If you are an adventurous entrepreneur, setting up a business overseas could be your vision. Success depends on choosing the right destination, where you have a big market, growth opportunities, and a favorable environment for foreign entrepreneurs. Additionally, you will want to choose a country where you can settle down with your family and have a comfortable life ahead. Italy is a dream destination for startup entrepreneurs because it offers a mix of everything that makes it an ideal place for businesses and families.
But before you start pursuing your Italian startup dream, you must understand the dual citizenship process so that you can live and work there without any restrictions. While there is a process to follow, the good thing is that you have lots of options to materialize the citizenship journey. A specialist lawyer can guide you about the best route and help you with the process as well. Let us explain the various options you can explore to obtain Italian dual citizenship and understand how a lawyer can help.
Italian citizenship routes
If you plan to establish a startup in Italy, you will eventually settle in the country to conduct your business smoothly. Thankfully, obtaining dual citizenship to the country is a pretty straightforward process, provided that you pick the route that is apt for you. Your eligibility will depend on your circumstances, so you must understand the right one and opt for it to get ahead with the first step to the fulfillment of your dream. Here are the routes you can consider for becoming a dual citizen of Italy.
Citizenship by descent (Jure Sanguinis)
This option will be ideal for entrepreneurs with ancestral roots in the country. You can leverage the connection to access this fastest and easiest way to obtain your second passport. The best thing is that it is a one-time process, and you pass the rights automatically to the next generations. So they can live here and carry on your business as a generational one.
Before applying through Jure Sanguinis, you must understand the eligibility requirements and determine whether you are eligible to apply. Individuals born in Italy have the right to citizenship by birth. You will be eligible if either or both of your parents had Italian citizenship at the time of your birth. You can even claim the right through your grandparents, namely your paternal or maternal grandfather and paternal or maternal great-grandfather. It means that you will have to seek a different route in the case of a female bloodline, which we will explain in detail later.
Once you are sure about your eligibility to apply through Jure Sanguinis, you must gather valid documents to prove the connection. For this purpose, you will need to locate and get certified copies of the official documents in the ancestor’s Italian hometown. Further, you will have to apply through your local Italian consulate. The process may take anything between three months to three years to complete. It depends on the wait time and complexities of your case. But once you complete it, you can move here and set up your business.
The 1948 Case
While discussing citizenship through descent, it is vital to consider your rights through maternal bloodline because they shouldn’t make you any less eligible. The female line could transfer the citizenship rights only after 1948, and those born before the year cannot claim through the regular jure sanguinis process. Instead, you will have to apply with the Italian courts and seek a lawyer to handle the process and represent you in the court. The route sounds daunting, but it isn’t. It is only an initiative to eliminate gender discrimination in the process and ensure that people with maternal ancestry can also claim their rights.
Citizenship by marriage
Going ahead with your Italian startup dream can get a tad easier if you are married to an Italian citizen. Marriage empowers you with the right to apply for dual citizenship. However, you have to follow certain timelines to be eligible for the process. Essentially, you can apply two years after the marriage if you live in Italy, and this period extends to three years if you reside elsewhere. You can do it faster if you have biological or adopted children with your partner because the timelines are halved in that case.
Another criterion to fulfill is that you must show Italian language proficiency, with a B1 or intermediate level from an accredited institution. The marriage must be viable throughout the application process. You must also have a clean criminal record to be eligible, and documentary evidence is needed to validate the facts as a part of the application process.
Citizenship by naturalization
The naturalization option works for people already living in the country. If you have been around for at least ten years, you can apply for citizenship before setting up your business in the country. Being a citizen will give you definite advantages as an entrepreneur, so it is worth the effort and completing the process to get valid citizenship by naturalization.
The ten-year period is cut short to only four years for a citizen of an EU country. You can also reduce the period to three years of legal residency here if you can prove that you had native-born parents or grandparents who renounced their Italian citizenship in the past and settled elsewhere.
Golden visa program
If you aren’t eligible for Italian citizenship through either of these options but still want to start up here, you can explore the Golden visa program. It enables you to immigrate through investment, provided that you are at least 18 years old, have clean criminal records, and are in a good state of health. Here are the investment guidelines to access the Golden Visa:
- A minimum investment of half a million euros in an innovative startup company in Italy
- A minimum investment of one million euros in a local company that fulfills some criteria listed by the government
- A minimum investment of one million in a growth project
- A minimum investment of two million in government bonds
Reasons you must collaborate with a specialist
Now that you understand the dual citizenship routes and their eligibility requirements, you will have a fair idea of the one that is right for you. At this stage, you must have a specialist lawyer to guide you about the process and ensure that you make all the right moves. Fortunately, all different ways to receive assistance can be found on the Bersani Law Firm website, so you need not worry about taking the first step to collaborate with a specialist. You will feel a lot more confident if you have someone with the right expertise and experience taking things forward. Here are some valid reasons you must hire an expert right from the start.
- They can evaluate options and decide the apt one for you. For example, things can get tricky for the 1948 cases, but a lawyer will make sure that you take the right step and apply in the court without any apprehensions. Taking the right step early can eliminate the hassle from the process and make it much smoother.
- An expert can act as your local representative in the court in the 1948 cases if you cannot travel down to Italy for the hearing. With an expert professional looking after things on your behalf, you need not worry a bit about anything going wrong.
- Documentation is often the trickiest part of the application process, particularly if you have to obtain them locally in the descent route. Conversely, you will have to get them translated and apostilled if they aren’t of Italian origin. In either case, you will need the assistance of a specialist to evaluate the documents and make sure that everything is in place.
- These professionals know the nitty-gritty of the process, regardless of the route you choose. So they make sure that everything is done perfectly. It means that there are no chances of delay in the application process. You can rest assured about the approval as well.
Dual citizenship is worthwhile for entrepreneurs
Getting Italian dual citizenship sounds like a lot of work, but the effort is worthwhile if you want to materialize your startup vision. The benefits extend beyond visa-free travel across the EU, access to quality education and healthcare, and the right to buy real estate in the country. Starting a company will be a lot easier if you do it as a citizen rather than a foreigner. Moreover, you can access various tax benefits that are available to the local business owners. Before you take the next step to fulfill your Italian dream, you must get dual citizenship.
An entrepreneur is willing to take challenges, so going ahead with Italian citizenship shouldn’t sound daunting. You should happily do it because a second passport is a ticket to the success of your new business in the country. It is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss out on, and a specialist lawyer can help you cash on this ticket.