Italian Dual Citizenship – Italian Citizenship Process by Court Case

Authors: Luca Ruggeri – Attorney at Law

How to Obtain Italian Citizenship Quickly

If you are resident abroad, the standard procedure for requesting Italian citizenship is to book an appointment at the competent Italian consulate that has jurisdiction over your location of residence, by accessing the website: Italian Consulate Appointment.

 You will first have to:

  1. Create your own profile
  2. Then access the website, select the country, and select the Consular Office
  3. Click on “Book”
  4. Click on the requested service: “Citizenship”.

Challenges with Italian Consulate Appointments

For months now, however, the booking service in almost all Italian consulates in the United States or Brazil has been completely blocked; when trying to book an appointment you will receive replies that will say:

“Sorry, all appointments for this service are currently booked. Please check again tomorrow for cancellations or new appointments”. 

The messages may vary from consulate to consulate, but the meaning of the communication is almost always the same: it is not possible to book an appointment. The user who is lucky enough to book an appointment, will have to take into consideration that, on the date of the appointment (which will be set after at least 24 months for US residents, after more than 8 years for example for applicants resident in Brazil!) the consulate will simply begin studying the case, responding in the following 24 months.

This procedure openly violates Italian legislation which provides (art. 3 Presidential Decree no. 362/1994) that the Administration is required to respond to the citizenship application within 730 days (2 years) from the date of submission of the case. The delay of the Italian consulates, contrary to the aforementioned legal provisions, allows the applicant for Italian citizenship to initiate legal proceedings directly in Italy (without first waiting 730 days from the attempt to book an appointment in one of the Italian consulates in the world).

Pursuing Italian Citizenship through Court Case

For some years, thanks to the evolution of jurisprudence in Italy, the courts have positively welcomed legal proceedings initiated by applicants for Italian citizenship on the above mentioned premises (slowness of the Italian consulates); it will only be necessary to prove, in addition obviously to being descendants of Italian citizens, that the competent Italian consulate is not able to process the case within 24 months. This consolidated jurisprudence, now applied in all Italian courts, allows all descendants of Italian citizens (not only for the 1948 cases, concerning the children of Italian citizens born before 1948) interested in pursuing dual citizenship, to request directly in Italy, in court, Italian citizenship, in much shorter times than those expected through the consulate.

Below is an extract from one of the many sentences issued by the Italian courts, which legitimize the initiation of judicial proceedings motivated by the slowness of the Italian consulates in processing citizenship procedures:

“Il ricorso a questo Tribunale da parte del ricorrente è legittimato proprio dai tempi di attesa, piuttosto lunghi, del Consolato generale Italiano a cui, correttamente, si era rivolto il predetto senza alcuna risposta, in palese violazione di quanto stabilito dall’art. 2 L. 241/90 che statuisce che l’iter amministrativi debbano essere certi e determinati anche in forza del principio della ragionevole durata del procedimento. Proprio tale incertezza e lungaggine, motivata dai resistenti dal notevole carico di richieste e dalla difficoltà nel reperimento della documentazione necessaria che definiscono di natura “fisiologica”, certamente comporta una evidente violazione dell’interesse del richiedente e, dunque, ad un suo diniego alla domanda di riconoscimento, così da legittimare il ricorso alla tutela giurisdizionale”.

In English, this ruling translates to:

“The lawsuit commenced by the petitioner is legitimized precisely by the rather long waiting times of the Italian Consulate to which, correctly, the aforementioned person had turned without any response, in clear violation of the provisions of the art. 2 L. 241/90 which establishes that the administrative procedure must be certain and determined also by virtue of the principle of reasonable duration of the procedure. Precisely this uncertainty and delay, motivated by the defendant by the considerable load of requests and the difficulty in finding the necessary documentation which they define as “physiological” in nature, certainly leads to a clear violation of the applicant’s interest and, therefore, to his denial of the request of recognition, so as to legitimize the appeal to judicial protection”.

Sentenza n. 1936/2023 – Tribunale Civile di Messina, Giudice Dott. Giardella Corrado

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