One Reason Some Americans Are Pursuing Italian Citizenship

Updated 2019.

In Dream of Italy’s recent special report on Italian ancestry & citizenship (available instantly to DOI subscribers), we detailed the process of applying for Italian citizenship through ancestry and the advantages of having an Italian passport. Americans applying for recognition of their Italian citizenship has been growing in recent years and one of the reasons might surprise you: to avoid paying taxes.

As we mentioned, if you are an American, you can hold dual citizenship with Italy. Peter Farina, of italyMondo!, a genealogy and citizenship services company, however, has noticed a growing trend: wealthy Americans getting Italian citizenship and then renouncing American citizenship for tax reasons.

“I don’t personally agree it,” said Farina “but in the past few years I’ve noticed a enormous jump in the amount of individuals that were doing it for this reason.” Farina added that these people will generally acquire citizenship to a “Tax-Free” zone in South America or Asia for $50,000 – $500,000 to set up residency, but will acquire an Italian passport so they can travel freely without a passport.

“What most people don’t realize is that you can actually travel to more countries without a visa than you can on your American passport – and when you compare the 3rd-world citizenships at citizenships at $50,000 to $500,000 and ‘economic’ citizenships like in Austria which begins at three million euros,  Italian citizenship seems like a steal!”

“Luckily the majority of our clients are doing it for pride or nostalgia – with many doing it for a specific goal or benefit in mind like cheap higher education and work opportunities — but many people honestly don’t ever realize the absolutely enormous value of what they are getting with Italian citizenship.”

According to the Internal Revenue Service, double the number of Americans renounced their American citizenship in the second quarter of 2013 (1,130) than in the first quarter 2013 which itself was more than all renouncements in 2012.

If you’re interested in pursuing your Italian ancestry and potential citizenship, Dream of Italy subscribers receive 10% off the services of Farina’s company, italyMondo!