Growing up Italian American, I was lucky to hear stories of the Old Country from my grandparents every Sunday afternoon. I was enthralled by the land that my ancestors loved and lost in order to give their children a better life in America. From a young age, I knew that I wanted one day very much to explore my heritage and sought out any means to do so, first by speaking Sicilian with my nonni. When I found out that I was eligible for Italian citizenship, an entire world of possibilities opened itself up to me. Not only could I live, work and study freely in Europe, I could also be entitled to the same rights that any citizen of the European Union enjoys. For some, having Italian dual citizenship is a romantic notion. But did you know that there are also many practical reasons for obtaining Italian citizenship jure sanguinis?
1. Ease of travel: If you want to visit Europe often, dual citizenship will allow you to travel, stay and work unrestricted in the European Union. You will never have to worry about a visa ever again and can live in Italy (and within the EU) for as long as you want, completely unrestricted.
2. Citizenship Benefits: Dual citizenship means you enjoy citizenship advantages of both countries. You may qualify for pension in both countries, not to mention cheaper healthcare and access to cheaper higher education.
3. Employment prospects: EU employers (or employers sending their workers to Europe for extended periods of time) will see your dual citizenship as an asset. Your two passports mean less bureaucratic hassle for them when hiring you, and will be a point in your favor.
4. Affordable education: Education in Italy is extremely affordable, as is education in much of the rest of the European Union. As Italian nationals, you and your children are entitled to study in the EU and pay EU tuition rates within universities all over Europe - this means significant savings.
5. Hereditary benefits: One of the most basic reasons why Italian citizenship is beneficial is that you get to pass it on to your children (and their children and their children's children)!
6. Added protection: If you get in trouble while abroad, you may be allowed to appeal to two embassies or consulates when, since you are a citizen of two countries. You can also travel to places that are inhospitable to Americans with your Italian passport.
7. Cheap healthcare: For the uninsured or underinsured, healthcare in the United States can be very expensive. As an Italian citizen, you are entitled to apply for your tessera sanitaria to receive Italian healthcare which is world class and much more affordable when compared to healthcare in the States.
8. Buying property: Having Italian citizenship entitles you to hassle free property renting and buying. For an Italian citizen, the bureaucracy of home ownership will be cut down.
What are some of the reasons why you want Italian citizenship? Leave a comment below and join the discussion!
Audra de Falco is a certified freelance Italian, Spanish and French translator and interpreter. She loves writing about the profession and dual Italian citizenship. Her free time is spent mostly learning Dutch, reading and exploring New York. Contact.