Acquiring Citizenship Jure SanguinisI'm intending to apply for Italian Citizenship (

Maurice Image
12/26/2019 - 11:52

Acquiring Citizenship Jure Sanguinis

I'm intending to apply for Italian Citizenship (dual citizenship with UK) via my mother who was born there. She married a British soldier and has lived in UK since 1947. The Italian consulate has not been helpful but has suggested that my mother lost her citizenship when she married and needs to reacquire it first (something she cannot do due to her Alzheimer's). This would have been news to her as she always believed she had dual citizenship. I cannot obtain further clarification from the consulate (without visiting it).

Does anyone know whether it is correct that I cannot obtain citizenship jure sanguinis for this reason? If so could I apply via my Italian grandparents (for whom I would need to find relevant documentation)?

As ever, thank you for your help



I would suggest that you contact ACLI (Associazione Cattolica Lavoratori Italiani). You don’t say where you live in the UK but towns with many Italians living locally(eg Bedford, Peterborough) will  have a branch that you can contact. They are incredibly helpful with sorting out Italian (bureaucratic) paperwork. The process is, however, quite slow, but it does work!  They helped me to gain my Italian passport. Auguri.

Grazie, Cinzia. I have already written to the honorary consul in Peterborough as it is not too far from my mother's home, in the hope they could visit her as, apparently, she can only reacquire her citizenship applying before a consular official. I'm chasing them as they didn't reply to my first email.

Have you (or anybody else) heard that a woman loses her Italian citizenship upon marrying, in this case, an Englishman? 

I will try ACLI, thank you.

I would be very surprised that your mother had to give up her Italian nationality on her marriage to a British man, although, of course, the laws were different 70 years ago.

i suggest that you contact the AIRE office (Anagrafe degli Italiani residenti all’estero) in the town hall/comune where your mother’s birth was registered in Italy. They should be able to tell you if she is registered with them as an Italian living abroad. 

With regard to your grandparents, who presumably lived in Italy, again, contact their local comune too in order to begin the process of acquiring documentation.  

You will need to be very patient, but keep trying! Coraggio!



My grandparents moved from Italy to Australia around the same time. At that time in order for them to receive citizenship in Australia they had to give up their Italian. This was standard practise between both countries at the time so I can imagine that this was in fact what happened with your mother. 

The best thing to do is order your mothers British naturalisation application documents. In Australia you can search these on the National Archives website and then order a copy. The way it works in Italy is.... If you were born before your Mothers naturalisation was finalised then you will have automatic rights to citizenship. If you were born after this time then unfortunately it is not so simple. However, your mother may be able to re-apply through her parents and then pass this to you but I am not sure if they will want her to live in the country again. There was a small window back in 2000's were Italians could take their citizenship back without spending time in the country but it has expired now. 

Can I ask were you born long after they were married? It took my grandmother 6 years to be Naturalised in Australia so luckily for some of my younger cousins their mother was born 6 months before it was approved. Unfortunately for those following they are ineligible. 

So first steps is to get copies of your mothers naturalisation cert with the granted date (you may already have this in her files). If that date is after you were born then let me know and ill tell you all the next steps. 

Thanks - Laura 



Thank you Laura and Cinzia for your help.

It seems that in 1912 a law was passed that caused Italian women to lose their citizenship if they married a non-Italian man. This law persisted until 1948 (my mother married in 1947) when the constitution was written. I was born in 1951 hence to a mother without citizenship.

Lawyers have suggested to me that, given the 1912 law was discriminatory, I could file a lawsuit against the state. Apparently there has been a case where this was done successfully. Unfortunately the state hasn't got round to changing the law though. Of course such a route is likely to be costly and very time consuming (2-4 years?).

I will certainly contact AIRE as you suggest, Cinzia, but it has also been suggested that, while the comune may well show my mother as still being a citizen, when I apply for citizenship and forward my mother's marriage certificate my application will be rejected because my mother did lose her citizenship. 



I don't think the marriage would have automatically taken away her citizenship. She would have to have been a citizen somewhere else first for it to be taken away and therefore naturalized in the UK (I assume that's where they married). Have you looked at.yours mum naturalization certs?





Laura, I have now been told by the Italian embassy in London, Patronato ACLI and 2 separate specialist lawyers that it is the case that until 1948 women lost their citizenship (when automatically obtaining their husband's). 

She doesn't have any naturalisation certificates as she automatically became a UK citizen (and lost her Italian citizenship) upon marriage,

Apparently there is case law establishing the fact that the 1912 law was discriminatory but the law hasn't changed, meaning individuals have to start afresh with a new action. The cost including expenses is in excess of €5000 and can take 2 years.

I think my best hope is getting a consular official to visit my mother in her home and obtain her application for citizenship.