Citizenship for children born in Italy to immigrants

Rome, Oct 14 (IANS/AKI) Under a bill approved by the lower house of parliament, children born in Italy to immigrants can become citizens if their parents have been resident in the country for at least five years.

Although the bill stops short of making citizenship a universal birthright, observers say it is an important step forward for the children of immigrants, some of whom have lived in Italy all their lives.

For the child to be eligible for citizenship, its parents must hold a European Union permit for long-term residents in Italy from outside the EU, according to the bill approved on Tuesday.

One of the child’s parents or its guardian must apply to local authorities for citizenship before it reaches adulthood at the age of 18, under the provisions of the bill.

If no such application is made, people born in Italy to immigrants who were born abroad and moved to the country as children must request Italian citizenship within two years of becoming an adult, the bill states.

Before the bill becomes law, it must be approved by the Italian Senate upper house of parliament.

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