Italian Citizenship | Dual Citizenship
The process of obtaining Italian citizenship varies for many. If applying in the United States, it truly depends on where you live. We just met someone who lives in Chicago, Illinois and he received his Italian passport within 4 months of visiting the Italian Consulate. Go figure!
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In The Beginning…
Us? For those that have subscribed to our blog for a while know that we applied for Italian citizenship on November 2, 2015. When you apply, you must do so at the consulate in your region. Our regional office is in Los Angeles, California which happens to be the busiest in the country. LA covers those who live in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Southern California and us, Arizona.
Back In 2015
When we first applied in person back in 2015, we presented all the paperwork that we had gathered for about 2 years to the consulate. They then took our mound of papers that were also all translated into Italian by the lawyer we hired to help us in this process. Here is where we got stuck in the process. We were advised that if we sold our home, it would show the consulate that we were really serious. So? We sold our home, furniture, most all our possessions (see our post on Living With Less http://ouritalianjourney.com/challenge-of-living-with-less/) and believe it or not, our car. We were ready to go. But little did we know that the nice lady consulate we had met was then transferred to another department. The new consulate person was not as ready to send us to Italy.
The new replacement at the consulate informed us in late August 2017 that we needed to amend several documents. These documents were because Gary’s father’s name was not exactly the same on all the certificates we provided. This is quite common as many of the immigrants that came to America back in the early 1900’s had their names “Americanized.” Our consulate requested that we have these papers amended. It has now taken us 7-months to accomplish this through the civil and health records departments in New York state.
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So where are we in this process today?
We should be receiving the last of these amended documents from New York any day now. This will have brought us to that 7-month wait. I hope I haven’t jinxed ourselves by saying that! What do we need to do from here? We have to send those amended papers to Los Angeles and hope that they will process them immediately. Am I dreaming? I probably am because the letter that we will write to accompany these amended documents will say that we have been at this process since November 2015 and would like to make our move to Italy.
The most frustrating part of this entire crazy event is that we are homeless. Not homeless like we have no roof over our heads. We have been very fortunate to stay with family and at a co-workers condo when he is away. Remember, we sold our home assuming we were going to be processed right away. There is no sense to purchase anything here as we are assuming we will love living in Italy and our children, grandchildren, and friends will come and visit us. Good thing we make good guests and pull our weight around the house by cooking, cleaning, and helping with our grandchildren.
The other frustrating part is that at this time, we can’t make any definite plans. That means we can’t be looking for cheap airfare or a place to live.
Our two options at this point in the process:
- We can send our amended papers to Los Angeles when we receive them from New York. We can wait for them to process them and email us that our Italian passports are ready to be picked up in person. Of course, our lawyer just informed us that one of her other clients (who is in the same process as we are) has been waiting for 6-months to be notified that her amended paperwork has been approved. I, personally am not doing very well at this waiting thing.
- Our second option since they just changed Italian law again (it happens all the time) is to send our amended papers to Los Angeles and ask if that is everything they need from us.If they still can’t or won’t give us an answer as to how long it will take we will ask them to send us all of our paperwork back. Then we will take our application and all of our original documents with us to Italy and file in a “comune” (basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality per Wikipedia) in a town of our choice.
Depending on the size of the town, our lawyer informs us that this could take a few weeks for them to review our binder of documents or several months but… you are allowed to stay past the 90-days allowed by our United States passports. Too small a town and they might not have their own lawyer to process our request and too large we might get lost in the volume; like our consulate in Los Angeles.
Because the laws in Italy are constantly changing, we do not provide the information necessary to obtain Italian citizenship. What is correct today could change next week or next month. We are happy to help anyone with general information. For up-to-date and official information on Italian citizenship, check out these sites:
- Ambasciata d’Italia Washington DC
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Stay tuned and hopefully, we will make some progress within the next few weeks or months. We are ready to go begin our year adventure… just need the Italian Consulate to let us go legally.