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Italian legislation allows for citizenship to be transferred automatically by virtue of blood relation.
An individual born to Italian parents is Italian, regardless of place of birth. An individual born in Italy to non-Italian parents, however, is not Italian.
Italian citizenship is regulated by the Italian Citizenship Act n. 91 of February 5, 1992, published in the “Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana”, n. 38 of February 15, 1992 and in effect as of August 16, 1992. The new Italian Citizenship Act allows for, in principle, multiple citizenship – this was previously possible only in specific cases. As a result, as of August 16, 1992, Italian citizenship is no longer lost automatically by acquiring another citizenship.
On the other hand, a person who was naturalized Canadian before August 16, 1992, lost Italian citizenship automatically at the time of naturalization.

– Jure sanguinis
 (blood right): The acquisition of Italian citizenship through birth from an Italian mother or father, regardless the place of birth. This right applies to the child born of a legal union or natural one and is also valid for minor children who are adopted. There is no statute of limitations regarding the recognition of Italian citizenship through birth and it is possible to request Italian citizenship:
a) if the Italian ancestor was alive on March 17, 1861 and maintained the Italian citizenship within June 30, 1912 (through paternal line), and/or
b) through the maternal line if you were born after January 1st, 1948.
– By naturalization: The most frequent case of naturalization concerns the acquisition of Italian citizenship by the foreign citizen of an Italian spouse. The foreign spouse of an Italian citizen may submit an application for Italian citizenship after legally residing in Italy at least 2 years, or after 3 years of marriage or same-sex union if residing abroad (this category requires a Decree issued by the Italian Ministry of the Interior).
– Ope legis (for the effects of Law): Citizenship can also be granted to an individual whose parent or ancestor (going back two generations) was an Italian citizen at birth, after a period of three years of residency in Italy (this category requires a Decree issued by the Italian Ministry of the Interior).


With the new Italian Citizenship Act, Italian citizenship is lost only by formally renouncing it, on condition that one has another citizenship. To renounce citizenship one must sign a formal statement at the Consulate General. An Italian citizen who acquired another citizenship before August 16, 1992, however, has likely lost Italian citizenship and, without formal reacquisition, is to be considered a foreigner.
Individuals must inform the Consulate General of the acquisition of another citizenship. This can be done by presenting the large-sized certificate of Canadian citizenship, which reports the exact date of naturalization, as well as an Italian document (expired Italian passport or birth certificate). Please note, that if naturalization occurred as minor, the same documentation is required for the parents.
An essential first step to reacquiring Italian citizenship is the formal communication of the foreign naturalization.


As of August 16th 1992 dual or multiple citizenship is recognized in Italy.
As a result, the acquisition of a foreign citizenship no longer means the loss of the Italian citizenship. An Italian citizen who acquired Canadian citizenship between August 16th 1992 and March 30th 2001, however, is legally required to notify the Italian government by signing a statement of acquisition of foreign citizenship within three months of being naturalized.