Share This Article
Having Italian citizenship is a dream for many people around the world. While some immigrants secure their Italian citizenship and residency by investing large sums of money or relocating to Italy, those with Italian ancestors can pursue a simpler and more affordable route – Italian citizenship by ancestry (Italian CBA).

If you meet certain requirements, you can apply for Italian citizenship through your Italian heritage, without needing to buy property or make a business investment. Legal costs for Italian CBA can vary, but they are generally much lower than other immigration options. This is because applicants are claiming citizenship through their bloodline, which usually involves a simpler application process.

Benefits of Italian Citizenship

Becoming an Italian citizen comes with numerous perks. Not only can you live, work, and study freely in Italy and throughout the European Union (EU), but you can also access social security, healthcare subsidies, and education benefits in any EU member state. Plus, if you qualify for Italian CBA, you can obtain one of the most sought-after travel documents in the world – the Italian passport. Ranked the third most powerful passport in 2023, it grants visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 174 destinations worldwide. Additionally, in emergencies, Italian passport holders can seek assistance and protection from any EU embassy.

Qualifying for Italian CBA

A key advantage of the Italian CBA program is that it doesn’t impose generational restrictions, so you may qualify even if your Italian connection goes back many generations.

The general rule is that you can apply for Italian CBA if your Italian ancestor was born in Italy on or after the nation’s unification on March 17, 1861, and there’s no break in the ancestral link due to renunciation or loss of Italian citizenship.

However, there are exceptions. For instance, Italy didn’t recognize dual citizenship until 1992, so Italian citizens who emigrated and obtained another citizenship before that date cannot pass on their Italian citizenship. Additionally, if your lineage involves an Italian ancestor who acquired foreign citizenship as a minor after 1992, you can only claim Italian CBA if they received that citizenship by “right of soil” at birth.

Given these exceptions, it’s crucial to carefully review your lineage on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility for the program.

Steps to Obtain Italian CBA

To claim Italian citizenship and a passport through your bloodline, you’ll first need to gather documentation proving your connection to your Italian ancestor. If you don’t have enough evidence, you may need to search for records at the Italian authority before preparing your citizenship application. Once you have all the required documents, review and prepare your application to ensure it meets the submission standards of the Italian authority.

Processing times for Italian CBA applications generally range from 1-2 years but can vary depending on your case’s complexity and how well your application is prepared. Longer processing times are possible if your application is incomplete or if the documentation is not properly translated or legalized. If you meet all requirements, you’ll be granted Italian citizenship, allowing you to apply for an Italian passport and enjoy the rights and freedoms of EU citizens.

If you have an Italian ancestor and want to learn more about the Italian CBA program, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Our lawyers would be happy to provide a free preliminary assessment and help determine if you have a qualifying ancestor for the Italian CBA program.