Why Claim Italian Citizenship and Advantages of An Italian Passport

Those of Italian ancestry around the world, particularly in the U.S., are using their family line to claim Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, by blood. This gives them the option of dual citizenship and holding an Italian/European passport. This short excerpt from Kathy McCabe’s book Dream of Italy: Travel, Transform and Thrive details some of the benefits of holding Italian/European Union citizenship:

• Ability to Easily Move to Italy or the European Union or Retire There: The most common reason, and some would say the biggest benefit, of having Italian citizenship is that you can retire, live and work in Italy without any visa renewals or restrictions. Citizens also receive privileges such as the right to work, live and receive healthcare visa-free in countries throughout the European Union. In the last few years, Italy has begun offering tax advantages when purchasing property and programs that help you remodel an old Italian house.

• Ease of Travel: If you don’t want to live in Italy, you can travel throughout the whole EU without visa restrictions—and you’ll get to stand in a shorter immigration line at European airports! You can stay in the EU past the 90-day limit for non-Europeans, too. Though you aren’t automatically issued a passport upon receiving citizenship, you can apply for an Italian passport just like you would a U.S. passport.

• Employment Opportunities: You can work legally in Italy or any other country in the European Union without a special visa.

•  Free and Low-Cost Healthcare: Healthcare in Italy is much more affordable than in the U.S. As a citizen or permanent resident, you can join the national public healthcare system and receive care free of charge or at a low cost. If you go to a private hospital, you may have to pay, but the costs are marginal. Some medical procedures or medicines are legal in Europe but not in the U.S.

Low-Cost Higher Education For You and Your Children: Your children can go to a European university, which costs much less than college in the U.S. You can also pursue an advanced degree in Europe for a lower cost.

Investment/Business Advantages: Purchasing property and setting up a business are much easier if you are an Italian citizen. You also have the opportunity to make certain investments that are only available to European citizens.

• Voting Privileges: Italian citizens living abroad can vote in Italian local and provincial elections with an absentee ballot, and those living in Italy can vote in national elections as well.

Passing Your Citizenship Down to Family: Italian citizens can pass down their citizenship to their descendants. Non-Italian spouses can also apply for citizenship, though they must take an Italian language test at a conversational level if they married after 1983, which is not required for Italian-Americans. However, the Italian descendant must obtain citizenship before their spouse can apply. If you move to Italy as a citizen, your spouse can apply for a family reunification visa to enable them to live there with you.

Read more about moving to Italy, working there, traveling in a more authentic way in Kathy’s book Dream of Italy: Travel, Transform and Thrive, buy a signed copy or purchase on Amazon