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Legislative Reforms: The Debate On Extending Citizenship By Descent

Legislative Reforms: The Debate On Extending Citizenship By Descent

The extension of citizenship by descent is a debated topic at the legislative level in many countries. The principle of ius sanguinis is part of every citizen’s right to nationality and freedom to change it.

Alongside this, it entails granting citizenship to those who can demonstrate direct blood. At the same time, it helps establish a kinship link with citizens already recognized as such in their countries of origin.

What The New Norms Say 

For Italy, the issue is posed in a more specific manner. Indeed, many countries in the Americas, such as Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, and the United States, have been destinations for millions of Italian immigrants since the early years of the 1900s.

Descendants of those emigrants are now recognized the right to apply for Italian citizenship, albeit under certain conditions. One such condition is the recognition of Italian citizenship through the maternal line prior to 1948. In such cases, intervention by an Italian judge is required.

Citizenship Rights  Based On Descent: The Argument 

The debate on this matter rests on a series of arguments both in favor and against. Those supporting the extension of citizenship by descent assert that it is a way to preserve a country’s cultural and historical identity. Consequently, it facilitates the integration of second or third-generation immigrants in the country of origin.

Furthermore, it is believed to be a means of combating the social and economic discrimination often faced by stateless foreigners. Conversely, there are concerns that this reform could lead to a loss of control over the demographic makeup of the country of descent. The move might lead to overcrowding of cities. 

It may also raise questions of equality in rights between immigrants and natural citizens. The debate on the extension of citizenship by descent is thus a controversial topic deserving attention and thorough analysis.

The Six Years Wating: Its Impact On The Common People

The Italian Case: Over 6 Years, the Average Waiting Time at Italian Consulates in Countries of Residence

The conditions for having Italian citizenship recognized are very clear, as can be read on the page of the Italian foreign ministry.

But in Italian consulates in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and the United States, the waiting lists for immigration services for citizenship examination can surpass the 6-year mark.

This extended period represents a significant challenge for those who seek to acquire citizenship through ancestral ties.

Increased Demand For Italian Citizenship

The causes of these delays can be attributed to a variety of factors. First and foremost, the increase in demand from individuals seeking Italian citizenship through their ancestors has contributed to the rise in waiting lists. This phenomenon can be partly attributed to the growing awareness of citizenship possibilities based on descent. 

Alongside, it increases the desire to leverage the social and economic advantages that come with it.

Additionally, the limited funds and resources available to consulates, along with the restrictive policies of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, make it more difficult for consulates to effectively handle Italian citizenship requests. Bureaucracy and verification processes require considerable time and resources, further slowing down the process.

People May Be Forced To Face Delay 

The consequences of these prolonged waiting lists are significant. Many individuals who are potentially eligible for citizenship may be forced to wait for an extremely long period. As a result, it might have serious implications for their personal and professional lives.

Impact On Health

Furthermore, the uncertainty and stress associated with the waiting period can have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of those involved. The consequences of these prolonged waits are evident and call for reform to ensure a more efficient and equitable process for individuals seeking to acquire citizenship.

From 6 months to 1 year are the timeframes to obtain citizenship through judicial means directly in Italy, without the need to relocate from the country of residence.

“Thanks to a recent ruling by the Italian Constitutional Court – says Irene Damiani, a lawyer specializing italian citizenship by descent – it is now possible to obtain Italian citizenship in a very short timeframe by directly approaching the Judiciary in Italy, without the need to relocate from the country of residence. Successful case studies have multiplied.”

Recognition By The Judiciary Is Easy

The recent discourse sparked by this new ruling pertains to extending citizenship by descent. Now, the time required to achieve it through the judicial process in Italy is less. One does not need to leave one’s country of residence. Currently, the process for recognition by the Judiciary can take as little as 6 months to 1 year to complete.

In the past, it was necessary to apply for citizenship at an Italian consulate in the country of residence. This process often proved to be lengthy and complex, demanding the submission of numerous documents. At the same time, the necessary bureaucratic steps are now handled swiftly.

Approaching The Judiciary Without Moving Residence

Moreover, the new legislation allows individuals to approach the Judiciary in Italy without moving from their place of residence. Additionally, the competent Court is no longer limited to Rome but extends to the ancestral origins of those making the request. Thus, it is now possible to apply for citizenship directly in Italy without the need to leave one’s country of residence. This renders the process more efficient and practical for those entitled to Italian citizenship.

Acquiring Citizenship Is Swift 

Individuals can acquire citizenship more swiftly by reducing the waiting time from 6 months to 1 year. They do not have to endure the long and expensive journey to their country of origin.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling simplifies the process of obtaining Italian citizenship for those entitled through descent. This eased the inclusion of individuals into Italian society, granting them access to all privileges and duties of Italian citizens.


The innovation introduced by this new procedure regarding the extension of citizenship by descent focuses on reducing waiting times from 6 months to 1 year. Now, citizenship can be obtained via the judicial route directly in Italy, without the need to relocate from one’s country of residence. This modification streamlines the process and provides those entitled with a faster path to acquiring an Italian passport.

However, not everyone in Italy is in agreement. While some believe that the extension could foster greater social inclusion and appreciation of family roots, others fear excessive dilution of national identity. The issue is complex and warrants a thorough exploration of its social, cultural, and political implications.

A public discussion on possible alternatives would be desirable, ensuring that the final decision results from a democratic and participatory process capable of balancing the various interests and values at stake.

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing profound thoughts and opinions on legal niches.

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