My father was born in Italy in 1926 and 1) came to the USA as a minor then 2) was naturalized as a minor when my Italian grandparents obtained US citizenship.

Can I obtain Italian citizenship through my grandfather?

  • 1
    Have you asked at the Italian consulate?
    – phoog
    Oct 22, 2015 at 18:57
  • 2
    user102008's answer seems correct. My experience is with Dutch nationality law, which is substantially similar. However, there is a loophole in Dutch law, which may or may not exist in Italian law. If it does exist, the facts of your father's naturalization may or may not qualify. The loophole is that independent naturalization of minors is not valid. Therefore, if your father was naturalized independently of your grandfather (that is, not at the same time), then under Dutch law he would not have lost his nationality. You may want to look into whether Italian law works the same way.
    – phoog
    Oct 28, 2015 at 12:52

2 Answers 2


You don't have Italian citizenship, because your father automatically lost his Italian citizenship upon naturalizing in the US when his parents naturalized. Therefore, he had no Italian citizenship when you were born, and could not pass it onto you.

There are lots of guides on the Internet about this topic. I will show a few:

For some more information, you can look at this guide from the Italian consulate in SF. On page 4 is the chart for someone born in the US. If you follow it, Were you born after January 1, 1948? -> Yes/No -> Was your father an Italian citizen at the time of your birth? (The next page has further explanations on how to answer this question. None of the "Yes" situations apply, including "Your father was born in Italy and he did not become naturalized as an American citizen before your birth.", which doesn't apply to you.) -> No -> ACQUISITION (i.e. you don't have Italian citizenship).

Or you can follow the chart for your father (on page 3). Were you born after January 1, 1948? -> No -> Was your father an Italian citizen at the time of your birth? -> Yes -> Did you become naturalized as an American citizen? -> Yes -> Before 1992? -> Yes -> REAQUISITION (i.e. your father doesn't have Italian citizenship).

Here are some more sources if you want:

  • Italian Dual Citizenship - Italian Citizenship by Descent

    Q. My Italian-born ascendant naturalized along with his or her minor children. Does that count as renouncing their Italian citizenship if they were minors? A. If your ancestor was naturalized as a minor, he or she effectively renounced his or her right to Italian citizenship. This means that your ancestor was unable to pass Italian citizenship jure sanguinis to his or her children as an adult. Unfortunately, no exceptions are made in these cases.

  • Italian Citizenship for descentants of Italians

    If you were born in the United States, you may be eligible for Italian citizenship if any of the following situations pertains to you:

    A. Your father was an Italian citizen at the time of your birth* and you have never renounced your Italian citizenship. [...]

    *If your father was naturalized before your birth, you are not entitled to Italian citizenship.

  • Do you have a source for this?
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 23, 2015 at 9:36
  • @Gagravarr: Yes. Every source on this topic says this.
    – user102008
    Oct 23, 2015 at 19:00
  • the OP can get Italian citizenship through the Acquisition process thanks to the Italian grandfather. Oct 24, 2015 at 7:34
  • @GuidoPreite Is this “acquisition” process distinct from naturalization and not available to anyone?
    – Relaxed
    Oct 24, 2015 at 9:41
  • 1
    @Relaxed the OP to use acquisition needs to have a male Italian ancestor dead after 1861 (and because the father was born in 1926 we can assume that the grandfather was alive after 1861). The standard naturalization is the 10 year (4 for EU citizens) permanent residence Oct 24, 2015 at 10:33

Yes, by birth to an Italian parent in line with the principle of jus sanguinis.

  • The OP has an Italian Grandparent though, not a Parent - how does that change things?
    – Gagravarr
    Oct 22, 2015 at 23:40
  • @Gagravarr By the looks of things OPs father was Italian citizen born who immigrated to the US as a minor.
    – Karlson
    Oct 22, 2015 at 23:44
  • 1
    Yes but the father was apparently born Italian, naturalized in the US but also an Italian citizen. So the question arises will the Italian Department of state recognize the fathers birth nationality under "jus sanguinis?" And if it does, it should follow that they will recognise the the son. Oct 22, 2015 at 23:51
  • 1
    @ThompsonDawes you shoudl edit this comment into your post
    – SztupY
    Nov 2, 2015 at 11:42

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