Circular K28

This is the translation of the famous circular K28 that regulates the process of recognition of citizenship for foreigners of Italian origin. It is important to know it to better understand the procedure adopted by the officials of the comuni when assisting foreigners who appear at their counter  presenting the documents of their ancestors. It is a delicate moment, so it’s worth to be well informed to avoid confusion. There it goes

Circular n°. K. 28.1 of  April 8, 1991 (issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Recognition of the possession of the Italian civitatis status to foreign citizens of Italian origin. It was verified a growing number of requests for clarification regarding the procedures to be followed to define the citizenship situation of people from foreign countries (mainly from Argentina, but also from Brazil or from United States) and holders of foreign passports, who claim ownership of the Italian civitatis status.

It is well known that due to the simultaneous operation of the provisions of articles 1 and 7 of Law no. 555 of June 13, 1912, associated with the current provisions on citizenship of numerous foreign countries that in the past were elected as the destination of Italian emigration (for example, all the countries of the American continent, Australia, etc.) who attribute the “iure soli” to the civitatis status, the offspring born in the territory of the emigrant’s country of destination (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, United States of America, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, etc.), of an Italian citizen father, acquired from birth the possession of both Italian citizenship (via paternal) and citizenship of the country of birth, remaining in the condition of bipatride, even in the case where the father, during the minority of the child, changed his citizenship by naturalizing himself abroad.

At the same time, subjects born in a foreign country that attributes citizenship iure soli and recognized by a citizen father or whose paternity has been declared in court, also fall into the same situation of dual citizenship.

As a result, the descendants of second, third, fourth and other generations of our emigres have the concrete possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship.

This possibility was also extended to members of families of ancient Italian origin who were born after the 1st of January 1948, since, from this date on, according to the provisions of sentence n. 30 of February 9, 1983 of the Constitutional Court, they must be considered Italian citizens at the time of their birth, provided that they are recognized by the mother or that the attribution of maternity is judicially declared.

Subsequently, the descendants of Italian immigrant or daughter of Italian immigrant are also considered Italian citizens “iure sanguinis” via maternal, provided they were born after January 1, 1948, the date of entry into force of the republican Constitution.

Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that recognition of the possession of Italian civitatis status for this category of persons must be subject to the occurrence of certain conditions and the documented certification of some key circounstances.

  1. A) Preliminary conditions for the recognition of Italian citizenship.

Firstly, it is necessary to clarify that the eventual possession of the Italian civitatis status must be certified by the Mayor of the Italian Municipality of residence and, therefore, the respective procedure can be initiated upon request of the interested parties only if these are registered in the resident population of a Italian municipality.

In addition, cadastral registration of these persons, who entered Italy with a foreign passport, must follow the rules that govern the registration of the resident population of foreigners, and presupposes, on the part of the interested parties, compliance with the requirements in force in the matter. Moreover, if the cadastral registration of these people is not possible because they do not appear among the resident population according to the provisions in art. 3 of Presidential Decree No 123 of May 30, 1989, the procedure for recognizing the possession of Italian civitatis status must be carried out, by specific request, by the competent Italian consular representation in relation to the foreign locality of habitual residence of the individuals who claim the ownership of Italian citizenship.

  1. B) Procedure for the recognition of Italian citizenship.

The requirements for recognition of Italian citizenship based on art. 1 of Law no. 555 of 06/13/1912, must be sent to the mayor of the Italian municipality of residence or to the Italian consulate within the consular district in which the foreign applicant of Italian origin resides.

They should be accompanied by the following documentation:

  1. birth certificate of the Italian ancestor who emigrated abroad issued by the municipality where he was born;
  2. birth certificates, accompanied by an official Italian translation, of all his descendants in straight line, including that of the person who is applying for the Italian citizenship;
  3. marriage certificate of the Italian ancestor who emigrated abroad, accompanied by an official Italian translation if the marriage took place in the foreign country;
  4. marriage certificates of their descendants, in straight line, including those of the parents of the person who is applying for the Italian citizenship;
  5. certificate issued by the authorities of the country of destination of the emigrant, together with the official translation into Italian language, certifying that the Italian ancestor who had emigrated from Italy in the past did not acquire the citizenship of the foreign country prior to the birth of his child, which is the ancestor of the person concerned;
  6. certificate issued by the Italian consular authority, able to certify that the ancestors in direct line, nor the person who is applying for the Italian citizenship, have never renounced it under the terms of art. 7 of Law no 555 of June 13, 1912;
  7. certificate of residence.

It is important to emphasize that the application submitted in Italy must be written on letterhead and that the attached certificates, if issued in Italy by Italian authorities, should be produced in accordance with the provisions in force concerning the tax stamp. Certificates issued by foreign authorities must be drawn up in plain paper and duly legalized, except in cases where exemption from legalization is provided on the basis of international conventions ratified by Italy. The referred documents must be accompanied by an official translation into Italian, which must be written on paper on which a tax stamp is required if the documents are submitted in Italy.

In addition, it should be emphasized that, in order to fully certify the non-exercise by the individuals who are applying for Italian citizenship, the right to renounce it, based on art. 7 of Law No. 555/1912, it is necessary, on the one hand, to carry out the appropriate investigations in the Italian municipality of origin or last residence of the Italian ancestor emigrated abroad, or even in the Municipality of Rome and, on the other hand, directly contact all Italian consular representations competent for the various foreign localities where the individual in question has resided or, if necessary, consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Directorate General for Emigration and Social Affairs – Department VIII, for information to be requested from the officials of the appropriate Consular Offices.

The Mayors, after verifying the foundations of the claim of the applicants for the attribution of the Italian citizenship through the principle “iure sanguinis”, will determine the transcription of the certificates of civil registry referring to the subjects recognized like our compatriots and they will be able to issue the specific certification of citizenship, as well as carry out the subsequent  tasks within their competence.

The mayors must, finally, communicate the determinations made to the Local Authorities of the Federal Police and to this Ministry.

In turn, should doubts arise regarding the effective citizenship situation of the applicants of our status civitatis, the mayors should apply to this Ministry, transmitting the respective documentation.

It is requested the instructions to be transmitted to the Mayors of the Municipalities of the Province  and that all necessary support be provided to them.

Translated from the original Italian by Mariângela Souza Ragassi.