Saturday, October 16, 2010

Citizenship Saturday: Women Earn Equal Rights

As previously discussed in past posts, women did not always have the ability to pass down citizenship to their children. However, after the conclusion of World War II and the end of the Italian kingdom, and the rise of the Italian Republic, amendments were made to the Italian costituzione (constitution). Starting on January 1, 1948, women and men were given equal rights. Whether the citizenship is passed down depends not on when the mother was born, but upon when the child was born. This is important to understand as when my ex asked someone about it at the Immigrations office in Italy, the woman there gave him incorrect information.

In the Circolare 9 del 04.07.2001 you can find the exact phrase in which it states such:

1. Sono cittadini italiani per nascita e dalla nascita i figli nati a decorrere dal 1 gennaio 1948 da madre in possesso della cittadinanza italiana al momento della loro nascita.

In seguito alla sentenza della Corte Costituzionale n. 30 del 1983, che ha dichiarato incostituzionale l’art. 1 della legge 555/1912 nella parte in cui non prevedeva l’acquisto della cittadinanza italiana jure sanguinis anche per discendenza materna, l’attribuzione della cittadinanza ai figli di madre italiana, nati dal 1° gennaio 1948 avviene secondo quanto disposto per i figli di padre italiano.


All children born from January 1, 1948 to a mother who was in possession of Italian citizenship at the moment of the child's birth are themselves Italian citizens by birth.

As a result of Ruling No. 30 of 1983 of the Constitutional Court, which declared unconstitutional Article 1 of law 555/1912 (the Italian Citizenship Law) insofar as it prevented the acquisition of Italian citizenship jure sanguinis by maternal decent, the granting of citizenship to the child of an Italian mother, which child was born from January 1, 1948, occurs according to the same rules as for children born to an Italian father.

What does this mean for those who wish to apply through a female relative?

Let's look at my case for example. I am applying through my great-great grandfather, who never naturalized, or formally denounced his Italian citizenship. He was born in Italy in 1868. Around 1893 (not sure of the exact year), he emigrated from Italy with his wife, parents, and wife's brother. My great grandfather was born here in the United States in 1894. He and my great grandmother later had my grandmother, who was born in 1927. My grandmother had my father in 1954, well after the 1948 revision was imposed, thereby allowing her to pass the citizenship down to my father.

Applying through my great-great grandmother would not at all be possible, as my great grandfather was born in 1894. If my father had been born before January 1, 1948, the ability to recognize Italian citizenship would not have been possible.

As they say, everything happens for a reason!

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