The legal rules regulating Italian nationality (Law N° 91 of 1992) say that the son or daughter of an Italian mother or father is automatically an Italian citizen. Nowadays, approximately one third of Argentina’s population is of Italian origin: according to this principle, if certain other prerequisites are satisfied, they should be entitled to be recognised as Italian nationals.
Nevertheless, in the real world, although many Argentineans possess the necessary prerequisites, they encounter many difficulties when they attempt to have this Italian law implemented and their right of citizenship recognised. Considering this topic in the light of socio-legal theories on the implementation of law, this paper tries to single out the bureaucratic barriers encountered by Argentineans of Italian origin in the long process of achieving recognition as Italian citizens. An attempt is also made to understand whether this can be considered to be a case of the administrative misapplication of law.