Date: 1912 Law on Citizenship

July 1, 1912

A major citizenship law (Law no. 555 of June 13, 1912) took effect. Before July 1, 1912, if an Italian citizen became a citizen of another country through naturalization, he, his wife and all his unemancipated minor children (see March 10, 1975, below) lost Italian citizenship together. However, if the Italian father naturalized on or after July 1, 1912, all his previously foreign-born or adopted* children retained Italian citizenship even if they were unemancipated minors as long as they were granted the same foreign country’s citizenship automatically when they were born in that country. (Children born in Italy were not so protected.)

Example:

Giovanni, an Italian citizen, emigrated to the United States in 1931. He had two children: Marina and Peter. Marina was born in Italy in 1928, and Peter was born in the U.S. in 1933. Giovanni naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1940 when both his children were still minors. When Giovanni naturalized, Marina lost her Italian citizenship. However, because Peter was born in the same country (the United States) with which his father naturalized, and because the U.S. is a jure soli country and Peter automatically acquired U.S. citizenship at birth by being born in the U.S. (by virtue of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), under Italy’s 1912 law (Article 7) Peter retained his Italian citizenship.

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