ICA: Benefits of Italian Citizenship
- WTI Magazine #115 May 19, 2019
Many U.S. citizens, whether they are Italian or not, dream about going to Italy and maybe even living there; enjoying the rolling Tuscan hills, the art, the history, the culture, the incredible beauty in all the different regions, not to mention the wine, pizza, pasta and “old world charm”.
For those with Italian heritage or married to an Italian, it is possible to make this dream a reality and live in Italy legally. At first what attracts most people, is often just the romanticized idea of what life in Italy is like. Then, many people unexpectedly realize that there are benefits, real benefits of becoming a citizen of Italy beyond just being able to experience the romanticized image of Italy, although there is something to be said for that too.
Italian Citizenship is one of the easiest European citizenship to get and luckily the majority of people of Italian descent in the US qualify for Italian citizenship. The citizenship process can be not only a journey to discover your roots but is also an investment for you and your children.
The application for Italian citizenship can be filed at your local Italian consulate or directly in Italy.
Looking at citizenship from a practical perspective, let’s touch on the health care that Italians are entitled to by law. Thousand dollar emergency visits to the hospital are basically unheard of… in some regions the maximum a person might pay for a visit to the ER could be €15, including X-ray(s), doctor’s visit and potentially even medication. Emergency medical attention is a constitutional right, as well as healthcare in general. Italy’s healthcare system is ranked among the top 3 countries in the world, and yes even AHEAD of The United States. Some people are motivated by this benefit specifically and become inspired to get their whole family involved in the citizenship process for this reason. Recently, we were assisting a very nice gentleman who is the grandchild of an Italian citizen, he himself was a senior citizen and became recognized as an Italian citizen a few years ago. He is able to take advantage of Italy’s national healthcare system, which was a plus for him as it is for many senior citizens. Beside health care, there were additional benefits for him. Since he claimed his citizenship, the rest of his family including his wife and descendants also had the possibility of becoming Italian citizens more easily. A unique gift and legacy that he is able to pass down to future generations. Something to think about is that citizenship can be a gift… quite a unique gift. Because of this, his grandchildren will have the chance to go to university in Italy for a small fraction of the price of what it could cost in the United States. Italian universities are world renowned and among the oldest institutions of higher learning in the world. Don’t forget if you are the bearer of an Italian passport, you have access to not only all the universities in Italy but also in the European Union… as well as medical services.
Through our experiences with our clients at ICA we have heard and have been a part of so many stories involving people “returning” to Italy, “the motherland”. There are many reasons why people decide to move to Italy, some for the rest and relaxation, and some to start over. Not all of those who left Italy arrived in the USA. Many went to countries that are now in difficult or even dangerous situations. For example, we have assisted clients in South Africa who are of Italian descent to get their citizenship allowing them to escape the current situation, which is worsening and becoming more dangerous daily.
People report to us that they feel a real sense of “being home” when they are in the country, even if it’s only for a vacation. We have had more than a few cases where our clients have gone on a short vacation to Italy that turned into never leaving and making Italy their permanent home. Some people may not choose to live in Italy, at least not immediately. It should be mentioned that having citizenship does not require you to live in Italy. Italian citizenship gives you the flexibility to be able to travel to Italy and throughout the European Union as you please/when you please/for as long as you please without the restrictions non-EU citizens must abide by. One of the biggest benefits while traveling in the EU as an Italian citizen is that you can pass through borders and airports as an Italian in fast track lanes reserved for European citizens.
Talking about another practical issue necessary for some: earning a living. While there is still room for improvement, contrary to popular belief, there has been growth in the Italian economy. Even though the banks have had some problems, the economy has continued to grow regardless. There have been a number of people of Italian descent getting on board and taking advantage laws made for citizens which are quite different from laws that may apply only to non-citizens. Another quick example: we have been working with a client who is the American born great-grandchild of an Italian immigrant from the south of Italy. He is partnered with a well-known restaurant in Los Angeles and also runs a business hosting dinner events. His citizenship appointment was quite recent, this past April (2019). With our assistance, all of his documents were accepted at his first and only appointment. His plan once his Italian citizenship is recognized is to start his own culinary business in Italy in line with his previous successes. For those with the entrepreneurial spirit, there are always opportunities.
If this process of obtaining seems overwhelming, don’t worry, there are people who have been able to make this claim, doing it “DIY,” and of course we at ItalianCitizenshipAssistance.com are happy to be there for you through the process. If you want to know if you qualify we also offer free eligibility assessment. We can offer you turnkey executive services or just be there to guide you through the process. We also offer a free consultation to get you started.
Don’t loose the chance to take advantage of the 10% discount on our services reserved for WTI readers: please use the code WTITA and contact us for additional information or for a free consultation.
Stay tuned, next month we will be talking about 5 ways to obtain Italian Citizenship!