italian passport for a while now but always been put off by the Consulate's website. With Brexit looming closer, I think I'd better get my skates on! However, I'm so bewildered about what I need and how I can found out if I'm registered (plus all the updating of details if I have).

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

DGRossetti Tue 28-Aug-18 09:39:33

Hi Mrs2Cats

you can start with an email to here (in English, if you like).

I've copied their stock reply at the end of this post, so you can get the jump on them smile. Hopefully it won't take long for you to get a reply.

Assuming that all checks out, it's really just a case of filling in a form to apply for a passport. The "magic" is getting an appointment at the consulate - which you will need so they can take your fingerprints.

There's also a worldwide forum to help people here:

So it might be worth signing up and getting advice there too.

(initial reply from consulate)

Please provide all your details and your parents as well (name, surname, date and place of birth along with your address)
in order to check if there is your file on our database.

Con i migliori saluti, best regards,

Ufficio Cittadinanza
Consolato Generale d'Italia in Londra
83/86 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4BL

Ph.: +44 (0) 20 79365900

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