Italian Citizenship Court Cases

 It is possible to apply for citizenship through the courts for two reasons:

1 – Cases of transmission of Italian citizenship by the maternal line –

The transmission of Italian citizenship through the maternal line has some restrictions.  An Italian woman who had a child before 1948 could not automatically transmit Italian citizenship to her child, unlike the paternal line.

This is because, until 1948, according to the Italian legislation of the time, the transmission of Italian citizenship was based mainly on the paternal line. This meant that a child born to an Italian father was automatically considered Italian, regardless of the place of birth.

 However, if an Italian woman had a child before 1948, the child did not automatically acquire Italian citizenship by the maternal line alone.

This restriction of the transmission of Italian citizenship only by the paternal line was the subject of controversy and led many descendants of Italian women to seek recognition of Italian citizenship through legal action in Italy.

In almost all cases, the Italian courts have recognized Italian citizenship by maternal line, thus establishing jurisprudence for these cases.

2 – Judicial citizenship against the Consulate Queue

The process of recognition of Italian citizenship must be carried out through the Italian consulate in the country of residence.

However, in the event of significant delays or problems in processing Italian citizenship through the consulate, some people choose to seek recognition of Italian citizenship through a judicial process in Italy.

 This can be done when the waiting time at the consulate exceeds a certain period or when there is evidence that the consulate will not meet the maximum deadline for the completion of the procedure.

 That is, it is possible to recognize Italian citizenship through a judicial process in Italy when the waiting time in line at the Consulates/Embassies exceeds 730 days or if you have evidence that the consulate will not meet the maximum deadline for the completion of the procedure.

Documents required for the judicial process maternal line / against queue of the consulate

·        Certificate of birth, marriage, and denial of naturalization of your Italian ancestor;

·        Birth and marriage certificates of descendants in a straight line;

·        Birth and marriage certificate of those interested in the recognition of citizenship;

·        Dante Causa non-naturalization certificate

·        Death certificates, at first, are not required;

All documents issued in Brazil must be in full content, accompanied by a sworn translation into Italian and apostilles.

Where the judicial process takes place maternal line / Against queue of the consulate

With the Italian judicial reform that came into force on 22/06/2022, the process will be held before the court of the jurisdiction of the “comune” of the Dante Causa of the applicant.

Dante Causa is the Italian ancestor who gives rise to the right to Italian citizenship, so the judicial process will be in the court where his “antennate” was born.

How the judicial process works in Italy maternal line / Counter queue of the Consulate

Some considerations:

·        It is not necessary to be in Italy. It is enough to send the power of attorney of the documents required for the process.

·        Applications for Italian citizenship jus sanguinis through the courts are granted by the local courts of the region of origin of the Italian ancestor.

·        In case of a favorable judgment, the Court issues a court order for the Italian State to proceed with the registration of Italian citizenship.

·        Other members of your family with the same descent (father, mother, brother, nephews) can participate in the process.

·        Children under the age of 12 are not required to participate, as they may be registered as Italians by the consulate (as well as future children).

Step-by-Step Judicial Process in Italy

The judicial process to obtain recognition of Italian citizenship can be complex and varies depending on the specific Italian jurisdiction in which the process is being conducted.

 Here are some general steps that can be involved in a court case for Italian citizenship:

1-Consult a Specialized Lawyer:

 The first step is to consult a lawyer who specializes in Italian citizenship. This lawyer will guide you on the specific requirements of your case, the competent courts and the legal procedures to be followed.

2-Gather documentation:

You will need to gather all relevant documentation to prove your eligibility for Italian citizenship. This may include birth certificates, marriage of your Italian ancestors and non-naturalization documents, documents related to your maternal Italian lineage.


Your lawyer will prepare a petition, which is the legal document that initiates the judicial process. The petition will present the facts of your case and the legal arguments for the recognition of Italian citizenship.

4-Judicial Processing:

The judicial process itself involves the submission of the petition to the competent court in Italy and the examination of the case by a judge. There may be court hearings and other legal procedures, depending on the court and the complexity of the case.

5-Decision of the Court:

The court will issue a decision on your case. If the court rules in your favor, you will receive a favorable verdict recognizing your Italian citizenship.

6-Citizenship Registration:

With the favorable decision of the court in hand, you or the lawyer will be able to proceed with the registration of your Italian citizenship in the competent Italian authorities, relevant Italian comune (municipality). This involves submitting the necessary documents and filling out the required forms.

7-Receipt of the Italian Passport:

 After registering citizenship, you will be able to apply to AIRE and apply for an Italian passport, which is one of the main benefits of Italian citizenship. The passport application must be made at the Italian consulate responsible for your jurisdiction, i.e., the place of your residence.

Deadline of the Maternal Line Process / Counter queue of the Consulate

The time required to complete a court case to obtain Italian citizenship can vary significantly according to a variety of factors, including the specific jurisdiction in Italy, the complexity of the case, the workload of the court, and other factors. Therefore, there is no one certain date for all cases.

However, currently, the average deadline for the completion of the processes is two years. However, this deadline depends only on the operation and speed of the Italian public bodies.

Therefore, there may be a variation in the time of conclusion of the process, especially with the change of the legal body responsible for the trial.

Remember that information can change over time, so it is important to get up-to-date and reliable information from a qualified professional who specializes in Italian citizenship issues.

It is important to emphasize that, even if there is established jurisprudence, as is the case of the maternal line, there is no guarantee of the merits of the process, because the Italian legal system allows judges and courts to decide differently from jurisprudence.

Grazie per la lettura!  dopo

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