Story at a glance
- Italy has a path to citizenship for some Americans with Italian origins.
- One Italian company says it has seen four times as many U.S. applicants for Italian citizenship.
- The country has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and hit a record for new coronavirus cases in one day.
Every four years or so in November, there’s a lot of talk about emigrating. And it has less to do with the markets, weather or seasons than the presidential elections.
You’ve heard it before, “If X candidate wins, I’m moving to Canada!”
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA
Of course some of them never meant it, and even those who do aren't likely to follow through. But after a turbulent first term under President Trump ending in a global pandemic, many U.S. citizens are now seeking Italian citizenship, according to a CNN report.
Italian citizenship is granted by birth through the paternal line, with no limit on the number of generations, providing several routes to citizenship for Americans with Italian origins (some more difficult than others). More than 4 million Italians immigrated to the United States before 1920, and there are now more than 17 million Americans who identify as having Italian origins.
Italian Citizenship Assistance (ICA), an Italian company that helps foreigners become citizens, told CNN that the number of applicants from the United States has quadrupled since 2016. Marco Permunian, director of the ICA, told CNN he hired 60 additional employees due to the workload.
“People are really beginning to question, is this really the best place in the world to live, and I think the answer increasingly to that question, unfortunately, is not necessarily,” Professor Jim Cavallaro, executive director at the University Network for Human Rights, told CNN.
Free health care, affordable university education, the right to live and work anywhere in the European Union and a lower cost of living — paired with falling housing prices in Italy — are all tempting for younger Americans seeking to go abroad. But the country is not immune from global economic downturns or pandemics. In fact, Italy just hit a record number of new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, according to Reuters.
There is a lot to consider about moving to another country. But luckily for Americans, they’ll have more time than usual before the election results are counted and finalized.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW