Birth Certificate Requirement Abolished for Descendants of Italians Seeking Citizenship

Authorities in Italy have simplified the rules for acquiring citizenship, abolishing the requirement to obtain a birth certificate for descendants of Italians.

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The new changes make it easier for descendants who do not hold all the needed documents to acquire citizenship in this EU country, Schengen.News reports.

The decision has been made in a recent court ruling, during which the Italian Court of Cassation confirmed that such a requirement is no longer needed.

The ruling 14,194 was passed in Italy, on May 22, thus bringing new opportunities for those who cannot access the birth certificate of their Italian ancestor.

The recent changes are expected to benefit mainly descendants who have other documents that cannot prove their lineage, such as marriage certificates, death certificates as well as sworn testimony. The changes come from a lawsuit filed by a descendant of a 19th-century Italian immigrant.

The person was ineligible to acquire citizenship in Italy due to lacking a birth certificate for his ancestor who emigrated to Brazil in 1895.

The applicant then presented other documents proving the parentage, leading the Supreme Court to reconsider the requirements.

Based on the new rules, in addition to the birth certificate, other documents are now accepted, including the following ones, according to Aire Digital:

  • Baptismal certificates: Provided by religious institutions.
  • Marriage records: Proving the union of ancestors.
  • Death certificates: To establish the line of descent.
  • Sworn testimony: Provided by people who can attest to the family relationship.

Italy Introduced New Draft to Reform Citizenship Law

In 2022, the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy adopted a draft outlining a model for the granting of Italian citizenship for those who attended school in the country.

Earlier this year, the mayor of Italy’s Rimini municipality, Jamil Sadegholvaad, proposed granting citizenship to children of third-country nationals who have completed at least one school cycle in Italy.

The country must also do this [integration] through the Ius Scholae, recognizing Italian citizenship to children of non-EU parents who have attended at least one school cycle in Italy.

Mayor of Rimini, Jamil Sadegholvaad

Earlier this year, a report from Istat report “Children and Youths 2023” revealed that young Italians are more in favour of granting automatic Italian citizenship to migrant children who have been born in the country than their foreign peers.

The same noted that about 58.5 per cent of young Italians between ages 11 to 19 support the right for migrant children who were born in Italy to acquire Italian citizenship automatically.