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Acquiring citizenship through school? Italy’s new proposed legal basis for citizenship.

Fleitas PLLC

The proposal is to introduce a new principle into Italian law that would give a right to citizenship based on school attendance. It would apply to children who were born in Italy or moved there before the age of 12, and have completed more than five years of school.

The rationale for linking citizenship to school is that education is a naturalization process in itself. Such children typically do not differentiate themselves from their friends and it can be a surprise to them to discover they aren’t citizens.

School-based citizenship has been given the name “jus culturae”, or “cultural right” in Italy. It’s a new addition to the two traditional legal bases for citizenship: jus soli and jus sanguinis.

Jus soli or “right of soil” is birthright citizenship, a norm often seen in America, whereby children born in a country have a claim to that nationality irrespective of the origin of their parents.

In Europe, jus sanguinis is more common. “Right of blood” means citizenship is determined by descent: the nationality of your parents or grandparents.

If you would like more information on our Italian Law Practice, please visit our website at:

Source: The Irish Times, Acquiring citizenship through school: a compromise in Europe’s immigration debates? Naomi O’Leary Correspondent, Wed, Apr. 14, 2021. 


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